Top-Rated Things to Do in Bethlehem, PA

Bethlehem, Pennsylvania is a charming city with a rich history and a vibrant cultural scene. Located in the Lehigh Valley, Bethlehem offers a variety of top-rated activities for visitors to enjoy. Whether you’re interested in exploring the city’s historical sites, indulging in delicious cuisine, or immersing yourself in the arts, Bethlehem has something for everyone.

One of the must-visit attractions in Bethlehem is the historic district of Downtown. Here, you’ll find beautifully preserved buildings dating back to the 18th century, as well as quaint shops, art galleries, and restaurants. Take a leisurely stroll down Main Street and soak in the city’s unique atmosphere, or explore the Moravian Book Shop, the oldest continuously operating bookstore in the United States.

If you’re a history enthusiast, be sure to visit the Bethlehem SteelStacks, a former steel mill turned cultural center. This iconic landmark is home to music festivals, art exhibitions, and a variety of performances throughout the year. Explore the SteelStacks campus and enjoy breathtaking views of the city skyline as you learn about Bethlehem’s industrial past.

Bethlehem is also known for its vibrant food scene, offering a wide range of culinary delights. From farm-to-table eateries to international cuisine, there’s something to satisfy every palate. Indulge in delicious pastries at an authentic German bakery, or savor mouthwatering dishes at one of the city’s acclaimed restaurants. Don’t forget to try the local specialty, “pepper pot,” a hearty soup made with a variety of meats and spices.

No visit to Bethlehem is complete without immersing yourself in its thriving arts scene. The city is home to numerous art galleries, theaters, and museums. Discover works by local and international artists at the Banana Factory Arts Center, or catch a live performance at the historic Musikfest Café. The Allentown Art Museum, located just a short drive away, is also worth a visit for art enthusiasts.

Whether you’re a history buff, a foodie, or an art lover, Bethlehem, PA has something to offer you. From its rich history to its vibrant cultural scene, this charming city is sure to leave a lasting impression on all who visit.

Explore the Historic District

Discover the rich history and beautiful architecture of Bethlehem by exploring its historic district. This area is filled with charming, well-preserved buildings that date back to the 18th and 19th centuries.

Start your journey in Historic Moravian Bethlehem, a National Historic Landmark District. Take a walk along Main Street and admire the picturesque colonial-era structures that line the street. Don’t miss the iconic Hotel Bethlehem, a grand hotel that was established in 1922 and has hosted many notable guests throughout the years.

While walking through the district, make sure to visit the Moravian Museum of Bethlehem. Housed in the Gemeinhaus, the oldest building in the city, this museum offers a fascinating glimpse into the daily life of the Moravian settlers who founded Bethlehem in 1741.

Another must-visit attraction in the historic district is the Kemerer Museum of Decorative Arts. This museum showcases a diverse collection of decorative arts, including furniture, ceramics, glassware, textiles, and more. It’s housed in a beautiful Victorian-era mansion that adds to the charm of the district.

If you’re interested in history, be sure to stop by the 1752 Apothecary, located in the Moravian Book Shop. This apothecary is a faithful reproduction of an 18th-century pharmacy and offers a unique look at the medical practices of the time.

After exploring the museums and historic sites, take some time to wander the charming streets of Bethlehem’s historic district. Admire the elegant, tree-lined neighborhoods and take in the quaint shops and restaurants.

A visit to Bethlehem’s historic district is like stepping back in time. Immerse yourself in the rich history and architectural beauty of this charming area and create unforgettable memories.

Visit the Sands Resort

The Sands Resort is one of the top attractions in Bethlehem, PA. This premier gaming destination offers a wide range of entertainment options for visitors of all ages.

Step inside the luxurious and feel the excitement in the air. The Sands Resort boasts over 3,000 gaming machines, including a variety of classic and modern games. Try your luck at , , or at one of the many gaming tables. Whether you’re a seasoned player or a beginner, there’s something for everyone at the Sands Resort.

