Allentown is a city located in Eastern Pennsylvania with a population of just over 120,000. Allentown is actually located 50 miles from Philadelphia and 90 miles from New York City. It is the third-largest city in Pennsylvania. Allentown is part of Lehigh Valley and is only 3 miles away from the Lehigh Valley International Airport, which accepts all major flights in and out. The Lehigh Valley consists of Allentown, Bethlehem, and Easton. You also have the beautiful Lehigh River that runs through the area.
Allentown, Pennsylvania, is a trendy destination for business and leisure travelers and a great place to book a vacation. The city was founded in 1762 and is a vibrant, busy, and enjoyable place to visit. Allentown has a diverse night-life, golf, fine dining, and many fascinating attractions to see. Today, I will give you 10 of the best things to do in Allentown, Pennsylvania, and around the Lehigh Valley.
# 10 – Cedar Beach Park
if you love nature, are an exercise enthusiast, or like to spend time with friends and family, then Cedar Beach Park is perfect. This park has 2.3 miles of trails, multiple basketball courts, two standard and two beach volleyball courts, and a 1,900 square foot Destination Playground for the kids. There is also a large municipally-operated swimming pool. You can find many activities at Cedar Beach Park for all ages and interest levels. Cedar Beach Park also hosts many special events, programs, and festivals during the summer months. A perfect place to chill out and fun while you are on vacation.
# 9- Mack Trucks Historical Museum
learn everything there is to know about the Mack Truck history and get a close-up look at various vintage models in this unique museum. They have antique models, memorabilia, and much more. The Mack Museum was started as a non-profit organization in 1984. There are vintage and antique trucks to see; the museum also has parts, information, engineering drawings, photos, truck build records, and other interesting Mack Truck information. Mack Trucks was founded in 1900, and 1905 they relocated their headquarters from New York to Allentown. Learn and see about Mack Trucks at this one-of-a-kind museum.
# 8 – America on Wheels Museum
If you like old, classic, vintage transportation, I have the perfect museum for you. America on Wheels is an over-the-road transportation museum. They have on display an abundance of different vehicles, bikes, motorcycles, and more. This museum offers education, events, and entertainment. There are 2-story’s and over 48,000 square feet of space devoted to transportation. At America on Wheels Museum, you can see a rare, 1990 electric-powered EV1, a Plymouth Roadrunner “Super Bird,” and a replica ( 1 of 4 ) of Pee-Wee Herman’s bicycle. If you get hungry or need something to drink, stop by the HubCap Cafe and get a snack or a fountain drink.
# 7 – Allentown Rose Gardens
Walk through this gorgeous garden and fill your nose with an abundance of fragrances. You can relax and unwind in this beautiful rose garden ( 1 of 2 in the area ). Along the path, you have fitness stations if you choose to do a toned-down workout. To see all of the roses and other flowers in the garden, you will have to visit June-July in peak bloom. Many couples in the area use this garden for prom pictures, engagement photographs, or their actual wedding ceremony. There are three pavilions, restrooms, 10 wellness stations, and exercise equipment for ages 50 and older. Enjoy a picturesque 1.3 miles stroll through the beautiful Allentown Rose Gardens.
# 6 – Dorney Park & Steel Forces
From calming rose gardens to a thrilling roller coaster and amusement park. Steel Force is a steel roller coaster located at Dorney Park in Allentown. This roller coaster opened for rides on May 30, 1997. Steel Force is said to be “the tallest and longest roller coaster on the East coast.” There is 5,600 feet of track, a 205-foot drop, and its maximum speed is 75 miles per hour. It is one of the 10 largest steel coasters in the world. In 2001 Steel Force was featured on the Discovery Channel Special, “Top Ten Coasters.” Besides the 205-foot drop, you have three other hills; 161-feet, 100-feet, and 85-feet. Steel Force also came in fourth place, two years in a row, for the Golden Ticket Awards: Best Steel Coaster.
