No one wants to spend these beautiful summer days inside, so get your daily amount of vitamin D and dine outside, or as I like to say when I’m feeling fancy, dine al fresco. Check out my favorite places to enjoy outdoor dining in the Lehigh Valley below!

  • Bank Street Creamery  - As the temperature begins to rise, one of the best ways to cool down is with ice cream … obviously! Located right off Easton's Centre Square, Bank Street Creamery boasts dozens of unique and handmade ice cream flavors, ranging from “Mexican Chocolate Diablo,” chocolate ice cream with cinnamon, cayenne, and chocolate covered almond bits, to “Moo Tracks,” vanilla ice cream with fudge, caramel swirls, and chocolate covered pretzels. There is a cute little seating area outside the place, making it a great venue to enjoy some quality conversation with your friends or family.
  • blue grillhouse - Whether you want to enjoy a cocktail or a full meal, the elegant, yet laid-back outdoorblue atmosphere at blue grillhouse in Bethlehem can’t be beat. All the food is of top-notch quality, but blue grillhouse is known for its wide variety of steaks and chops. Treat yourself here, because it is definitely worth it. Plus, no matter the weather, the al fresco dining area is still the perfect place to be. There are fans if it’s hot, a wooden awning to protect you from the rain, and heat lamps for the nights that get a bit chilly. You definitely won’t be disappointed!
  • Tapas on Main - There's nothing better than a cold pitcher of sangria on a hot summer day! The outdoor patio at Tapas on Main is a favorite amongst Bethlehem diners. But be sure to arrive early - these tables are a hot commodity! Enjoy a selection from their menu, including blue crab croquettes, lettuce wraps, artisanal cheese selections, and more. And of course, plenty of sangria to satisfy you and your friends!
  • The Wooden Match - Kick back in the outdoor seating area at The Wooden Match with a craft beer and cigar. "The Match" features a cool twist, the outdoor area is nestled up against old train tracks! It’s an experience that is unrivaled. This restaurant puts signature twists on classic dishes, I recommend the "Re-United," which has pulled pork topped with bacon, ham, pineapple chutney and Cooper Sharp cheese. Is your mouth watering yet? Stop by on Thursday and Sunday nights to catch some live music. The restaurant is a short walk away from Main Street in Bethlehem, making it a great place to stop after you’ve explored the historic and quaint downtown Bethlehem.
  • The Hamilton Kitchen & Bar - I love stopping by The Hamilton Kitchen & Bar and dining on their outdoor patiohamilton after a concert or game at the PPL Center. The restaurant and bar is in a prime location, as it is directly across the street from the all-new PPL Center in downtown Allentown. The diverse menu makes it difficult to just choose one thing which makes for a good excuse to keep coming back. You’ll want to try everything on the menu!

Enjoy al fresco dining and the warm weather while summer’s still here! Feel free to share your comments below on your favorite places to dine al fresco.

Carrie L. Eager is a Public Relations intern at Lehigh Mining & Navigation located in Bethlehem, Pa. She will graduate from Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications in 2016 with a major in Public Relations and a minor in Psychology.