But the Sands Resort is more than just a place to play games. It also offers a host of other amenities and attractions. Enjoy a delicious meal at one of the many on-site restaurants, ranging from casual eateries to fine dining experiences. Catch a live concert or show at the Sands Bethlehem Event Center, which hosts a variety of performances throughout the year.

If you prefer relaxation over gaming, the Sands Resort has you covered. Unwind at the luxurious spa and wellness center, where you can indulge in a variety of treatments and services. Take a dip in the pool or work up a sweat at the state-of-the-art fitness center.

When visiting the Sands Resort, don’t forget to explore the surrounding area. Bethlehem, PA has a rich history and offers many other attractions, such as the historic Bethlehem Steel site and the charming downtown area. Make a day of it and discover all that this vibrant city has to offer.

So if you’re looking for an unforgettable gaming and entertainment experience, look no further than the Sands Resort in Bethlehem, PA. With its wide range of activities and amenities, it’s sure to keep you entertained and coming back for more.

Discover ArtsQuest Center at SteelStacks

If you are a fan of art and culture, a visit to the ArtsQuest Center at SteelStacks in Bethlehem, PA is a must. This unique venue is located at the site of the former Bethlehem Steel plant, which has been transformed into a vibrant arts and entertainment complex.

The ArtsQuest Center is home to a variety of cultural events and performances throughout the year. From live music concerts to art exhibits, there is always something exciting happening at this dynamic venue. The center features multiple performance spaces, including a spacious outdoor amphitheater, a state-of-the-art cinema, and intimate theaters for smaller productions.

One of the main attractions at the ArtsQuest Center is the Musikfest Cafe, a popular music venue that hosts both local and national acts. Whether you enjoy rock, jazz, folk, or classical music, you are guaranteed to find a performance that suits your taste. The cafe also offers a delicious menu of food and drinks, so you can enjoy a meal before or during the show.

In addition to live music, the ArtsQuest Center also showcases visual arts. The Banana Factory, an arts and education center housed in a former banana distribution warehouse, is located adjacent to the ArtsQuest Center. Here, you can explore art galleries, attend art classes, and even purchase unique handmade artworks.

Address: 101 Founders Way, Bethlehem, PA 18015
Phone: (610) 332-1300
Website: https://www.steelstacks.org/

Whether you are a local resident or a visitor to Bethlehem, a trip to the ArtsQuest Center at SteelStacks is a chance to immerse yourself in the vibrant arts scene of the city. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to experience live music, visual arts, and delicious food in this unique and historic setting.

Take a stroll along the Hoover-Mason Trestle

One of the top-rated things to do in Bethlehem, PA is taking a leisurely stroll along the Hoover-Mason Trestle. This elevated walkway provides visitors with a unique perspective of the historic Bethlehem Steel site, once the largest steel producer in the United States.

The Hoover-Mason Trestle is a reclaimed industrial structure that has been transformed into a one-of-a-kind linear park. As you walk along the trestle, you’ll be able to admire stunning views of the Bethlehem Steel blast furnaces, which are a symbol of the city’s rich industrial heritage.

Along the way, you’ll also find informational signs and exhibits that provide insights into the history of the site and the steel industry. Learn about the process of steel production, the workers who toiled in the factories, and the impact that Bethlehem Steel had on the local community.

The trestle itself is a marvel of engineering, with its steel beams and riveted construction. It’s also wheelchair accessible, making it a great activity for visitors of all abilities.

During your stroll, be sure to take in the beautiful views of the surrounding landscape. The trestle offers panoramic views of the South Bethlehem neighborhood, the Lehigh River, and the nearby mountains.

Whether you’re a history buff, a nature lover, or simply looking for a peaceful place to relax, taking a stroll along the Hoover-Mason Trestle is a must-do activity in Bethlehem, PA. It’s a unique experience that combines history, culture, and natural beauty, all in one remarkable location.

Enjoy a performance at Musikfest Café

One of the top-rated things to do in Bethlehem, PA is to enjoy a performance at the Musikfest Café. This iconic music venue offers a unique and intimate setting for live performances by both local and nationally recognized artists.

