Allentown is in the humid continental climate zone. Summers can be hot, and temperatures can reach over 100 degrees. Spring and Fall are mild, and winters are cold with snow and ice common.
Lehigh Valley Visitor Center, 840 Hamilton Street, +1 610 973-2140. January through April hours:
9:30a.m. - 5:30 p.m. Monday - Friday. May through December hours: 9:30a.m. - 5:30p.m. Monday - Friday; 9:30a.m. - 2:30p.m. Saturday.
English is the dominant language in Allentown, but Spanish is also widely used. Outside of the area, you can find people speaking Pennsylvania Dutch. Other languages can be found here, such as Portuguese and Vietnamese.
"Down the shore" is a common local reference to the New Jersey beaches, located approximately 75 miles southeast from Allentown.
The primary and most convenient point of airline entry to Allentown and the Lehigh Valley is Lehigh Valley International Airport (ABE), which is less than twenty minutes away from most parts of the city. Various airlines operate out of this airport. Philadelphia International Airport (PHL) 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 flights to Philadelphia International. However, given the proximity of Lehigh Valley International, it is usually cheaper and more convenient to fly directly to the Lehigh Valley.
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 the 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 Mount Pocono and points east.
Carl Bieber Tourways offers daily service to New York City, Philadelphia and other regionally-located cities. It also provides bus service within the Lehigh Valley and its surrounding areas, including to and from Reading.
Extensive bus services are provided by Lehigh and Northampton Transportation Authority (LANTA). 
Several cab companies also operate throughout Allentown and the Lehigh Valley. These are:
Lehigh Valley Taxi, 610-867-6000
Quick Service Taxi, 610-434-8132
Car One of Allentown, 610-266-9770 or 1-877-LVIACAR
Most visitors to the Lehigh Valley will want to either rent a car or drive their own. Traffic can be heavy and perhaps slightly intimidating to those who are unfamiliar with driving through heavy traffic, but here are a few things to consider:
The city is known for its fast and reckless driving tendencies, especially late at night and on weekends. Most dangerous are the street races in the city and its suburbs. Sometimes these races are drag races on open highways and roads. Other times they take place on city streets, with the racing participants disregarding traffic lights.
7th Street in Allentown is a three-lane-wide one-way street, and can be challenging for novice or rural drivers. Use Cedar Crest Boulevard or Airport Road if this could be a problem for you.
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 Sixth will bring you to the same place, but will not carry the PA-145 designation.
Hamilton Street (PA 222) is a continuation of US 222/ Hamilton Boulevard and provides easy access for travelers from Reading & Lancaster and vicinity. Hamilton 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 which 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.
Riding a bike can also get you around in Allentown. When you ride it and park it, make sure you lock it. Also, don't wander far off of Hamilton Street when you're downtown and know where you are going. Bike Line of Alllentown will rent bikes.
Little Lehigh Parkway and Jordan Creek Park are accessible to pedal through.
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. If you leave downtown, you should drive. It's not a good idea to wander too far off of a large street, like Hamilton or Tilghman.
Finding your way around
Allentown is relatively easy to navigate. 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 east at 1 and continue to 42.
Cedar Beach Park on Hamilton Blvd. 610-437-6900.
Great Allentown Fair, 302 N 17 Street (corner of 17th St. and Chew St.), ☎ +1 610 433-7541 (firstname.lastname@example.org, fax: +1 610 433-4005), . Annually late August/early September - just before Labor Day. The Great Allentown Fair is an annual event that is over 150 years strong. It offers a unique experience that 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.
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.
Allentown Art Museum, 31 N. Fifth Street, 610-432-4333, . World-class permanent art collection with changing exhibits.
Allentown Symphony Orchestra, 23 N. Sixth Street, 610-432-6715, . Allentown's own orchestra with daily performances.
America On Wheels Museum, 5 N. Front Street, 610-432-4200, . Museum showing a collection of antique vehicles.
Da Vinci Science Center, 3145 Hamilton Blvd., 484-664-1002, .
Dorney Park and Wildwater Kingdom, 3830 Dorney Park Road, ☎ +1 610 395-3724, . Located on the west end of Hamilton Boulevard near Interstate 78, this popular amusement park and water park is home to at least six world-class roller coasters, including the 200 foot tall Steel Force, multi-looping coasters Talon and Hydra: The Revenge, and antique wooden roller coaster Thunderhawk. The park is open from early May to the end of October, and the waterpark is open from late May to early September. During the times that the waterpark is open, waterpark admission is included in the price of admission to the regular park, and guests can move freely back and forth between the two interconnected parks.
