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For other places with the same name, see Allentown (disambiguation).

The third largest city in Pennsylvania, after Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, Allentown is also the county seat of Lehigh County. As of 2019, Allentown's population was 121,000. The 1982 Billy Joel single "Allentown" made the city known around the world as a symbol of industrial decay and the devastating social effects of the rust belt's spread across the northeastern United States.


Allentown was founded in 1762 by William Allen. It was then known as "Northampton Town." It was renamed "Allentown" in 1838 and it was incorporated as a city on March 12, 1867.

Allentown has a large Latino/Hispanic population. Hispanics make up over 40% of Allentown's population.


Allentown lies on the Lehigh River. It is 338 feet above sea level. It is 60 miles north of Philadelphia, 90 miles west of New York City, and 80 miles east of Harrisburg. Allentown is 15 miles west of the New Jersey state line.


The climate in Eastern Pennsylvania is unique in that it can be up to and over 100 degrees in the summer and get snow in the winter. Summers are always hot, with temperatures in the upper 80s F and humidity is usually high, above 80 or 85%. Winters can be cold, with ice on the roads being a worse problem than snow, but it does snow. Some years the area will only get a few inches all season, with the last major blizzard in 1996, when Lehigh Valley saw over 2 feet of snow.

Tourist information[edit]


English is the dominant language in Allentown, but Spanish is also widely used. Outside of the area, you can find people speaking Pennsylvania Dutch (which is a German dialect). Other languages can be found here, such as Arabic, Portuguese and Vietnamese.

  • "Down the shore" is a common local reference to the New Jersey beaches, located approximately 75 miles southeast from Allentown.
  • "Hoagie" refers to a submarine or sub sandwich.
  • "Soda" is used to refer to cola, pop, or any soft drink.
  • "Youse" is used to say "you all", similar to "y'all" in the south.

Get in[edit]

By plane[edit]

The primary and most convenient point of airline entry to Allentown and Lehigh Valley is Lehigh Valley International Airport (ABE IATA), which is less than 15 minutes away from most parts of the city. Various airlines operate out of this airport. Philadelphia International Airport (PHL IATA) is a major international airport that is about 70 miles away. Since it is a hub for several national airlines, it is easy to obtain non-stop internal flights to Philadelphia International compared to ABE and usually cheaper. However, for international travelers, New Jersey's Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR IATA) may be the best option. Though EWR mostly serves New York City, flights to PHL from other continents such as Europe are often expensive and will almost always require a lengthy stopover flight via anywhere from Houston to Chicago to Montreal. Ground connections from EWR to Allentown are also reasonably easy, with Trans-Bridge Lines running a coach service, and the airport only being marginally over an hour's drive from Allentown.

By car[edit]

  • US Highway 22 is a main thoroughfare, being a 4-lane limited-access highway with a speed limit of 55 miles per hour through all of Lehigh Valley except in Easton.
  • Drivers coming from points east will want to note that all of the major bridges across the Delaware River (from New Jersey) are free eastbound, but require tolls westbound. Locating the free bridge in Phillipsburg is possible, but not recommended to those unfamiliar with the area. It is called Northampton Street for the adventurous, and only adds about half a mile to the trip (assuming you don't get easily lost).
  • From the southeast and northwest, PA Route 309 provides fairly quick access and is a good road to travel.
  • Interstate 78 and Interstate 476 (PA Turnpike; tolled) intersect very close to the city of Allentown, going in all directions north, south, east, and west.
  • PA Route 33 is the best approach for travelers from I-80 in the Poconos and points east.

By bus[edit]

  • Trans-Bridge bus line offers daily service from downtown Allentown to and from New York City and Newark, New Jersey. There are several express buses per day into New York City.
  • Carl Bieber Tourways offers daily service to New York City, Atlantic City, Philadelphia and other regionally located cities leaving from Wescoesville. It also provides bus service within Lehigh Valley and its surrounding areas, including to and from Reading.
  • OurBus offers daily service to New York City and weekend service to Philadelphia, Baltimore, Washington, DC, Binghamton, and Ithaca leaving from the I-476 Allentown Service Plaza near Wescosville.

The city is served by a regional bus service, LANTA, whose transportation center is in downtown Allentown, providing convenient service to and from the center city. Every LANTA bus is equipped with a bike rack.

Get around[edit]

Map of Allentown

Allentown is relatively easy to navigate. Most of the city is easily walkable or bikeable.

