Yesterday I met up with my brother, who works at Muhlenberg College, and we decided to grab a quick sandwich for lunch (because I’m a sucker for Wawa and the Classic hoagies are only $4.79 right now). I really didn’t want to eat in an office since it was such a nice day out, and the decision was made to head to our nearest park which just so happened to be West Park.

I had driven by the park plenty of times, but I was always on my way to some place or another and never found the time to get out of my car. Right away I couldn’t help but notice that West Park has some of the oldest trees I’ve seen in Lehigh Valley, providing us with plenty of shade under the hundred-foot tall behemoths as we enjoyed lunch by the fountain.

You may or may not know this, but Allentown has one of the best park systems in the country. Don’t believe me? Just ask Wikipedia. (I was always told in college that Wikipedia wasn’t reliable but it has never steered me wrong.) You might be surprised to know just how much land in Allentown is dedicated to the many parks and recreation areas. Allentown has more acres of parkland per capita than any other American city its size*.

Whichever corner of the city you’re in, you’re likely to be within a short walk of one of the parks. Some of my favorites are the Little Lehigh Parkway, Cedar Beach Park, Arts Park, and of course there’s always the scenic Rose Gardens. There’s also a 20,000 square foot playground at Cedar Beach Park that is a big hit with kids.

Next time you’re thinking of having lunch in your boring old office, I beg you to reconsider and head to your nearest park. Get some fresh air, and take in some of the scenery that the city has worked so hard to maintain.

What’s your favorite park in Allentown?