The café is part of the larger Musikfest complex, which hosts one of the largest music festivals in the country every August. The café itself is located inside the ArtsQuest Center at SteelStacks, a revitalized former steel plant that now serves as a cultural hub for the community.

With its state-of-the-art sound and lighting equipment, the Musikfest Café provides an incredible concert experience. The venue features both general admission standing room and reserved seating options, ensuring that there is a comfortable spot for everyone to enjoy the show.

Whether you’re a fan of rock, jazz, folk, or any other genre, the Musikfest Café offers a diverse lineup of performances throughout the year. From local up-and-coming artists to national acts, there is always something exciting happening at this popular music venue.

In addition to concerts, the Musikfest Café also hosts other events, such as comedy shows and dance performances. There is truly something for everyone at this vibrant and lively venue.

Before or after the show, be sure to grab a bite to eat at the café’s restaurant and bar. They offer a delicious menu of food and drinks, perfect for a pre-show dinner or a post-show celebration.

If you’re looking for a memorable evening of live music and entertainment, don’t miss the opportunity to enjoy a performance at the Musikfest Café in Bethlehem, PA. Check their website for upcoming shows and ticket information, and get ready for a night of unforgettable entertainment.

Learn about history at the National Museum of Industrial History

If you’re interested in learning about the rich industrial history of the United States, a visit to the National Museum of Industrial History in Bethlehem, PA is a must. This museum offers an in-depth exploration of the innovations, technologies, and struggles of the industrial age.

The museum is housed in a historic, restored 19th-century steel mill, providing visitors with a unique and immersive experience. As you wander through the exhibits, you’ll discover the impact of industry on society and how it shaped the world we live in today.

With interactive displays, hands-on activities, and a vast collection of artifacts, the National Museum of Industrial History offers a comprehensive and engaging way to learn about the evolution of industrial manufacturing. From the early days of the Industrial Revolution to the present day, you’ll gain a deeper understanding of the challenges and triumphs of industrial progress.

Whether you’re a history buff, a science enthusiast, or simply curious about the world around you, the National Museum of Industrial History is sure to leave you with a newfound appreciation for the innovations that have shaped our modern lives.

Experience the thrill of indoor skydiving at the Wind Creek Bethlehem Sportsbook

If you’ve ever wanted to feel the exhilaration of skydiving without jumping out of a plane, then the Wind Creek Bethlehem Sportsbook has the perfect experience for you. Located in Bethlehem, PA, this indoor skydiving facility offers a unique and thrilling adventure for visitors of all ages.

Indoor skydiving allows you to experience the sensation of freefalling in a controlled and safe environment. As you step into the Wind Creek Bethlehem Sportsbook’s vertical wind tunnel, you’ll feel the rush of air propelling you upwards, giving you the sensation of flying. With trained instructors by your side, you’ll be able to learn the basics of body flight and feel the adrenaline pumping through your veins.

Whether you’re an experienced skydiver looking for a new challenge or a first-timer seeking an unforgettable experience, the Wind Creek Bethlehem Sportsbook’s indoor skydiving is an activity that will leave you breathless. This thrilling adventure is suitable for people of all skill levels, from beginners to experienced thrill-seekers.

When you visit the Wind Creek Bethlehem Sportsbook, be prepared to have your senses heightened. The wind tunnel’s powerful airflow and the excitement of defying gravity will leave you with an unforgettable memory. This unique experience is a great way to challenge yourself, conquer your fears, and create lasting memories with friends and family.

So, if you’re ready to test your limits and experience the thrill of indoor skydiving, make sure to visit the Wind Creek Bethlehem Sportsbook during your trip to Bethlehem, PA. You’ll be immersed in an exhilarating adventure that will leave you wanting to come back for more.

Key highlights:

  • Indoor skydiving facility located in Bethlehem, PA
  • Experience the sensation of freefalling in a controlled and safe environment
  • Trained instructors guide you through the basics of body flight
  • Suitable for people of all skill levels
  • Create lasting memories and overcome your fears

Note: Participants must meet the height and weight requirements specified by the Wind Creek Bethlehem Sportsbook for safety reasons.

