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Bethlehem Travel Guide, Pennsylvania

Bethlehem Travel Guide – General Information

The city of Bethlehem is located in the Lehigh Valley region (along with Allentown and Easton) of eastern Pennsylvania, USA. Named among the ‘Top 100 Best Places to Live’ by Money Magazine in 2006, the city has always been an important industrial/manufacturing center because of its strong road and rail network. This Bethlehem travel guide will help you understand how the same infrastructure is aiding the city’s economy further by making the city a top tourist destination.

Bethlehem Travel Guide – Statistics

Area: 50.3 sq km

Population: 71,329

Currency: USD

Language(s): English, German, Spanish

Bethlehem Travel Guide – Architecture

Known as ‘Christmas City, USA’, Bethlehem is unlike other modern cities that have high-rises dotting the skyline; instead the city, especially the downtown area, presents a beautiful setting with its contemporary structures standing side by side the original buildings of the early Moravian settlers.

The headquarters/steel plant of the ‘Bethlehem Steel Corp.’ is undoubtedly the star-attraction of Bethlehem; however, the city also has other notable structures like the Schnitz House, Central Moravian Church, Bethlehem High School, Moravian College, Lehigh University, etc. The Hill to Hill Bridge over Lehigh River is the other important architectural marvel of Bethlehem city.

Bethlehem Travel Guide – Economy and Infrastructure

Bethlehem has long served as the hub of America’s heavy industries. Bethlehem Steel (previously known as Bethlehem Iron Works) has essentially been the largest industry of the city – employing huge numbers of people and contributing to its economy through its services in building the nation. Bethlehem Steel’s productions include thousands of things from arms and armaments to ships and bridges, railway tracks, so on and so forth. The final years of the 20th century, however, saw America’s second largest steel producer, stop all its operations after going bankrupt.

The incident has been a sure-shocker; however, the impact on the local economy has not been huge because Bethlehem’s economy had diversified by then. Today, Bethlehem is a producer/manufacturer of various chemicals, cement, machineries and textile; recently, the city has also ventured into the semi-conductor trade. It is now being said that the city has over 1500 different businesses.

Efforts are also on to convert the city facility of Bethlehem Steel to a Bethlehem travel attraction. The launching of the Sands Casino Resort Bethlehem (housed in the city steel plant compound) in May 2009 has been a step towards fulfilling this goal.

As far as transportation is concerned, the city of Bethlehem enjoys superb connectivity because of its advantageous situation in two counties (Lehigh and Northampton) as well as for its inclusion in the tri-city metropolitan complex of Allentown, Bethlehem and Easton. Bethlehem has always had a well-knit railway network connecting it to other cities, but it now also boasts of excellent roadway links because of the highway/super-highway links. The ABE complex is served by the Lehigh Valley International Airport.

Bethlehem Travel Guide – People and Culture

Bethlehem city has a multi-cultural, multi-ethnic society. The initial settlers were Moravian colonists from North Carolina; but then people from different regions of the world made this eastern Pennsylvanian city their home in the later years. The people toil hard and are mostly devout Christians. They are keen followers of art and culture. Apart from religious festivities, the people of Bethlehem also participate in various cultural events like the Celtic Classic (celebrating Celtic culture), Christkindlmarkt (celebrating the people’s German origin), Musikfest (a 10 day-long music event), etc.

Hopefully this Bethlehem travel guide will help you when you go visiting this Pennsylvanian city.

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