Historic Sites, Landmarks & Museums In Lehigh Valley
From the humble beginnings of settlers, to the American Revolution, Industrial Revolution, and beyond, Lehigh Valley is part of the fabric of America, and that history can still be seen today around every cobblestone street, canal, and factory trestle. Lehigh Valley is steeped in pre-Colonial, Early American, and Industrial history, and historic Moravian Bethlehem, a National Historic Landmark District, nominated to the UNESCO World Heritage List. The nomination includes historic Moravian church settlements here in Bethlehem, along with Herrnhut, Germany, and Gracehill, Northern Ireland/United Kingdom.
is where the Liberty Bell, America’s symbol of freedom, was hidden during the Revolutionary War. Ring a replica Liberty Bell at the Liberty Bell Museum in Zion’s Reformed United Church of Christ, also listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Wilmer Behler’s hand-painted mural tells the story of the hiding of the bells as it was used as a refuge during Indian raids, a revolutionary war hospital, a gathering place for the reading of the Declaration of Independence.
Quaint downtown Bethlehem was named a Top 10 Main Street by USA Today, and the Historic Hotel Bethlehem the #1 Historic Hotel in America by USA Today's 10Best is a great home base for exploring the many treasures of this National Historic Landmark District —that is, if you can pull yourself away from the plush guest rooms, onsite restaurant, and ice cream parlor. Founded by the Moravians, Bethlehem was the hub of the canals. The canals then gave birth to greater transportation with the Lehigh Valley Railroad, and both of those stories are part of the foundation for the rise and fall of Bethlehem Steel. Put on your walking shoes and tour historic Bethlehem, also known as Christmas City, U.S.A., where the 1741 Gemeinhaus, home of the Moravian Museum (a National Historic Landmark) still stands, along with numerous stone structures from the 18th century. Tour the Colonial Industrial Quarter, watch a blacksmithing demonstration, or learn even more at the National Museum of Industrial History, located in what was once a Bethlehem Steel Facility, forging a connection between America’s industrial past and the innovations of today. End your historic loop tour with an Instagram-worthy visit to the Hoover Mason Trestle overlooking the SteelStacks™ events venue. The elevated walkway, built along the railway that once hauled iron ore to the city’s blast furnaces, is ideal for either solo adventuring or guided tours.
is also featured prominently in American history. One of the first three public readings of the Declaration of Independence was held in the city's Centre Square in July of 1776. Today, this notable day in history is celebrated with an annual festival known as the Easton Heritage Day. The National Canal Museum commemorates America’s golden age of canals. Ride a canal boat pulled by mules, tour one of the only remaining locktender houses, and explore multi-use trails that meander along historic towpaths all the way to Wilkes-Barre. Easton also lays claim to the oldest continuously running open-air farmers market in America (Easton Farmers Market established 1752).
The names in these stories can be found in history books beyond Lehigh Valley, where names like Penn, Allen, Turner, Adams, White, Trexler, Packer, Sayre, and Schwab helped make not only Lehigh Valley, but America what it is. Tour the historical landmarks that still can be seen today and relive the history from our museums.