Civic Theatre of Allentown, 527 N. 19th Street, 610-432-8943, 
High school athletics. Allentown's three high schools and most large Lehigh Valley high schools compete athletically in the Lehigh Valley Conference, widely recognized as one of the highest quality athletic divisions in the nation. The conference has produced numerous professional and Olympic athletes and is especially known for its quality football and wrestling programs.
Lehigh Valley IronPigs, the AAA-level minor league team of the 2008 World Series champion Philadelphia Phillies, play their home games from early April through early October at Allentown's Coca-Cola Park. Tickets: (610) 841-PIGS.
Lehigh Valley Heritage Museum, 432 W. Walnut Street, 610-435-1074, . Exhibit galleries, library and area archives.
Liberty Bell Museum, 622 W. Hamilton St., 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.
Philadelphia Eagles. The Philadelphia Eagles of the NFL hold their pre-season training camp each July and August at Lehigh University in neighboring Bethlehem.. Attendance is free.
Skiing. This is a popular activity in nearby mountains. Most skiing areas are closed seasonally, since snow can usually only be manufactured from about November to April. Ski Blue Mountain is a short drive away, in Palmerton. Larger, world-famous ski resorts are located in the Pocono Mountains, including Jack Frost/Big Boulder Ski Area, a drive of about 1 hour north on I-476.
Allentown is home to Muhlenberg College and Cedar Crest College. Other colleges are located throughout the valley.
The largest employer in Allentown is Lehigh Valley Hospital, with over 7,800 workers. Other companies headquartered here are Air Products & Chemicals, Mack Trucks, LSI, and PPL.
Much of the Allentown area's shopping is actually located in neighboring Whitehall, PA, which is about five minutes north of the city 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, and Boscovs (which opened late 2006). A new upscale wing has been added to the mall with stores including Williams-Sonoma, 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, Lowe's, Home Depot, Sports Authority, Giant Food, Staples, and the smaller Whitehall Mall, anchored by Sears, Michael's Arts & Crafts, Gold's Gym and Kohl's.
A second Allentown mall, South Mall, anchored by Bon Ton, Staples, Petco, Gold's Gym and Stein Mart, is located on Lehigh Street, in west Allentown's border with Salisbury Township and Emmaus..
For a more quaint, outdoor walking experience, the former hotspot of Downtown (Hamilton Street from 6th to 10th streets) is in the midst of a revitalization project, to once again create a family friendly shopping area. Currently free from major construction, this area is home to a number of interesting local shops.
A small commercial district is also available on the eastern portion of Union Boulevard, near Plymouth Street, Club Avenue, and Pennsylvania Avenue.
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.
Merchants Square Mall features antiques and collectibles. Located at 1901 South 12th Street.
More shopping is available on the west side of Allentown, on Cedar Crest Boulevard, including Target.
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 the Lehigh Valley's largest movie theater. Anchor stores include Ann Taylor, Banana Republic, and Brooks Brothers..
Two new shopping centers are being built on the East Side of Allentown. On Airport Road, There is large shopping center currently housing Christmas Tree Shops. Future plans include Target, Sam's Club, Ross, and others. The other shopping center, Hanover Commons, is located on Hanover Avenue and recently went under renovations. The only current stores are Popeyes, Philly Pretzel Factory, and Family Dollar.
Bacio Italian Restaurant, 1259 South Cedar Crest Blvd., 610-821-1102, . Upscale Italian cuisine.
Bay Leaf, 935 W. Hamilton Street, 610-433-4211,  - New American and Asian cuisine. Highly recommended, very good, complete menu and great service.
Grille 3501, 3501 Broadway, 610-706-0100, . Fine fusion cuisine with an eclectic martini bar.
King George Inn, 3141 Hamilton Blvd. at Cedar Crest Blvd., 610-435-1723, . Friendly atmosphere.
Louie's Italian Restaurant, 12th and Chew Streets, 610-434-2340, . Family-owned traditional Italian food since 1958.
Mango's Coastal Cuisine, 3750 Hamilton Street, 610-432-4420, . Mediterranean Rim cuisine with Latin American influences. Known for their tapas menu.
Allentown Brew Works, 812-816 Hamilton Street, 610-433-7777, . Just opened in June 2007, this restaurant is a take-off of the Bethlehem Brew Works also owned by the Fegley Family. A micro brewery, the four-level restaurant serves upscale bar fare.
Foo Joy Chinese Restaurant. A family owned Chinese food restaurant near Dorney Park (Hamilton Blvd. & Cedar Crest) Free delivery 610-432-1800 
Gregory's. A local restaurant just north of the airport, at the junction of Airport Road (Old Airport Road) and Catausauqua Road.
