Welcome! We're so glad you found this site. It holds a wealth of information about our City. No matter what type of individual you are, we're certain Allentown has something to excite you.
Why is Allentown unique? We thrive on being different…not only do we celebrate our diversity – we welcome it! And we welcome you to experience it for yourself. Reinvestigate…revisit…rediscover what the city has to offer.
The third largest city in Pennsylvania, Allentown is vibrant with culture, a beautiful parks
system, rich history and a bright future. Allentown and the cities of Bethlehem and Easton make up the bulk of the Lehigh Valley, which is the third largest metropolitan area in the state. Adjacent to main arteries such as Interstates 78 and 476 and State Route 22, Allentown is central to several of the Northeast’s and Mid-Atlantic’s larger metropolitan areas: 55 miles from Philadelphia
, 96 miles from New York City, 75 miles from Wilmington, 85 miles from Harrisburg, and 152 miles from Baltimore.
Allentown was originally incorporated as Northamptontown; German settlers played a key role in its development. The city later adopted the name of its founder, Colonial Pennsylvania Supreme Court Chief Justice William Allen. Allentown contributed to several aspects of American history. After the Battle of Brandywine in 1777 George Washington had no hope of saving Philadelphia from the British. The Liberty Bell and the bells of Christ Church were secretly removed to be hidden in Zion’s Church. Today visitors can experience a bit of history in the Liberty Bell Shrine Museum located in Zion’s Church. Call 610-435-4232 or visit www.libertybellmuseum.org
for more information.
Located at 432 W. Walnut Street, the Lehigh Valley Heritage Museum’s new 30,000 square foot headquarters is a state-of-the-art climate-controlled facility that houses one of the finest historical research libraries in the state of Pennsylvania. The Heritage Museum includes four galleries with more than 10,000 square feet of exhibits. For exhibit and event schedules, phone 610-435-1074 or visit www.lchs.museum.
Allentown serves as a home to many more museums - the Allentown Art Museum located at 31 North 5th Street, offers tremendous variety and quality in its collection and exhibitions, educational and popular programs, and its busy calendar of public events. The museum's collection of more than 13,000 works of art offers the opportunity to experience nearly 2,000 years of cultural heritage, in an accessible and visitor-friendly environment. More information can be found at www.allentownartmuseum.org or by calling 610-432-4333.
The America On Wheels museum, at 5 North Front Street, opened in 2008 and features more than cars. As a museum of over-the-road transportation, it is home to all modes of wheeled transportation, including bicycles, trucks, and carriages in addition to their car collection. In the interactive exhibits, visitors can have photos taken in the driver’s seat of a mini-Indy racecar, find out what type of vehicle they are most naturally suited to, test their knowledge of auto tools and their functions and even design their own car. Visit www.americaonwheels.org or call 610-432-4200 for more information.
With a mission to promote learning about science, math, and technology through hands-on problem solving, the Da Vinci Science Center, located at 3145 Hamilton Boulevard Bypass, is a facility that contains more than 200 fun, interactive, hands-on exhibits that stimulate curiosity and intellectual exploration. One of the many impressive exhibits that can be found is: View Space, which features electronic images direct from NASA on a large screen and breathtaking still images of the Orion Nebula taken by the Hubble Space Telescope. The Da Vinci Science Center is the only organization in northeastern Pennsylvania authorized to display the images which reveal a tapestry of star formation. Call 484-664-1002 or visit www.davinci-center.org for more information.
Allentown is alive with art, music, theatre, festivals and year-round celebrations dedicated to promoting the performing and visual arts to assure a vibrant, dynamic community.
Civic Theatre located on 19th Street in Allentown's West End, is the Lehigh Valley's home for Broadway-styled stage shows with community sensibility, in addition to being the area's only independent and foreign filmhouse. Their annual production of A Christmas Carol is a Lehigh Valley holiday tradition. Visit www.civictheatre.com or call 610-433-8903 for more information.
