The Lehigh Valley is a scenic region of eastern Pennsylvania. The region's official census area includes Lehigh and Northampton counties. The traditional boundaries of the region are the Pocono Mountains to the north, the Delaware River and New Jersey to the east, the boundaries of Berks and Montgomery counties to the southwest, and the boundary with Bucks County to the south.
Cities and location
The Lehigh Valley's principal cities are Allentown, Bethlehem, and Easton, comprising the Allentown-Bethlehem-Easton metropolitan area. The Lehigh Valley is located approximately 60 miles (96 km) north of Philadelphia, the country's fifth largest city, 80 miles (129 km) east of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania's capital, and 80 miles (144 km) west of New York City, the country's largest city. The area is home to more than 820,000 people as of the 2010 U.S. Census. Recent census studies show it to be the fastest growing region in Pennsylvania, due in part to its growing popularity as a bedroom community for the highly-populated neighboring regions of Philadelphia, New Jersey and New York City as well as its favorable business climate and much lower cost of living in comparison to surrounding areas.
The Lehigh Valley is geologically and geographically part of the Great Appalachian Valley, a region largely made up of limestone that stretches along the eastern edge of the Appalachian Mountains. The Lehigh Valley is so named because it is composed of an actual valley that lies between two mountain ranges, Blue Mountain to the north and South Mountain to the south. Lehigh Valley also is considered part of the historic Pennsylvania Dutch Country.
The area is historically important for its production of steel, anthracite coal and other natural resources. It once served as a major center of industrial manufacturing, though this role has diminished in the 21st century. Major international companies currently based in the Lehigh Valley include Air Products & Chemicals Inc., Buckeye Partners L.P., Mack Trucks, Olympus Corp., Victaulic and PPL Corp., among others. Lehigh Valley Health Network, one of Pennsylvania's largest hospital systems, is the region's top employer, employing more than 18,000 people.
Colleges and universities
The Lehigh Valley is a hub of post-secondary education activity, with several reputable four-year colleges and universities, including: Cedar Crest College (Allentown), DeSales University (Center Valley), Lafayette College (Easton), Lehigh University (Bethlehem), Moravian College (Bethlehem), Muhlenberg College (Allentown), and Penn State University's Lehigh Valley campus (Center Valley).
The area is also home to Lehigh Carbon Community College (with campuses in Allentown, Carbon County and Schnecksville) and Northampton Community College (with campuses in Bethlehem and Monroe County).
Numerous public school districts and many private schools can be found in the region. Lehigh Valley-based high schools include:
- Allentown Central Catholic High School (Allentown)
- Bangor Area High School (Bangor)
- Bethlehem Catholic High School (Bethlehem)
- Catasauqua High School (Catasauqua)
- Easton Area High School (Easton)
- Emmaus High School (Emmaus)
- Freedom High School (Bethlehem)
- Lehigh Valley Christian High School (Allentown)
- Liberty High School (Bethlehem)
- Louis E. Dieruff High School (Allentown)
- Moravian Academy (Bethlehem)
- Nazareth Area High School (Nazareth)
- Northampton Area High School (Northampton)
- Northern Lehigh High School (Slatington)
- Notre Dame Area High School (Easton)
- Parkland High School (Allentown)
- Pen Argyl Area High School (Pen Argyl)
- Phillipsburg High School (Phillipsburg, New Jersey)
- Pius X High School (Bangor)
- Salisbury High School (Salisbury Township)
- Saucon Valley Area High School (Hellertown)
- Southern Lehigh High School (Center Valley)
- Whitehall High School (Whitehall)
- William Allen High School (Allentown)
- Wilson Area High School (Easton)
Athletics and entertainment
Lehigh Valley IronPigs baseball
Coca-Cola Park, an 8,100-seat Minor League baseball stadium in east-side Allentown, is the home of the Lehigh Valley IronPigs, the Philadelphia Phillies' AAA-level International League franchise. The team’s name is a reference to pig iron, a key ingredient in the steel-making process for which the Lehigh Valley area is known worldwide. LVHN is a founding partner of IronPigs baseball.
Phantoms ice hockey
The Lehigh Valley Phantoms are a professional ice hockey team in the American Hockey League (AHL). They are the minor league affiliate for the NHL's Philadelphia Flyers. The Phantoms play at the PPL Center in downtown Allentown. LVHN is a founding partner of Phantoms ice hockey.
