One of the fastest-growing cities in Pennsylvania, Allentown lies on the Lehigh River in the state’s east. Originally inhabited by the Lenape people, it was founded as Northampton Town in 1762 by William Allen (before being renamed Allentown in 1838) and is where the Liberty Bell was famously hidden in 1777.
Things to do in Allentown
Located within the High German Evangelical Reformed Church is the Liberty Bell Museum, which boasts a full-size replica of this icon of American independence. See Wilmer Behler’s hand-painted mural that illustrates the hiding of the bell and take your turn to ring the replica that was cast in 1769. The Liberty Bell Museum is also home to local puppet celebrity “Pip the Mouse”.
A short walk from the Liberty Bell Museum is the Allentown Art Museum, which boasts an impressive collection of European and American paintings, textiles and drawings. If vintage vehicles are more your thing, head to the America on Wheels Museum, where antique motorbikes, automobiles and a 19th-century Nadig gas-powered carriage are exhibited. In the south of Allentown is the Mack Trucks Historical Museum, which features artefacts and trucks from this iconic manufacturing company.
Delve into the region’s indigenous past at the Museum of Indian Culture, which preserves objects belonging to the Lenape people. The museum occupies a Pennsylvania German stone farmhouse dating from the mid-18th century where stone tools, ceramics and basketry are exhibited. A highlight of the collection is the millennia-old artefacts discovered in the Broomall Rock Shelters.
Getting around Allentown
Lehigh Valley International Airport is a 15-minute drive from the centre of Allentown and has flights to destinations across the United States. Buses connect from New York City and Philadelphia to Allentown and the city centre can easily be explored on foot.