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Three neighborhoods in one: That’s the perfect way to describe Washington Square West, a thriving enclave that also includes Midtown Village and the Gayborhood. Running roughly from 7th to Broad streets and Chestnut to South streets, the buzzed-about neighborhood is increasingly a go-to spot for trendy restaurants and owner-operated boutiques.
A popular gathering spot for residents and visitors alike, the green and lively Washington Square attracts those who want a respite from the city action — picnickers, families, sunbathers and history buffs.
Midtown Village maintains its own personality thanks to a small-business boom concentrated on the 13th Street corridor, where power couple Marcie Turney and Valerie Safran preside over a handful of popular restaurants and shops.
The Gayborhood sets itself apart with dozens of rainbow street signs that adorn poles throughout the area, along with many restaurants and bars catering to an LGBT clientele and their friends.
Also worth a visit while in the neighborhood: Jewelers’ Row, boasting nearly 300 diamond and jewelry merchants; and Antique Row, the go-to spot for museum-quality furnishings, cute collectables and funky art objects.
Just steps a block away from Washington Square West, the Market East station serves as a transportation hub for SEPTA’s regional rail lines with service from the suburbs and Philadelphia International Airport. The train — known as the El to locals — makes stops at 8th, 11th and 13th Streets along Market, while various SEPTA routes and New Jersey transit buses traverse the numbered streets between 8th and Broad Streets and along Market and Chestnut Streets.
The Avenue of the Arts is conveniently located near Midtown Village and the Gayborhood with luxurious hotels like the DoubleTree by Hilton and The Ritz-Carlton. For a more intimate stay, check out The Morris House Hotel or the Alexander Inn.