Speaking of cities that thrived through industrial efforts, Bethlehem located in the heart of Lehigh Valley should be found on the list.
Although the city used to be a hidden treasure in Pennsylvania, however, its history and industries brought it to the limelight.
You can’t afford to talk about the industrial revolution of the United States without bringing Bethlehem into the picture as it is known to have played a huge in it and this alone is enough to give identity to the city.
Some of the incredible sites to behold in Bethlehem are gigantic factories, historical sites, vibrant markets, and lots more
All of these contribute to what makes the city a perfect vacation destination.
That being said, let’s quickly take a look at the fun things to do in Bethlehem during vacation.
23 Best & Fun Things To Do In Bethlehem (PA)
1. Burnside Plantation
Established in 1748, Burnside Plantation is a historic farm with numerous barns and various outbuildings.
This plantation serves as a host to various events which include workshops hosted at Penn State by master gardeners yearly.
On visiting the plantation, you can witness live cooking demonstrations or tours of the farm including Open Gate Farm Tours.
Address: 1461 Schoenersville Road, Bethlehem, PA 18018, United States
2. America On Wheels
This is yet another fun place – a museum you should be on the lookout for though it isn’t located in Bethlehem but in another city called Allenton, located west of Bethlehem.
This is your go-to place if you desire to know about the way transportation used to work in the olden days.
I encourage you to pay a visit to this museum as it would be a great addition to your list.
3. Banana Factory Arts And Education Center
A visit to the Banana Factory Arts and Education Center will convince you that it is one of the best things to do in Bethlehem, PA.
This building accommodates a wide range of arts-related organizations including the ArtsQuests visual art programs, Pennsylvania Youth Theatre, 30 artist studios as well as the three various galleries, and there are numerous classrooms.
In addition to this, the Banana Factory Arts and Education Center organize performing arts classes for students between 6 to 18 years old.
Address: 25 W. 3rd Street #300, Bethlehem, PA 18015, United States
4. Lodge At Hotel Bethlehem
Hotel Bethlehem is the next on the list of places you should visit during your vacation in Bethlehem.
Although it’s a historic hotel, it is well-known across the world and has been graced by the presence of notable men and women such as the great Winston Churchill, Dalai Lama, and various American Presidents.
Aside from this, the hotel accommodates people from all walks of life as well.
5. Have Some Beers At Fegley’s Brew Works
At every hour of the day, Fegley’s Brew Works records a good number of visitors including locals and tourists.
It’s a microbrewery with its branches spread across Bethlehem and close by towns and cities.
Another thing I won’t fail to tell you is the killer classic burger they make, even their fish and chips.
I encourage you to go ahead and try these things and see for yourself when you visit Bethlehem.
Address: 559 Main Street #101, Bethlehem, PA 18018
6. Visit The Kemerer Museum Of Decorative Arts
A visit to the Kemerer Museum of Decorative Arts which is the only state museum reserved for decorative arts, and is also one of just 15 such museums across the country has made it to the list of things you should do in Bethlehem.
One of the beautiful things to behold in this museum is the development of design trends over 300 years alongside various period rooms, and galleries that showcase furniture, china, and flatware including artwork from the past three centuries.
In addition to this, this museum features a Scott Rothenberger-designed garden that makes use of modern as well as traditional elements to make for an awesome space for special events.
Address: 427 N. New Street, Bethlehem, PA 18018, United States
7. Colonial Industrial Quarter
This is best described as a historical site dedicated to conserving the nation’s earliest industrial park.
Colonial Industrial Quarter was constructed by the Moravians close to spring along Monocacy Creek.
Worthy of note is the fact that the initial building was made of small wooden structures and has fallen into ruin, however, within a few years, the area was extended to accommodate a blacksmith shop, a gristmill, and a tannery.
These days, visitors can tour many of these buildings and ruins to have a knowledge of the history of the area.
Address: 459 Old York Road, Bethlehem, PA 18018, United States
8. Have Plenty Of Fun At Ringing Rocks County Park
I recommend it to be one of the best outdoor fun sites in the whole of Bethlehem, therefore, it should be considered a great addition to your itinerary.