Go hiking at South Mountain Park

If you are a nature lover and enjoy outdoor activities, then a visit to South Mountain Park is a must during your time in Bethlehem, PA. This beautiful park offers a variety of hiking trails that cater to all levels of experience and fitness levels.

Whether you are a beginner looking for a leisurely walk or an experienced hiker seeking a challenging trek, South Mountain Park has something for everyone. The trails wind through lush forests, offering stunning views of the surrounding scenery.

One of the most popular hikes in South Mountain Park is the “Valley View Loop,” which is approximately 4 miles long. This trail takes you through diverse landscapes, including open meadows, rocky cliffs, and serene streams. The highlight of this hike is the breathtaking view of Bethlehem from the top of the mountain.

If you prefer a shorter hike, the “Creek Trail” is perfect for you. This 1-mile long trail follows the creek, providing a peaceful and tranquil experience. You can spot wildlife, such as birds and deer, along the way.

Before embarking on your hiking adventure, be sure to wear appropriate footwear and bring plenty of water and snacks. It is also a good idea to check the weather forecast and trail conditions beforehand.

So lace up your hiking boots, pack your backpack, and head to South Mountain Park for an unforgettable outdoor experience in Bethlehem, PA.

Attend a concert at the Zoellner Arts Center

One of the top-rated things to do in Bethlehem, PA is attending a concert at the Zoellner Arts Center. This state-of-the-art venue offers a wide range of performances, including music, theater, and dance.

The Zoellner Arts Center is located on the campus of Lehigh University and features three performance spaces: the Baker Hall, which can accommodate up to 950 guests, the Diamond Theater, which has a capacity of 350 seats, and the Black Box Theater, which provides an intimate setting for smaller performances.

Throughout the year, the Zoellner Arts Center hosts concerts by renowned artists and ensembles from various genres, including classical, jazz, rock, and pop. The center also presents theatrical productions, dance performances, and lectures by prominent speakers.

Attending a concert at the Zoellner Arts Center is not only a great way to enjoy live music but also an opportunity to experience the vibrant cultural scene of Bethlehem. The center’s elegant and modern facilities create an immersive atmosphere that enhances the overall concert experience.

Location:

420 East Packer Avenue, Bethlehem, PA 18015

Contact:

610-758-2787

Website:

https://zoellner.cas2.lehigh.edu/

Whether you’re a music lover, a theater enthusiast, or simply looking for a memorable experience in Bethlehem, attending a concert at the Zoellner Arts Center is a must-do activity. Check their schedule and book your tickets in advance to secure your spot at one of their fantastic performances.

Take a scenic drive along the Lehigh River Gorge

One of the best ways to experience the natural beauty of Bethlehem is to take a scenic drive along the Lehigh River Gorge. This picturesque stretch of road offers breathtaking views of the surrounding countryside and allows visitors to immerse themselves in the stunning scenery.

As you drive along the gorge, you’ll be able to marvel at the towering cliffs and rocky outcrops that line the river’s edge. The lush greenery and colorful foliage provide a stunning backdrop, especially during the fall season when the leaves change colors.

Throughout your drive, keep an eye out for various wildlife that call the gorge home. You may spot deer, squirrels, and even the occasional bald eagle soaring overhead. The peacefulness and tranquility of this area make it the perfect escape from the hustle and bustle of city life.

For an even more immersive experience, consider stopping at one of the scenic overlooks along the way. These vantage points offer panoramic views of the river and valley below, allowing you to truly appreciate the natural beauty of the area.

Whether you’re a nature enthusiast or simply looking for a relaxing drive, exploring the Lehigh River Gorge is a must-do activity in Bethlehem. Don’t forget to bring your camera to capture the stunning scenery!

Visit the Burnside Plantation

One of the top-rated things to do in Bethlehem, PA is to visit the Burnside Plantation. This historic site offers a fascinating glimpse into the region’s agricultural past.

Originally owned by James Burnside, the plantation was established in the 18th century and was primarily used for farming and iron production. Today, visitors can explore the beautifully preserved buildings and learn about the daily life of the people who lived and worked here.

