Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, is a city that became well known throughout the country for its industrial history. For almost 100 years, the city revolved around the Bethlehem Steel plant, which made Bethlehem an important part of American development and industry. The plant was permanently closed in 1995 and was transformed into a cultural center that celebrates a variety of different art forms.
Stay at Historic Hotel Bethlehem which has been restored to its original 1922 grandeur and has hosted many celebrity guests and heads of state.
1. Burnside Plantation
© Burnside Plantation
Burnside Plantation is an historic farm that was established in 1748 and has since been restored. It was the first privately owned home of James and Mary Burnside, who were Bethlehem Moravians. Today, the plantation has the farm’s original home, several barns, and a variety of out buildings. The property also has one of the country’s only horse-powered wheels that is still in operation. A variety of events occur at the plantation throughout the year, including workshops hosted by master gardeners from Penn State. There are also live cooking demonstrations and tours of the farm. The Open Gate Farm Tours are some of the most popular activities and include a variety of farming demonstrations, guided farm tours, and much more.
1461 Schoenersville Road, Bethlehem, PA 18018, Phone: 610-882-0450
2. Banana Factory Arts and Education Center
© Banana Factory Arts and Education Center
The Banana Factory Arts and Education Center is an art gallery, classroom, and studio space located inside a former banana distribution warehouse. A variety of arts-related organizations share space across six different buildings. It is home to the ArtsQuests visual arts programs, 30 artist studios, three different art galleries, and a number of classrooms. The Pennsylvania Youth Theatre, offering performing arts classes to students aged 6 to 18, is located here. The artists hold an annual gallery show as well as First Friday events throughout the year, where the public can come and enjoy art for free.
25 W. 3rd Street #300, Bethlehem, PA 18015, Phone: 610-332-1300
3. Kemerer Museum of Decorative Arts
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The Kemerer Museum of Decorative Arts is an art museum spread across three homes from the 19th century. The museum is the state’s only museum of decorative arts and is one of only 15 such museums in the whole country. The three interconnected homes have a variety of period rooms, rotating exhibits, and galleries that showcase furniture, china, flatware, artwork, and clothing from three centuries. The museum clearly illustrates the changing style and design trends over a period of 300 years. The property also has a Scott Rothenberger-designed garden that utilizes both contemporary and traditional elements and makes for a great space for special events.
427 N. New Street, Bethlehem, PA 18018, Phone: 610-868-6868
4. Colonial Industrial Quarter, Bethlehem, PA
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Bethlehem’s Colonial Industrial Quarter is an historical site that preserves the earliest industrial park in the country and is part of the larger Historic Moravian Bethlehem National Historic Landmark District. The Moravians built the site near a spring and along Monacacy Creek, which provided power for a variety of different industries that came to be based here. Initially, the buildings were small wooden structures, but within a couple of years they had built the area up to include saw and soap mills, wash houses, a grist mill, a blacksmith shop, a tannery, and a brass foundry. The buildings fell into disrepair over time and were revitalized and restored in the second half of the 20th century. Today, visitors can tour many of the buildings and ruins to learn about the area’s history.
459 Old York Road, Bethlehem, PA 18018, Phone: 800-360-8687
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5. Historic Bethlehem Tours, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania
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There are a number of interesting historical attractions located in Bethlehem. It’s quite possible to pick and choose what you want to see as you explore the area, but for those who prefer a simpler approach, a tour can be just what you are looking for. Historic Bethlehem Tours offers walking tours, custom tours, and special seasonal tours of historic Bethlehem. They have a number of theme-specific tour options that visit different sites around town. Some examples include the 1752 Apothecary Tour, the Christmas City Stroll, the Death and Dying Cemetery Tour, and the Colonial Industrial Quarter Walking Tour.
505 Main Street, Bethlehem, PA 18018, Phone: 800-360-8687
6. Hoover Mason Trestle, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania
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The Hoover Mason Trestle is a 1,650-foot elevated park that sits on the reclaimed site that was formerly home to Bethlehem Steel. The trestle was once used by a narrow-gauge railway to transport the raw materials needed to make iron from the ore yards to the furnaces. Today, it stands as a public walkway that is at the same time a museum and a recreation space. A visit to the site affords visitors the unique opportunity to get a close-up view of the blast furnaces and the gas blowing engine house. There is a visitors center on site that has information, souvenirs, and tours available to visitors.
