This week, I celebrated my four-year anniversary of working here at Discover Lehigh Valley. Though I'm not a native of the region (I went to Muhlenberg College and stuck around post-grad), I've been lucky to call Lehigh Valley home for almost nine years. In my four years at DLV, I've gotten to know the region well - from festivals and events, to local wineries, plenty of restaurants, and so much more. But, there are definitely a few quirks about the region that make it unique! Read on for four lessons I've learned so far while living, working, and playing in Lehigh Valley.

  1. Lehigh Valley really loves its bacon. From the Lehigh Valley IronPigs (yes, I proudly own a bacon-scented t-shirt) to PA BaconFest and beyond, it seems as though there is never a shortage of bacon in this area. Two Rivers Brewing Company, located in Easton, even hosts a weekly 'free bacon happy hour!' If you're looking to balance out your love of bacon with a little bit of exercise, you can even try your hand at the Bacon 5k Challenge where you'll have to eat a half pound of bacon midway through your run.
  2. Christmas lasts a whole season, not just one day. I guess that comes with the territory when you live in the Christmas City! But the holiday spirit isn't confined to Bethlehem alone. Admire thousands of twinkling lights at Allentown's Lights in the Parkway or make your way to the Lehigh Valley Zoo for their Winter Lights Spectacular. BlueMountain_ScenicView07_DiscoverLehighValley_JerryReardonI love the charm that takes over Lehigh Valley during the holiday season - from horse drawn carriage rides, to quaint downtown shopping districts, to candlelit windows, it's really is the most wonderful time of the year.
  3. The local parks & trails offer top-notch experiences. Whether you're looking to tackle that long run or just head out to take in some pretty viewpoints, there's a local park or trail to fit your need. Grab your bike or pull on your running shoes as you explore the Delaware & Lehigh National Heritage Corridor, pick up a pair of binoculars and go birdwatching from atop Hawk Mountain, check out the unique cement kilns at Saylor Park, part of the Ironton Rail Trail - the list goes on!
  4. You could head into New York or Philly for the weekend, but there are plenty of fun activities happening here all year round!13076781_10154094369892145_9098064562211513798_n Just look at our calendar of events on DiscoverLehighValley.com. A typical weekend sees 100+ events including festivals, art exhibits, wine tastings, family fun, and so much more. Feeling bored? Perhaps you'll want to check out our roundup of 101 Things to Do in Lehigh Valley. It's sometimes easy to overlook events when they happen in your own backyard, but you'll find plenty of fun if you get out and explore!

While you're out exploring all the fun that Lehigh Valley has to offer, be sure to share your experiences with us! Tag your photos #LiftYourSpiritsDLV for a chance to be featured or win prizes.