Whether you’re new to the Valley, a seasoned resident or merely passing through, we’ve compiled a list of everything you absolutely must do this year.
No excuses. Think you can accomplish them all before 2018 sneaks up?
1. Dine on swine at the PA Bacon Fest, every November in Easton.
2. Eat your way through the Easton Public Market. Fourteen local vendors, endless options. Order gourmet ramen at Mister Lee’s Noodles.
3. Enjoy the view from the top at Slopeside Pub & Grill at Blue Mountain. Too cold? The fire pits will keep you warm all season long.
4. Christmas Shop in Christmas City, aka Historic Downtown Bethlehem. While you’re there, celebrate the season at Christkindlmarkt.
5. Plan a spa getaway to Bear Creek Mountain Resort. Take advantage of the heated outdoor pool in the winter.
6. Have hand-dipped, homemade ice cream on a hot summer day at the Bethlehem Dairy Store, i.e. “The Cup.
7. Enjoy ten days of music, food and beer at Musikfest, which stretches through Bethlehem every August.
Photo by Colin Coleman
8. Bowl at Revolutions. Tired of Netflix and Redbox every weekend? Head to this tricked-out bowling alley—and order the fresh mozzarella squares while you’re there!
9. Cheer on the Bethlehem Steel FC at Lehigh University’s Goodman Stadium.
10. Cheer on the Lehigh Valley Phantoms at PPL Center. Take advantage of the Chickie’s & Pete’s walk-up window counter that makes ordering crab fries a breeze.
11. Experience the magic at the Crayola Factory in Easton. Because who doesn’t like the smell of crayons?
12. Take your toddler to Boo at the (Lehigh Valley) Zoo.
14. Feed the fish at lil le Hi Fish Hatchery.
15. Go apple picking at Grim’s Orchards. Be sure to try apple fries with caramel dipping sauce.
16. Attend all-night movie night at Becky’s, one of the oldest drive-in theaters in America.
17. Eat a legendary Yocco’s hot dog.
19. Ride the wooden roller coaster at Dorney Park. It was built in 1923 and is one of the oldest operating roller coasters in the Northeast—but totally safe, we promise.
20. Take a glassblowing class in the Hot Glass Studio of the Banana Factory.
Photo by Jonathan Davies
21. See a free concert at Levitt Pavilion, SteelStacks.
22. Drive through Lights in the Parkway. See the Lehigh Parkway transformed into a sparkling winter wonderland.
23. Hike Jacobsburg State Park.
24. Take family photos (or a stellar #selfie) at the Allentown Rose Garden.
25. Take a horse and carriage ride in Bethlehem at Christmastime. Book in advance.
Photo by Alison Conklin
26. Design your own equine-chic tailgate at the Lehigh Valley Polo match for charity.
27. Take a candlelit ghost tour of Downtown Bethlehem.
28. Sit at the chef’s window table at Emeril’s Chop House.
29. Go to Musical Sunday Brunch at Hotel Bethlehem. Make reservations.
Photo by Lee Butz
30. Attend Bach at Noon at Central Moravian Church. Get there early to ensure a seat at this free concert.
31. Watch fireworks at the Lehigh Lookout.
32. Tour the Martin Guitar Factory. If it’s good enough for John Mayer, it’s good enough for us.
33. Check out a local church food festival.
35. Get to know your local growers at one of the area’s farmers’ markets. Shop with like-minded individuals at Trexlertown, Allentown, Easton and Emmaus markets.
36. Jog your way through Runner’s World Half & Festival. Enjoy a post-race happy hour with this national magazine’s top editors.
Photo by Colin Coleman
37. Try one of the Valley’s up & coming local distilleries.
38. Spend a day at the Allentown Art Museum. And make sure to hit the gift shop and café while you’re there.
39. Explore the Lehigh Valley Wine Trail. Over 40 acres of Chambourcin, the region’s signature wine grape, is grown by all nine wineries on the trail.
40. Plan a picnic at Trexler Park.
41. Go back in time at the Roxy Theater. Billy Joel once performed here.
42. Book a staycation at the Sands. Shop, play and dine.
43. Experience a whole new kind of sweet tooth at Vegan Treats Bakery. With nearly 85k Instagram followers, and celebrity customers like Gwyneth Paltrow, they must be doing something right.