5 Things to Do in Germantown and Mount Airy
Root & Branch Bodywork is located in West Central Germantown -- specifically, the Tulpehocken Station Historic District. While Germantown and neighboring East Falls, Mount Airy, and Chestnut Hill are technically within the municipal limits of the City of Philadelphia, these Northwest Philly neighborhoods can feel a world away from the hustle and bustle of downtown.
I love being able to offer my clients a chance to escape the pressure and congestion of the city, and encourage my city-dwelling visitors to spend the day here if they can. The slower pace of life, access to wooded trails, and friendly neighborhood vibes can be truly therapeutic! For those of you who are visiting the area, here are a few of my favorite ways to spend a restorative day in this sweet corner of Northwest Philly. Enjoy!
Explore the historic architecture. A leisurely stroll in any direction from Root & Branch is bound to lead you to a stunning array of historic buildings with a wide array of architectural styles. I personally recommend walking down nearby Tulpehocken Avenue and Wayne Avenue for a self-guided exploration. If a structured tour is more your style, both Wyck House and the Ebenezer Maxwell Mansion are worth a visit.
Hit the trails. There are several entrances to the Wissahickon Valley Park, a choose-your-own adventure network offering miles of trails of varying terrains. Some trails permit cycling and are popular among the downhill mountain bikers; others are horse-friendly and frequented by the local equestrians (FYI -- here's a bit of information on trail etiquette for horse encounters). Forbidden Drive is a wide, easy-strolling gravel trail that is great for group outings, lower-impact runs, and enjoying the woods while steering clear of the ticks and mosquitos.
Relax at a cafe. One of the wonderful things about being in a less dense area of the city is the reduced pressure to snatch up your hot beverage in a cardboard to-go cup and scoot out the door! The cafe scene in Germantown and Mount Airy is extremely friendly and neighborly, and each local spot has its own unique culture and atmosphere. Ultimo Coffee is located around the corner from Root & Branch, and offers a modern, minimalist atmosphere with excellent single-source coffees, whole leaf herbal teas, and pastries (vegan options available). Uncle Bobbie's Coffee and Books, Germantown Espresso Bar, and High Point Cafe are also wonderful options in the area. Finally, while their open hours are somewhat elusive, Paper Trail Bike Cafe is charmingly located in a historic Rittenhousetown barn, and has picnic tables set up right next to a Wissahickon trail head! I can personally attest to the perfection of their iced coffee with oat milk (though the atmosphere might have had something to do with that).
Stock up on fresh, local foods. While the area isn't exactly known for its restaurant scene (though that is slowly changing!), any foodie will be delighted by the access to fresh local produce and artisan treats here. Weaver's Way Food Co-op is always worth a stop (and they're opening a big new location in Germantown next year!), but if you're looking for a less crowded open-air market experience, I recommend checking out the Saturday morning farm stand at the Germantown Kitchen Garden, or the Germantown Farmers Market.
Go for a goat walk. ...What, now? Yeah, that's right. Go for a goat walk. Awbury Arboretum in Mount Airy is home to the Philly Goat Project, an amazing local organization that promotes sustainable agricultural practices, community education, and offers animal-assisted therapy throughout the community with the help of their sweet goats! And, yes, they offer free family-friendly community Goat Walks throughout the year at the Arboretum, and have their walk dates available on their event calendar. I can't recommend this enough!