Sprawling along the Lehigh Valley between Blue Mountain and South Mountain, Lehigh County’s landscape includes the Lehigh River and Bake Oven Knob, the highest point in the county. Perhaps these beautiful vistas attracted the first settlers, who arrived in the area in the 1730s. Nearly 300 years later, the area is still popular – the county seat, Allentown, is the third largest city in Pennsylvania.
Settled in 1751, Allentown is woven into the nation’s history. The oldest house in Allentown, Trout Hall, was built in 1770 by James Allen, the son of the city’s founder. The house is now a museum and available for tours. Other amazing historic locations include Troxell-Steckel Farm Museum, built in 1756, and Lockridge Furnace Museum, built in 1868.
Allentown once housed the Liberty Bell – it was moved (along with 10 other bells) from Philadelphia and hidden in Allentown during the American Revolution to keep it safe from the British. The Liberty Bell Museum honors this historic event at the exact place the bell was hidden – in the basement of Zion’s Reformed United Church of Christ, the first church established in Allentown when the city was founded in 1762.
Bethlehem, Lehigh County’s only other city, was founded in 1741. It is home to Lehigh University, a top-ranked university that was founded in 1865. Moravian College, a small liberal arts college founded in 1742, is also located in Bethlehem. Northampton Community College is located in the Bethlehem Township. Nearby Allentown is home to two additional colleges: Muhlenberg College and Cedar Crest College.
Attractions in Lehigh County include Dorney Park, the DaVinci Center, Allentown Art Museum, the Coca-Cola Park, and the Lehigh Valley Zoo. Farmer’s markets are plentiful in this region and include Allentown Fairgrounds Farmers Market and the Renningers Antiques and Farmers Market.
In addition to its two cities, Lehigh County is home to several boroughs and townships. Boroughs include Fountain Hill, Slatington, Coplay, Emmaus, Coopersburg, and Alburtis. Townships include North Whitehall, Hanover, Heidelberg, Salisbury, Lynn, and Lowhill.