During your visit, be sure to check out the farmhouse, which has been restored to its original 18th-century appearance. You can see the kitchen, bedrooms, and other living spaces, giving you a sense of what life was like during this time period.

As you stroll through the plantation, you’ll also come across a variety of outbuildings, including a smokehouse, a summer kitchen, and a barn. These structures provide further insight into the different aspects of daily life on the plantation.

Guided tours are available, led by knowledgeable staff who can share stories and answer any questions you may have. You can also participate in hands-on activities, such as gardening or hearth cooking, to get a taste of what life was like for the settlers of Bethlehem.

Whether you’re a history buff or simply looking for a unique and educational experience, a visit to the Burnside Plantation is a must during your time in Bethlehem, PA.

Explore the Lehigh Valley Heritage Museum

One of the top-rated things to do in Bethlehem, PA is to explore the Lehigh Valley Heritage Museum. This museum is a great way to learn about the history and culture of the Lehigh Valley region.

The museum features exhibits that showcase the diverse history of the area, including exhibits on Native American culture, colonial times, industrialization, and more. You can explore artifacts, photographs, and documents that tell the stories of the people who have shaped the Lehigh Valley.

Be sure to check out the museum’s special exhibits, which change throughout the year. These exhibits often highlight specific aspects of the region’s history or feature traveling exhibits from other museums.

While exploring the museum, you can also take advantage of their educational programs and events. The museum offers lectures, workshops, and demonstrations that delve deeper into various historical topics.

Whether you’re a history buff or just curious about the Lehigh Valley’s past, a visit to the Lehigh Valley Heritage Museum is a must-do when in Bethlehem, PA.

Highlights:

  • Exhibits on Native American culture, colonial times, and industrialization
  • Special exhibits that change throughout the year
  • Educational programs and events

Make sure to plan your visit to explore the rich history of the Lehigh Valley at the Lehigh Valley Heritage Museum.

Take a guided tour of the Moravian Museum of Bethlehem

If you’re interested in the rich history of Bethlehem, don’t miss the opportunity to take a guided tour of the Moravian Museum of Bethlehem. This fascinating museum showcases the history and culture of the Moravian settlement in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.

The Moravian Museum of Bethlehem is housed in the 1741 Gemeinhaus, which is the oldest building in Bethlehem. The museum offers a unique glimpse into the daily lives of the Moravians, a Protestant denomination that played a significant role in the development of Bethlehem.

During the guided tour, you’ll have the opportunity to explore the various exhibits and learn about the Moravians’ religious beliefs, craftsmanship, and community life. Discover the stories of the early settlers and their contributions to education, music, and missionary work.

Location: 66 W Church St, Bethlehem, PA 18018
Hours of Operation: Wednesday – Saturday: 11am – 4pm
Admission: Adults: $12, Seniors: $10, Students: $6
Contact: (610) 867-0173

After your tour, take some time to explore the surrounding historic district of Bethlehem. Admire the beautifully preserved colonial buildings and the Bethlehem Steel Stacks, a former steel mill turned arts and culture center. Grab a bite to eat at one of the many charming restaurants in the area.

Whether you’re a history buff or simply curious about the Moravian heritage, a visit to the Moravian Museum of Bethlehem is sure to be a memorable experience. Book your guided tour and step back in time to learn about the fascinating history of this historic settlement.

Go shopping at the Promenade Shops at Saucon Valley

Located just a short drive from Bethlehem, the Promenade Shops at Saucon Valley offer a premier shopping experience for locals and visitors alike. This upscale outdoor shopping complex features a variety of high-end retailers, boutiques, and restaurants, making it the perfect destination for a day of indulgence.

Shopaholics will delight in the range of stores available at the Promenade Shops. From well-known fashion brands like Anthropologie and J.Crew to specialty stores like Williams-Sonoma and Vera Bradley, there is something for everyone’s taste and style. Peruse the latest trends in fashion, accessories, home decor, and more.

