About the Philadelphia Region
Philadelphia, the fifth-largest city in the country, is a robustly developing metropolitan area geographically defined by two prevailing watercourses of the area, the legendary Delaware River and the diminutive Schuylkill River, which flow through the heart of the city. The city's makeup is a combination of vivid American history paired with commanding technological innovation that has brought Philadelphia into the new millennium. The organizational structure of urban Philadelphia is comprised of over 152 distinct neighborhoods, unique eastern-American flavor and regional attractions all set amongst a wonderfully diverse population and proud heritage.
Representative of the revitalization of the area is the development of the Center City District of Philadelphia, which is being reestablished as a place to live, work and play. In addition to it's many first-class characteristics, Philadelphia offers a truly pleasing array of outlets, services and communal events to fit every taste, such as exclusive shopping, dining, cultural events, exceptional medical services and countless business opportunities.
Sports are big in Philly as well. Baseball, football, basketball, soccer and hockey are represented by major, minor and college men's and women's teams throughout the state. Some of Pennsylvania's best professional sports teams are the Eagles, Flyers and Phillies, while several minor league teams include the Charge and the Phantoms. When reviewed in it's entirety, the City of Brotherly Love also makes a fine retirement destination for seniors looking for a comfortable lifestyle that takes advantage of the beauty and buzz of the surrounding metropolitan sphere.
Pennsylvania has four clearly defined seasons, yet in the Southeastern portion of the state, where Philadelphia is located, temperatures and weather patterns are generally more moderated in comparison with the rest of the state due to the topography and elevation of the region. Although Philadelphia has more transitional and temperate seasons, the city does have a true winter season and winter temperatures in January average 33 degrees F. The area averages 41 inches in annual precipitation, keeping all the emerald foliage nourished and lush.
History of the Area
The actual city of Philadelphia and it's surrounding physical area carries tremendous historical importance in connection with the primitive and groundbreaking history of the United States. The city is the summation of Pennsylvania's early colonial history and was founded in 1682 by the English Quaker William Penn. The area was named Pennsylvania (Penn's Wood) in honor of William Penn's father. William Penn's vision for the area was to support and sustain the practice of religious tolerance in the new colonies of America.
The area in fact welcomed diverse Englishmen looking for religious freedom and also people of other cultures from various European countries as well. William Penn's colony thrived and grew into the "Athens of the Americas" during America's early history and while the predominance of Quakers and other residents of the city appreciated and encouraged tolerance, the city of Philadelphia and the state of Pennsylvania itself the was site of many battles fought in the struggle for America's freedom. There are many wonderful historical sights to visit in Philadelphia and the surrounding region, which are of immense historical and cultural significance to many around the globe.
Philadelphia has attractions! Recently named "America's Next Great City" and famous for its remarkable array of historic locales, most notably Independence National Historic Park and its legendary collection of buildings in the heart of the city, Philadelphia provided the backdrop for such celebrated undertakings as the development of the Declaration of Independence and the formation of the Constitution in the late 1700's. The Liberty Bell, Betsy Ross's Home, the first zoo in the country and the site of the nation's original capital, used from 1791 to 1800, are also popular tourist spots in the City of Brotherly Love.
Many fine and uniquely singular attractions are located within the Philadelphia area, including: the Christ Church and burial ground and the Eastern State Penitentiary. The Christ Church and burial ground, or more commonly referred to, as "The Nation's Church" is the site where many American loyalist graves are located. Notable individuals buried here include Benjamin Franklin and four other signers of the Declaration of Independence. Eastern State Penitentiary, built in 1829, remained open for almost 150 years and, during its active lifespan, housed some of America's most notorious criminals including Al Capone and Willie Sutton, informally serving as the nation's Alcatraz of the East.
Aside from historic points of interest, Philadelphia offers many entertainment venues and retail outlets suited to various tastes and lifestyles. With an impressive array of dramatic theater productions at various arenas, a pulsating waterfront district that features live comedy and jazz, outdoor points of interest and retail fairs, Philadelphia has something appealing for every personality. With virtually limitless shopping venues (and no tax on apparel), professional performing arts displays, remarkable architecture and an exhaustive variety of museums, you will find something that interests you in Philadelphia. Visit our Local Links section for quick links to some of Philadelphia's attractions.
Philadelphia has been named in recent years America's "Number One Restaurant City", a title that reflects the area's concentration of distinctive culinary options. Many of the items which make Philly famous for its fodder are soft pretzels, hefty Italian entrees, Italian ice waters, fresh seafood and of course Philly's infamous cheese steaks. Exceptional cocktails, pizza, cheese fries, and local microbrew varieties are also popular fare in the city of Philadelphia. Several fine examples of eateries in the region are: Continental, Geno's Steaks, Jim's Steaks, Tangerine and White Dog Café.
