Fairmount, or "Art Museum Area," as it's commonly referred to, is home to multiple renowned museums located along Benjamin Franklin Parkway. This neighborhood is within walking distance of many signature Philly museums and sights. Home to America's first penitentiary (where the brave can still go on spooky tours) and the country's first municipal waterworks (Fairmount Water Works), Fairmount is an industrious captivating neighborhood bursting with local color.
Fairmount is home to renowned museums along Benjamin Franklin Parkway. Inspired by the Champs-Élysées, the boulevard attracts plenty of foot traffic to the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Families enjoy the Philadelphia Zoo and tours of the spooky Eastern State Penitentiary museum, while young crowds fill Fairmount Avenue's cafes and bistros. At night, lights from Boathouse Row create a spectacular view.
Full of natural beauty, stunning architecture, street festivals, and excellent restaurants, this community has attracted an exciting mixture of young folks and families. It is also conveniently located in Center City, and the range of public transportation options makes commuting easy.
What to Love
- Cultural institutions
- Art museums
- Natural beauty
- Multiple housing options
- Easy to commute
- Impressive architecture
People & Lifestyle
Fairmount is one of the best neighborhoods in Philadelphia to raise a family, and its many cultural institutions and exciting attractions are popular with younger crowds. It's also a convenient place to live since all of your basic amenities are generally within walking distance.
Fairmount has multiple housing options varying from historic rowhouses to condos. Prices range from more affordable homes to some as pricey as $1 million or more. You’ll benefit from living close enough to the city while enjoying quieter, suburban streets. Plus, there is always something to do or an event to attend to keep the entire family busy and occupied.
Dining, Entertainment & Shopping
Bar Hygge is a cozy brewpub serving classic burgers and beer alongside sharing boards with cheese, veggies, and other small bites. If you're ever craving a hearty burger, make sure you ask for extra beer-braised onions!
Inspired by the Baja Peninsula, Buena Onda (which means "good vibes") is a taqueria that uses fresh, sustainable-sourced seafood. They have the same vibe as a beachside restaurant with food twice as good. Aside from tacos, their margaritas and quesadillas are local favorites.
Health-conscious visitors will want to try Green Soul, a charming, rustic venue serving dishes like smoothies, black bean veggie burgers, and mango jerk salmon, in a counter-serve setting. They also regularly host live jazz shows.
Inside a repurposed 19th-century firehouse with the fire pole still intact, Jack's Firehouse serves Southern comfort food with style. Located within blocks of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, it’s a great place to visit after you've spent a day looking at the exhibits.
Speaking of the museum, you'll discover intimate eatery Stir inside the museum's hallowed halls. This Frank Gehry-designed restaurant features artisanal menus and organic ingredients. You'll need to purchase museum admission to eat at the restaurant.
Things to Do
Since Fairmount is considered the Art Museum Area, there are multiple museums you should visit at least once: Rodin Museum, Barnes Foundation, Philadelphia Museum of Art, and the Franklin Institute to start, but there are dozens to choose from.
The Eastern State Penitentiary remains one of the most famous prisons in the world despite its doors closing long ago. Each year, thousands of horror fans await the annual Terror Behind the Walls event, which invites visitors to roam the creepy hallways alongside performers, animatronics, custom props, and terrifying lighting.
During the rest of the year, the prison is open for daytime and nighttime tours, giving you a chance to explore the place and even see the cell of famed mobster Al Capone.
Rocky fans will want to check out the famous Rocky Statue and Rocky steps located at the Philadelphia Museum of the Art. The statue is situated at the bottom of the museum's steps, erected specifically for a scene in Rocky III.
Photographers love to capture the majestic Boathouse Row at night when the lights are on, creating a picturesque backdrop to the Philly cityscape. Near the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Boathouse Row is a charming row of historic 19th-century boathouses along the Schuylkill River. Each night, the houses light up to create a picture-perfect moment and one of the city's most stunning views.
There is also a wide range of private school options throughout the region, including:
- St. Peter's School- (PK-K)
- The Philadelphia School - (PK, 1-8)
- Springside Chestnut Hill - (5-8)
- Masterman - (5-12)
- Greene Street Friends - (PK-8)
- Friends Select - (PK-12)
- Germantown Friends - (PK-12)
- Germantown Academy - (PK-12)
- Friends Central - (PK-12)
- Abington Friends - (PK-12)
- The Shipley School - (PK-12)
- The Haverford School - (PK-12)
- Agnes Irwin - (PK-12)
- William Penn Charter - (PK-12)
Available Homes in Fairmount / Art Museum
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