In addition to the extensive selection of shops, the Promenade Shops also offer a diverse dining scene. Whether you’re in the mood for a quick bite or a leisurely meal, you’ll find a wide range of culinary options to satisfy any craving. From casual eateries like Panera Bread and Chipotle to upscale dining establishments like Melt and Torre, there is a restaurant to suit every palate.

For those looking for more than just shopping and dining, the Promenade Shops also host regular events and entertainment. From live music performances to seasonal festivals, there is always something happening to add a little extra excitement to your visit.

Address Contact Information Hours
2845 Center Valley Pkwy, Center Valley, PA 18034 (610) 791-9707 Monday-Saturday: 10am-9pm; Sunday: 11am-6pm

Make sure to plan a shopping trip to the Promenade Shops at Saucon Valley during your visit to Bethlehem. With its extensive selection of stores, diverse dining options, and regular events, this shopping complex is a must-visit destination for any shopaholic.

Indulge in delicious cuisine at the Bethlehem Farmers’ Market

If you’re a food lover, then the Bethlehem Farmers’ Market is a must-visit destination during your trip to Bethlehem. This vibrant market showcases a wide variety of local and organic produce, fresh meats, artisanal cheeses, baked goods, and more. One of the highlights of the market is the delicious cuisine that you can indulge in.

From gourmet food trucks to local restaurants and food stalls, the Bethlehem Farmers’ Market offers a wide range of culinary delights. You can taste dishes from around the world, ranging from Mexican street tacos to Italian pasta and pizza. The market also features food vendors specializing in vegan and gluten-free options, ensuring that there’s something for everyone.

If you’re in the mood for a quick bite, you can grab a freshly made sandwich or wrap from one of the market stands. Or, if you prefer a sit-down meal, there are several restaurants surrounding the market where you can enjoy a leisurely lunch or dinner. These restaurants often source their ingredients directly from the market, guaranteeing that you’ll be treated to the freshest and most flavorful dishes.

In addition to the delectable cuisine, the Bethlehem Farmers’ Market offers a lively atmosphere. Live music performances, cooking demonstrations, and tasting events are frequently held at the market, creating a vibrant and engaging experience for visitors.

Whether you’re a foodie or simply looking for a tasty meal, the Bethlehem Farmers’ Market is a must-visit destination in Bethlehem. So, make sure to come hungry and explore the diverse culinary offerings that this market has to offer.

FAQs

What are some popular attractions in Bethlehem, PA?

Some popular attractions in Bethlehem, PA include the Bethlehem SteelStacks, the National Museum of Industrial History, and the Moravian Museum of Bethlehem.

Are there any outdoor activities to do in Bethlehem, PA?

Yes, there are plenty of outdoor activities to do in Bethlehem, PA. You can go hiking or biking on the South Bethlehem Greenway, explore the Lehigh River by kayaking or canoeing, or visit one of the many parks in the area.

What is the best time to visit Bethlehem, PA?

The best time to visit Bethlehem, PA is during the fall when the weather is cool and the leaves are changing colors. The city also hosts the popular Musikfest festival in August, which is a great time to visit.

What are some family-friendly activities in Bethlehem, PA?

There are several family-friendly activities in Bethlehem, PA. You can visit the Crayola Experience, take a ride on the Lehigh Valley Railroad, or go on a guided walking tour of Historic Bethlehem.

Are there any shopping opportunities in Bethlehem, PA?

Yes, there are plenty of shopping opportunities in Bethlehem, PA. You can explore the unique boutiques and shops on Main Street in Historic Bethlehem, or visit the Outlets at Wind Creek Bethlehem for a variety of shopping options.

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10 Best Places to Visit in Pennsylvania – Travel Video

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Kristy Tolley

Kristy Tolley, an accomplished editor at TravelAsker, boasts a rich background in travel content creation. Before TravelAsker, she led editorial efforts at Red Ventures Puerto Rico, shaping content for Platea English. Kristy's extensive two-decade career spans writing and editing travel topics, from destinations to road trips. Her passion for travel and storytelling inspire readers to embark on their own journeys.

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