West Chester (Pennsylvania)

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West Chester is a borough in Chester County in the Philadelphia Region of Pennsylvania. It is the county seat.

Get in[edit]

By bus[edit]

  • SEPTA[1] Route 104, follows West Chester Pike into Downtown West Chester, ending in a stop on the campus of West Chester University.

By air[edit]

  • Philadelphia International Airport. About 45 minutes away from West Chester, the Philadelphia International Airport is much bigger than the Brandywine Airport. It has many commercial airlines that fly in from all over the world.

Get around[edit]

No taxi services run steadily through downtown West Chester, but the downtown area is an easy walk from one end to another. Walking around downtown is nice because of the historic atmosphere and brick sidewalks with a mixture of shops, bars, restaurants, and local offices.

See[edit]

The entire town is rich with history. The cobblestone streets were put in the 1700s. The soldiers of the Revolutionary War walked through West Chester on those very cobblestones. Visitors along with residents marvel at the building where Abraham Lincoln started his journey towards the presidency. West Chester has more than 3,000 structures built before the colonial time which puts the entire downtown on the list of National Registered Historic Places. The town was home for the legendary African-American folk artist, Horace Pippin, Pulitzer Prize winning composer Samuel O. Barber (1910-1981) along with many other aspiring and proven artists.

  • Chester County Historical Society (Museum & Library), 225 N. High Street +1 610 692-4800. The Museum & Library are open Tue-Sat, 10 am to 5 pm, The Museum Shop is open Monday-Saturday, 10 am to 5 pm. Definitely bigger and fancier than your average Historical Society Museum. One of the buildings was originally an opera house designed by the same architect who designed the capital dome in Washington, DC. Not as good as a Smithsonian or something, but if you're into history at all and you're in the area, it's definitely worth seeing. Genealogical and newspaper records at the library are very comprehensive.
  • The Court House is a sight to see. Located at 2 N High street it is one of the most historic buildings in the town. William Penn established Chester County as a member of the three first counties of the Colonial Pennsylvania in 1682. In 1724 a courthouse was built near the Delaware River in Chester. Because of population growth the courthouse moved inland into West Chester. A court house was constructed between 1784 and 1786 on High street in the middle of West Chester. This establishment is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Do[edit]

There are so many exciting things to do in West Chester. With all of the restaurants, bars and shopping there is an activity for everyone.

West Chester University is a major attraction to the area. Many families visit the campus in hopes of sending their children to a highly accredited university. Because the school is located in the heart of the town it is mainly seen as a college town, which means the nightlife is always active and exciting. For those who enjoy golf there are more than five golf courses in West Chester.

Parking is free all weekend in the Parking Garages & Lots and on-street meters. And you never have to feed the meters after 5 pm everyday.

  • Televised home shopping channel QVC's headquarters and main broadcast studios are just north of town. Studio tours, which are $7.50 ($6 for children), run several times daily, and tickets to special live-audience events are available in advance via the website. A company store selling fan ware with the QVC logo as well as a small selection of popular items is on the premises. [2]

For those interested in the arts, downtown West Chester is home to more than 15 shops containing art gallery work.

  • American Helicopter Museum1220 American Boulevard +1 610-436-9600. Wed-Sat 10am-5pm; Sun 12n-5pm; Mon-Tue (prescheduled groups only). The American Helicopter Museum and Education Center is an aviation museum devoted exclusively to helicopters. They collect, restore and display historic aircraft and chronicle the origin and development of rotary wing aircraft. This museum can be interesting to actual pilots down to people who know nothing about helicopters. Adults $6; Seniors $5; Students (with ID) & Children (2-12) $4, (under 2) free with paying adult.
  • Northbrook Canoe Company1810 Beagle Road, toll-free: +1-800-898-2279. may-sept 9am-4pm. Offers canoeing, kayaking, tubing and splash boat trips.
  • West Chester Railroad Heritage Association250 E. Market St. +1 610 430-2233. Call for rentals and charters. The purpose of the West Chester Railroad Heritage Association is to collect, preserve, and exhibit railroad equipment and artifacts relating to railroading with emphasis on the southeastern Pennsylvania region; to operate a demonstration railroad for the education and enjoyment of the public.
  • West Chester Growers MarketChurch St & Chestnut St. May-Dec: Sa 9AM-1PM. The first producer-only market in southeastern Pennsylvania, in their 17th year. Wide variety of locally grown produce in season along with baked goods, cheese, meat and other farm-market staples.

Buy[edit]

West Chester is known for its quaint boutiques and trendy shops. Gay street is a central area for shopping. Malena's Vintage boutique, Plane Janea and Niche are just some of the fashionable shops located on Gay Street. The unique finds in Malena's Boutique range from 50's cocktail dresses to Gucci bags. This little store has everything a fashionista would want. Plain Jane sells any type of beauty product a girl could need. This affordable store has jeans and nice button-downs for men along with beautifully, colorful dresses for women. These are just a few of the shopping experiences West Chester has to offer.

One place that is frequented by the local kids during the summertime is the Brandywine River. There are plenty of rope swings and little spots to hang out. The rope swings aren't really a tourist spot, they are more like a hangout spot for residents of West Chester. The Brandywine River Park is also a popular place for companies and large groups to spend the day. There are also canoe and kayak tours during the spring and summer seasons.

  • Malena's Boutique145 West Gay Street +1 610 738-9952. : M-Sat:12-7 · Sun:12-4. The unique finds in Malena's Boutique range from 50's cocktail dresses to Gucci bags
  • Fairman's Skate Shop43 West Gay Street +1 610-344-9959. Established in 1977, FAIRMAN’S is one of the East Coast's oldest Skate, Snow and Surf shops.