It is named Ringing Rocks County Park because when you hit the rocks in the boulder field of this park, it rings like a bell.
That is to say that hitting various rocks produces different sounds, and you will even see some people trying to play different songs using only the rocks.
9. Historic Bethlehem Tours
Bethlehem houses various historical sites of interest, and they all contribute to making the city a fun place to be.
Although you are free to select specific things you want to see in the city, however, some people would rather prefer a tour.
Some of the tours Historic Bethlehem Tours offers are custom tours, walking tours, and special seasonal tours.
In addition to this, you can decide to choose from the 1752 Apothecary Tour, the Christmas City Stroll, the Colonial Industrial Quarter Walking Tour, and also the Death and Dying Cemetery Tour.
Address: 505 Main Street, Bethlehem, PA 18018, United States
10. National Canal Museum
You will find the National Canal Museum in Easton, some distance away from the eastern part of Bethlehem, and it is characterized by numerous informative displays.
You will be educated on all that you need to know concerning the canal that was formerly in the area, the significant role it played in the grooming and expansion of industries during the olden days, and how they were the biggest source of connectivity.
No doubt, you will enjoy the boat rides offered by this museum!
11. Visit Lit Coffee Roastery & Bakeshop
Lit Roastery and Bakeshop are best described as a mixture of the Monocacy Coffee Company and Made By Lino bakery that cooks, bakes, and roasts almost everything in-house.
Edibles offered in Lit Roastery and Bakeshopshop include French macaroons, fresh-roasted, French pour-overs, in-house coffees, and other freshly-baked goods.
Furthermore, the shop is very spacious to enable you to relax and enjoy freshly baked items.
Address: 26 E 3rd St, Bethlehem, PA 18015, United States
12. Hoover Mason Trestle
Speaking of a 1,650-foot elevated park sited on the site that was formerly home to Bethlehem Steel, then we must be referring to The Hoover Mason Trestle.
Previously it used to be a narrow-gauge railway that used the trestle to convey iron raw materials from the ore yards to their furnaces, however, it’s currently a public walkway, which doubles as a recreation area as well as a museum.
As a visitor, you’re given the opportunity to see the blast furnaces closely and also the gas-blowing engine houses from the bottom.
Address: SteelStacks, 711 First Street, Bethlehem, PA 18015, United States
13. National Museum Of Industrial History
The National Museum of Industrial History is previously a site of Bethlehem Steel and was once recognized as a main industrial center.
Furthermore, this museum is best described as a Smithsonian-connected institution devoted to conserving and exhibiting industrial artifacts.
If you want to know more about the industrial history of the nation, this is where you should be when you visit Bethlehem where you will be shown four major exhibits with each of them displaying a different aspect of the nation’s past industrial history and its influence on the country.
Address: 602 East 2nd Street, Bethlehem, PA 18015, United States
14. Treat Your Tastebud With Nuts About Ice Cream
Nuts about Ice Cream is a well-known ice cream outfit that produces a wide variety of exotic ice cream flavors, including sorbets and yogurt.
It may interest you to know that their recipes are family recipes that were passed down through generations.
You have the liberty to choose from several flavors which include vanilla, strawberry, and chocolate.
Interestingly, they also run home delivery. Please ensure you have a taste of Nuts About Ice Cream before leaving Bethlehem.
Address: 1124 Linden Street, Bethlehem, PA 18018, United States
15. Go To The Oldest Book Store In The US
Have you considered visiting Moravian Book Shop which happens to be the most ancient bookstore in the US and probably in the world?
It comfortably sits in downtown Bethlehem featuring all manner of books, ranging from rare books to famous ones.
If you visit there, you will discover that the interior of the store contains a variety of wares which includes well-known Moravian stars and a gift shop.
Every book lover visiting Bethlehem should add this to the list of things to do in the city.
16. Moravian Museum Of Bethlehem
The Moravian Museum of Bethlehem is known to be a historic landmark featuring various buildings that can be traced back to the 1700s.