Below is a list of regional breakdowns with specific information about counties and cities in and around Philadelphia:
Bucks County – One of the fastest-growing counties in the Delaware Valley region, Bucks County has a population of over 617,000 and holds Doylestown as its county seat. Lying along the southeastern edge of Pennsylvania, Bucks County boasts of fertile soil and immensely valuable farmland within its boundaries, many holding it in high regard as an exceptional location for crop growth along the east coast of the United States. Bucks County incorporates 23 individual boroughs and 31 townships throughout its expanse.
Chester County – Formed in 1682 and holding West Chester as its county seat, Chester County intertwines world-class scenery, unique historical perspectives and a variety of community activities for the young and the young at heart. In addition to this, Chester County places a significant emphasis on education and instructional opportunities, boasting of numerous institutes within its borders, some including Valley Forge Christian College, Lincoln University and Penn State Great Valley.
Delaware County – An extremely diverse region of Pennsylvania, Chester County has a population over 550,000 and varies in its eclecticism by combining such meager communities as Darby with upmarket neighborhoods like Radnor and Villanova. Delaware County presents a unique offering of wineries in the region's own Brandywine Country, featuring a seven boutique winery belt with each site about thirty miles apart. Beautiful Ridley Creek State Park occupies a large portion, over 2,600 feet, of this county as well.
Montgomery County – Thought to be named in honor of Richard Montgomery, a revolutionary war general, Montgomery County has an approximate population of 774,000 and is the forty-fourth wealthiest country in the country. Decidedly urbanized and rich in tradition and amenity, Montgomery County is a charming Pennsylvanian district located on the southeastern edge of the state.
Philadelphia County – Legally separated by the city of Philadelphia itself, the County of Philadelphia is one of the three original counties, along with Bucks and Chester, established by William Penn in 1682. The actual name of Philadelphia means "brotherly love" and was named by Penn in symbolism of the city of the same name, located in Asia Minor hundreds of years ago, as mentioned in the bible as one of the few cities remaining faithful at the time of Christ's return and The Last Judgment. The County of Philadelphia boasts of innumerable attractions, matchless opportunities and distinctive highlights that can only be found in the Keystone State.
Drexel Hill – One of the more populous areas in the urban vicinity of Philadelphia is the township of Drexel Hill with a population of almost 30,000. Within the vicinity of Drexel Hill is the secluded garden neighborhood of Drexelbrook, which provides a sound community lifestyle for its inhabitants as well as a memorable experience for those just visiting.
Sharon Hill – Incorporated in 1890, the borough of Sharon Hill is a historically reminiscent community with the majority of its homes ranging from 50-100 years old, while also comprising a unique and robust Irish heritage, which has been seen as a vital presence since the time it was established. Also boasting a complex and involved recreation board that brings senior luncheons, seasonal activities and holiday affairs to this exceptionally lovely region of Pennsylvania and maintaining a comfortable pace for those who reside here.
Upper Darby – The township of Upper Darby was incorporated into the Union in the year 1736 and has continued to dynamically grow ever since. Positioned only about 6 miles from Center City, Pennsylvania, Upper Darby adopts a mayor-council type of administration, fully utilizes public transit lines by trolley, bus and subway and is also steeped in revolutionary war history, gaining recognition for its part in the formation and success in the underground railroad.
Transportation in the Philadelphia area includes the very functional Southeastern Pennsylvania Travel Authority, or SEPTA, the well-developed transportation system of the city. Embracing a varied structure of traditional public bus routes, subway and trolley lines as well as specialized accessibility-focused transportation for those who aren't able to travel via fixed-route mediums is the central hub of public transit within the heart of Philadelphia. The Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority also offers connecting service to six transit and shuttle organizations throughout the states of Pennsylvania, Delaware, New Jersey and New York City.
Senior Services in Philadelphia
Philadelphia, because it is a large metropolitan area, offers many choices in senior services and housing. As in any large urban area, the price for services and senior housing also range due to location and in some cases, certain communities do cost substantially more for quality senior housing. The entire area has a wide range of services for seniors from independent retirement communities, continuum of care, assisted living, skilled nursing; Alzheimer's care senior housing and Alzheimer's skilled nursing. Also, within the Philadelphia area, the Center for Advocacy for the Rights and Interests of the Elderly (CARIE), the Center in the Park, which coordinates an amalgamation of activities for those over 60 and the Little Brothers Organization, focused on making connections between seniors and young people, are all vital senior outlets which improve the quality of life for many throughout Pennsylvania. The entire region also offers an extensive healthcare system, which includes many well-known medically oriented universities.
Other services in the area include a wide choice of senior oriented resources ranging from health at home, professional services, health outlets, and local community resources. Use our Search Senior Services link to learn more about the variety of senior housing and senior support services located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and the neighboring vicinity.