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Main Street in Kutztown

Kutztown is a small town the northeastern part of Berks County, in Pennsylvania Dutch Country between Reading and Allentown. It is home to about 5,100 year-round residents (2018), and to the Kutztown University of Pennsylvania, a public university whose 8,300 students make the town a busy place from late August to early May. In the summer months and during school breaks, the town is much quieter and dominated by locals.

Understand[edit]

Kutztown is 17 miles northeast of Reading and 18 miles southwest of Allentown in the agricultural East Penn Valley.

Kutztown was largely settled by German immigrants. Today, over 90% of its residents have German heritage, including 160 Old Order Mennonite families. The Old Order Mennonites in the area use the horse and buggy as transportation.

Get in[edit]

"Welcome to Kutztown" sign on East Main Street

By car[edit]

Kutztown is on U.S. Route 222, which heads to Reading to the southwest and Allentown to the northeast. Pennsylvania Route 737 heads north from Kutztown to Exit 40 of Interstate 78/U.S. Route 22 in Krumsville. I-78 connects to Harrisburg to the west and Allentown to the east.

From Philadelphia, Kutztown can be reached by following I-76 west to I-476 north onto the Northeast Extension of the Pennsylvania Turnpike. Motorists should exit at Lehigh Valley (Exit 56) and follow US 22 west to I-78, exiting at Exit 40 and following PA 737 south into Kutztown. Kutztown is about 1 hour and 25 minutes from Philadelphia.

From New York City, follow I-78 west into Pennsylvania and get off at Exit 54A, following US 222 south to Kutztown. Kutztown is about 1 hour and 50 minutes from New York City.

From the Baltimore/Washington D.C. area, follow I-83 north into Pennsylvania and get off at Exit 21A onto US 30 east. Follow US 30 east to Lancaster to the exit for US 222 north. Follow US 222 northeast through Reading to Kutztown. Kutztown is about 2 hours 15 minutes from Baltimore and about 3 hours from Washington D.C.

By plane[edit]

The closest airport with commercial air service to Kutztown is the Lehigh Valley International Airport (ABE IATA) near Allentown, which is about 30 minutes away by car. A larger selection of air service is available at the Philadelphia International Airport (PHL IATA) in Philadelphia, which is about 1 hour and 30 minutes away by car, and the Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR IATA) in Newark, New Jersey near New York City, which is about 1 hour and 40 minutes away by car. Rental car service is offered at all three of these airports.

By train[edit]

There is no train station close to Kutztown. Rail travelers along Amtrak can use 30th Street Station in Philadelphia, which serves a variety of routes along the Northeast Corridor along with some long-distance routes. From here, travelers can either rent a car or take an Uber.

By bus[edit]

Bus riders from New York City can take Klein Transportation's run into Kutztown. This service also stops in the Lehigh Valley and Reading.

Clydesdale Lines occasionally operates service to and from Philadelphia and other locations. However, their service is often unreliable and customers have expressed complaints on Google Maps and the Better Business Bureau website.

Get around[edit]

The best way to get around the Kutztown area is by car. Many sites within town are within walking distance of each other; parking is available on-street along Main Street and in parking lots located a short distance off Main Street. Many side streets have permit parking that is reserved for residents, so make sure not to park in these spots. A car is needed to access the sites that are outside the central area of town. There is no scheduled public transportation serving Kutztown. Kutztown University operates a shuttle service serving the campus and the downtown area, but it is only accessible to university students.

See[edit]