Eat[edit]

Downtown West Chester is known for its bars and restaurants. The town offers a variety of over 25 restaurants. The restaurants range from coffee to sandwich shops to italian cuisine. Cosi, located at 113 W Market St, is a popular place for people who are looking for a filling salad and to make their own s'mores. Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant, located at 3 West Gay street, serve fresh beer, fresh food, and interesting culture. The laidback atmosphere only adds to the appeal of this self beer brewing restaurant. Another fantastic restaurant is the Lincoln Room. It is located in one of West Chester's most historic and famous structures. This classical establishment is known for its early morning tea and luncheon menu. These restaurants represent the pinnacle of fine dining. Some local favorites include:

Lorenzo's Steaks and Hoagies, 216 East Market Street , + 1 610 696-5660, [3]. Local hoagie shop specializing in Philly cheese steaks. Offers appetizers, lunch, dinner, and breakfast. Menu includes cheesecakes, hot and cold sandwiches, wings, and fried chicken and seafood. Large portions. Quick service.

Country Bagel, 145 East Gay Street , 929 South High Street + 1 610 696-8890, +1 610 696-7440 [4]. 2 locations, one downtown, other in Parkway Shopping Center just outside downtown. Local Bagel Shop with variety of breakfast options. Also offers lunch. Menu includes 25 varieties of fresh bagels, breakfast and lunch sandwiches, wraps, pastries and muffins, and coffee.

  • Café Fiorello’s730 East Gay Street +1 610 430-8941. Mon-Sat 11am-10pm. Sun 4pm-10pm.. Serves authentic, old world Italian dishes inspired by the best of Sicilian and Mediterranean cuisine. Offers Dinner and Lunch.
  • Market Street Grill'6 West Market Street +1 610 429-5328. 7-2:30 most days. Best breakfast place in West Chester. Winner of Main Line Today’s Best Breakfast. Try the Donny Benny - it's an awesome heart attack on a plate.
  • Kooma151 W Gay Street +1 610 430-8980. A Wide Variety Of Sushi, Sashimi, And Maki with An Array Of Dishes From Many Asian Cultures. Has a modern laid back atmosphere. They also offer numerous interesting alcoholic beverages.
  • Mas Mexicali Cantina102 East Market Street +1 610 918-6280. Menu is filled with authentic Mexican cuisines. A newly renovated building that is large with two floors of seating. Many people also stay at the bar for drinks after dinner.
  • America's Pie323 E. Gay St (Cambridge Square with Rita's),  +1 484-947-5115. 11-9 or later. America's Pie offers the highest quality pizza, sandwiches, wraps, appetizers, and desserts coupled with the best service in the business

Being a college town there are countless places to grab a slice of pizza. Many also offer Philly Cheese Steaks. 24 in total-America's Pie, Papa John’s, Dominos Pizza, Pizza Hut, Amore Pizza, Pizza University, Culinary, Peace of Pizza, Rigtown, Rigtown Uptown, Saucey, Nino’s Pats Pizzeria, New Haven Pizza, Chris's Pizza, Benny's Pizza, Sam's Pizza Island, Tommy's Pizzeria, Empire Pizzeria and Grill, Joey's Pizza, Carmines, Jumbo Pizza, Café Fiorello’s, Brother’s Pizza, The Bistro.

Drink[edit]

Being a college town, West Chester has many bars to offer its visitors and residents. Barnaby's of West Chester,Baxter's, and Landmark Americana are just a few that are filled to the max every friday and saturday night. The Note offers live entertainment and musical performances.

Baxter's 40 East Market Street +1 484 631-0241

DeStarr's Restaurant & Bar E 112 Gay St +1 610 692-4160

Iron Hill Brewery 3 West Gay Street +1 610 738-9600 www.ironhillbrewery.com

Jitters Sports Bar 146 West Gay St. +1 610 696-0427

Kildare's Irish Pub 18-22 West Gay Street +1 610 431-0770 www.kildarespub.com

Landmark Americana 158 W Gay St. +1 610 701-9900

Ryan's Pub 126 West Gay Street +1 610 344-3934 www.ryans-pub.com

Spence Café 29 East Gay Street +1 610 738-8844 www.spencecaferestaurant.com

The Spare Rib 135 East Gay Street +1 610 696-6350

Square Bar 250 East Chestnut St. +1 610 696-9825

Teca 38 East Gay Street +1 610 738-8244

Barnaby’s of West Chester 15 South High Street +1 610 696-1400 www.barnabyswestchester.com

The Note 142 E. Market Street +1 484 947-5713

Jake's Bar 549 N. Matlack Street +1 610 431-3900

  • Fennario is a popular spot for locals to get their java fix. It is a friendly little coffee shop located on North Church street, across the street from Benny's pizza, and next to the WMCA. The Baristas are always upbeat and very helpful, and are always playing an assorted mix of music. During weekend nights, local bands play in the second floor of the coffee shop, which makes it a popular hangout for young kids.

Sleep[edit]

There are many hotels in and around the West Chester Area. As the suburbs expand more and more hotels are being built.

The Brandywine Valley is home to many upscale bed and breakfasts.

  •    Hamanassett Bed & Breakfast725 Darlington Road, Chester Heights, PA 19017 (6.3 miles south on US 202/322 to Painters Crossroads, then east 4.2 miles on US 1),  +1 610 459-3000. Check-in: 3pm-7pm, check-out: 11am. Owned at one time by Abraham Lincoln's quartermaster general Montgomery Meigs. $160 - $450.

Stay Safe[edit]

Connect[edit]

Go next[edit]

Routes through West Chester
WilmingtonChadds Ford  S US 202.svg N  MalvernKing of Prussia
HarrisburgDowningtown  W US 322.svg E  Chadds FordChester


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