SteelStacks, 711 First Street, Bethlehem, PA 18015, Phone: 610-297-7100
7. Lit Roastery and Bakeshop
© Lit Roastery and Bakeshop
Lit Roastery and Bakeshop is a coffee shop and bakery created by a collaboration between the Made By Lino bakery and the Monacacy Coffee Company. The shop specializes in fresh-roasted in-house coffees, pour-overs, French macaroons, and a variety of other fresh-baked items. Virtually everything is baked, cooked, and roasted in house, and they pride themselves in making especially high-quality coffee beans and coffee drinks. The coffee shop usually has approximately eight different varieties of coffee available, and they use a refractometer to adhere to quality standards. The space is a nice place to sit and spend a few hours while you enjoy some freshly made items.
8. Moravian Museum of Bethlehem
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The Moravian Museum of Bethlehem is a historical landmark that features several buildings from the 1700s. Tours of the buildings are available, and tour-goers will learn a great deal of information about the town’s early settlers and its history. The Gemienhaus is one of the highlights of a visit here. It was built in 1741, making it the oldest building in Bethlehem. Today the five-story log home contains a museum that tells the stories of the Moravians who founded the town. The large, multi-purpose building also has the distinction of being the largest log building from the 1800s in the entire country. The site also has a drug store from 1752 as well as other interesting 18th century buildings.
66 W. Church Street, Bethlehem, PA 18018, Phone: 610-867-0173
9. National Museum of Industrial History
© National Museum of Industrial History
The National Museum of Industrial History is located in the former location of Bethlehem Steel, which was historically an industrial powerhouse. The museum is an Smithsonian-affiliated institution that is dedicated to preserving and displaying industrial artifacts as well as educating the public about the nation’s industrial history. The museum has a number of different exhibits that represent the propane gas, textile, and steel industries as well as a nice collection of industrial machinery that was loaned to the museum by the National Museum of American History. There are four main exhibits, each of which showcase a different part of the nation’s industrial past and the way that these industries have impacted the state and the nation as a whole.
602 East 2nd Street, Bethlehem, PA 18015, Phone: 610-694-6644
10. Fegley's Brew Works
© Fegley's Brew Works
Fegley’s Brew Works is a brewery and pub that provides a warm brick-walled environment to enjoy microbrews, burgers, and happy hour. Since it opened in 1998, the Brew Works has quickly become a popular bar and restaurant among locals and visitors alike. The restaurant is family friendly and offers services for special events and catering. The restaurant is quite popular and often has a long wait. Favorite menu items include the Fegley’s beer battered fish and chips, the Brewers’ grain-fed burger, and their loaded nachos. For drinks they offer a variety of their own brews as well as local mead, local spirits, and other cocktails and wine.
559 Main Street #101, Bethlehem, PA 18018, Phone: 610-882-1300
11. Things to Do in Bethlehem: SteelStacks
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SteelStacks is a cultural center that contains both indoor and outdoor venues spread across a 10-acre campus. The center occupies the site of the former Bethlehem Steel plant, which has been renovated as a space for the community to celebrate arts, culture, education, and fun. More than 1,000 concerts are held here each year, in addition to several different annual festivals and a large number of private and public events. The space is named after the tall “stacks,” which are the five blast furnaces that were used by Bethlehem Steel for several decades. A visit to SteelStacks is encouraging because it is an example of disused industrial space being transformed a vibrant and beautiful part of the community.
101 Founders Way, Bethlehem, PA 18015, Phone: 610-297-7100
12. Billy's Downtown Diner
© Billy’s Downtown Diner
Billy’s Downtown Diner is a small, local diner with locations in Bethlehem, Allentown, and Easton. The diner serves basic diner meals with a bit of flair. You’ll find all of your classic favorites on the menu alongside quirky dishes like pink-lemonade pancakes and omelets with mango. It is a favorite among locals and visitors alike for its unfussy atmosphere and reliably delicious food. The menu includes breakfast, lunch, dinner, dessert, and a variety of beverages including coffee drinks, tea, lemonades, and hand-spun milkshakes. There are vegetarian and healthier options available for those who are careful about what they eat.
