The region’s three cities — Allentown, Easton, and Bethlehem — balance history with new vitality. Allentown, for instance, has the largest antiques center in northeast Pennsylvania and stages a traditional county fair Sept.1-7. But it’s also the location of the state-of-the-art PPL Center, which hosts sports, concerts and theater.
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Easton merges nature and art along the Karl Stirner Arts Trail, a multi-use path along the Bushkill River dotted with contemporary and traditional sculpture. It’s popular with dog walkers, bikers and bird watchers. Crayola crayons are made here; the Crayola Experience is a day-long excursion of creativity and color.
Nowhere is the transformation from industrial to cultural more dramatic than in Bethlehem. In the shadow of the massive, dormant blast furnaces of Bethlehem Steel, ArtsQuest Center at SteelStacks hosts concerts, indie films, festivals and the annual PeepsFest in December, in honor of the iconic marshmallow Peeps chick, which is made in Bethlehem. The success of SteelStacks sparked the opening of other clubs, restaurants, shops and the Sands Casino.
Check DiscoverLehighValley.com for details on events, discounts, themed specials and itineraries. Nature lovers should visit the Trexler Nature Preserve to see roaming herds of buffalo, elk and deer. Romance and history meet on the Covered Bridge Trail, with seven bridges scattered among the hills. The Ale and Wine Trails introduce visitors to the brewers and wineries in the largest wine region in Pennsylvania. Sept. 12-13 is the Harvest Festival with special events at all the wineries.
For more travel advice go to www.insightguides.com.