Bordered by Philadelphia to the south and east, by Springfield to the west, and by Abington and Jenkintown to the north, Cheltenham truly sits at the center of it all. This historic community in Montgomery County dates back to 1682, when it began as a Quaker settlement. By the 1700s it became a mill town, and by the 1800s it saw Civil War settlements and the railroad industry. As Cheltenham chugged into the early 1900s, it became home to many of Philadelphia’s most notable names. Wealthy businessmen like Cyrus Curtis, George Widener, John Wanamaker, William Lukens Elkins, John Stetson, Jay Cooke, and Henry Breyer, Jr. all called Cheltenham home.
Today, many families and businesses do, too. This charming, nine-square-mile Classic Town encompasses neighborhoods including Cheltenham, Glenside, Elkins Park, Cedarbrook, La Mott, Wyncote, Laverock, Melrose Park, and Cheltenham Village, which together create one of the most diverse, unique, and livable communities in our region.
Why do so many people choose to call Cheltenham home? Is it its accessibility and central location in Montgomery County? Its rich history and housing stock? Strong educational system? Vital health network? Impressive cultural destinations? Walkable neighborhoods? It’s all of this and more.
Cheltenham’s a one-of-a-kind place. As one of Philadelphia’s original inner-ring suburbs, Cheltenham continues as a safe and walkable middle-class community.
There are numerous neighborhoods to call home, each with its distinct identity and character. Communities range from lower-density, classic homes in Wyncote and Laverock to more medium-density development in Glenside, Elkins Park, and La Mott. Higher-density development happens in Cedarbrook and Cheltenham Village.
No matter which neighborhood you choose, you’ll find countless opportunities to get involved. Organizations like the Neighborhood Friends Organizations and other local community groups allow you to get to know your neighbors, while making a difference in your community.
The same can be said about Cheltenham’s religious community, which includes churches, temples, and synagogues serving nearly every denomination. And when it comes to learning, Cheltenham residents make the most of all that’s available. Its public and private schools are among the state’s best. The township has public libraries in East Cheltenham, Elkins Park, Glenside, and La Mott that are all integral parts of the neighborhoods they serve. And lifelong learning opportunities are available at area colleges, universities, Cheltenham Adult School, and night school programs.
Charm, character, and convenience- Cheltenham has it all. When you live in Cheltenham, there are opportunities for work in almost every direction, but there are countless opportunities close to home. Within Cheltenham’s confines are several commercial corridors and seven commercial districts. These vibrant, well-maintained, and well-traveled districts provide opportunities for both entrepreneurs and businesses to establish themselves and expand.
Healthcare is also vital to the region’s economy and employment outlook. Hospitals including Fox Chase, Einstein, and Moss Rehabilitation Center are all close. There are also nearby colleges and universities, including Arcadia University and Salus University, along with Gratz College and Alvernia College. Not only are these institutions essential when it comes to jobs and careers, but they also help provide local businesses with a skilled and knowledgeable workforce.
Opportunities outside of Cheltenham are also accessible and convenient. Cheltenham has five train stations within the township and is served by major highways, including 309, 611, 73, 152, and the Pennsylvania Turnpike. Together, these transportation options make it easy for residents to work in major employment centers like Center City, Fort Washington, King of Prussia, Conshohocken, and Plymouth Meeting.
In Cheltenham, entrepreneurs benefit from a streamlined approval process and the support of the Greater Glenside Chamber of Commerce, the Eastern Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce, and the Downtown Glenside Partnership.
There’s so much to do in Cheltenham. You don’t have to go far to find fun. Residents have acres of options when it comes to enjoying the outdoors. There are more than 350 acres of township-owned parks. Destinations include the beautiful 45-acre Curtis Arboretum, Curtis and Glenside Halls, which can be rented for special events, Curtis Dog Park, Wall Skate Park, the George Perley Bird Sanctuary, the Edward Hicks Parry Bird Sanctuary, and more than 150 acres of open space owned by Cheltenham’s School District. Other popular spots are Tookany Creek and the Tookany Creek Parkway. Here, residents regularly run, sightsee, and enjoy the natural beauty of Cheltenham. Kleinheinz Pond along the Tookany Creek Parkway also hosts an annual Fishing Derby every June.
Residents can also keep busy through Cheltenham’s Parks and Recreation Department and its year-round events calendar. The department offers everything from tennis and arts in the spring to camps, swimming and concerts in the summer, to fall, and winter festivals and classes for fitness and fun.
Many Cheltenham residents also enjoy exploring their artistic side. The Cheltenham Center for the Arts provides the perfect spot for it. Guided by a mission of “making the arts an integral part of people’s lives, as well as supporting the artists who live and work in the vicinity,” the Cheltenham Center for the Arts offers classes, exhibitions, and theater programs that promote regional artists and showcase the outstanding creations of the community.
Cheltenham is home to two U.S. National Historic Landmarks, the Beth Sholom Synagogue and Grey Towers, located on Arcadia College’s campus. Another popular destination is the Richard Wall House Museum in Elkins Park. One of the township’s original homes, the museum allows visitors to peek into the past with tours of the house, its many rooms, and outbuildings.
In addition to history, special events bring many into the community. Things start in the late spring with Arts in the Park in the Elkins Park Commercial District. Arts in the Park happens annually every June. The Summer Concert Series at the Curtis Arboretum is another popular favorite. It runs from June through August. Things get really fun in the fall with Market Day at the Elkins Park West Commercial District and Glenside’s Street Fair. Both events occur each September. October events include Glenside Days in the Glenside Commercial District and the Community Harvest Festival at the Curtis Arboretum. When it gets to winter, WinterFest is a popular December tradition. It happens annually in the Glenside Commercial District.
And with all this to do in Cheltenham, you’re sure to work up an appetite. Don’t worry; you have a menu of options with everything from pubs and local watering holes like the Glenside Pub and Blue Comet to family eateries like Anne’s Kitchen Table and Trevi, to eclectic fare at places like Jasmine Asian Bistro in Glenside and Marco Polo in Elkins Park.