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Old 02-28-2019, 11:08 PM
 
116 posts, read 74,456 times
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Hello everyone,

I'll be visiting Allentown and all of Lehigh Valley from Phoenix, AZ this summer. I'm planning on spending a week over there. I also want to visit Jim Thorpe and Philadelphia. How is Lehigh Valley like? From my perspective, it looks like a very haunted city lol. A lot of old buildings and churches. It almost looks like something you'd see in a movie. Is most of Lehigh Valley haunted? Are there ghost tours you can take? Aside from that, is it a tourist friendly city? Is there a lot to do in Allentown? How is public transportation like over there? Are people friendly to visitors?

What is Jim Thorpe like? Is it Amish Country or just a small mountain town with no commercialized places? I have an idea of how Philadelphia is like.

Thank you.
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Old 03-01-2019, 05:16 AM
Status: "Bricks" (set 6 days ago)
 
Location: Philadelphia
1,939 posts, read 1,119,893 times
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I would recommend focusing on Lancaster City and Philadelphia over the Lehigh Valley. A drive to Jim Thrope is also worth it.

Bethlehem is also beautiful.
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Old 03-01-2019, 07:20 AM
 
Location: Philadelphia, PA
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Are you visiting Allentown just to tour SE Pennsylvania, or because you have family/friends/etc. in the area? I absolutely recommend Jim Thorpe. There is some fun hiking in the area with incredible views, and the little town itself is cute. Philly is going to offer more for a visitor to do than Allentown. If you like haunted tours, there are many options in Center City / Old Town. You will learn about Philly's rich history and get a haunting all at once. Eastern State Penitentiary is also quite creepy, but for an actual haunted tour you will need to wait until Halloween time.

And yeah, if you wanna check out Amish Country, get up to Lancaster County!
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Old 03-01-2019, 10:23 AM
 
Location: Chadds Ford
409 posts, read 223,570 times
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Lehigh Valley is 80% bland suburbia, 19% inner-city ghettos, and 1% streets each city tries to keep nice/interesting:
  • Allentown - Hamilton Street
  • Bethlehem - Main Street
  • Easton - Northampton Street

Bethlehem is the most interesting of the three cities because it also has an old steel mill that's been repurposed as an arts and entertainment complex, with a casino nearby. In August, there is a huge outdoor music festival (Musikfest) that's fun too. There's also a minor league baseball team with a nice stadium.

You'll notice that everything I mentioned (except the old Steel Mill and Musikfest) is centrally-planned; there's no interesting serendipity. Sorry if that's too harsh, but Lehigh Valley is a prime example of "nice place to live, bad place to visit".

But echoing everyone else's sentiments, there are more interesting places to visit in PA:
  • Philadelphia
  • Lancaster (tag in Hershey Park)
  • Jim Thorpe, and the Poconos in general
  • New Hope (if you're just looking to relax)
  • Brandywine Valley (I might be a homer here) has Longwood Gardens, Winterthur (Delaware), Nemours Estate (Delaware), Northbrook Canoe Company, and other stuff that's great in the summer. Tripadvisor - Brandywine Valley

Last edited by Patmcpsu; 03-01-2019 at 10:57 AM..
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Old 03-01-2019, 08:18 PM
 
116 posts, read 74,456 times
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Lehigh Valley sounds pretty interesting. I'm planning on exploring the entire valley. I imagine the whole valley is the size of El Paso and Tucson, maybe a little smaller.
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Old 03-02-2019, 09:30 AM
 
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I visit and have snowbirded in Phoenix area with the intent of living there permanently . I hate winter and I'm tired of Lehizzle in general. But, if you feel the need to visit I won't stop you.
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Old 03-02-2019, 11:04 AM
 
116 posts, read 74,456 times
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I've never been to Lehigh Valley. It would be different for me.
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Old 03-02-2019, 04:09 PM
 
12,921 posts, read 29,902,044 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sonorandesert92 View Post
Hello everyone,

I'll be visiting Allentown and all of Lehigh Valley from Phoenix, AZ this summer. I'm planning on spending a week over there. I also want to visit Jim Thorpe and Philadelphia. How is Lehigh Valley like? From my perspective, it looks like a very haunted city lol. A lot of old buildings and churches. It almost looks like something you'd see in a movie. Is most of Lehigh Valley haunted? Are there ghost tours you can take? Aside from that, is it a tourist friendly city? Is there a lot to do in Allentown? How is public transportation like over there? Are people friendly to visitors?

