Allentown

For other places with the same name, see Allentown (disambiguation).

Allentown is a city in the Lehigh Valley region of eastern Pennsylvania, in the United States. It is the third largest city in Pennsylvania, after Philadelphia and Pittsburgh. Allentown is also the county seat of Lehigh County. As of 2010, Allentown's population was 118,032. As of 2000, the population density was 6,011.5/mi²(2,320.8/km²).

Understand

Allentown was founded in 1762 by William Allen. It was then known as "Northampton Town." It was renamed "Allentown" in 1838 and it was formally incorporated as a city on March 12, 1867.

Allentown has a large Latino/Hispanic population. Hispanics make up over 40% of Allentown's population.

Geography

Allentown lies on the Lehigh River. It is 338 feet above sea level. It is 60 miles north of Philadelphia, 90 miles west of New York City, and 80 miles east of Harrisburg. Allentown is only 15 miles west of the New Jersey state line.

Climate

The climate in Eastern Pennsylvania is unique in that it can be up to and over 100 degrees in the summer and get snow in the winter. Summers are always hot, with temperatures in the upper 80s and humidity is usually high, above 80 or 85%. Winters can be cold, with ice on the roads being a worse problem than snow, but it does snow. Some years the area will only get a few inches all season, with the last major blizzard in 1996, when Lehigh Valley saw over 2 feet of snow.

Tourist information

Talk

English is the dominant language in Allentown, but Spanish is also widely used. Outside of the area, you can find people speaking Pennsylvania Dutch. Other languages can be found here, such as Arabic, Portuguese and Vietnamese.

Fun facts

Allentown is known nationally as the birthplace of several famous Americans, including:

Other interesting facts:

Get in

By air

The primary and most convenient point of airline entry to Allentown and Lehigh Valley is Lehigh Valley International Airport (IATA: ABE), which is less than 15 minutes away from most parts of the city. Various airlines operate out of this airport. Philadelphia International Airport (IATA: PHL) is a major international airport that is about 70 miles away. Since it is a hub for several national airlines, it is easy to obtain non-stop internal flights to Philadelphia International compared to ABE and usually cheaper. However, for international travelers, New Jersey's Newark Liberty International Airport (IATA: EWR) may be the best option. Though EWR mostly serves New York City, flights to PHL from other continents such as Europe are often expensive and will almost always require a lengthy stopover flight via anywhere from Houston to Chicago to Montreal. Ground connections from EWR to Allentown are also reasonably easy, with Trans-Bridge Lines running a coach service, and the airport only being marginally over an hour's drive from Allentown.

By car

By bus

The city is served by a regional bus service, LANTA, whose transportation center is in downtown Allentown, providing convenient service to and from the center city. Every LANTA bus is equipped with a bike rack.

Get around

Allentown is relatively easy to navigate. Most of the city is easily walkable or bikeable.

The main east-west streets are listed from north to south: Sumner, Whitehall, Greenleaf, Cedar, Washington, Green, Tilghman, Allen, Liberty, Gordon, Chew, Turner, Linden, Hamilton, Walnut, and Union. Numbered streets run from north to south. They begin towards the west at 1 and continue to 42.

By bus

Extensive bus services are provided by Lehigh and Northampton Transportation Authority (LANTA).

Easton Coach also provides motorcoach and other transit services.

By cab

Several cab companies also operate throughout Allentown and Lehigh Valley. These are:

By limo

By car

Most visitors to Lehigh Valley will want to either rent a car or drive their own.

By bike

Riding a bike can also get you around in Allentown and its fabulous park system.

Allentown is a city. When you ride it and park it, make sure you lock it. A Bike Line of Alllentown will rent bikes. Little Lehigh Parkway and Jordan Creek Park are accessible to pedal through. Cyclists can access a trail head at Canal Park to get on the Tow Path to take them to Bethlehem and Easton.

Allentown is known for its extensive trail and park systems. Of special interest to visitors will be the Bridle Path in Lehigh Parkway (stop to feed the fish in the Fish Hatchery, go to the Museum of Indian Culture or pedal along a trail that takes you to a covered bridge).

