Founded on Christmas Eve in 1741 by a group of Moravians as a missionary community, Bethlehem is known across the country as the Christmas City. One of Lehigh Valley’s major cities not only possesses good old Christmas cheer but an edgy, artsy side as well, thanks to its vibrant arts and culture scene.
The city is part of Lehigh County and Northampton County and is located east of its big sister, Allentown. It has an estimated population of 75,000, making it the second most populous city in Lehigh Valley. A history going back to colonial timesaddsa rich flavor to the city’s overall atmosphere.
The city is split into three neighborhoods – West Bethlehem, North Bethlehem, and South Bethlehem. The Bethlehem Area School District manages two high schools, four middle schools, and 16 schools in the area. Aside from educational facilities, residents and visitors can choose from a wide selection of shopping, dining, and entertainment opportunities.
Points of Interest
- Lehigh University – A premier research university, Lehigh U has several attractions sure to pique your interest. Zoellner Arts Center is a must-visit for theater and arts enthusiasts as it hosts several productions and concerts throughout the year. Located on the university’s Goodman Campus is the 6,000-seater Stabler Arena, a popular venue for athletic and music events.
- Moravian Museum of Bethlehem –The Moravian Museum, in itself an attraction, includes the following historic buildings: the Gemeinhaus (1741), the Single Sisters’ House (1744), the Apothecary (1752), and the Nain-Schober House (1758). The Gemeinhausis also the oldest remaining building in Bethlehem, while the Nain-Schober House is the only remaining 18th century residence for Christianized Native Americans in the region.
- The Sands Casino – With 89 table games and more than 3,000 slot machines, the casino stands on the 126-acre premises of the legendary Bethlehem Steel plant, which shut its doors in 1995 after operating for nearly 140 years.
Some of the housing options offered here are:
- Single-family homes
- Multi-family residences
Bethlehem still has a significant number of historic homes such as ornate Queen Annes and Gothic Revivals. It also has more contemporary residences as well as new construction.