The main east-west streets are listed from north to south: Sumner, Whitehall, Greenleaf, Cedar, Washington, Green, Tilghman, Allen, Liberty, Gordon, Chew, Turner, Linden, Hamilton, Walnut, and Union. Numbered streets run from north to south. They begin towards the west at 1 and continue to 42.

By bus[edit]

Extensive bus services are provided by Lehigh and Northampton Transportation Authority (LANTA).

Easton Coach also provides motorcoach and other transit services.

By cab[edit]

Several cab companies also operate throughout Allentown and Lehigh Valley. These are:

By limo[edit]

By car[edit]

Most visitors to Lehigh Valley will want to either rent a car or drive their own.

  • Due to the fact that 7th street in Allentown is one-way, if you aim to go north to Whitehall, you will want to be on 6th street. Be forewarned, Route 145 turns off 6th Street at Greenleaf Street for one block, and then joins 7th Street (begins as two ways). Continuing on 6th will bring you to the same place, but will not carry the PA-145 designation.
  • Hamilton Street is a continuation of US 222/ Hamilton Boulevard and provides easy access for travelers from Reading & Lancaster. Hamilton Street continues into nearby Bethlehem as Hanover Avenue, providing direct access to its downtown as well.
  • Tilghman Street is also a useful east-west urban thoroughfare that also provides access to Bethlehem, as Union Boulevard, and Easton as well.
  • US Route 22 is a 4 lane limited-access freeway across the north side of the city, and is often the best route of approach. However, this road is prone to minor traffic jams and accidents, especially during rush hour. Don't panic, though; most traffic jams are only a mile or so long, and usually take less than half an hour before opening up into freer travel.
  • Interstate 78 is a better bet during rush hours as it is as wide as eight lanes in some areas.

By bike[edit]

Riding a bike can also get you around in Allentown and its fabulous park system.

Allentown is a city. When you ride it and park it, make sure you lock it. A Bike Line of Allentown will rent bikes. Little Lehigh Parkway and Jordan Creek Park are accessible to pedal through. Cyclists can access a trail head at Canal Park to get on the Tow Path to take them to Bethlehem and Easton.

Allentown is known for its extensive trail and park systems. Of special interest to visitors will be the Bridle Path in Lehigh Parkway (stop to feed the fish in the Fish Hatchery, go to the Museum of Indian Culture or pedal along a trail that takes you to a covered bridge).

On foot[edit]

The main Allentown downtown area is small and easy to walk. You may want to park your car in one of the many garages and walk downtown.


  • 1 Allentown Art Museum, 31 N 5th St, +1 610 432-4333. W-Sa 11AM-4PM, Su noon-4PM, third Th each month open until 8PM. World-class permanent art collection with changing exhibits. Adult $12; senior (60+), student $10 or child 6 and older $10, child 5 and under free; free admission Su noon–4PM and 3rd Th 4PM–8PM. Allentown Art Museum (Q3612510) on Wikidata Allentown Art Museum on Wikipedia
  • America On Wheels Museum, 5 N Front St, +1 610 432-4200. Museum showing the history of wheeled transportation.
  • 2 Da Vinci Science Center, 3145 Hamilton Blvd Bypass, +1 484 664-1002. M-Sa 10AM-5PM, Su noon-5PM. Hands-on science exhibits focused on kids 12 and under. Ages 3+ $12.95, Toddlers free. Da Vinci Science Center (Q5207326) on Wikidata Da Vinci Science Center on Wikipedia
  • Lehigh Valley Heritage Museum, 432 W Walnut St, +1 610 435-1074. Exhibit galleries, library and area archives.
  • 3 Liberty Bell Museum (Liberty Bell Shrine Museum), 622 W Hamilton St, +1 610 435-4232. See special exhibits and ring a full-size replica of the Liberty Bell which was hidden from the British in this historic church during the Revolutionary War. Liberty Bell Museum (Q6541604) on Wikidata Liberty Bell Museum on Wikipedia
  • 4 Museum of Indian Culture, 2825 Fish Hatchery Rd, +1 610 797-2121. Museum that preserves the history of the Lenape tribe and other regional Native Americans. Museum of Indian Culture (Q6940884) on Wikidata Museum of Indian Culture on Wikipedia
  • Cedar Beach Park, W Hamilton Blvd, +1 610 437-6900.



