About Lehigh Valley
Discover 730 square miles of interesting stories.
Lehigh Valley is located approximately 60 minutes north of Philadelphia and 90 minutes west of New York City by car. The area is home to three cities — Allentown, Bethlehem and Easton — as well as dozens of small towns and picturesque boroughs.
At the heart of the area is the Lehigh River that cuts through beautiful hilly countryside with scenic vistas. The region is steeped in pre-Colonial, early American and industrial history. Lehigh Valley has an impressive range of tourist attractions including wineries, zoos, outdoor activities, world-class sporting events and more. If you need help putting together a story, Discover Lehigh Valley can help you make contacts and arrangements.
Fun Facts & Trivia
- Allen Organs
- Crayola Crayons
- Mack Trucks
- Marshmallow Peeps
- Martin Guitars
- Mike & Ike’s
- Lauren Weisberger, The Devil Wears Prada
- Stephen Vincent Benét
Actors/Actresses – Read these celebrity’s favorite Lehigh Valley discoveries.
- Christine Taylor – from the Allentown area who still has strong ties here since her parents live in the area. She’s married to Ben Stiller and has appeared in several films with him including “Zoolander” and “Dodgeball.” She also played Marsha Brady in “The Brady Bunch” films
- The Rock (Dwayne Johnson) – Originally from Bethlehem, he wrestled for WWE before becoming an actor in films including “The Scorpion King” and “Get Smart”
- Jonathan Taylor Thomas – originally from Bethlehem, he was the middle son on “Home Improvement” and the voice of young Simba in “The Lion King”
- Carson Kressley – Star of “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy”
- Amanda Seyfried – star of the movie “Mean Girls” and the HBO series “Big Love” as Bill Paxton’s oldest daughter. She’s originally from Allentown
- Jonathan Frakes – Star of “Star Trek: The Next Generation” television series
- Lara Jill Miller, actress on 1980’s TV series “Gimme A Break” and voice over artist for animated TV series
- Daniel Roebuck, – stared in TV series “Matlock” with Andy Griffith, movies “The Fugitive” and “U.S. Marshalls,” and as Jay Leno in the HBO film “Late Shift”
- Lee Iacocca – of Ford and Chrysler fame. A building at Lehigh University is named after him
Singers & Artists
- Justin Guarani – Starred on season one of American Idol, he was runner up to Kelly Clarkson
- Keith Jarrett – a pianist and composer in classical music and jazz
- Steve Kimock – a rock musician and guitarist
- Boris Vallejo – a Peruvian painter focuses on the fantasy genre for science fiction paperbacks, film posters and calendars
- Mario Andretti – former professional race car driver; Michael Andretti, professional racing team owner, former professional race car driver, and Marco Andretti, current Indy racing star.
- Matt Millen – former professional football player for the Oakland Raiders, San Francisco 49ers and Washington Redskins
- Larry Homes – heavyweight boxing champ who still lives in Easton and has a restaurant there called Ringside. The street it’s located on is named after him.
- Andre Reed – He’s a retired football player who played for Buffalo and the Redskins and is originally from Allentown.
- Brian Schneider – catcher for the Philadelphia Phillies.
- Chuck Bednarik – former professional football player, Philadelphia Eagles
- Dan Koppen – professional football player, New England Patriots
- Ed McCaffrey – former professional football player, Denver Broncos, New York Giants, and San Francisco 49ers
- Marty Nothstein – Olympic gold medal winner, track cycling
- Darryl Dawkins – known as Chocolate Thunder, he played professional basketball with the Philadelphia 76ers and New Jersey Nets. He lives in Allentown
Lehigh Valley is the subject of three rock music songs:
- “Allentown,” by Billy Joel – appears on The Nylon Curtain (1982).
- “Speedway at Nazareth,” by Mark Knopfler – appears on Sailing to Philadelphia (2000).
- “The Weight,” by The Band – appears on Music from Big Pink (1968).
- Lehigh Valley is home to 10 colleges and universities.
- From 1777 to 1778, the Liberty Bell was hidden from the British in the basement of Zion’s Reformed United Church of Christ in Allentown so the army would not melt it down for munitions.
- The Moravian Book Shop, located in Historic Bethlehem, is the oldest continuously operating book shop in the world, founded in 1745.
- Bethlehem’s 10-day Musikfest is considered one of the largest outdoor music festivals in the country, with over 500 musical performers and an annual attendance of over 1 million.
- Crayola LLC produces nearly 3 billion crayons each year, an average of 12 million daily. That’s enough to circle the globe six times.
- On July 8, 1776 the Declaration of Independence was read aloud in Easton’s Centre Square. The only other towns that had public readings of the famed document are Trenton, N.J. and Philadelphia, Pa.
- Former heavyweight boxing champ Larry Holmes grew up, trained and lives in Easton.
- The Lehigh River, which connects Lehigh Valley’s three main cities, spans 120 miles and is crossed by 16 bridges in the region.
- The Lehigh Valley Wine Trail was designated as an American Viticultural Area (AVA) in 2008. There are currently nine wineries and 13 vineyards in this designation with more than 220 acres devoted to viticulture.
- The electric Star of Bethlehem, which sits atop South Mountain, was erected in the 1930s and is 81 ft. high with 246 light bulbs.
- Located in Orefield, Shankweiler’s is the oldest drive-in movie theatre in America, and has been in continuous operation since 1934.
- Hollywood actress and blonde bombshell Jayne Mansfield is buried in Fairview Cemetery in Pen Argyl.
- The Lehigh University – Lafayette College football rivalry dates back to 1884 when the two teams first played each other. Played over 140 times, it is the most played football rivalry in the nation. It is also the longest uninterrupted rivalry, since the teams have met every year since 1897.
- The Saylor Cement Company in Coplay is believed to be the first company in the United States to produce Portland cement in 1871.
- The National Canal Museum in Easton is the only museum in the country dedicated to telling the story of America’s historic towpath canals.
- Allentown has more acres of parkland per capita than any other American city its size.
- Dorney Park & Wildwater Kingdom’s Steel Force is so tall that it could easily fit the Statue of Liberty under its peak.
- Established in 1833, the C. F. Martin Guitar Company in Nazareth is America’s largest and the world’s oldest maker of fine acoustic guitars, celebrating its 175th anniversary in 2008.
- The Bach Choir of Bethlehem is the country’s oldest Bach choir, founded in 1898. It also gave the first complete performance in the United States of The Mass in B Minor and The Christmas Oratorio.
- Dutch Springs is the largest freshwater scuba diving facility in the country.
- Historic Bethlehem has more original 18th century buildings than Colonial Williamsburg.
- Moravians in Bethlehem completed the first-known waterworks system, which provided drinking and wash water in the American Colonies in 1754.
- Affectionately called the “concrete crater,” the Valley Preferred Cycling Center velodrome in Trexlertown was built in 1974 by the late Bob Rodale, owner of Rodale Press. It has hosted Olympic cycling trials, World Cup races, Junior World Championships, national championships and countless major international competitions.
- For over 150 years, The Great Allentown Fair has honored its agricultural mission by featuring livestock shows and competitions in addition to thrill rides, carnival games and food vendors. Its grandstand was originally built as a race track but today is also used for outdoor concerts.
- The historic State Theatre in downtown Easton is home to Fred the ghost, a man who managed the theatre from 1936 – 1965 and lived there for a short period when his home was flooded. More than 10 sightings have been reported since Fred’s spirit was first identified in the 1970s.