Running West through the entire city of Philadelphia, from the Penn's Landing waterfront past the University of Pennsylvania's campus and all the way to S. 63rd St at Cobbs Creek Park, Walnut Street is one of the essential infrastructures of the City of Brotherly Love. Parallel to Eastbound Chestnut St, Walnut Street is best known for its Center City West shopping district, mainly Rittenhouse Row, which occupies the avenue between Broad St and 22nd St. There are over 200 free standing stores selling everything from Sex-in-the-City-style stilettos to Chuck Taylor hightops, MAC makeup to French crystal jewelry, European knits to Italian leather bags, unique home décor to basic running sneakers.
In the heart of the city lays the intersection of Walnut St and Broad St, known as the Avenue of the Arts, where City Hall can be found just up the street. This location is also home to the Shops at Bellevue, which contain a concentrated selection of designer label stores and posh eateries in a stunning historic building that also houses Philadelphia's Park Hyatt hotel and its acclaimed jazz club, Zanzibar Blue.
Other prominent aspects of Walnut St. include its lively presence in the Old City district, where it is stocked with restaurants, bars, and cafes. If you're in the mood to catch a flick, on Walnut St. and 2nd St., there is a Ritz movie theatre, which plays hard-to-come-by indie shows as well as all the latest new releases.
Located on Walnut St- between 8th and 9th St. is the Walnut Street Theatre, the oldest operating theatre in the United States. Founded in 1809 by a Spanish equestrian theatre company, the Circus of Pepin and Breschard, the theatre is known for having been the first to ever install air conditioning in 1855. It also served as the venue for the initial presidential debate between Gerald R. Ford and Jimmy Carter in 1976. A few blocks away from the theatre is Thomas Jefferson University, which was founded in 1824, and boasts of "having more living graduates than any other medical school in the nation."
Walnut St. also runs through West Philly's University City neighborhood, between 29th St and 50th St, where U.Penn students can be found rushing to feed the meter between classes, and professors play acoustic guitar during "open-mic night" at the World Café Live venue just a few blocks away.