10 E. Broad Street, Bethlehem, PA 18018, Phone: 610-867-0105
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13. Wind Creek Bethlehem
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The Wind Creek Bethlehem casino is located within the Wind Creek Bethlehem, which is a four-star casino hotel. The casino is quite large, covering 150,000 square feet, which is approximately the size of three football fields, and you’ll find quite a lot under one roof here. Gaming options include more than 3,000 slot machines in the casino as well as nearly 40 live poker tables in their popular Sands Poker Room. The 180 live table games will give you plenty of blackjack, craps, and roulette action. Hotel rooms here will cost you a pretty penny, but the proximity to the games and entertainment makes it worth it.
77 Sands Blvd, Bethlehem, PA 18015, Phone: 484-777-7777
14. Lehigh & Keystone Valley Model Railroad Museum, Inc.
© Lehigh & Keystone Valley Model Railroad Museum
The Lehigh & Keystone Valley Model Railroad Museum in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania is approximately 5,000 square feet in size and operates a model railroad that features scenes representative of the routes by the Reading, CJ, and Lehigh Valley railroads that once ran through the Lehigh Valley area. Scenes of the model railroad spotlight the Allentown Freight Yard, Phillipsburg, Easton, and Bethlehem Steel areas, as well as the Huber Coal Breaker. A number of the structures at the Lehigh & Keystone Valley Model Railroad Museum are created from pictures that have been acquired and modeled from the 60's and 70's.
705 Linden St, Bethlehem, PA 18018, 610-868-7101
15. Things to Do in Bethlehem, PA: Black River Farms
© Black River Farms
A family owned and operated urban winery and vineyard just outside of downtown Historic Bethlehem, Black River Farms is owned by Kris and Andy Warner and grows more than a dozen grape varieties. White wines produced here include Vidal Blanc, Traminette, Seyval, La Crosse, Kerner, Chardonnay, and Cayuga. As for red wines at Black River Farms, there is Sangiovese, Lemberger, Cabernet Franc, and Chambourcin. An array of blends, both red and white, are available as well. Visitors can make a reservation for a wine tasting in the tasting room and the staff are known for being friendly, knowledgeable, and helpful.
2472 Black River Rd, Bethlehem, PA 18015, 484-935-1011
16. Lehigh Millennium Folk Arch and Art Enclave
© Lehigh Millennium Folk Arch and Art Enclave
The Lehigh Millennium Folk Arch and Art Enclave of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania could be described as a “concrete playground” made out of recycled materials. Located on the upper campus of Lehigh University, the Millennium Folk Arch was the first piece of the Enclave. This concrete arch serves as a walkway to a rather obscure collection of unconventional works of art. Built in 1999 for a university art course, the Millennium Folk Arch features various items embedded into the piece, including protruding sculpted faces, computer hardware, and vintage toys. In the Lehigh Art Enclave, every art piece has its own story.
Upper Sayre Park Rd, Bethlehem, PA 18015
17. Captured LV Escape Room
© Captured LV Escape Room
Established by Lori Warsing in 2016, Captured LV Escape Room was opened to offer the local community a place where friends and families can enjoy an engaging and fun activity in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. Captured LV Escape Room consists of a variety of escape rooms, each with its own theme, such as fantasy, horror, pirates, action, adventure, and mystery. The puzzles featured in the escape rooms are designed to encourage participants to think more “out-of-the-box” and games are designed around elements of soft-skill development to push players to use their own critical thinking, communication, and decision making skills.
559 Main St, Bethlehem, PA 18018, 610-419-0449
18. Freefall Trampoline Park
© Freefall Trampoline Park
An indoor entertainment center for both local residents and visitors alike, Freefall Trampoline Park offers plenty of adrenaline-pumping activities and fun for all ages. The facility boasts approximately 33,000 square feet of wall-to-wall trampolines. These include Extreme Air, dodgeball courts, an air bag, three dunk hoops, and performance trampolines. In addition to these activities, Freefall Trampoline Park also offers a Ropes Course and its eight-person “battle game” called Meltdown that tests the reactions, agility, and stamina of participants. There are also massage chairs, vending machines, free Wi-Fi, and comfortable seating for anyone visiting as a spectator.
2800 Baglyos Cir, Bethlehem, PA 18020, 610-849-0373
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