Jack Creek Steakhouse & Cantina, 1900 Catasauqua Road, 610-264-888, . Family-owned casual Southwest steakhouse.
Pistachio's, In the King's shopping center on Cedar Crest Blvd., across the street from the Da Vinci center on Cedar Crest Collge Campus. Martini bar, and Italian-fusion food, modern-looking dining area, a bit loud and busy on weekends, but for a reason!
The Brass Rail, 3015 Lehigh Street, 610 797-1927. Hours: M-Th 7AM-midnight, F-Sa 7AM-1AM, Su 8AM-10PM. Email: email@example.com. Casual dining.
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 located on 17th street.
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.
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.
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 (same listing as above) 812-816 Hamilton Street, 610-433-7777. Has bars on three levels, including the Silk Lounge on the lower level. Large center city nightclub..
Bada Bing Bada Boom Goodfellas, 2327 Hanover Avenue, (610) 434-0705. Strip club named for the one featured in HBO's The Sopranos..
B&B Piano Bar, 248 N. 9th Street, (484) 221-8278. Piano bar.
BPM Club, N. Race and W. Court Street, (610) 433-0503. Nightclub.
Big Woody's Pizza & Sports Bar, 1200 W. Liberty St., (610) 820-3866. Sports bar.
Bull and Bear Restaurant, 462 Union Blvd., (610) 432-5230. Restaurant and bar. Live music.
Candida, 247 N. 12th St., (610) 434-3071. Tavern.
Chess N' Checkers Pub, 1801 Airport Rd., (610) 264-4131. Restaurant and pub bar.
Chicken Lounge, 3245 Hamilton Blvd. Bar., (610) 439-1707. Lounge and bar.
Club Horizon, 1221 Airport Rd., (610) 841-7000. Nightclub.
Crocodile Rock Cafe, 520 W. Hamilton St., ☎ +1 610 434-4600, . A popular night spot on Hamilton St. in Center City. Nationally known rock, metal, and hip-hop artists perform at "Croc Rock." One of the premier live music venues in eastern Pennsylvania.
Erv's Ladies' and Gentleman's Club, 1231 Airport Road, (610) 433-3311. Exotic strip club with model-like strippers. No liquor license, but BYOB. Hugely popular for bachelor and bachelorette parties. .
Greg's West End Saloon, 1839 W. Tilghman St., (610) 351-9366. Bar.
Liberty Street Tavern, 2246 W. Liberty St., (610) 221-8765. Bar..
Jack Callaghan's Ale House, 2027 Tilghman St., (610) 432-5797. Restaurant and pub..
Maingate Nightclub, 448 N. 17th Street, (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, Philadelphia and Allentown DJs. Also has periodic under 21 nights.
MIXX Nightclub and Sports, 801 N. 15th Street, (610) 437-3970. Major center city 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., (610) 435-7451. Sports bar, bowling alley, and arcade.
Pitchers Sports Bar & Grille, 570 Union Blvd., (610) 841-4001. Sports bar..
Rookie's Restaurant and Sports Bar, 1328 Tilghman St., (610) 821-8484. Sports restaurant and bar best known for its individual televisions at each table. Live music on weekends. Tends to draw some New York and Pittsburgh sports fans in a major Philadelphia sports market..
Scarlet's Grand International, 2131 Lehigh Street, (610) 798-7000. Strip club. Slightly less rowdy that Erv's.
South Side Bar & Grill, 1608 S. 4th Street, (610) 791-3241. Bar and restaurant. Live music and DJs.
Starbucks Coffee, 4025 W. Tilghman Street, (610) 530-1425. Coffeehouse.
Starbucks Coffee, 6379 Hamilton Boulevard, (610) 336-0290. Coffeehouse.
Sterling Hotel, 343 W. Hamilton St., (610) 433-3480. Historic hotel, built in late 1800s, featuring live rock and heavy metal bands. Two large nightclub rooms. Sterling also has the longest bar in the U.S. anywhere east of the Mississippi River. Sometimes has admission lines on busy nights..
Stonewall Bar, 28 N. 10th St., (610) 432-0215. Live and dance music. .
The Brass Rail, 3015 Lehigh St., ☎ +1 610 797-1927 (firstname.lastname@example.org), . Casual bar environment set aside from restaurant with televised sports. Reasonably priced drinks.
Teddy's Jetport Lounge, 3400 Airport Rd., (610) 266-1000. Large nightclub with major live rock music acts, sometimes featuring two or more bands an evening.
Volpe's Sports Bar, 1926 W. Tilghman St., (610) 435-0311. Sports bar.
Yes Nightclub, 339 Hamilton Street, (610) 433-0503. Up and coming center city nightclub. Upscale attire usually required. Major dance music DJs and periodically live bands..
