Shopping: Pharmacy, copies, services for college students
Food: Bars, Pizza, restaurants
Entertainment/Culture: University-related events and facilities, Appleford, Radnor Trail
North Side Villanova
The Lower Merion Township, Montgomery County side (north side) boasts some of the most impressive homes on the Main Line. Properties tend to be a little larger than in some towns farther east. Trees are mature and roads may be windy—it feels less suburban and more “tucked away” than most of the other Main Line communities. Many large, old estates can be found on Mount Pleasant, Spring Mill and surrounding streets. Partly due to larger lots, Villanova is less “neighborhoody” than some other Main Line places and few streets have sidewalks. While there are some ranch-style homes with siding, stone is the primary building material and privacy is usually appreciated by buyers of homes in this area.
One residential option (that will encourage more visits with neighbors) is Wrenfield, a community of large, luxury French carriage homes, many with elevators and/or pools. As in the rest of Villanova, landscaping is taken very seriously here. Around the corner is Appleford, a beautiful 24-acre property with an early stone farmhouse which is now Township property. It can be rented for private occasions; otherwise, people are welcome to stroll the lovely gardens.
While access to the highways is considered a benefit by most, certain streets are prone to highway noise. Villanova University is the divider between the north and south portions of the town. The campus is fairly compact but many affiliated buildings spread out along Lancaster Avenue. The traffic right around the university can be a headache, especially when a sporting event is happening. However, the snarls are almost exclusively contained within Lancaster Avenue and, as you’ll find if you move to the Main Line, there is “always another way to get there.”
South Side Villanova
Some of the loveliest streets in Radnor Township are in the Villanova section. Heavily treed with generous lots and great access to the blue route, this area has become a highly coveted area. Like much of Radnor Township, there are gentle hills and few totally flat streets. Very few streets here have sidewalks and some are narrow. The combination makes for fewer joggers/walkers out on the streets. As a result, there is less of a neighborhood feeling than in some other places.
Many historic buildings can be found here, including the Quaker Meeting House, built in 1717 on what is now Conestoga Rd. The Radnor Trail is a 2.4 mile paved trail repurposed from an abandoned railway line where people walk, bike and take their dogs. It winds through wooded areas and is a much heralded feature of the community. Outside of the university, there are not many businesses or restaurants in Villanova; it is heavily residential, but it has direct access to Lancaster Avenue and all the services offered there.
For more information about living in Villanova, click here.