The Lehigh Valley is a region in eastern Pennsylvania and western New Jersey, considered part of the larger Philadelphia Region in the United States. It is 60 miles north of Philadelphia, the nation's fifth largest city, and 90 miles west of New York City, the nation's largest city. The Valley has a population of over 800,000 people.
The three largest cities of the Lehigh Valley are Allentown, Bethlehem and Easton.
A thriving industrial center in the 19th century, its struggles in the "post-industrial" 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, Minor League Baseball 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 is 730 square miles.
- It's not a major airport like in New York City or Philadelphia, but it's larger than your average small airport. Airlines include Air Canada, Air Tran, Allegiant Air, Continental Express, Direct Air, Delta, Northwest, United Express and US Airways. When I called they said they don't get direct flights from any other countries besides the United States and Canada, but travellers can get to LVIA after switching flights at another airport.
- Greyhound  buses do arrive into Allentown daily. Trans Bridge also has buses running daily in between NYC and other larger cities.
There are a few different ways to travel throughout the valley. LANTA provides bus service to major areas. You can call for a taxi, but you are unlikely to find them just cruising the streets. Other ways are renting a car or walking.
- Burnside Plantation.  This historic farm-in-the-city opens doors to early American agricultural life. The property includes a restored 1748/1818 farmhouse, two 1840s bank barns, a high horse-power wheel, large kitchen garden and orchard, a corn crib and wagon shed.
- Christmas City.  Discover the city’s rich history on an “Old Bethlehem Walking Tour;” experience the annual Christmas concert of the Bach Choir of Bethlehem, the oldest Bach Choir in America; or see the city’s sights and lights on the popular “Bethlehem by Night Bus Tour.”
- George Taylor House.  George Taylor, signer of the Declaration Of Independence built this Georgian Style House in 1768. It is one of the last remaining homes of the original signers. The Taylor House was restored under the direction of John K. Heyl in 1966-1968 and is now open to visitors as an historic house exhibit.
- Covered Bridge Tour. Of the slightly more than 200 covered bridges still standing in Pennsylvania, 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. The Lehigh Valley Covered Bridge Tour will offer you an opportunity to journey back in time to a quieter, more idyllic way of life. The Lehigh Valley Covered Bridge Tour is approximately 50 miles long.
- Allentown Art Museum.  Today the Allentown Art Museum embraces the broadest possible audience in the Lehigh Valley, offering tremendous variety and quality in its collection and exhibitions, educational and popular programs, and its busy calendar of public events. We serve over 100,000 participants annually, of whom more than 14,000 are children in school programs. The museum's collection of about 14,000 works of art offers our community the opportunity to experience nearly 2,000 years of cultural heritage, in an accessible and visitor-friendly environment.
- America On Wheels. American On Wheels (AOW) celebrates our nation’s love affair with motorized and non-motorized over-the-road transportation and its permanent exhibits range from one of America’s first automobiles, produced in Allentown, to the massive Mack Trucks that helped America become the most powerful nation in the world. Ticket prices are $7 for adults, $5 for senior citizens; $3.50 for children ages 6 to 16. Children 5 and under are free.
- Mack Trucks Historical Museum.  The Mack Trucks Historical Museum, in Lehigh Valley, Pa, is the repository of historical documents and artifacts from Mack’s long and storied history as the leading American truck manufacturer and world-renowned brand name. There are more than 80,000 photos in the collection, many dating back to 1905. Mack has records for nearly every chassis it manufactured since 1905, all of which are filed here.
- The Crayola Factory , where crayons are manufactured, in Easton.
- Outdoor activities at the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area.
- Dorney Park & Wildwater Kingdom  in South Whitehall Township in Allentown is one of the premiere amusement and water parks in the nation, known especially for its elaborate rollercoasters and large waterpark.
- Lehigh Valley IronPigs.  The AAA-level minor league team of the 2008 World Series champion Philadelphia Phillies plays their home games at Coca-Cola Park in Allentown from early April through early October.. Tickets: (610) 841-PIGS.
- Philadelphia Eagles.  The Philadelphia Eagles hold their twice-a-day summer training camp practices each August at Lehigh University in Bethlehem. Admission is free.
- Sands Casino Resort Bethlehem , Pennsylvania's largest casino built on the old site of Bethlehem Steel, in Bethlehem opened in 2009.