The historic Symphony Hall, located at 23 North 6th Street, maintains a full production schedule of non-orchestral performances, including the new Symphony Hall Pops Series, Jazz Cabaret Series, Backstage Chamber Series, Musical Treasure Chest series for small children and their families, and a variety of special events. In addition to the Allentown Symphony Orchestra, Symphony Hall also serves as home to the Pennsylvania Sinfonia, the Allentown Band, the Community Music School of the Lehigh Valley and the annual Nutcracker performance of Repertory Dance Theatre. Visit www.allentownsymphony.org or call 610-432-7961 for more information.
The Baum School of Art is a non-profit community art school located in center city Allentown at 510 Linden Street. It has enriched the lives of thousands of adults and children throughout the Lehigh Valley for the past 76 years. The Baum School is a member of the National Guild of Community Schools of the Arts. The school contains nine classrooms, a black and white photography darkroom, computer lab, metalsmithing studio, ceramics studio, gallery and more. The Baum School regularly hosts exhibitions and events in addition to offering classes in their beautiful facility. Visit www.baumschool.org or call 610-433-0032 to get more information on Baum.
Mayfair Festival of the Arts is an annual “rite of spring” held Memorial Day weekend in scenic Cedar Beach Park; it includes such entertainment as art exhibits, concerts, dancers and storytellers. Mayfair Festival of the Arts is recognized as one of the region’s premier performing and visual arts festivals. Call 610-437-6900 or visit www.mayfairfestival.org for more information.
The Great Allentown Fair, which celebrates its 157th year in 2009, offers a fun and educational experience for visitors of all ages. Dedicated to supporting the achievements of farmers, gardeners and homemakers, the fair enables children to learn the origins of their food while spending an exciting day riding rides, playing games and seeing shows. The young and young at heart will find tantalizing international cuisine, musical concerts, thrill shows, and the latest in gizmos and gadgets. Each year the fair brings well-known musical acts and performers to its grandstand – in 2009 Kelly Clarkson, Jeff Dunham, Chicago, Brad Paisley, Dierks Bentley and others will take the stage. Visit www.allentownfairpa.org or call 610-433-7541 to learn more.
Lights in the Parkway is an annual Allentown holiday tradition. This event transforms beautiful Lehigh Parkway into a winter wonderland with thousands of twinkling lights and accompanying music. Animated displays delight visitors who view the sights from the comfort of their vehicles. Lights in the Parkway is the perfect opportunity for families to enjoy time together during the winter season. After a journey through the spectacular displays, visitors can stop by the Gift Barn which hosts vendors selling everything from candies to handmade treasures. For more information visit www.lightsintheparkway.com or call 610-437-7530.
One of Allentown’s signature assets is its historic districts. These neighborhoods are noted for their beautiful architecture and the stories that comprise their history. Old Allentown, Old Fairgrounds and the West Park are supported by neighborhood groups who preserve the buildings, organize events and make them great places to live and visit. More information about walking tours, annual house tours and more can be found on the following websites: www.oldallentown.org, www.oldfairgrounds.org and www.westpark-ca.org.
Allentown has 2,000 acres of beautiful expansive parks. In fact, Allentown has more acres of parks per resident than any other city of its size in the United States. Recreational opportunities abound: bike paths, hiking trails, golf courses, rivers and streams for plentiful fishing, there’s no shortage of fun and relaxation. The Old-Fashioned Garden and the Rose Garden, located at Parkway Boulevard and 27th Street, contain more than 100 varieties of roses, water plants and many other flowers. Peak bloom seasons are spring and fall. Allentown’s West Park, which celebrated its 100th Anniversary in 2008 is home to more than 200 species of trees and hosts band concerts throughout the summer.
Allentown is also home to the Lehigh Valley IronPigs, Class AAA affiliate of the Philadelphia Phillies. They play at the beautiful, state-of-the-art, Coca-Cola Park. Their 2008 inaugural season proved exciting and entertaining for all ages. In addition to the baseball game itself, there are many ways for the crowd to interact and enjoy themselves at the ballgame. Visit www.ironpigsbaseball.com or phone 610-435-3001 for more information.
Lehigh Valley SportsFest draws approximately 150,000 spectators and 10,000 amateur athletes, who compete in more than three dozen sporting events every July, in parks across the City. Visit www.sportsfest.org for more information.