Crystal Cave
  • Crystal Cave, 963 Crystal Cave Rd, +1 610-683-6765. Mar 1-Nov 30: 9AM-5PM daily. Extended summer hours. Crystal Cave is an underground cave that was discovered in 1871. Tours of the cave are available, showcasing various rock formations. There are "ghost" lantern tours that are offered around Halloween. Other activities available include gemstone panning, miniature golf, and a museum. Crystal Cave also has a gift shop, picnic area, ice cream shop, and a restaurant. $14.50 adult, $10.50 children 4-11, Free for children under 4.
  • [dead link] Kutztown Area Historical Society, Normal Ave and Whiteoak St, +1 610-683-7697. Tours by appointment. Located in a former Victorian schoolhouse that was built in 1892, the historical society is home to many artifacts pertaining to the history of Kutztown, including a 1799 newspaper with a story about the death of George Washington, Keith Haring drawings, a Pennsylvania long rifle manufactured by gunsmith Jacob George dating to 1817, and several antique items including toys, books, quilts, farm equipment, and fire equipment. There is also a replica of a school room from the 1930s.
  • Pennsylvania German Cultural Heritage Center, 22 Luckenbill Rd, +1 610-683-1589. M-F 10AM-noon, 1-4PM, by appointment only. Located on the grounds of Kutztown University in the 19th-century Sharadin farmstead, the heritage center serves as an outdoor museum and research center for the Pennsylvania Dutch folk culture, language, and traditions. The center features a one-room schoolhouse, stone farmhouse, barn, and two log houses. The heritage center's library allows for genological and cultural research and also offers folklife demonstrations and tradtional art.

Do[edit]

  • Allentown & Auburn Railroad, 232-298 Railroad St, +1 570-778-7531. Railroad that offers excursions on 4 miles of track between Kutztown and Topton, passing through farmland. Excursions are diesel-powered and operate with a passenger car, multiple cabooses, and an open-air flatcar. Trains run on a seasonal basis and for special events. Some of the occasions that the railroad operates trains for include a Valentine's Day train, an Easter Bunny train, Halloween trick-or-treating, a Santa Claus train, and wine tasting trains. The railroad occasionally operates steam-powered excursions.
  • Kutztown Folk Festival, 225 N Whiteoak St, +1 610-683-1537. The Kutztown Folk Festival is a nine-day festival held in July that celebrates Pennsylvania German folklife. It is the oldest folklife festival in the United States. The festival offers Pennsylvania Dutch food, a quilt auction, antiques, collectibles, and working hand crafters and folk artists.

Buy[edit]

  • Renninger’s Antique & Farmer’s Market, 740 Noble St, +1 610-683-6848. Farmers Market: F 10AM-7PM, Sa 8AM-4PM, Antique Market: Sa 8AM-4PM, Flea Market: Sa 7:30AM-4PM. Renninger's consists of a farmers market, an antique market, and a flea market and has been around since 1955. Local merchants and farmers sell a variety of produce, meat, dairy products and other food. The market offers a variety of products including antiques, collectibles, flowers, and furniture.

Eat[edit]

  • Airport Diner, 15110 Kutztown Rd, +1 610-683-5450. 6AM-10PM daily. Diner serving breakfast all day. Popular among locals and college students.
  • Camillo's Italian Restaurant and Pizzeria, 264 Greenwich St, +1 610-683-5637. Su-W 11AM-1AM, Th 11AM-2AM, F Sa 11AM-2:30AM. Italian restaurant serving pizza, calzones, strombolis, appetizers, salad, soup, seafood, chicken, pasta, sandwiches, cheesesteaks, burgers, and dessert. Also has a bar. Specials Monday-Thursday and Happy Hour Specials Monday-Saturday. Delivery available.
  • Kutztown Tavern, 272 W Main St, +1 610-683-9600. M-Th Su 11AM-10PM, F Sa 11AM-11PM. Restaurant and bar offering appetizers, wings, salad, soup, burgers, sandwiches, seafood, pasta, paninis, pizza, dessert, and other items. The Kutztown Tavern is home to the Golden Avalanche Brewing Company, where Golden Avalanche beer is brewed on premises. This beer follows German brewing tradition and American innovation with five signature brews and seven additional seasonal brews.
  • Mamma's Delight Pizza & Restaurant, 300 W Main St, +1 610-683-9120. Su-W 11AM-12:30AM, Th-Sa 11AM-3AM. Italian restaurant that offers pizza, calzones, stromboli, sandwiches, cheesesteaks, burgers, chicken, wings, soup, salad, and dessert. Has daily specials, lunch specials, and student specials. Delivery available.
  • Mark's Sandwich Shop, 123 W Main St, +1 610-683-3626. 10AM-10PM daily. Sandwiches, cheesesteaks, burgers, hot dogs, and pizza. Delivery available.
  • New China King, 168 W Main St, +1 610-683-9224. noon-11PM daily. Chinese dishes.
  • Pretzel Revolution. Pretzel place that features the "stuffed pretzel", which consists of various food such as cheesesteak, buffalo chicken, and pizza stuffed into the pretzel dough. Offers student specials and party trays. Has a location in downtown Kutztown on Main Street and a location at Renninger's Farmer's Market
  • 269 W Main St, +1 484-575-8363. Tu W 4PM-10PM, Th F 4PM-3AM, Sa 11AM-3AM.
  • 740 Noble St. F 10AM-7PM, Sa 8AM-4PM.

