Garrett Hill is mainly a residential community, but also includes a small commercial area (near the intersection of Conestoga Road and Garrett Avenue) consisting of a few bars and other small businesses that serve the community and the student population of nearby Villanova University.
One of Garrett Hill's traditions is an annual community Fourth of July parade, followed by a free picnic with live music and other entertainment in Clem Macrone Park.
Garrett Hill's housing stock consists largely of 19th century and early 20th century buildings, including Victorian single-family homes and twins, and brick rowhouses.
Originally called Garretville or Methodist Hill, the community originally consisted of residences of workers at a nearby stone quarry and at a brickyard (now both disappeared). The residents also worked at the estates which were common in the area. Garrett Hill is also the former home of Emlen Tunnell, the first African-American inducted into the Professional Football Hall of Fame