The uniquely beautiful town of Roxborough, Pennsylvania was founded more than three centuries ago in 1682. Ridge Avenue, which was once called Ridge Road, served as a popular passage from Center City through Roxborough and beyond. Today, Ridge Avenue has transformed from a route on a map to a popular destination. The town is full of well-known shops, businesses, and restaurants, some of which have served the area for 90+ years.
With the arrival of the Industrial Revolution after the war, the town really began to prosper as local waterways powered saw, paper, and cotton mills. Farmlands were converted into Victorian streets; religious and recreational organizations thrived; the hospital was built; and in return, the community flourished. Throughout Roxborough’s continuous change, one thing has remained the same: the progressive and welcoming people who call this community home. Just like the pioneering plantation owners, visionary revolutionaries, and hardworking industrialists of decades past, Roxborough residents of today are reinventing the town and redefining it for a new generation.
Today, millennials, families, and retirees continue to choose Roxborough for the quality schools, religious institutions, active civic organizations, and dedicated, locally owned businesses. They stay because Roxborough is a place with roots. It’s a place worth settling into—one that gets better with age.
Roxborough is one of the safest, greenest, and most conveniently located neighborhoods in Philadelphia, with one of the highest household incomes in the city. Spanning from the early American settlers through the Industrial Revolution, Roxborough’s history can best be defined by its architecture. With much of the neighborhood’s colonial-era housing stock lost to time, the neighborhood’s unique architectural profile is mostly that of the Victorian era.
The development of the railroads with industry in Manayunk catapulted Roxborough’s Victorian development. Wealthy mill owners and managers climbed the hill from Manayunk and established their homes in the hills of Roxborough. Today, the neighborhood lays claim to a diverse and historic housing stock. Roxborough’s selection of new and old single-family homes, townhomes, twins, condominiums and garden-style apartments makes it a special community in a large city such as Philadelphia.
More than 25% of Roxborough’s population are older millennials, ages 25 to 35 years old, who enjoy its access to nightlife, affordability, and impressive apartment stock. Ridge Court Apartments, Ridgeview Apartments, and The Ridge apartments all attract a younger demographic looking to call Roxborough home.
The commercial corridor along Ridge Avenue is home to much of Roxborough’s local shops, offices, and restaurants. Small businesses in town thrive from patrons’ commitment to shopping small and frequenting favorite bars. An array of buses runs right through Roxborough, making it incredibly accessible and convenient. The #9 runs from Center City to Andorra, the #27 goes from Plymouth Meeting Mall to Center City, and the #32 will take you right from Roxborough to Center City via Philadelphia University. The #35 runs a Roxborough/ Manayunk loop for easy transportation around the area.
Septa’s Manayunk/Norristown Regional Rail line runs out to Roxborough, stopping at Wissahickon, Manayunk and Ivy Ridge—so whether you want to explore urban character or ample green space, it’s all within easy reach. The town is also bike- and pedestrian-friendly for residents and visitors looking for a walkable town that is seamless to navigate.
Roxborough has several seasonal events in which to partake, as well as recreation, education, and art centers that host activities, classes, and performances. Enjoying the outdoors is always an easy option, with trails for walking, biking, hiking, and horseback riding nestled throughout Wissahickon Valley Park. The multitude of community green space within Roxborough is perfect for picnics and children’s activities. You can meet friends at a popular bar, participate in an open mic night at the Philadelphia Folksong Society headquarters, or treat yourself to a spa treatment at one of the town’s salons.
Starting in April, Roxborough’s Art Is Life Street Festival takes over the Ridge Avenue commercial corridor with experiential art demonstrations and craft vendors, as well as culinary, performing, and visual arts performances. In May, the Rockin’ the Ridge Car Show comes to Ridge Avenue, bringing some of the region’s most collectible antique and vintage cars to the corridor.
In the summer, Roxborough celebrates the season with the June Roxborough Solstice Music Festival. Then for the remainder of the summer, Gorgas Park organizes a series of movies and concerts in the park. When fall approaches, the neighborhood prepares for Roxtoberfest and the Gorgas Park Harvest Festival. To finish out the year, the neighborhood welcomes Happy Holidays From Roxborough, a series of small events, brunches, and activities with Santa Claus and other popular winter characters.
You don’t have to travel into Philadelphia for an authentic hoagie when Roxborough is home to endless options. Dalessandro’s Steaks and Hoagies, Chubby’s Steaks, and T & F Farmers’ Pride serve up some of the best sandwiches in the area. You can also satisfy your sweet tooth at Cafe Roma and Custard & Cakes Creamery, while The Valley Green Inn is perfect for Sunday brunch or even your next special event, large or small. Discover one of the town’s best-kept secrets like the Cave of Kelpius, Roxborough Reservoir, and Courtesy Stables for entertainment that is truly unique to this Classic Town.