# 5 – Canal Park
If you prefer boating, fishing, and water over gigantic roller coasters, then you need to visit Canal Park. This park has 4.5 acres of lakefront with two piers (no swimming allowed), a Veteran’s Memorial, a 50×80 pavilion, two horseshoe pits, open grass area, and a lot more. You can launch your boat, or you can choose to stand on the pier and fish. Use one of the two barbeque grills and have a picnic or a family get-together at Canal Park. If you live in the Allentown area, you can rent the pavilion for special occasions like family reunions, graduation parties, or wedding receptions. There are 18 tables, and the pavilion can hold up to 200 people. There is also a trail for walking or biking, beautiful scenery, and it is just a very peaceful place to relax. Enjoy a gorgeous summer day at Canal Park.
# 4 – Allentown Art Museum
This museum was founded during the Great Depression ( 1934-1956 ). It primarily featured exhibits from the local artists. Walter Emerson Baum led the museum project. He was a teacher, critic, and painter. It holds paintings from Samuel H. Kress. The Allentown Art Museum has a wide variety of collections and exhibits, public events, and educational programs. Under the museum’s roof is over seventeen thousand art spanning nearly two thousand years of culture, heritage, and history.
# 3 – Lights in the Parkway
This spectacular display of lights is only available for viewing from December 12 – December 28. There are fees to enter the Lights in the Parkway, but they are well worth the cost. The kids will enjoy the lights immensely, and they will be able to have a delicious and warm treat in the Gift Barn. The Gift Barn has hot cocoa, cookies, popcorn, gits, ornaments, decorations, and much more. During the Lights in the Parkway, you can see reindeer and fairy tale characters. “Dancing Trees,” soldiers, Toyland, and Santas Workshop are only a few of the spectacular light displays to enjoy. All of the trees, along the way, are wrapped in thousands of lights, and the music that is played will make the Lights in the Parkway a magical experience, no matter what age you are.
# 2 – Dutch Springs
The perfect place to visit on a scolding summer day in Allentown, PA. Dutch Springs is located north of Bethlehem and is a 50-acre lake with many attractions and activities to do throughout the day. The lake is spring-fed from an underground aquifer. You can scuba dive, snorkel, camp, swim, and even have a birthday party. Opened in 1980, it is a popular place for local families and vacationers. The water’s maximum depth is 100-feet, and you can see multiple fish species when you go scuba diving. Goldfish, bluegill, yellow perch, Largemouth bass, and Rainbow trout. Try the Sky Challenge while you are at Dutch Springs. It is over 2 stories tall and has a rock-climbing wall with high-ropes course elements.
# 1 – Liberty Bell Museum
Last but definitely not least, on our list of 10 best things to do in Allentown, Pennsylvania, is the Liberty Bell Museum. It is located inside Zion’s United Church of Christ in Allentown. You can see exhibits relating to the Liberty Bell; local history, patriotism, freedom, and liberty. The Liberty Bell Museum has 1 of 55 Liberty Bell replicas. They were cast in France in the 1950s. This is the perfect place to take your children so they can learn and physically see a huge part of American history. They can also see Wilmer Behler’s hand-painted mural. The mural tells the story of the hiding of the bell. The Zion United Church of Christ was also used as a refuge during Indian raids, a war hospital, a gathering place to read the Declaration of Independence, and more.
Besides this top 10 list, there are so many more things to see and do in the Lehigh Valley and Allentown in particular. Fun, history, and thrills are around every corner in Bethlehem, Allentown, and Easton. There is a farmers market, an abundance of parks, and the Allentown fair held in late August/early September. There is so much history surrounding Allentown and the Lehigh Valley area.
If you are planning a visit to the area, take a close look at Sayre Mansion. A gorgeous bed and breakfast in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. They have delicious breakfast options, a beautiful charm, and wonderful hospitality. The Pennsylvania-New Jersey metropolitan area has and continues to grow quickly. With the growth comes an abundance of things to do for every age group, no matter what your interests are. Book your vacation in Allentown, Pennsylvania, today and experience a myriad of activities.