Get Downtown and Experience Bethlehem
Hidden gems. Historic landmarks. Popular food scene. Thriving arts hub. Unique holiday traditions. Vibrant festivals. Extraordinary shops. You can get it all in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.
Founded on Christmas Eve in 1741 by the Moravians (an old-world Protestant denomination), Bethlehem is known as the Christmas City and boasts an array of holiday events that entice tourists from around the world. But this eastern Pennsylvania city has blossomed beyond its 18th century heritage and famous steel mill to have not just one, but two of the trendiest and energized downtowns in the region.
The walkable downtown offers plenty to see, to do and to eat year round. Lively outdoor cafes, boutique-style shopping, preserved Revolutionary-era buildings and culturally diverse festivals make Bethlehem a great place to be for an afternoon or a weekend.
Get to Bethlehem
We Get Christmas
Bethlehem’s first Christmas was in 1741 but local leader in 1937 started a campaign to make the city known as Christmas City, USA. In the 1960s, the Citizens Christmas City Committee was formed to help define the decorations and activities of Christmas in the City of Bethlehem.
To view holiday festivities and the Trolley map click below.
SEE WHAT WE’VE GOT!
Watch our video for an overview of our beautiful DOWNTOWN!
With shops, restaurants and historical sites galore, it is no surprise why Bethlehem has consistently been named one of the best places to live.
Bethlehem is located in Lehigh Valley near the Poconos. It’s a city filled with museums, restaurants, antique shops and things to do. The city comes alive in the fall with ghost tours and harvest festivals.
We did an hour long walking tour of the Moravian settlement with our tour guide, Madeline. She was outstanding! We saw the beautiful old buildings from the outside and learned the history of the settlement from its inception to modern day. I would recommend this walking tour as a must for anyone visiting Bethlehem.
Step back into the 18th Century and learn about this historic city from experts. The tour guides are knowledgeable, easy to understand, and excellent interpreters of Bethlehem's rich history.
The Hoover-Mason trestle is on the site of the former Bethlehem Steel plant in South Bethlehem, near the Sands Casino Resort. It will take a good 45 minutes to cover the entire trestle. Read all the placards that describe the plant, workers, the steel-making process from start to finish. Look down from the trestle onto a walkway where some of the workers had carved their names with welding torches before the plant had closed.
"This is definitely the prettiest and most historic industrial park around. Historic Bethlehem Inc has restored several buildings from the period of Colonial America: a mill, tannery, waterworks, and spring house, with more to come. The path runs along the Monocacy Creek and is a lovely way to experience this period in Moravian Bethlehem. It is down the hill from historic Bethlehem and behind the Hotel Bethlehem."