  • Great Allentown Fair, 302 N 17th St (at Chew St), +1 610 433-7541, fax: +1 610 433-4005, . Annually late August/early September - just before Labor Day. The Great Allentown Fair is an annual event for over 150 years. It includes everything from family-owned food stands to a bill of national musical acts. The fair brings the world of the county fair and the street carnival together to provide visitors with an experience that helps to make Allentown a distinctive destination. At other times of the year, various events are held at the fairgrounds, including concerts, gigantic flea markets, antique sales, computer shows, and an assortment of many other shows and expos.
  • 3 Mayfair. Mayfair Festival of the Arts takes place over Memorial Day weekend. It brings outstanding performers and artisans to Allentown’s scenic Cedar Beach Park to put their talents on display. With six performance stages, over 100 artists and craftspeople, roving entertainers, and more than two dozen vendors offering authentic regional foods, Mayfair is a feast of sights, sounds, and smells. Mayfair (Q6797116) on Wikidata Mayfair (festival) on Wikipedia


Allentown is home to Muhlenberg College, Cedar Crest College and the Donley Center, the downtown Allentown campus of Lehigh Carbon Community College (LCCC). Other colleges are found throughout Lehigh Valley.


The largest employer in Allentown is Lehigh Valley Hospital, with over 7,800 workers. Other companies headquartered here are Air Products & Chemicals, LSI, St. Lukes Hospital, Blue Cross and PPL. Allentown was once an important manufacturing center in the region. Today, small scale manufacturing is still an important part of the local economy.

Allentown is the county seat for Lehigh County. Downtown Allentown is an important employment center with approximately 15,000 people working there.


  • Much of the Allentown area's shopping is actually located in neighboring Whitehall, which is about five minutes north of downtown via PA Route 145, which is also Whitehall's main commercial street. Route 145, also known as MacArthur Road (7th Street in Allentown) is home to the Lehigh Valley Mall, anchored by Macy's, JCPenny, Boscov's, and Barnes & Noble; a new upscale wing has been added to the mall with stores including Williams-Sonoma, J crew, Pottery Barn and Ann Taylor. There are other stores on MacArthur Road and also on the intersecting Grape Street, including Wal-Mart, Sam's Club, Best Buy, Kmart, Home Depot, Sports Authority, Dicks Sporting Goods, Burlington Coat Factory, Giant Food, Staples, and the smaller Whitehall Mall, anchored by Sears and Kohl's.
  • A second Allentown mall, South Mall, anchored by Bon Ton, Black Rose Antiques, Staples, Petco, and Stein Mart, is on Lehigh Street, in west Allentown's border with Salisbury Township and Emmaus.
  • The 19th Street area near Muhlenberg College is a funky little commercial district with a coffee shop and art house movie theatre.
  • A small commercial district is also available on the eastern portion of Union Boulevard, near Plymouth Street, Club Avenue, and Pennsylvania Avenue. This area houses Giant Food, Marshalls, Dan Schantz Greenhouse, Wells Fargo, Staples, HomeGoods, a Big Lots and other stores.
  • For an original shopping experience, try the Allentown Farmers Market. Located at 17th and Chew streets, this farmers market features everything from fresh meat and produce to local gifts.
  • For local produce, go to the Plaza Growers Market on Wednesdays at lunch over the growing season, May through October. It's located on Hamilton Street in the downtown between 8th and 9th.
  • Merchants Square Mall. Features antiques and collectibles. Located at 1901 South 12th Street.
  • More shopping is available at Crest Plaza' on the west side of Allentown, on Cedar Crest Boulevard, including Weis Markets, Fashion Bug and Target Greatland.
  • The Promenade Shoppes at Saucon Valley. Located outside of Allentown in Upper Saucon Township, is a newer and very upscale shopping destination, which also includes restaurants and Lehigh Valley's largest movie theater. Anchor stores include Ann Taylor, Sage, Banana Republic, and Brooks Brothers.
  • Two new shopping centers have been built on the East Side of Allentown. On Airport Road, there is large shopping center, Airport Center, which houses the Christmas Tree Shop, A.C. Moore, Golf Galaxy, Five Guys Burgers & Fries, Target, Ross, Zoup!, GameStop, Sleepy's, and a few more. Plans include Sam's Club and a few others. The other shopping center, Hanover Commons, is on Hanover Avenue. The only current stores are Popeye's, Philly Pretzel Factory, and Family Dollar.
  • Valley Plaza, on Catasaqua Road, houses Ollie's Bargain Outlet and smaller stores. Carmike Cinemas and BJ's are nearby.
  • A shopping center on South 4th Street has a Kmart and a PriceRite, with most other stores being vacant. The center has a few armed security guards on patrol. There is higher security in the area due to the proximity of the Cumberland Gardens housing projects and the crime from the area.
  • Weil's Antique Center, 2200 31st St., +1 610-791-7910.
  • Josh Early Candies, 4640 W. Tilghman St., +1 610-395-4321. Family owned & operated. Home-made chocolate and other sweets.
  • Dan's Camera City, 1439 W. Fairmont St., +1 610-434-2313. Get film developed. Print digital prints while you wait. Create cool gifts using your own photos. Camera equipment for sale and rent.
  • From the area of Cedar Beach Park to Dorney Park there are a slew of shops along Hamilton Street/Hamilton Boulevard/PA-222 (same street, three names). Heading from downtown Allentown going north toward Interstate 78, there's Phoebe Floral & Home Decor, PopCorn To Go [dead link], and the shops at 3900 Hamilton Center, like a Robbin's Jewelers.
  • Warner Stained Glass, 795 Roble Road, +1 610-264-1100.