On foot

The main Allentown downtown area is small and easy to walk. You may want to park your car in one of the many garages and walk downtown.

See

Do

Events

Learn

Allentown is home to Muhlenberg College, Cedar Crest College and the Donley Center, the downtown Allentown campus of Lehigh Carbon Community College (LCCC). Other colleges are located throughout Lehigh Valley.

Work

The largest employer in Allentown is Lehigh Valley Hospital, with over 7,800 workers. Other companies headquartered here are Air Products & Chemicals, LSI, St. Lukes Hospital, Blue Cross and PPL. Allentown was once an important manufacturing center in the region. Today, small scale manufacturing is still an important part of the local economy.

Allentown is the county seat for Lehigh County. Downtown Allentown is an important employment center with approximately 15,000 people working there.

Buy

Eat

Allentown offers numerous family-run eateries featuring authentic ethnic cuisine. These include Japanese, Chinese, Lebanese, Mexican, Jamaican, Dominican and Puerto Rican restaurants. A variety of casual dining and fast food restaurants are available around the Whitehall and Cedar Crest Boulevard business districts, as well as in Center City. You can even catch a hot dog on the street from a vendor on Hamilton Street or 7th Street.

Budget

Mid-range

Splurge

Drink

Allentown is well known for its nightlife, and many Allentown clubs feature major New York City, Philadelphia, and Allentown DJs and live bands. They include:

  • , 3400 W Tilghman St,  +1 484 223-2020. Su-Th 11AM-12AM, Fr-Sa 11AM-2AM. The newest Brew Works in the area with views of the golf course.

Sleep

Stay safe

Much of the crime in Allentown is gang related, so it is advisable to avoid poor neighborhoods and housing projects. Active gangs in the city include 18th Street, Black Dragons, Bloods, Crips, Latin Kings, Los Solidos, Mexican Mafia, GGU Crew, and MS-13. Thus, Graffiti is very widespread.

In 2006, Allentown had 16 murders, 42 rapes, and 6059 property crimes. The crime index was 6667.5 per 100,000 in 2006, while the national average was only 4479.3. Allentown has a crime rates almost twice the national average in every category, including rape, robbery, theft, auto theft, murder, assault, and burglary. Rougher areas include parts of East Allentown and some neighborhoods of Center City north of Linden St. and south of Tilghman St. as well as the area between the American Parkway and Lehigh River, just east of Center City. Random acts of violence and crime against visitors is rare - much of the crime in the area involves people involved in drugs, gangs, or other illicit activities. It would be unwise to try to buy drugs or other contraband in the city.

It is fairly easy to stay safe by following common sense. Theft is an issue, so be sure to lock cars and stay out of poorer areas at night. Prostitution and street racing are also issues in Allentown. Don't walk alone late at night or on dimly lit streets. The most likely victim of a mugging on an Allentown street is someone who is alone and intoxicated, so keep your wits about you. If homeless approach you for change, just keep walking if you don't want to give anything. Pickpocketing is not a large problem, but don't flash around your money.

There is a large police presence in the neighborhoods most frequented by visitors, especially Hamilton Street. Many officers in Center City use bicycles.

Stay healthy

Hospitals

If you are in need of medical attention, here are some hospitals in the area:

Respect

As in many parts of the country, citizens may not want to share religious or political views. The city in recent years has seen an influx of Spanish speakers, mainly from Puerto Rico and The Dominican Republic.

Connect

In Allentown one must dial an area code when you place a call. Area codes in the Lehigh Valley are 610 and 484. Another overlay, 835, is planned, but is not active yet. You may still find some payphones on the street.

Cope

Religious Services

Website for the Diocese of Allentown
Catholic churches:

Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints:

Episcopal churches:

Hindu:

Jewish:

Lutheran:

Muslim:

Go next

Other Lehigh Valley locations

Regional cities and locations

Routes through Allentown

Harrisburg Fogelsville  W  E  Hellertown New York City
Scranton Lehighton  N  S  Kulpsville Philadelphia
Lancaster Reading  S  N  END


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