Visit Bethlehem, PA with Me...

Monday, September 1, 2014

Today I want to take you on a little trip with me to Bethlehem, PA. Bethlehem lies in the center of the Lehigh Valley; a 45 minute drive from our house.   In June, my husband and I celebrated our 27th wedding anniversary and we spent the day walking around this cute town and had lunch at one of their many restaurants.   In July, we went back with family to celebrate both of our birthdays...







Bethlehem, PA was founded on Christmas Eve in 1741.  David Nitschmann and Count Nicolaus von Zinzendorf, leading a small group of Moravians, founded the mission community along the banks of the Monocacy Creek by the Lehigh River in the colony of Pennsylvania. They came to set up missionary communities among the Native Americans and unchurched German-speaking Christians. They named the settlement after the town of Bethlehem in Judea, the birthplace of Jesus. 

The first building in Bethlehem was a two room log house where on Christmas Eve 1741 the original settlers conducted their evening worship. Count Zinzendorf proclamed the name of the settlement to be "Bethlehem."  It is reported that he came up with the name of Bethlehem after hearing the settlers sing the hymn, "Not Jerusalem, But Lowly Bethlehem" and observing the farm animals that shared the space with the settlers.  

The Hotel Bethlehem now sits on the exact spot where the two room log house was many years ago...



The Hotel Bethlehem is a beautiful hotel.  My husband and I enjoyed their Christmas Musical Brunch a few years ago...

(Photo Credit:  Google Images)

A street view photo...


When you visit Bethlehem, PA, you need to also take some time to visit the Moravian Book Shop which is the world's oldest operating bookstore.  In the back of the bookstore is America's first drug store founded in 1752.


Inside the bookstore...


The town is filled with history and beautiful old buildings.  Here is a cemetery we walked through...



An old alleyway off of Main Street...


A beautiful house made out of field stone...


Bethlehem has many different restaurants.  A lot with outside sitting during the warmer months...


When we went a few weeks ago, we had dessert outside at the Hotel Bethlehem.  This is a photo of my sister and I standing in front of the beautiful window boxes in front of the hotel...



My lunch on our anniversary date back in June...



And don't forget the shopping!  So many different quaint shops to walk through...


I love Byer Choice Carolers...


Christmas in Bethlehem, PA is amazing!  There are Christmas-themed walking tours, bus tours and carriage rides to give visitors a historic experience. The costumed guides will lead the way to their museums that are decorated as they would have been when the Moravians first walked through these streets in the 1700's and 1800’s.  In 1937, The Bethlehem Chamber of Commerce started a nationwide letter writing effort to 2,500 Chambers of Commerce asking each of them to notify their local newspapers of the campaign to make Bethlehem, Pennsylvania “the Christmas City”.   

(Photo Credit:  Google Images)

Christkindlmarkt, Bethlehem is an arts and crafts market modeled after Europe’s open-air holiday marketplaces. Set under large heated tents, this marketplace has vendors that offer everything from the edible to the wearable and everything in between including Christmas ornaments, Nutcrackers and artwork. There is plenty of entertainment for the kids - St. Nick has been known to visit – and there is much to keep even the most seasoned of shoppers interested. This experience has become a favorite holiday tradition in Bethlehem and beyond. In 2006, Travel and Leisure magazine named it one of the top holiday markets in the entire world

No matter what time of year you visit Bethlehem, PA, you will enjoy every minute!  Bethlehem is filled with history, old world charm, delicious restaurants and plenty of fun things to do!  











1 comment :

  1. I am in love with small towns, especially when it comes to downtown. The bookstore and the carriage ride look fun. I never been to PA but now i know where to go if I ever decided to go there. Thank you for sharing.

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