In the covid and post-covid (are we finally post??) era of suburban boom, many people are finding they are having to settle for less. Less house, less yard, not their ideal school district or commute, less walkability, etc. But one area in the Western Suburbs that seems like a gem for continuing to be affordable (in comparison to the Main Line), walkable, charming and accessible is Media Borough and its surrounding neighborhoods (Rose Valley, Wallingford, and nearby Swarthmore).
Media is another Victorian, suburban hub, among many around greater Philly. A walkable downtown with mid-19th century architecture and a wide variety of restaurants, bars and stores makes it a charming locale. Its one of the few non-Main Line hubs, though, that has several direct rail lines in the city, though, making this a wonderful spot for urban commuters.
Its main street (State St) is home to an accessible Trader Joes, several local brewery chains like Brick & Brew and Iron Hill, Azie, the newer Two Fourteen, La Catrina and nearby favorites like Burlap and Bean or Cafe Isla for coffee, Towne House, and Bittersweet Kitchen.... the list goes on and on. Notable shops are the new Three Potato Four shop and the fun Game on State candy shop and arcade, and more!
Swarthmore is a charming college town, though small, is a slice of Americana with Swarthmore College at its center and a slew of large, Victorian and colonial homes surrounding.
Other than having a rich history in Victorian and early 20th century architecture, the area is also surrounded by natural beauty and interests. The massive Ridley Creek State park is just NW of Media and sports a plethora of trails, Tyler Arboretum, campgrounds and more. Crum Creek runs through Crums Woods nearby with the Smedley trail and dog park. Glen Providence Park hugs the borough, making it a rare open space in a walkable area.