- Lehigh Valley Zoo.  Small, yet affordable attraction. This zoo is very welcoming with many creatures.
- Civic Theater of Allentown.  It is the stage where professionally-produced theatre with a community feel is born. Civic Theatre is also the Valley’s only year-round home for foreign, independent and arthouse cinema.
- Pines Dinner Theater.  Enjoy dinner and entertainment at the Valley's new theater.
- State Theater.  A non-profit, member supported center for the arts, complete with an historic 1500 seat performance hall. This theater is the host to musical performers that range from rock to country, along with many shows and musicals.
- Zoellner Arts Center.  Zoellner Arts Center at Lehigh University provides an environment where artists and students of the arts develop and learn; to educate, captivate and inspire performers and audiences by presenting a variety of high-quality performing arts events.
- Christkindlmarkt,  A favorite local holiday tradition, recognized in 2007 as one of the top holiday markets in the world by Travel and Leisure Magazine, Christkindlmarkt Bethlehem showcases aisles of exquisite handmade works by the nation’s finest artisans, the heart-warming sounds of live Christmas music, delicious food and more. Christkindlmarkt’s outdoor courtyard is a festive area showcasing entertaining ice carving demonstrations and the beautiful, 26-foot-tall Christkindlmarkt tree.
- The Great Allentown Fair, The Great Allentown Fair offers a fun and educational experience starting on the Tuesday before Labor Day weekend and ending on the Monday holiday. The fair is known for its food, shopping, animal expos, and concerts.
- Mayfair Festival of the Arts,  With six performance stages, over a hundred artists and crafts people, entertainers and more than two dozen vendors offering regional foods, Mayfair in Allentown, Lehigh Valley, Pa. is truly a feast of sights, sounds and smells. The festival is held in early May.
- Musikfest,  Held in August, Musikfest 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. Forty-five different vendors serve up a wealth of mouthwatering foods and decadent desserts, while 50 of the nation’s finest artisans are on hand showcasing gorgeous jewelry, handmade crafts and unique home décor items. The event is 10 days long and is a Valley favorite.
Clothing and shoes are tax-free in PA!
- The Lehigh Valley Mall  is located north of Allentown in Whitehall just off US-22. Anchored by JCPenney, Macy's and Boscov's and includes over 140 stores. Indoor and outdoor shopping. The mall hosts numerous events throughout the year.
- The Promenade Shoppes at Saucon Valley  is located between Allentown and Bethlehem in Center Valley just off U.S. PA-309. Open-air, outlet-style shopping with approximately 82 stores.
- The South Mall,  located between Allentown and Emmaus in Salisbury Township, is anchored by The BonTon, and includes approximately 30 other stores.
- The Crossing Premium Outlets.  Located in Tannersville, near the Poconos, this shopping center is one you do not want to miss. Featuring over 100 stores, the center is known for great discounts on designer wear.
- Allentown Brew Works  812 W. Hamilton St. Allentown. Taps include seven flagships beers, which are offered year round with an additional 5-7 seasonal taps that have beers ranging from pale ales and wheats to Belgian lambics and bocks. Free brewery tours and sampling sessions are offered every Saturday at noon.
- Brass Rail.  3015 Lehigh Street Allentown. Good food and fast, courteous service have been provided at a reasonable price for over 75 years, popular for cheesesteaks.
- Emeril's Chop House.  77 Sands Blvd. Bethlehem. Located at Sands Casino Resort Bethlehem, this is Emeril Lagasse’s first restaurant in the Northeast.Enjoy Emeril’s distinctive culinary creations in our sophisticated dining room. Savor wines from our extensive wine list. Emeril’s Chop House is an unmatched fine dining experience.
- Pig Pen Sports Bar and Grill.  702 Union Blvd. Allentown. The Pig Pen Sports Bar and Grill is a family fun center that is also the leading provider of extraordinary entertainment in the Lehigh Valley.
- Starter's Riverport.  17 W. 2nd Street Bethlehem. STARTERS Riverport is Lehigh Valley’s premier sports, entertainment, and dining destination featuring a game room, lounge, coffee shop and 60+ televisions in the restaurant.
