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Slice of Suburbia: Collegeville


Collegeville is a borough in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, 30 miles northwest of Philadelphia on the Perkiomen Creek. Collegeville was incorporated in 1896. It is the seat of Ursinus College, which opened in 1869.  Da Vinci's Pub

I grew up near this area and watched it go from an Acme and a Pizza Hut to a well-known destination. The Acme is now closed, sadly, but there are many places to shop in downtown, as well as the new Providence Center. Collegeville, (aptly named) is a college town, home of Ursinus College and a few stores and homes. Now, with the addition of a huge shopping center and a flourishing downtown, Collegeville is a place for fun. I’m checking out Collegeville as this week’s Slice of Suburbia.

Downtown and the surrounding area, features a wide variety of merchants and businesses, providing goods and services for the entire Collegeville region. Grocery stores, pharmacies, toy stores, jewelers, medical practitioners, software developers, the Collegeville Cat Clinic, along with plenty of fine and casual dining: The Pizza Stop, Da Vinci’s Pub, Trappe Tavern  and others. All are located on or near the Ridge Pike—the Borough's Main Street—and the Route 29 corridor. Take 422, get off at Collegeville, follow Rte 29 in, and you’re there!

Ursinus College is also the cornerstone of Collegeville, sitting right in the middle of town on 147 acres. Founded in 1869, the mission of Ursinus is: “to enable students to become independent, responsible, and thoughtful individuals through a program of liberal education that prepares them to live creatively and usefully, and to provide leadership for their society in an interdependent world.”

The new Providence Town Center features a host of stores- an Ulta (go see Missy- best haircut and highlights ever!), Barnes & Noble, DSW Shoes, American eagle, Old Navy, EMS, Yankee Candles, New York & Co., JJill, Kenneth Cole, Best Buy, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Kitchen Kapers, Lane Bryant, PetSmart, Staples, and the too-much-hyped Wegmans Food Markets, and so many others I need to visit! Plus, new restaurants too- P.F. Changs, Olive Garden, Panera Bread, and Starbucks Coffee.

On Sundays, don’t forget to the check out the Powerhouse Indoor Antique and Flea Market.

If you’ve finished up your shopping and want to take in the sights, Collegeville has tree-lined streets and parks as well as the Perkiomen Trail, which runs through the town. This is a paved area where people bike, hike, walk, push their strollers and enjoy the fresh air, especially because we are running out of nice days, along with Hunsberger Woods, a wooded, 35-acre tract that the college jointly owns with the Borough of Collegeville. It contains running trails, open space and a creek. After your hike, check out the Irish Shop, then Satchmo’s for a sandwich. If you’re looking for a cute town with nice people and a relaxing vibe- head on over to Collegeville!

Got a place I should check out for Slice of Suburbia- leave me a comment or let me know: engchik@comcast.net.