What is Jim Thorpe like? Is it Amish Country or just a small mountain town with no commercialized places? I have an idea of how Philadelphia is like.

Thank you.
Quote:
Originally Posted by sonorandesert92 View Post
How is Lehigh Valley like? From my perspective, it looks like a very haunted city lol. A lot of old buildings and churches. It almost looks like something you'd see in a movie. Is most of Lehigh Valley haunted? Are there ghost tours you can take?
Allentown is an interesting small city that was in it's heyday 40- 50 years ago and is trying to recover from decades of store and business closures. I like the downtown area and think it has a lot going for it. Last night I was there for the James Taylor and Bonnie Raitt concert, and it was pretty lively. The PPL centerhttp://www.pplcenter.com/ sold out with a crowd of 10,000 people. I don't think ghosts or hauntings are part of it's marketing angle. lol. I'd say the adjoining city of Bethlehem is more tourist friendly. I enjoy walking around the historic part of the town and there are many small restaurants, bars and shops to visit. As Patmcpsu mentioned, it has a nice Arts center in what used to be the heart of Bethlehem Steel. There are several colleges located in the Lehigh Valley - two in Allentown and two in Bethlehem, one in Easton and two just south of Allentown in Center Valley and Coopersburg. I haven't used public transportation, but I've heard it's okay. https://www.lantabus.com/ People will generally be friendly to visitors, they're pretty common, although most people are visiting from the East Coast. If you want a real taste of Allentown stay at the Renaissance and if you would rather stay in Bethlehem, go with the Hotel Bethlehem. If you are considering coming the first week of July when Musikfest is going on, you will want to book your hotel NOW. It's a huge 10 day festival. https://www.musikfest.org/

I live outside of one of the small towns that Patmcpsu is unimpressed with. Most of the town surrounding Allentown/Bethlehem are hundreds of years old and have their own share of things to do and events. In the summer every small town will have a weekly farmers market, some sort of summer celebration along with the normal kids sports. Hellertown has an old cave and two or three brew pubs with local music. There are also rail trails that fun to walk or ride a bike on. Hellertowns farmers market is on Sundays.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sonorandesert92 View Post
What is Jim Thorpe like? Is it Amish Country or just a small mountain town with no commercialized places?
Jim Thorpe is a cute little town but it's one that is very much aware that it's a tourist spot. It's not anywhere near Amish country. It's located in former coal mining country. The hills around it are not suitable for agriculture, except for vineyards. There are a couple of them. It's a short hour drive from the Lehigh Valley and a pretty drive too. You can do whitewater rafting up there.

I like Lancaster county too but it is really crowded in the summer. You might choose between Lancaster county and the Amish or Jim Thorpe depending on what the weather is like. I know my relative that live in Arizona have a difficult time dealing with our humidity when they visit here in the summer.

Pop in again if you decide to visit once you have a date and location and we can give you more suggestions of things to do.
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Old 03-03-2019, 12:45 AM
 
116 posts, read 74,456 times
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Lehigh Valley sounds like a fun area to visit. I'm staying in Bethlehem near Lehigh University. I'm planning on going in early July, right after July 4th.
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Old 03-04-2019, 10:29 AM
 
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Bethlehem is a great place to stay. Undoubtedly the crown jewel of the Lehigh Valley. There are similarities between Bethlehem and Tucson. Same type of city.
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