It may be unfair to describe these two neighborhoods together. Each has its own character and avid fans, and each has a collection of separate communities that make up the whole. Roxborough and Manayunk lay in the far northwest of Philadelphia. Manayunk is along the Schuylkill and attributes its early history to life along a significant water way and homes built closely together on the sloping hill above. Roxborough is up at the ridge above the river and names its main street “Ridge Avenue” to mark that fact.
Manayunk’s industrial, working class traditions that began with the establishment of several mills along the river have been upended in recent years by the revitalization of its main street. The mills are long gone, and Main Street Manayunk has become trendy--a center of hip boutique shops and popular restaurants. Tourists from all over Philadelphia and the Main Line come to Manayunk to enjoy them and the frequent Saturday festivals and events. Its hillsides, long occupied by two and three story row homes are now dotted with new apartment and condominium complexes with price tags unheard of until just a few years ago. And the old Schuylkill River Canal path is the favorite of hikers and cyclists.
Roxborough, larger and, shall we say, up above the fray of Manayunk, is the area where Manayunk’s mill owners established their homes long ago. Today, it is a thriving residential community with its own vibrant main street, Ridge Avenue. Over the years, those mill owners’ homes have been complimented with more modern homes: detached, semi-detached and row homes. And Roxborough stretches from East Falls at the southern end to its Andorra neighborhood at the top of the city with Fairmount Park’s Wissahickon Creek trails to the east. And everybody in Roxborough loves Bob’s Diner!
Population: 106,265 Public Transportation: Numerous bus routes and the SEPTA train line that has stops in Manyunk and along Umbria Street at the west end of the neighborhood Schools: Several Philadelphia public schools including Saul High School, Roxborough High School, Lankenau Magnet High School, and charter schools and parochial schools Distance from Center City Philadelphia: Approximately 11.6 miles Distance from King of Prussia: 11.7 miles.