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Northampton County: From Easton to Bethlehem and Beyond

Northampton County, Pennsylvania sits snug between Allentown and the Delaware River. With half of Bethlehem in its boundaries, along with county-seat Easton, this Lehigh Valley gem has quite a history.

Let’s take a closer look at Easton and Bethlehem. There are many other towns dotted through-out Northampton County, but you’d be amiss to overlook these two behemoths that account for a large portion of the population. 

Easton, Pennsylvania

Easton is nestled against the river, and just across from New Jersey’s border. In 1752 Thomas Penn founded the city of Easton. Today, it’s as widely known for the Crayola Experience as it is for its history. With plenty to do, and plenty of history, we’ll delve into what makes Easton a great place to live or visit. 

Crayola Experience in Easton, PA
Crayola Experience in Easton, PA

Did you know? The Declaration of Independence was read in Easton on July 8, 1776! If you’d like to see the event re-enacted, they do it each Heritage Day. If you’re not into history, that’s okay. They’ve got you covered. Consider hitting up the PA BaconFest in November instead.

With public markets, farm markets, and art festivals, you’ll always find something going on in Easton. 

Did you know? The Easton Public Market was modeled after the Reading Terminal Market of Philadelphia. And a special note for those that need it, yes, they are ADA compliant. 

Easton Public Market

Easton Public Market

According to, at the Nurture Nature Center

Visitors can immerse themselves in global images of hurricanes, tsunamis, earthquakes, climate, and weather patterns, as well as, human and social global networks and trends. (source)

Easton’s sister city, sitting just a few miles away offers another big slice of history. Bethlehem is well worth the visit if you’re traveling through or live in the area.

Bethlehem, Pennsylvania

Bethlehem’s steel mills were a staple and employer in the area for 100 years. They closed just over twenty years ago, and after sitting empty for what felt like a long gap of time, the area was taken over by Sands. The casino offered much needed work to an area that lost a big employer. Sands has since been bought by Wind Creek Properties. The theme of the building played tribute to the steel town’s history.

Another popular bit of the casino is the three Emeril owned eateries, a burger place, a chop house, and a fish house. 

But it’s not the casino that is the gem of the city. In fact, it’s the historic downtown that shines like a gem. In 1741 Moravians founded the town, which was considered communal. Oh, and adding to history, here’s a neat fact. Do you like to read? Love an old book shop?

Did you know? The Moravian Book Shop dates back to 1745. Yes, you read that right—1745. And, it’s been continually operating as well.

Moravian Book Shop in downtown Bethlehem, PA

Moravian Book Shop in downtown Bethlehem, PA

And if you’re a PEEPS fan, the marshmallow, squishy chick treat, they’re made in Bethlehem. Looking for entertainment? MusikFest is a huge, non-gated (read free) musical festival that is celebrated each year.

Whether you’re more interested in the Moravian Museum or prefer to visit the Kemerer Museum of Design Arts (which offers free admissions Sundays), you’ll also want to add Blacksmithing 101 to your weekend visit.

You’re never far from history when you’re in Northampton County, Pennsylvania. 

If you’re looking for a shopping treat or a great place to eat, Bethlehem has you covered there, too. Their downtown/south side shopping district includes the above-mentioned Moravian Book Shop, along with boutiques, good eats, and more. Main Street has a cobblestone merged with trendy modernized feel. You get the historic vibe, but plenty of hip, artsy places to check out like a furniture design store, a cigar shop, a popular salon, to a UK-vibe shop that offers wares focused on Ireland and the British Isle.

After you’ve done checking out everything from a crystal shop to latest clothing trends, be sure to add the Franklin Hill Vineyard to your list of things to do, or the Artisan Wine and Cheese Cellars. There’s truly something for everyone.

Northampton County, PA

The area sits approximately 70+ miles from Philadelphia, so just over a 90-minute drive if you’re coming in from there. 

Did you know? The local airport was once named the Allentown-Bethlehem-Easton International Airport (ABE), though it’s since embraced a new name. While Lehigh Valley International Airport is the newer moniker, the call letters remained the same (ABE).

The popular race car drivers Michael Andretti, along with John and Jeff are from the Lehigh Valley area.

Now that you’ve seen some of the things worth visiting in Northampton County’s Easton and Bethlehem, be sure to add them to your weekend day-trip list. If you live in the area, maybe try exploring a section you’d previously overlooked. There are so many neat nooks to check out, college campuses, lush-green parks, and more. And don’t forget to grab your Northampton County gear, today!

Northampton County is in the southeastern to central eastern section of Pennsylvania.

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