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The Lehigh Valley is a region in eastern Pennsylvania, considered part of the larger Philadelphia Region in the United States. It is 50 miles (80 km) miles north of Philadelphia, the nation's sixth largest city, and 65 (105 km) miles west of New York City, the nation's largest city. With a population of 861,889 people as of 2020, the Lehigh Valley is the third most populous metropolitan region in the state.

The Lehigh Valley can be said to be comprised of four counties, Carbon County, Lehigh County, and Northampton County in eastern Pennsylvania and Warren County in northwestern New Jersey, but only the counties in Pennsylvania are covered in this article. The region's most populous city is Allentown. Two other major cities are Bethlehem and Easton.

Cities[edit]

Map of Lehigh Valley

Other destinations[edit]

Understand[edit]

The now dormant but still standing steel stacks of Bethlehem Steel in Bethlehem.

History[edit]

A thriving industrial center for most of the 19th and 20th centuries, Lehigh Valley's struggles in the "post-industrial" late 20th century became the lyrics of a famous song by Billy Joel named after "Allentown," its biggest city. Lehigh Valley has begun to turn itself around with some success through tourism with several outlying ski resorts, an amusement park, a Minor League Baseball team, an American Hockey League team, a casino, concerts and cultural festivals year round. It also has become an increasingly popular bedroom community for those with professional jobs in New York City and Philadelphia. The Lehigh Valley comprises 730 square miles.

Visitor information[edit]

Get in[edit]

Main terminal at Lehigh Valley International Airport in Hanover Township

By plane[edit]

By bus[edit]

Get around[edit]

There are a few different ways to travel throughout the valley. LANTA provides bus service to major areas. You can call for a taxi, although it is unlikely to find them just driving on the streets. Other ways are renting a car or walking.

See[edit]

Burnside Plantation in Bethlehem is an historic farm-in-the-city that opens doors to early American agricultural life. Bethlehem is known as "Christmas City": discover the city’s history on an “Old Bethlehem Walking Tour”, experience the annual Christmas concert of the Bach Choir of Bethlehem, or see the city’s sights and lights on the popular “Bethlehem by Night Bus Tour”.

The George Taylor House in Catasauqua near Whitehall is one of the last remaining homes of the original signers of the Declaration of Independence.

The Covered Bridge Tour takes you to seven excellent examples are community treasures in Lehigh Valley. Five of these, which are open for traffic, often are taken for granted when crossed by busy travelers every day. It is approximately 50 miles long.

Allentown has several museums to explore. The Allentown Art Museum has about 14,000 works of art from nearly 2,000 years of cultural heritage. America On Wheels celebrates motorized and non-motorized over-the-road transportation. The Da Vinci Science Center is a hands-on children's science center featuring two-stories of interactive activities to teach visitors about the world we live in. At the Mack Trucks Experience Center, you can learn about Mack’s history through a collection of restored and preserved vintage trucks and abundant memorabilia.

Itineraries[edit]

Do[edit]

Dorney Park & Wildwater Kingdom's Steel Force and Thunderhawk roller coasters outside Allentown. Steel Force is the tenth tallest steel roller coaster in the world with a first drop of 205 feet (62 m) and a top speed of 75 miles per hour (121 km/h).
Coca-Cola Park in east Allentown, home of the Lehigh Valley IronPigs, the Triple-A affiliate of the Philadelphia Phillies
Rock band Weezer plays Musikfest, the nation's largest non-gated music festival, in Bethlehem
PPL Center in Allentown, the home arena of the Lehigh Valley Phantoms, the primary development team of the Philadelphia Flyers

You can visit the Crayola Factory, where crayons are manufactured, in Easton.

Enjoy outdoor activities at the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area.

Dorney Park & Wildwater Kingdom in South Whitehall Township is known especially for its elaborate rollercoasters and large waterpark.

The Lehigh Valley IronPigs are a AAA-level minor league team of the Philadelphia Phillies. They play their home games in Allentown from early April through early October.

Sands Casino Resort in Bethlehem was built in an old iron mill.

The Lehigh Valley Zoo near Slatington is a small, yet affordable attraction. This zoo is very welcoming with many creatures.

Theater[edit]

The Civic Theater of Allentown provides professionally-produced theatre with a community feel and is the valley’s only year-round home for foreign, independent and arthouse cinema. Allentown also has the Pines Dinner Theater.

The State Theater in Easton is an historic 1500-seat performance hall that hosts musical performers that range from rock to country, along with many shows and musicals.

The Zoellner Arts Center at Lehigh University in Bethlehem presents a variety of high-quality performing arts events.

Annual events[edit]

Christkindlmarkt in Bethlehem showcases aisles of exquisite handmade works by artisans, live Christmas music, delicious food and more.

The Great Allentown Fair offers a fun and educational experience starting on the last in August for a week. The fair is known for its food, shopping, animal expos, and concerts.

The Mayfair Festival of the Arts in early May in Allentown has six performance stages, over a hundred artists and crafts people, entertainers and more than two dozen vendors offering regional foods.

Musikfest is a 10-day festival held in August in downtown Bethlehem. It is the nation’s largest free, non-gated music festival and showcases more than 450 performances on 14 stages, 11 of which require no admission charge.

Buy[edit]

Clothing and shoes are tax-free in Pennsylvania.

The Lehigh Valley Mall in Whitehall just off US-22 is anchored by JCPenney, Macy's and Boscov's and has over 140 stores.

The Promenade Shoppes at Saucon Valley sits between Allentown and Bethlehem just off U.S. PA-309. Open-air, outlet-style shopping with approximately 82 stores.

The South Mall between Allentown and Emmaus is anchored by the BonTon, and includes approximately 30 other stores.

The Crossing Premium Outlets in Tannersville, near the Poconos, has over 100 stores.

Stay safe[edit]

Allentown, Bethlehem, and Easton all experience crime. Much of the crime is gang-related, so try to stay out of poor neighborhoods and housing projects. The main gangs are 18th Street, Black Dragons, Bloods, Crips, Latin Kings, Los Solidos, Mexican Mafia, and MS-13 in the area. They are the most violent gangs in the country.

Theft is an issue, so be sure to lock cars and stay out of certain areas at night. Prostitution and street drag racing are also issues in Lehigh Valley. Avoid walking alone late at night or on unlit streets or wandering too far off the main streets. If homeless approach you for change, just keep walking if you do not want to give anything. Pickpocketing is not a large problem, but still do not flash around your money.

Rougher areas include Northern Allentown, South Bethlehem, and Pembroke in East Bethlehem. Crime is more likely to happen in those areas but can happen anywhere else.

Go next[edit]

This region travel guide to Lehigh Valley is a usable article. It gives a good overview of the region, its sights, and how to get in, as well as links to the main destinations, whose articles are similarly well developed. An adventurous person could use this article, but please feel free to improve it by editing the page.