Edit ModuleShow Tags

11 Reasons to Plan Your Visit to Nearby Lehigh Valley

Here’s why this region rich in history and chock-full of farms, wineries and farm-to-table fare should be on your radar.


Published:

Photo courtesy of New Jersey Family staff
 

Whether you’re planning a quick family getaway, kid-free weekend, girl’s night or day trip, there are tons of options in Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania. From kids’ museums to farm-fresh cuisine to breathtaking vineyards, here’s what to know before you go:

Where to Stay

Photo courtesy of Discover Lehigh Valley
 

Renaissance Allentown Hotel

12 N. 7th St., Allentown
484-272-4000, renaissanceallentown.com
Rooms start at $170/night; Marriott member rates available

This luxury hotel with locally-inspired design (who knew black and white blown-up Crayola crayons could make beautiful wallpaper?) is in the middle of it all. You’ll be minutes away from attractions like the DaVinci Science Center (an award-winning nonprofit org that’s brought science to millions in PA and NJ) and Coca-Cola Park (home of Minor League baseball’s Iron Pigs), and literally next door to the PPL Center where the Lehigh Valley Phantoms hockey team plays. Grab breakfast on the third floor at The Dime, which boasts top-notch views of Allentown by day and transforms into a lounge and bar by night.

Photo courtesy of Discover Lehigh Valley
 

Hotel Bethlehem

437 Main St., Bethlehem
610-625-5000, hotelbethlehem.com
Rooms start at $250/night

This spot has been a town staple since the 1700s so there’s no shortage of history and stories, the most famous revolving around the hotel’s three resident ghosts. If you’re coming here without the kids (or if your kids appreciate a good scare), book Room 932, the “Room with a Boo,” in advance for any time in the year. You just might wake up to a ghost at the foot of your bed! The Musical Sunday Brunch is also a can’t-miss. It’s rated as one of the top 100 in the US by Open Table, so you’ll want to make your reservations early.  

What to Do with the Family

Photo courtesy of Colin Coleman Photography 
 

Easton Farmer’s Market

Centre Square, Easton Public Market
325 Northampton St., Easton
eastonfarmersmarket.com

This is the longest continuously-running open-air market in the country, and it’s definitely endured the test of time. Just a few years ago there was only one vendor selling on the weekend. After that vendor died, the town came together to bring back the market and it’s now back in full force, hosting a number of annual food festivals and weekly out-of-state visitors. You’ll find cheese, bread, raw milk, pickles, pastries, tea, trail mix and more, much of which is from local farms. Grab a bite while listening to live music and explore the Easton Public market, an indoor market just down the street. Noteworthy places to check out at the public market include Dondore and Heister (a craft butcher that serves up a crazy-tender braised beef sandwich), Chocodiem (don’t miss the macarons!) and Mister Lee’s Noodles, where you can get epic ramen bowls, hot or cold.

Photo courtesy of Discover Lehigh Valley
 

Crayola Experience

30 Centre Square, Easton
610-515-8000, crayolaexperience.com/easton
$17.99 online and $19.99 at the door

Just across from the Easton Farmer’s Market, what was previously the Crayola Factory is now the new and improved Crayola Experience.  The spot was renovated in 2013 and has 28 attractions for your budding creatives. Kids can melt and mold their own crayons, make wax spin art, wreak havoc on the color playground and make their artwork come to life on an interactive screen. Don’t leave without getting a wax mold of the kids’ hands.

Photo courtesy of Seiple Farms
 

Seiple Farms

5761 Nor Bath Blvd., Bath
610-837-0847, seiplefarms.com
Admission varies by season and activity

A family farm that dates back to 1889, Seiple Farms is packed with fall staples like pony rides, hayrides to a huge pumpkin patch, a giant corn maze, a smaller straw maze and more. Come November, the farm can be your go-to for Christmas trees, wreaths, ornaments and more. In spring, it’s all about strawberries and sugar snap and snow peas.  

Photo Courtesy of New Jersey Family Magazine
 

Moravian Museum of Bethlehem

66 W. Church St., Bethlehem
610-691-6055, historicbethlehem.org
$9-10

History buffs of all ages will learn about the Moravians in the 1741 Geimenhaus, Bethlehem’s oldest building. The log structure has tons of clothes, artifacts and even a church. Learn all about these fascinating pacifists who founded Bethlehem, healed injured Revolutionary War soldiers (from both sides) and made history with their infamous trombone choruses (they even inadvertently deterred a Native American attack off with their trombone playing!). Go on your own or as a part of a walking tour led by a representative of Historic Bethlehem Museums and Sites. You’ll not only get to visit the museum, but also the live blacksmith, Moravian College and more.

