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Sinking Spring is a small borough in Berks County sitting about 70 miles northwest of Philadelphia. The area attracts families and professionals who work in the oil and gas industries, since many distribution companies operate from the borough. Sinking Spring houses a mix of blue- and white-collar occupations that establish the local economy as a mixed workforce. Locals choose to call it home for employment opportunities, the cost of living and low crime rates.
As of August 2017, the average apartment rent in Sinking Spring, PA is $877 for one bedroom, $1,032 for two bedrooms, and $1,276 for three bedrooms. Apartment rent in Sinking Spring has increased by 7.4% in the past year.
Sinking Spring may be small, but the borough packs a surprising amount of appetizing restaurants into its 1.5-mile radius. The Tom Cat Café on Penn Avenue tops the list of local favorites for its creative menu filled with decadent pancakes and crepes. Come for breakfast or lunch for portions so large you will not need dinner. Locals craving the pumpkin funnel cake French toast or one of 56 pancake flavors tend to line up for tables, so arrive early to avoid long wait times. Make sure to grab an order of barbecue cheddar home fries for a taste of a Tom Cat favorite that locals say is too good to be legal.
For the best Italian in Berks County, head to Basil Restaurant and Pizzeria on Fritztown Road. Locals appreciate the ingredients and made-to-order entrees that characterize Basil as top-notch Italian cuisine. Start with an order of crab balls, a group of spheres molded from sweet crab meat that comes with creamy pepper dipping sauce. For your main meal, try a fresh plate of penne smothered in zesty vodka sauce before it’s topped with grilled chicken. Pizza mavens order the gourmet Grandma Style pizza for a pie that stacks Basil’s signature toppings atop a chunky tomato sauce.
Though Sinking Spring is not known for a booming nightlife scene, area bars provide residents with casual escapes for any day of the week. The most notable of the area’s dive bars is The Tavern on Penn. Combining excellent bar food such as fried calamari with affordable craft beers on draft, the pub remains a local favorite. Take advantage of the vast beer menu and late service hours for a go-to spot with lively crowds. For affordable beers and the best cheesesteaks in Berks County, visit Railroad House on Woodrow Avenue. This neighborhood bar is known for its outdoor deck and dancing environment, supported by loud live music or DJs that help make up for Sinking Spring’s limited live music venues. Stick around to enjoy weekend and late night specials such as inexpensive margaritas and discounted shrimp.
The history of Sinking Springs is closely tied to the nearby neighborhood of Reading. The county developed in the 1740s when inhabitants requested a new county be established in the area. Named after the English town of Berkshire, Berks County was created from pieces of its surrounding counties. Sinking Spring itself was named for a spring in the center of town that frequently seemed to disappear as it sank into the ground.
In the absence of museums or a prominent art scene, locals fill their weekends with countywide festivals, such as the Annual Heritage Festival. The Sinking Spring borough hosts one of the county’s most popular annual festivals, the Berks County Celtic Oyster Festival, where locals go to listen to live bands while shopping for handmade Celtic souvenirs.
Since Sinking Spring encompasses less than 2 miles of land, the compact area gives residents only a few transportation options. Walkers primarily opt to complete errands on foot along Penn Avenue, although residential streets off the main road suit walkers as well. Bikers avoid the roads because there are no designated bike lanes. With 90 percent of residents utilizing cars as their primary transportation means, most areas are too traffic-heavy to be considered biker-friendly.
No rail lines pass through the borough, but the BARTA Transportation Center in Reading provides bus services for the surrounding communities. Driving to the city center takes roughly two hours by accessing Interstate 176 from the Benjamin Franklin Highway in Reading. The borough’s size keeps it from being a neighborhood where taxis can be hailed or arranged through Uber, but locals can call ahead to Reading Metro Taxi to schedule their rides.
Life amid the quiet streets and good schools of the area is relatively affordable compared to the Philadelphia average. With an average cost of living about 3 percent lower than the city’s average, locals face similar or more affordable prices for standard goods and services. However, Sinking Spring has a more expensive housing market and slight difference in fuel costs, with gas in the borough sitting about 10 percent higher than the national average. Groceries and utilities cost less in Sinking Spring than they do in Philadelphia. Though only 32 percent of residents choose to rent, they encounter expensive prices and limited options. A standard one-bedroom apartment averages $900 a month. Residents consider the prices in Sinking Spring fair, especially since lower prices overall allow locals to enjoy a pint of quality beer for $6 to $7.
The central shopping location in Sinking Spring hovers along Penn Avenue. Though big-name retailers serve the area, the most popular stores are small or local shops. To decorate a new home in the borough, head to Village Peddler. The vintage shop showcases 11 staged rooms where residents can peruse the “home” and select their favorite pieces. Locals with a penchant for antiques appreciate the curated furniture from auctions that allow them to fill their homes with unique finds.
Two consignment boutiques, FAB4UTOO and Fancy That, provide thrifters with a large selection of affordable clothes without the corporate prices. The Halo Fashion Boutique upstages name brand stores for women’s handbags and accessories while Curious Consignments specializes in trendy shoes and rustic accessories. Residents interested in a one-stop shop head less than 10 miles away to the Berkshire Mall in Wyomissing.
No grocery stores reside within the borough’s boundaries, except for the small convenience store Wawa. Instead, locals head west to the Sheetz supermarket or down Shillington Road to shop at the Giant Food Store. Luckily, the community’s summer flea market helps supplement locals with fresh food and tasty treats. West Reading also hosts a farmers’ market on Penn Avenue on Sundays.
Willow Glen Park remains the most popular green space in Sinking Spring. Though no pets are allowed, the outdoor haven is otherwise perfect for the whole family. While locals can enjoy the many acres of lawn space, the park maintains its reputation for the range of events it hosts. Locals flock to the stretch of nature that straddles the Cacoosing Creek for the annual Apple Dumpling Festival, a free event that incorporates numerous food vendors with a carnival-like atmosphere. Admission is free, but attendees pay for the rides and the apple dumplings, of course. The park also hosts the nationally recognized Shocktoberfest. This seasonal haunting of Willow Glen Park leaves residents screaming in terror from haunted hayrides and creepy prisons.
When the park returns to normal during the summer, locals frequent it for the massive flea market that also doubles as a local farmers’ market. Residents looking to hone in more on nature head to the nearby Antietam Lake Park for its 643 acres of winding trails and hidden streams. Pets are welcome in this park, though no paved jogging or bike lanes exist. Spend your Saturday taking in the best of the county’s natural wonders without spending a dime.
1 Bedroom Apartments for Rent in Sinking Spring, PA
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