Remember to Explore.
Main line being the America’s first “Old Money” enclaves (The Philadelphia Story), the area has maintained its reputation for being prime place to settle down and raise family. Not only who reside in Main Line but this magnetic city of light draws visitors from around the globe who come to see iconic attractions. Travelers really fall in love with the city’s quaint cafes, vibrant markets, and trendy shopping districts.
Explore More About Main Line
To Stay: A landmark on the Main Line for more than 100 years, the Wayne Hotel epitomizes old-time elegance. Even if you’re not staying at the renovated Tudor Revival style inn, stop by to have a cocktail on the porch and watch the town stream by.
Good Eats: Though it’s called The Classic Diner, the food at this Malvern eatery is a cut above diner fare. The Wayne location of White Dog Cafe is truly special, both for its emphasis on local ingredients and for its decor, which feels like a quirky Ralph Lauren ad. Nectar is a sophisticated spot with Asian flair, while Teresa’s Next Door has an extensive beer list and Georges’ offers up American cuisine in a relaxed atmosphere. End your night at The Flying Pig Saloon, a Malvern mainstay with quintessential neighborhood-bar quirk (think Christmas lights and lava lamps). I left wanting to be a regular.
Sweet Spot: Started by a Philadelphia college student, Hope’s Cookies churns out delectable flavors like “lemon sugar” and “double fudge” for its legions of devotees. The parking lot at Handel’s in Berwyn is packed with ice cream lovers every night in the summer.
Real Estate Agent Talks
The north side (of County Line Road or Lancaster Avenue, depending on which town you are in) was where most of these well-to-do families built their mansions and the south side was where most of their employees and service people lived. So, the south side has more modest, less expensive homes on smaller lots. It is important to know in which township a given property is located. In addition, understand that even though some of these towns are only a few square miles, they may lie across more than one county. Therefore, taxes and schools, among other things, are affected by the particular location of a home in many of these towns. Purchase prices per square foot are usually higher in Lower Merion, while taxes are usually lower than in Haverford Township.
Main Line Neighborhoods
Philadelphia’s Main Line always includes Ardmore, Bala Cynwyd, Bryn Mawr, Gladwyne, Haverford, Merion, Narberth, Penn Valley and Wynnewood. Some people also consider towns a little further west (Villanova, Wayne, Devon, Berwyn, Paoli and Malvern) as part of the Main Line, or the Philadelphia suburbs.
Eastern Main Line: Ardmore, Bala Cynwyd, Bryn Mawr, Gladwyne, Haverford, Merion, Narberth/Penn Valley, Wynnewood.
Western Main Line: Berwyn, Devon, Malvern, Paoli, Villanova, Wayne.
Other Towns: Havertown, Media, Newtown Square.
Main Line Railroad
Originally, many of the small towns were founded by prominent Philadelphia families who built summer homes “away from the city” but who used the newly built railroad to travel back and forth. So, while the Main Line now refers to areas slightly north or south, most of the towns are laid out along the railroad line, which runs parallel to Lancaster Avenue, also known as Route 30 (the oldest paved road in the country). As a result, many of Philadelphia’s Main Line towns have a kind of town center clustered around services and businesses on Lancaster Avenue. This mnemonic device has helped generations of riders remember the order of the stations on the Main Line.
Eastern section of the Main Line are: Over brook, Merion, narberth, Wynnewood, Ardmore, Haverford, Bryn Mawr.
The Western Section Of Main Line are: Rodemaont, Villanova, Radnor, St. Davids, Wayne, Strafford, Devon, Berwyn, Daylesford, Paoli.