Things to See & Do and Events

Historic Bethlehem is brimming with fun things to do and history to see and experience everywhere you go. You can start your visit with a stroll down our top 10 Main Street (Number 1 in our eyes, but Top 10 according to USA Today in 2015) and grab an ice cream at the Hotel B Ice Cream Parlor, sip a gourmet coffee or tea from the Flying Egg, or tuck into a delicious meal from a host of great restaurants and cafes. Next, you will probably want to explore our vibrant community, so before you venture off Main Street, stop in at the Historic Bethlehem Visitor Center on Main Street for great advice, tour information and much more.


Take a stroll through the Colonial Industrial Quarter

Just down Main Street at the intersection with Church street near the Historic Hotel Bethlehem, the Industrial Quarter is where you’ll find the Water Works, a National Historic Landmark built in 1762 by the Moravians and where municipal water was first pumped in the United States. With a lovely open lawn and trails, you’ll also find the Tannery, Blacksmith Shop, and the Luckenbach Mill. Be sure to check in at the Historic Bethlehem Museums & Sites Visitor Center before you head over to the area to see if there are any events or educational programs at the Mill that will help you get a sense of what life was like in the early days of America’s birth.


Delaware and Lehigh National Heritage Corridor (D&L Trail)

The Delaware & Lehigh National Heritage Corridor (D&L) is both a diverse, multi-faceted organization, and a multi-use trail spanning 165 miles from the mountains of northeast Pennsylvania through the Lehigh Valley and Bucks County. One of the trails beginnings at the bottom of Main Street along the Lehigh Valley.


Bethlehem Zen & Sculpture Gardens

Just east of Main on Church street by City Hall and the Public Library, these tranquil meditative gardens are a perfect space to reflect and renew. If you’re lucky enough to be visiting in April or May, the garden’s cherry trees will be bursting with fragrant pink and magenta flowers. As you relax, enjoy the natural stone artwork in the Sculpture Garden, which are a wonderful focal point as you reflect, sip an herbal tea, or enjoy a nice pastry or picnic lunch.


Visit Moravian University

The history of Moravian University is anything but brief—we're the 6th oldest university in America. Our history doesn’t follow a singular, linear path. Though our story does start with a singular idea and moment. It follows two schools and two winding paths that eventually meet and merge.The distance between North and South campuses, about 0.8 miles, is known as the “Moravian Mile.” As part of orientation, first-year students traditionally walk the Mile between campuses, traveling from North to South, through Historic Bethlehem on their way.


Rent a Canoe, Kayak, Paddleboat or Bike

Just a short walk down Main Street toward River Street, you’ll find Historic Bethlehem River Tours and Sand Island Park, the gateway to your explorations of the Lehigh River. Offering the ultimate way to explore, you can kayak out on the river and bike along the D&L Trail to discover the history of Moravian Settlements, the hulking Bethlehem Steel plant, and much more (a courtesy shuttle is also available for your return). And for nature lovers, be on the lookout for wildlife including blue heron, bald eagles, turtles, deer, and more. Just a short drive from downtown Bethlehem, there’s also Hugh Moore Park and the National Canal Museum, where you can see one of the few remaining lock tender’s houses on the Lehigh Canal, the perennial flower garden, and take in the beautiful views. Offering a variety of tours as well as rentals of bikes, paddleboats, kayaks and canoes, as well as rail trails and towpaths to follow throughout Lehigh Valley, there’s plenty of fun ways to enjoy history and the great outdoors.


Frank Banko Alehouse Cinemas at Steelstacks

Enjoy the spacious, comfortable stadium-style seating of these modern theatres. If you’re visiting Thursday – Saturday, stock up on your favorite snacks and menu items until 5 p.m. from the Mike & Ike Bistro menu; available all day on Sundays. Located within the ArtsQuest™ Center on the SteelStacks™ campus, you’ll find the Frank Banko Alehouse Cinemas. Whether you are looking to take in a matinee, a Saturday Late Night Series, or a rare independent or foreign film, you’ll be doing it in style at one of two screen cinemas. The Bistro Bar is also available servicing with multiple options of domestic and imported beers and wines.


Sand Island Park

With peaceful walking and biking trails, picnic tables located throughout, and a playground for kids, Sand Island Park is bracketed by the southern section of the D&L Trail and Lehigh Canal, as well as the Lehigh River. For sports enthusiasts, bring your racket to play a couple of sets on the recently refinished courts or you can also indulge in a little fishing.