I won’t fail to mention the major highlight of a trip to Bethlehem which is the Gemienhaus known to be the most ancient building in Bethlehem and was constructed in 1741.
This museum has a story to tell which is about the town’s five-story log home today, and it also doubles as the biggest log building traced back to the 1800s.
In addition to this, you will find on this site a 1752-era drug store as well as other fascinating buildings from the 18th century.
Address: 66 W. Church Street, Bethlehem, PA 18018, United States
17. Crayola Experience
If you are still in search of things to do in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, especially if you have your kids with you, then the Crayola Experience is the best place to go.
Although it is not exactly in Bethlehem, it is situated in nearby Easto providing interactive activities for artists cutting across all ages.
Here, the kids and adult visitors are allowed to explore the artist in them using their crayons, participating in different coloring activities, and a lot more.
18. What About SteelStacks?
The former Bethlehem Steel plant site was renovated to become SteelStacks which is currently an indoor and outdoor cultural center occupying more than a 10-acre site.
Furthermore, SteelStacks is a wonderful illustration of a disused industrial area converted into a lively, attractive part of the community.
Yearly, more than 1000 concerts are usually held at the venue.
Address: 101 Founders Way, Bethlehem, PA 18015, United States
19. Billy’s Downtown Diner
To have a remarkable dining experience, include Billy’s Downtown Diner on your list of things to engage yourself with when you are in Bethlehem, PA.
Having different locations in Bethlehem and Allentown, the diner provides its visitors with basic diner food with a touch of preference.
You will find all your favorite classics on the menu as well as some unusual meals like omelets with mango or pink lemonade pancakes.
In addition to this, there is a wide range of beverages like tea, coffee, lemonades, and also hand-spun milkshakes.
That being said, their menu is designed in such a way that there are various vegetarian and healthier options tailor-made for people who care about what they eat.
Address: 10 E. Broad Street, Bethlehem, PA 18018, United States
20. Tour The Wind Creek Bethlehem
The Wind Creek Bethlehem houses a 4-star casino hotel covering 150,000 square feet known as the Wind Creek Bethlehem Casino.
The space it occupies is approximately the same area as three football fields.
No doubt, the hotel room is costly, however, you will experience a truckload of entertainment as well as games like craps and roulette.
The casino, they have over 3,000 slots and approximately 40 live poker tables located at their Sands Poker Room.
Address: 77 Sands Blvd, Bethlehem, PA 18015, United States
21. Illick’s Mill Park
Illick’s Mill is considered a historic grist mill and can be traced as far back as 1856.
Presently, it houses the Appalachian Mountain Club‘s Mid-Atlantic conservation office and still offers its visitors the opportunity to have afternoon walks in its glamorous fashioned backdrop.
Other things you will enjoy include the bridge, waterfall, picnic tables, and ducks and geese.
Address: 100 Illick’s Mill Road, Bethlehem, PA 18017
22. Dutch Springs: Scuba Diving
If you are in for an adventure in the water, especially in the summer Dutch Spring should be your destination.
This place prides itself in its stunning natural beauty.
Aside from swimming, Dutch Springs offers you the opportunity to attempt scuba diving in Bethlehem as there are very few spots where you can do this across the country.
23. Ever Heard Of Godfrey Daniels Music Hall?
It is a well-known music Hall situated on the south side of Bethlehem, in fact, it’s described as a world-class music venue in a rather unpretentious building.
You may find it hard to believe that this world-class music hall emancipated from an abandoned doughnut shop to the point where it is currently in – is an international stage for independent musicians.
Godfrey Daniels has been in existence for over forty years and has welcomed bands ranging from upcoming artists to well-known musicians.
Address: 7 E 4th Street, Bethlehem, PA 18015
In conclusion, I’ve successfully exhausted my list of fun things you should do when you visit Bethlehem, however, I am curious to know which of them you are willing to explore.
Let me know in the comment section, and you can as well go the extra mile by sharing your experience (s) after you must have visited any of these places.