The Best Neighborhood in Philadelphia for Families & Young Professionals

Washington Square West is an upscale neighborhood in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. While locals know the neighborhood simply as Washington Square, “West” is an important nomenclature distinction for newcomers searching for apartments for rent in Philadelphia.

There are several different areas with the name or nickname “Washington Square”. Because of this, many people looking for apartments for rent in Philadelphia, specifically in the Washington Square West neighborhood, tend to get confused and end up in an entirely different area. Although all of Philadelphia's neighborhoods have a unique charm, none is quite like Washington Square West; It's one of Philadelphia's best neighborhoods to live in. To make the search easier, ApartmentLove has created this simple guide to finding apartments for rent in Philadelphia's Washinton Square West neighborhood of Philadelphia.

The Other Washington Squares and a History of Washington Square West

When a Philadelphian says the phrase “Washinton Square”, they could be talking about one of three locations: Washington Square Park, Washington Square East, or Washington Square West. In Philadelphia's original city plan, the entire area was one neighborhood, with the historic Washington Square Park at the city's center. The park itself was initially a burial ground for George Washington's soldiers during the American Civil War, then it became a memorial to George Washington himself, then an unknown soldier. The memorial still stands today!

Unsurprisingly, the neighborhood was perhaps not so creatively named City Center during those times of war. In the late 1950s, City Center was split into Washington Square Park East, also known as Society Hill, and Washington Square West. Washington Square West is sometimes known as “the Gayborhood”, as it was Philadelphia's gay bathhouse center from the 1930s to 1980s. The neighborhood is still a LGBTQIA2S-friendly space. The luxurious, artsy nature of this neighborhood is even sought out by celebrities. Famous film director M. Night Shyamalan had an apartment rental in Washington Square West for many years.

What to Expect When Renting in Washington Square West

Much like many of the older areas found in neighboring states, Washington Square West is lined with historic rowhouses. Don't be fooled though, the neighborhood still has a strong bohemian feel to it, and is a popular rental neighborhood among young professionals and families, especially those with young children. Due to the age and history of Washington Square West, apartment rentals are a little bit pricier.

The average rent is about $1,675 per month for a one-bedroom apartment. However, prices can be as high as $1,850 for a preserved historic townhome unit. For those on a budget, it is possible to find one-bedroom apartment rentals under $1000 per month, but the vintage boho vibe may not be there. In Washington Square West, two-bedroom apartments and beyond are considered family-sized homes. The average rental price for these homes is about $2,300 per month. Typically, these prices include amenities and parking.

The area is very welcoming to nontraditional families! The area between Chestnut Street and Pine Street is the center of the “Gayborhood”, Philadelphia's most LGBTQIA2S-friendly area. There are also lots of queer-owned businesses and nightlife in the area. Some of the popular nightlife establishments and businesses include The Bike Shop and iCandy.

Things to Do in Washington Square West

In addition to the nearby park, there are many activities and sights in the area that are great for families or friend groups. The Philadelphia Museum of Art has exhibits for the whole family, including interactive activities for kids from the ages of four to ten years old. The Simeone Foundation Automotive Museum is a good bit of fun for all the car buffs in your life, or the teenagers who think their parents are uncool. Finally, Philadelphia's Magic Gardens is the best place for peace and tranquility. Take a stroll through majestic landscapes and topiary, or learn about and contribute to the city's conservation efforts. All attractions are either free or offer family pricing.

Historic, elegant and edgy, Washington Square West is a beautiful east coast neighborhood that is perfect for young professionals, singles and families alike.

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Published: January 10, 2023