Photo courtesy of Discover Lehigh Valley
 

Allentown Art Museum

31 N. 5th St., Allentown
610-432-4333, allentownartmuseum.org
$10-12; free on Sundays noon-4 pm and third Thursdays 4-8 pm

Galleries and exhibits await you. See exhibitions such as American Vistas: Landscapes from the Collection, The Poetry of Nature: Hudson River School Landscapes and Designing for the Loom: Drawings by William Geskes. Head to the museum there at select times for adult tours, or check the calendar for special presentations, lectures and shows. Bring the kids if you want them to get a taste for activities like treasure hunts to crafting in the Crayola Classroom on Free Sundays.

Where to Eat

Photo Courtesy of Discover Lehigh Valley
 

Hamilton Kitchen and Bar

645 W. Hamilton St., Allentown
610-433-3535, thehamiltonkitchen.com

The kids can munch on some confit chicken wings or flatbread pizza while you split a charcuterie board or half-shell oysters in a shallot mignonette with lemon. Try a 10 oz. ribeye with chimichurri aioli, potatoes cooked in duck fat and roasted mushrooms or the housemade carrot ravioli, a local favorite made with trumpet mushrooms, toasted pistachios and manchego cheese.

Photo courtesy of New Jersey Family staff
 

The Dime

12 North 7th St., Allentown
484-273-4010, thedimeallentown.com

Located on the third floor of the Renaissance Allentown Hotel, The Dime can be your spot for family breakfast, dinner or a last-minute cocktail and dessert. On weekends you’ll get to sip your strawberry smash (gin, lime juice, strawberry, basil) or Moscow mule while listening to a live DJ. Entrees that’ll satisfy include the Farmstead PA Grilled Cheese made with smoked mozzarella and cave-aged cheese from Calkins Creamery, braised short rib or crab cakes with seared polenta, veggies and lemon aioli. If you already had dinner, grab a late bar bite instead like short rib tacos, duck wings or oxtail empanadas with chipotle jicama slaw, or just the sweet stuff: think blackberry pie with orange ginger gelato or hazelnut creme brulee with a brown sugar crostini and Nutella creme.

What to Do Without the Kids

Photo courtesy of Discover Lehigh Valley
 

Galen Glen Winery

255 Winter Mountain Dr., Andreas
570-386-3682, galenglen.com
Taste 6 wines for $5

This vineyard is a local favorite and a can’t-miss. Specializing in white wines, Galen Glen grows nearly all its grapes on site. Visit the tasting room for six wine samples and a featured pairing (such as the cellar red with firehouse chili). Don’t leave before sampling the Riesling Fossil Vineyard, a dry riesling made with grapes grown in a fossil-filled “graveyard,” a result of the sea that once stood where the vineyard is 360 million years ago. We also recommend trying the bold and intense Crooked Stick Red or the raspberry-infused dessert wine.

Photo courtesy of New Jersey Family staff
 

Folino Estate

340 Old Rte. 22, Kutztown
484-452-3633, folinoestate.com

Whether you come for wine tasting, shopping or dinner, Folino serves up exquisite food, drink and ambiance. Taste the crisp pinot grigio, nutty chardonnay, sweet rosso dolce or dry and figgy chambourcin. You might even get to meet the winemaker if you're on-premise during harvesting. Sip at the wine bar or outside on the patio. If you decide to stay for a meal, start off with the calamari (flash fried and served with lemon and red wine dijonnaise), bruschetta sampler or a smoky wood-fired personal pizza for the table. As for the entrees, drinks and dessert, check out the specials menu that’s chock-full of fall-inspired seasonal items. Sip a sparkling apple cider or pumpkin pie sangria (complete with a graham cracker-coated rim), and try the sweet potato gnocchi in a funghi creme sauce and pumpkin cheesecake.

 

For more information about Lehigh Valley, visit discoverlehighvalley.com.

More Like This

Things To Do Without the Kids in Lehigh Valley

Why To Visit Crayola Experience in Easton, PA

 
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Archive »Related Content

5 Style Subscription Boxes the Kids Will Love

Finding ultra-cool, well-made clothes that you and your kid love is hard. Enter subscription boxes, which are tailor-made for your little trendsetter.

Are Packed Schedules Overwhelming Our Kids?

How to know if your child is spread too thin between sports, classes and homework

The Best (and Easiest) Ways to Fight Winter Colds

How to keep sneezes, sniffles and the scratchy-throated misery of colds and flu at bay

8 New Year's Eve Dates You'll Love

Skip the house party this year, book a sitter and plan a big night out.

Living in Westfield

Spanning a little less than seven square miles, this Union County town has a main drag loved by both locals and out-of-towners.