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Society Hill, Philadelphia

4.8
#6 of 9 in Neighborhoods in Philadelphia
Society Hill is a neighborhood in the Center City section of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The neighborhood, loosely defined as bounded by Walnut, Lombard, Front and 8th Streets, contains the largest concentration of original 18th- and early 19th-century residential architecture of any place in the United States. Society Hill is noted as a charming district with cobblestone streets bordered by brick rowhouses in Federal and Georgian style.HistoryThe district is named after the 18th century Free Society of Traders, which had its offices at Front Street on the hill above Dock Creek. Located close to both the Delaware River and Philadelphia's civic buildings, including the Independence Hall, the neighborhood soon became one of the city's most populous areas. Several market halls, taverns and churches were built alongside brick houses of Philadelphia's affluent citizens. Dock Creek came to be the public sewer.After the Revolutionary War, the city filled in the polluted Dock Creek, and created a new food distribution market on the street created by filling in the creek. Dock Creek became Dock Street. Though the streets of Philadelphia were carefully laid out in a grid, the new Dock Street’s arc connecting Chestnut and Spruce Streets between 2nd and 3rd, owes its uncharacteristic shape to the path of the former creek as it ran to the river.
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  • Society Hill is both a visual time-capsule and an oasis from the modern core of Philly. There is no need to make any elaborate plans for visiting the area . . . just start somewhere and wander around....  more »
  • Located south of the National Historic Park and close to the Delaware River, this neighborhood is one of the oldest in Philadelphiaand boasts a combination of restaurants, historic attractions and sho...  more »
  • Why is Society Hill, a prominent part of early Philadelphia history, called Society Hill? I went to investigate and was astounded by the area’s transformation from commercial hub during colonial and p...  more »

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Where to stay in Philadelphia

Most of Philadelphia's hotels cluster around the compact city center, ensuring quick and easy access to major tourist sights and activities. The only drawback to staying in this area is the lack of free parking, so if you're exploring by car, considering booking into a bed and breakfast in one of the city's residential blocks. Visitors planning on longer stays can also consider several apartment hotels, offering spacious furnished units with complimentary Wi-Fi, free bike rentals, and access to rooftop terraces.
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