Holiday Inn Allentown Center City, 904 W Hamilton St., ☎ +1 610 433-2221, .
Holiday Inn Conference Center Lehigh Valley, 7736 Adrienne Drive, ☎ 610-391-1000 (fax: +1 610 391-1664), . Holiday Inn Conference Center Lehigh Valley is a full-service PA hotel near downtown Allentown with conference rooms and vacation packages.
Quality Inn & Suites, 1715 Plaza Lane (15th St Exit Off Rt 22), ☎ +1 610 435-7880, .
Allentown is a city where you must dial an area code when you place a call. Area codes in the Lehigh Valley are 610 and 484. Another overlay, 835, is planned, but is not active yet. You may still find some payphones on the street.
The Morning Call, , Allentown's daily newspaper.
Pulse Weekly, , One of Allentown's weekly alternative newspapers.
Metromix, , One of Allentown's weekly alternative newspapers.
El Hispano, , One of the Spanish-language newspapers serving the Allentown area.
A.D. Times, , Newspaper of the Allentown diocese.
Congregation Sons of Israel. +1 610 433-6089.
Lehigh Valley Islamic Center. +1 610 799-6223.
Allentown is a generally safe city for its size. But its crime rates are slightly above the national averages in most categories. The greatest danger in the city comes from the presence of some of the nation's most violent gangs, including 18th Street, Black Dragons, Bloods, Crips, Latin Kings, Los Solidos, Mexican Mafia, and MS-13. These gangs are most prominent between 2nd and 15th Streets, north of Hamilton Street. Gang signals and graffiti are prominent in these areas. Sneakers thrown over street lighting wires usually suggest that drugs are for sale at that area. Crossed out graffiti is usually suggestive of coming retaliatory gang violence. Most gangs are involved in illegal drug trafficking, including heroin, morphine, opium, MDMA, methamphetimines, and others. Both the federal and city governments have been working to reduce the gang presence in Allentown, which increased substantially when gangs were driven out of New York City and joined existing gangs in Allentown. The safest Allentown areas are the West End and East Allentown, although problems arise at the Overlook Park housing projects in East Allentown. Avoid poorly-lit streets at night. Don't wander too far off Hamilton Street in center city, especially if you aren't sure where you are going.
Allentown is also one of several notoriously rugged U.S. cities. Street and bar fights are not uncommon. Street drag racing has grown in popularity in almost all areas of the city and its suburbs, usually late at night and especially on weekends. These street races can be highly endangering with car speeds usually exceeding 100 miles per hour on 40 and 50 mile per hour roads. Unlike some violent cities, however, visitors have not typically been targeted for crime or violence. Since drugs can be readily available off the street, remember that marijuana and other drugs are illegal.
Gun laws in Pennsylvania are fairly loose. You do not need a permit to carry firearms in the state. Out-of-state residents may buy any fireworks from an outlet, but only with a permit. Yet, Pennsylvania residents cannot shoot off fireworks that leave the ground. For this reason, you can find fireworks outlets along I-78 near the New Jersey border.
Prostitution is prevalent in certain areas of center city, especially 6th and 7th Streets, north of Hamilton Street. Prostitution is illegal.
If you are in need of medical attention, here are some hospitals in the area:
Allentown is becoming more diverse, with 25% of the city being Hispanic, and almost 10% being African-American. Discrimination is illegal.
Smoking is now banned in all enclosed workplaces, with few exceptions. The ban exempts taverns and bars where food accounts for less than 20% of sales and alcohol accounts for more than 80% of sales, established private clubs where the officers vote to allow it, and on 25% of gambling floor space at casinos.
Famous people from Allentown
Allentown is known nationally as the birthplace of several famous Americans, including:
Michaela Conlin, actress, Fox's Bones.
Lee Iacocca, former chairman, Chrysler Corporation.
Keith Jarrett, jazz musician.
Michael Johns, conservative commentator and writer, former White House speechwriter.
Andre Reed, former professional football player, Buffalo Bills and Washington Redskins.
Amanda Seyfried, model and actress, The CW's Veronica Mars, HBO's Big Love and Mamma Mia!
Christine Taylor, actress, wife of actor Ben Stiller.
Lauren Weisberger, author, The Devil Wears Prada.
Devon, adult film actress
Billy Joel's "Allentown"
Allentown was the inspiration for the 1982 Billy Joel hit song "Allentown," which appeared originally on Joel's The Nylon Curtain album.
The All American Rejects' "Move Along" video
The video for the song "Move Along" by The All American Rejects was shot in Allentown and at Dorney Park in the city.
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