Allentown offers numerous family-run eateries featuring authentic ethnic cuisine. These include Japanese, Chinese, Lebanese, Mexican, Jamaican, Dominican and Puerto Rican restaurants. A variety of casual dining and fast food restaurants are available around the Whitehall and Cedar Crest Boulevard business districts, as well as in Center City. You can even catch a hot dog on the street from a vendor on Hamilton Street or 7th Street.


  • Cali Burrito, 3104 Hamilton Blvd., +1 610-351-1791. California-style Mexican cuisine. Organic, vegetarian, vegan. Laid-back vibe.
  • Charles Pizza, 2102 Union Blvd. # 5, +1 610-435-9990. Pizza.
  • Cheesesteak Louie's, Corner of 12th and Chew. Cheesesteaks, owned by proprietor of the successful Louie's restaurant on 31st Street.
  • China Moon, 2102 Union Blvd., +1 610-439-8883. Chinese cuisine.
  • Kids Castle, 1193 Airport Rd, +1 610-435-1432. Kid-friendly fast food.
  • La Dolce Vita Italian Bakery, 5531 Hamilton Boulevard, +1 610-395-8875. Reasonably priced Italian.
  • Wally's Deli, 711 N. 17th St., +1 610 435-7177. M-W 7AM-6PM, Th F 7AM-7PM, Sa 7AM-6PM. A popular, locally owned place with several Lehigh Valley locations. In Allentown, it is on 17th street.
  • Willy Joe's, 2407 Lehigh Street, +1 610-797-7009. A local favorite for hot dogs, steak sandwiches, fries. Family dining.
  • Yocco's. This small hot dog chain is considered to be a local favorite, and is a must-try for first time visitors to Allentown. There are six Yocco's locations in Allentown and its surrounding suburbs.
  • Zandy's Steak Shop, 813 St. John Street, +1 610 434-7874. Another must try for anyone coming to Lehigh Valley. A local version of the Philly steak sandwich.


  • Rascal's Food & Fun, 6616 Ruppsville Rd, +1 610-366-1130. American cuisine with arcade games. Similar to a Dave & Buster's.
  • Sunset Grille, 6751 Ruppsville Rd, +1 610-395-9622. Mexican cuisine
  • Taste of Italy Ristorante, 1860 Catasauqua Rd, +1 610-266-8011.
  • Top Diner & Cocktail Lounge, 1019 Union Blvd, +1 610-432-9821. American diner featuring casual atmosphere and moderately priced food.



Allentown is well known for its nightlife, and many Allentown clubs feature major New York City, Philadelphia, and Allentown DJs and live bands. They include:

