University City represents the easternmost section of West Philadelphia. The name ‘University City’ was coined during the 1950s and comes from the most prominent scholarly establishment in the area – the University of Pennsylvania. These days, the city is also home to the University of the Sciences in Philadelphia and Drexel University.
Within University City’s boundaries are the neighborhoods of Garden Court, Cedar Park, Squirrel Hill, Spruce Hill, Walnut Hill, Powelton Village, and Woodland Terrace.
Getting Around University City, Philadelphia
University City is in fact one of the most easily traversed sections of Philadelphia. Southeastern Pennsylvania Transport Authority (SEPTA) provide subways, buses, and electric trolleys which service the various neighborhoods throughout the entire area. The City also boasts many of the most bicycle-friendly streets in Philadelphia, and affords no less than 25 miles of bike lanes.
University City is represented by 30th Street Station, the nation’s second busiest train station, with approximately 50,000 daily commuters. The regional rail lines which are run by SEPTA, travels to various neighborhoods and suburbs within Philadelphia, stretching all the way to Philadelphia International Airport and Delaware. New Jersey transit trains run from 30th Street Station and cross the Delaware River, while Amtrak trains venture further afield to destinations such as Chicago, Miami, and New Orleans.
For those with a preference for driving, Interstates 76 and 95 both converge by the Schuylkill River offering excellent access to the entire regional highway system.
Things to See and Do in University City
The Daskalakis Athletic Center at 3141 Chestnut Street is home to the Drexel Dragons, encompassing the varying athletic teams that belong to Drexel University. Regularly, large crowds of sports fanatics congregate at the Athletic Center to cheer on the university’s athletic and swimming teams.Though it may seem something of an oddity to pay a visit to a cemetery, other than to pay one’s respects, Woodlands Cemetery at 4000 Woodland Avenue is certainly worthy of attention if you’d like to step back in time and witness the exquisitely crafted neo-classical mausoleums, crypts, and obelisks that dominate the cemetery. Guided tours are also available.
Bartram’s Garden at 54th Street and Lindbergh Boulevard personify a beautiful 18th century landscaped gardens which lies on the banks of the Schuylkill River. The gardens were established in 1731, and represent the home of the first American botanists – John and William Bartram. The estate comprises 44 acres in all, and offers an all-encompassing view of the city’s skyline in the background.
Places to Eat in University City
A favorite among the students, Sabrina’s Café @ Powelton at 227 North 34th Street provides delicious sandwiches for breakfast and brunch.The interestingly named Pod serves Japanese and general Asian-style cuisine at dinner time. Pod is situated at 3636 Sansom Street.
The Vientiane Café at 4728 Baltimore Avenue follows suit with Pod, though the difference being that Vientiane specializes in Thai and Vietnamese cuisine.
The New Deck Tavern at 3408 Sansom Street serves general pub-style food as well as traditional American fare.
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