Attractions, Restaurants & Hotels in Ardmore, PA
As the largest and most diverse town on the ritzy Main Line stretch of suburbs, Ardmore displays distinctly dual characteristics: It’s residential yet urban, independent yet central, historic yet forward facing. Add to those features some of the area’s best shopping, dining and nightlife, and visiting Ardmore evolves into a multidimensional experience.
Once known as Athensville, the town was rechristened Ardmore by the Pennsylvania Railroad in 1873.
When Suburban Square opened in 1928, it became one of the earliest official shopping centers in the United States, landing Ardmore on the retail map with the arrival of Strawbridge & Clothier’s first suburban location. The department store offered luxury goods to wealthy Main Line residents.
Today, that vibrant mall serves as a pedestrian-friendly alternative to suburban megaplexes, while Lancaster Avenue — Ardmore’s main thoroughfare — runs a parallel strip of historic buildings, home to a host of eclectic family-owned businesses.
The Clover Market, held three weekends in the spring and two weekends in the fall, attracts shoppers from all over with its beautifully displayed tents featuring vintage goods and artisan wares.
Each July, Ardmore Restaurant Week showcases the neighborhood’s culinary powerhouses, with a growing list of participating eateries boasting flavors from around the world. Fall gives way to Oktoberfest (September), spotlighting Ardmore’s growing status as a beer destination.
Around the holidays, Cricket Avenue hosts Cricket Cringle, an open-air market with gifts for everyone on the list.
Hit events like Ardmore Restaurant Week and The Clover Market put the town on the map.
As a transport hub, Ardmore is accessible by both Amtrak and SEPTA trains. The Route 44 bus runs from Center City to Haverford Road and Montgomery Avenue. Hundreds of metered parking spots can be found along streets and in municipal lots around town. All parking is free after 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday and all day Sunday.
Shoppers rejoice in this densely packed retail area, and treasure seekers delight in Ardmore’s bounty of antique shops and thrift stores.
Lancaster Avenue and its neighboring streets play host to pucciManuli, a European-style toy store with heirloom and bespoke items, A Taste of Olive (olive oils and vinegars) and the area’s only video store Viva Video, which specializes in rare and hard-to-find titles. Suburban Square’s high-end lineup includes Apple, Eileen Fisher and local mini-chains Kitchen Kapers and Bluemercury cosmetics.
The adjacent Ardmore Farmers’ Market — now largely inhabited by Philly’s specialty foods purveyor Di Bruno Bros. — serves as the go-to spot for international cheese, artisan breads and all manner of sumptuous packaged and prepared goods.
— Photo by R. Kennedy for Visit Philadelphia
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