  • Allentown Brew Works, 812-816 Hamilton Street, +1 610-433-7777. This restaurant is a second location modeled after the Bethlehem Brew Works also owned by the Fegley Family. A micro brewery, the four-level restaurant serves upscale bar fare, with bars on three levels, including the Silk Lounge on the lower level. Live comedy.
  • [1], 3400 W Tilghman St, +1 484 223-2020. Su-Th 11AM-midnight, F Sa 11AM-2AM. The newest Brew Works in the area with views of the golf course.
  • B&B Piano Bar, 248 N. 9th Street, +1 484 221-8278. Piano bar.
  • BPM Club, N. Race and W. Court Street, +1 610 433-0503. Nightclub.
  • Big Woody's Pizza & Sports Bar, 1200 W. Liberty St, +1 610 820-3866. Sports bar.
  • Bull and Bear Restaurant, 462 Union Blvd, +1 610 432-5230. Restaurant and bar. Live music.
  • Candida, 247 N. 12th St, +1 610 434-3071. Tavern, serves the local LGBT crowd, but all are welcome.
  • Chess N' Checkers Pub, 1801 Airport Rd, +1 610 264-4131. Restaurant and pub bar.
  • Chicken Lounge, 3245 Hamilton Blvd, +1 610 439-1707. Lounge and bar.
  • Club Horizon, 1221 Airport Rd, +1 610 841-7000. Nightclub.
  • Erv's, 1231 Airport Road S, +1-610 433-3311. A gentleman's club.
  • Greg's West End Saloon, 1839 W. Tilghman St, +1 610 351-9366. Bar.
  • Liberty Street Tavern & Pizzeria, 2246 Liberty Street, +1 484-221-8765. Bar food and Italian cuisine, Taco Tuesdays, Wide selection of bottled microbrews and imported beers.
  • Jack Callaghan's Ale House, 2027 Tilghman St, +1 610 432-5797. Irish pub and restaurant.
  • Maingate Nightclub, 448 N. 17th Street, +1 610 776-7711. Large and festive nightclub with modern dance and hip hop music, large dance floor, outside bars open in summer. Dance and hip hop music spun by top New York City, Philadelphia and Allentown DJs. Also has periodic under 21 nights.
  • MIXX Nightclub and Sports, 801 N. 15th Street, +1 610 437-3970. Major sports bar with multiple televisions. Jam-packed for most Philadelphia Eagles games. DJs and periodic live bands.
  • Pig Pen Sports Bar & Grill, 702 Union Blvd, +1 610 435-7451. Sports bar, bowling alley, and arcade.
  • South Side Bar & Grill, 1608 S. 4th Street, +1 610 791-3241. Bar and restaurant. Live music and DJs.
  • Stonewall Bar, 28 N. 10th St, +1 610 432-0215. Live and dance music, catering primarily to LGBT community, but all are welcome.
  • Strange Brew Tavern, 1996 South Fifth St., +1 610-841-3610. Bar food and entrees. 24 craft and macro taps, and extensive selection of bottled beer. Live music 3-4 nights per week.
  • Teddy's Jetport Lounge, 3400 Airport Rd, +1 610 266-1000. Large nightclub with live rock music acts, sometimes featuring two or more bands an evening.
  • Volpe's Sports Bar, 1926 W. Tilghman St, +1 610 435-0311. Sports bar.
  • Yes Nightclub, 339 Hamilton Street, +1 610 433-0503. Up and coming center city nightclub. Upscale attire usually required. Major dance music DJs and periodically live bands.


Stay safe[edit]

Allentown has a crime rate almost twice the national average in every category, including rape, robbery, theft, auto theft, murder, assault, and burglary. Rougher areas include parts of East Allentown and some neighborhoods of Center City north of Linden St. and south of Tilghman St. as well as the area between the American Parkway and Lehigh River, just east of Center City. Random acts of violence and crime against visitors is rare - much of the crime in the area involves people involved in drugs, gangs, or other illicit activities. It would be unwise to try to buy drugs or other contraband in the city.

It is fairly easy to stay safe by following common sense. Theft is an issue, so be sure to lock cars and stay out of poorer areas at night. Prostitution and street racing are also issues in Allentown. Don't walk alone late at night or on dimly lit streets. The most likely victim of a mugging on an Allentown street is someone who is alone and intoxicated, so keep your wits about you. If homeless approach you for change, just keep walking if you don't want to give anything. Pickpocketing is not a large problem, but don't flash around your money.

There is a large police presence in the neighborhoods most frequented by visitors, especially Hamilton Street. Many officers in Center City use bicycles.

Stay healthy[edit]


If you are in need of medical attention, here are some hospitals in the area:


As in many parts of the country, residents may not want to share religious or political views.


In Allentown you must dial an area code when you place a call. Area codes in the Lehigh Valley are 610 and 484. You may still find some payphones on the street.


Religious services[edit]

Website for the Diocese of Allentown
Catholic churches:

Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints:

Episcopal churches:





Go next[edit]

Other Lehigh Valley locations[edit]

Regional cities and locations[edit]

Routes through Allentown
HarrisburgFogelsville  W I-78.svg E  HellertownNew York City
ScrantonLehighton  N I-476.svg S  KulpsvillePhiladelphia
ReadingKutztown  S US 222.svg N  END

This city travel guide to Allentown is a usable article. It has information on how to get there and on restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please feel free to improve it by editing the page.