There's always something big happening at PPL Center, an arena located in downtown Allentown. Concerts, ice skating shows, auto racing, professional hockey and more fun activities are regularly on the calendar of events.
Lehigh University's Stabler Arena, an indoor arena, is in Bethlehem, in the Lehigh Valley. Stabler hosts regular sporting and concert events. The arena is also home to Lehigh University men's and women's college basketball teams.
Valley Preferred Cycling Center leads the nation in quality competition, championship racer development and community programs that offer the opportunity for racers and non-racers to enjoy the thrill of bicycle track racing in the nation’s most-loved and most-successful velodromes in modern American cycling. LVHN is the official medical provider of the cycling center.
Dorney Park & Wildwater Kingdom
The region is home to Dorney Park & Wildwater Kingdom near Allentown. The park is one of the most popular amusement and water parks in the country, featuring some of the nation's most elaborate roller coasters and water rides.
ArtsQuest is a nonprofit organization providing access to art, culture and educational programs for the diverse residents of the Lehigh Valley and others who seek access to our community.
Sands Bethlehem is a premier choice among Pennsylvania's hotels, resorts and casinos. Enjoy delicious food from a wide variety of restaurants, win big in the casino, get pampered in the spa and visit stores from the hottest names in outlet shopping.
The great outdoors
Just a short 30-minute drive away is the Pocono Mountains region, which features some great skiing and several large lakes for boating and fishing. The shoreline of New Jersey and its beach attractions are approximately 45 miles east of the Lehigh Valley region.
The Lehigh Valley is served by air transportation through Lehigh Valley International Airport (IATA: ABE), located three miles northeast of Allentown. Private bus companies provide multiple daily roundtrip transportation to New York City's Port Authority Bus Terminal, Philadelphia, Atlantic City and other regional locations. Public bus service is provided by LANTA, which serves Allentown, Bethlehem, Easton and neighboring suburbs with various routes.
Lehigh Valley Links
Lehigh Valley informational resources
- Discover Lehigh Valley
- Lehigh Valley Economic Development Corporation
- The Morning Call
- The Express-Times and lehighvalleylive.com
- 69 News, WFMZ-TV
Airports (commercial and recreational)
- Lehigh Valley International Airport (LVIA/ABE)
- Easton Airport / Braden Airpark (N43)
- Jake Arner Memorial Airport (22N)
- Pocono Mountains Municipal Airport (KMPO)
- Heritage Field Airport (KPTW)
- Quakertown Airport (KUKT)
Arts and culture
- Allentown Art Museum
- Allentown Civic Theatre
- Miller Symphony Hall
- Lehigh Valley Arts Council
- Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival
- State Theater, Easton
- Zoellner Arts Center
Festivals and fairs
- The Great Allentown Fair
- Celtic Classic
- Kutztown Folk Festival
- Pennsylvania Renaissance Faire
- Das Awkscht Fescht antique and classic car show
- Bear Creek Ski & Recreation
- Blue Mountain Ski Area
- Jack Frost & Big Boulder
- Shawnee Mountain Ski Area
Amusement parks and attractions
- Dorney Park & Wildwater Kingdom
- DaVinci Science Center
- Crayola Experience
- Lehigh Valley Zoo
- Knoebels Amusement Resort
- Land of Make Believe
- Six Flags Great Adventure
- Sesame Place
- Wildlands Conservancy
- Hawk Mountain Sanctuary
- Ironton Rail Trail
- Renninger's Antique Market
- National Canal Museum Boat Rides
- Pocono Mountains Tourism
- Jim Thorpe Whitewater Rafting
- Pocono Whitewater Rafting
- Pennsylvania State Parks
- Fort Washington State Park
- Hickory Run State Park
- Jacobsburg Environmental Education Center
- Locust Lake State Park
- Lehigh Gorge State Park
- Nockamixon State Park
- Allentown Municipal Golf Course
- Berkleigh Golf Club
- Bethlehem Golf Club
- Cherry Valley Golf Club
- Club at Morgan Hill
- Fox Hollow Golf Club
- Green Pond County Club
- Iron Lakes Country Club
- Olde Homestead Golf Club
- Whitetail Golf Club
- Willowbrook Golf Club