Named a National Historic District in 1983, Manayunk is situated just minutes west of Center City Philadelphia along the banks of the Schuylkill River and the historic Manayunk Canal. Named for a Lenape Indian word meaning "where we go to drink,” Manayunk is a hilly, former mill town with a flourishing business district lined with shops, restaurants, cafes and galleries that runs through the heart of town.
Immigrants such as English, Irish, German, Polish and Italian settled into textile mills in the 1800s and stayed. Main Street was reborn into a regional destination, when revitalization of the formerly run-down mill town began in the 1960s.
Cost of Housing
Home prices more than doubled here in the last five years with fixers now starting at about $225,000. Starting at $500,000 and heading up from there, homes become more expensive as you go further into the hills or closer to Main Street. Condos carved from brick row houses are an affordable option, with prices that start at $160,000.
Rentals are scarce and two-bedroom apartments, when available, start at $1,200 and up.
The Philadelphia School District's Cook-Wissahickon, grades K through 7, give emphasis to environmental studies; AMY (Academy for the Middle Years) North West serves grades 6 through 8. Shawmont, grades K through 8, is a local magnet school for music.
Levering, grades K through 8, participates in the Franklin Institute's Science Learning Network. Roxborough is the local high school. Saul is the city's agricultural high school.
St. John's and Holy Family Catholic Schools serve grades K through 8 while high school students attend Roman Catholic.
One of the hippest, trendiest spots in the city is Main Street. The street tallies more than 70 chic boutiques, galleries, antique stores, gourmet groceries, clubs, movies and 30 diverse restaurants, including Jake's, known for its warm chocolate cake pudding.
The Towpath that parallels the Canal behind Main Street and the river attracts joggers, walkers and hikers. Manayunk hosts the First Union, a U.S. Pro Cycling Championship race, and an arts festival with 250 juried artists.
The well-known Franklin Institute is just five miles from Manayunk. One of the major draws of the museum, the giant heart, was refurbished in 2004 in celebration of its 50th anniversary.
Downtown is a 15-20 minute drive away via the Schuylkill Expressway. Optional routes are Ridge Avenue, West River and Kelly Drives.
Commuter trains to downtown and the suburbs are one block from Main Street. Buses also service the area.