Drink[edit]

  • K'town Pub, 257 W Main St, +1 610-683-9275. 4PM-2AM daily. Bar serving 20 drafts and over 100 craft beers, with a variety of beer from local breweries. Has outdoor patio seating. Also serves southern style BBQ cooked from scratch on a wood-fired smoker. Karaoke on Wednesday nights, DJ on Friday and Saturday nights.
  • Shorty's Bar, 272 W Main St, +1 610-683-9600. M-Th Sa 9PM-2AM, F 5PM-2AM, closed in summer. Located beneath the Kutztown Tavern in the alley behind Main Street, this bar/nightclub offers drinks, a bar menu, music with live DJs, pool tables, a jukebox, Megatouch and arcade games, and seven TVs. Bar features various drink specials throughout the week and drinks are relatively inexpensive. Free bingo on Tuesday, beer pong league on Wednesday, Happy Hour specials at 5PM on Friday. Shorty's Bar is a popular place among the college crowd on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights and often gets packed after 11PM.
  • Uptown Espresso Bar, 466 W Main St, +1 610-683-4601. M-Th 8AM-7PM, F 8AM-5PM, Sa 8AM-4PM. Espresso, coffee, tea, soup, salad, sandwiches, and bagels.

Sleep[edit]

There are a few lodging options in the Kutztown area. Additional hotels can be found in Allentown, Fogelsville, and Reading, all of which are within a 30 minute drive.

  • Hampton Inn & Suites Kutztown, 15080 Kutztown Rd, +1 484-641-8800, fax: +1 484-641-8700. Check-in: 3PM, check-out: 11AM. Hotel offering both standard rooms and suites. Amenities include HDTV, coffeemaker, work desk, free Wi-Fi, free hot breakfast, indoor pool, fitness center, and meeting space. Suites also include a sofa bed, microwave, and mini-fridge. $99.
  • Lincoln Motel, 12 Lincoln Rd, +1 610-683-3456. One-story motel with exterior room entrances.
  • Main Street Inn Boutique Hotel, 401 W Main St, +1 610-683-0401. Check-in: M-Sa 3PM-7PM, Su 3PM-6PM, check-out: 11AM. Bed and breakfast that offers the comforts of a hotel. Facility has eight rooms which each have their own bathroom and a queen or king bed. Rooms include cable television, Keurig machine, mini-refridgerator, luxury bath, central air-conditioning, and free Wi-Fi. Non-smoking. No pets or children under 12. Breakfast is included in the room rate, offering both continental breakfast items and made to order food. $115-135.
  • Super 8 Kutztown/Allentown Area, 2160 Golden Key Rd (I-78 exit 45), +1 610-285-4880. Check-in: 3PM, check-out: 11AM. Budget hotel offering free Wi-Fi, free breakfast, and cribs. Parking is available for cars, buses, trucks, and RVs. $60.

Stay safe[edit]

As a small rural town, Kutztown is generally safe and has a low crime rate. However, on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights during the fall and spring semesters at Kutztown University, there can be drunk college students, particularly on Main Street and near the university campus.

Go next[edit]

Routes through Kutztown
LancasterReading  S US 222.svg N  AllentownEND


This city travel guide to Kutztown 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.