- Volpe's Sports Bar, 501 Broad St., Emmaus, (610) 965-0311. Recently renovated sports bar with over 10 large screen plasma televisions, including all out of town games. Broad food and beer selections. Several large rooms, including the bar area. Formerly known as the Broad Street Saloon, the upper floors are apartments. Under new management, and still among the top places to go in the Valley for affordable drinks and televised sports.
- Sam Adams Brew Pub, 7736 Adreinne Drive, Breinigsville, Pa 18031 (Off Rt. 100 S in Fogelsville), ☎ 610-391-1000, . Open 4pm Daily. Daily Specials. DJ Every Saturday Night. Pub Menu Available edit
- Cedar Crest College
- Desales University
- Lafayette College
- Lehigh Carbon Community College
- Lehigh University
- Moravian College
- Muhlenberg College
- Northampton Community College
- Penn State: Lehigh Valley Campus
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, GGU, and MS-13 in the area. They are the most violent gangs in the country.
Graffiti is also common, especially in Allentown and also on Bethlehem's South Side. 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.
In 2006, Allentown had 16 murders, 42 rapes, and 6059 property crimes. The crime index was 6667.5 per 100,000 in 2006, while the national average was only 4479.3. Allentown and Easton have crime rates almost twice the national average in every category, including rape, robbery, theft, auto theft, murder, assault, and burglary. Allentown is definitely the most crime-ridden city in Lehigh Valley.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.
- Bear Creek Mountain Resort.  101 Doe Mountain Ln. Macungie. Guests can plan an event in the spacious banquet and meeting facilities, dine at The Grille at Bear Creek or the Trail’s End Cafe, relax at The Spa at Bear Creek or vacation at our on site hotel, with indoor and outdoor pools and hot tubs.
- Courtyard by Marriott Allentown Bethlehem.  2160 Motel Dr. Bethlehem. When your travels needs require an Allentown, Bethlehem, or Lehigh Valley hotel, our friendly Courtyard hotel staff is here to take care of you.
- Hampton Inn Easton.  3723 Easton Nazareth Hwy. Easton. Whether you’re planning a corporate meeting or need accommodations for a family reunion or your child’s sporting group, we’re delighted to offer you easy planning and booking tools to make the process quick and organized.
- Historic Hotel Bethlehem.  437 Main St. Bethlehem. We offer state-of-the art hotel meeting facilities, elegant well-appointed accommodations, award winning dining and a convenient location. At every turn, you’ll find uniformly friendly and professional service from staff at every level.
- Super 8 Allentown West/Kutztown.  2160 Golden Key Rd. Kutztown. Super 8 is brand new hotel located easy on/off on I-78 exit 45. Amenities include an in-room micro-fridge, hi-speed internet, hair dryer, free breakfast. It is a short drive from New York City, Philadelphia, Harrisburg, Reading and Trexlertown.
The Lehigh Valley is known nationally as the birthplace of several famous Americans, including:
- Michael Andretti, professional racing team owner, former professional race car driver.
- Chuck Bednarik, former professional football player, Philadelphia Eagles, Pro Football Hall of Fame member.
- Stephen Vincent Benet, author.
- Michaela Conlin, actress, Fox's Bones.
- Jonathan Frakes, actor, Star Trek: The Next Generation.
- Lee Iacocca, former chairman, Chrysler Corporation.
- Keith Jarrett, jazz musician.
- Michael Johns, conservative author and writer, former White House speechwriter.
- Dwayne Johnson ("The Rock"), actor, former professional wrestler.
- Daniel Dae Kim, actor, ABC's Lost.
- Steve Kimock, rock musician.
- Carson Kressley, actor, Queer Eye for the Straight Guy.
- Matt Miller, professional football player, Denver Broncos, San Francisco 49ers and Washington Redskins.
- Marty Nothstein, professional cyclist, Olympic medalist and World champion.
- Andre Reed, former professional football player, Buffalo Bills and Washington Redskins.
- Daniel Roebuck, actor, ABC's Lost.
- Brian Schneider, professional baseball player, New York Mets.
- Christine Taylor, actress, wife of actor Ben Stiller.
- Amanda Seyfried, model and actress, The CW's Veronica Mars and HBO's Big Love.
- Jonathan Taylor Thomas, actor, ABC's Home Improvement.
- Lauren Weisberger, author, The Devil Wears Prada.
|This 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 plunge forward and help it grow!