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Historic Bethlehem

Historic Bethlehem


Just look around. From pre-colonial buildings to rooms where the Constitution was written, Bethlehem, Pa., is steeped in history. And while it was founded more than 275 years ago, this town has reinvented itself over and over again. Today, there’s a booming arts district, high-end restaurants, quirky shops, and even a 90-foot star that’s kind of hard to miss.


Moravian’s two “campuses” book end a mile-stretch of Bethlehem’s Main Street, including a so-adorable-it-hurts block of Historic Bethlehem where well-priced vintage stores, art galleries, and local olive oil and chocolate purveyors share the street with inns and buildings that have roots as deep as our country’s humble beginning (more on that from the Historic Bethlehem Partnership, where Moravian College students have interned.) Follow the blue placards for a walking history of the town. Pet the dozens of instagram-worthy dogs just hanging out while their owners dine al fresco. Grab a bagel at Johnny’s and peep the fancy Hotel Bethlehem patrons before class. Main Street is a huge reason why over 75,000 people call Bethlehem home—hopefully you will, too.  While you're on Main Street, stop in and visit America's oldest continuously operating book seller, the Moravian Book Shop, which also happens to be the student bookstore for Moravian College. 

Bethlehem’s charm goes beyond one block. Across the bridge, Bethlehem’s South Side is an artist’s playground.  Planning to bring your BMX bike or skateboard to school? Check out the Bethlehem Skateplaza. See an outdoor concert at the Levitt Pavillion. Enjoy a sketch comedy show or a limited-release indie film at Steel Stacks or learn more about Bethlehem’s rich history on the site of the former Bethlehem Steel plant (check out the Hoover-Mason Trestle if you go.)


Bethlehem is a constantly-evolving blend of culture and commerce, progress and preservation. What does that mean for you? There’s always something to do. Walk out your door and you’ll accidentally stumble upon a street fair. Get your Baroque on at the annual Bethlehem Bach Festival. Bagpipe with the best of them at the Celtic Classic. And forget Coachella—fill yourself with fried food and fantastic (free) tunes at the truly epic 10 day Musikfest drawing a million visitors each August, making it the largest free, non-gated music festival in the nation and named the Best Music Festival in North America by USA Today. Join the more than 5,000 people that descend upon our city for the College’s annual Christmas Vespers service in Central Moravian Church in December. Take a snowy carriage ride among the lit-up trees while you enjoy the holiday music that’s piped in throughout the streets. And if you can’t find your way home, look up into the mountains for the Bethlehem Star. Too much Christmas spirit? Never. We’re called the Christmas City for a reason.


Need a break from Bethlehem? We’re right between Allentown and Easton. Together, we form the Lehigh Valley metropolitan area, home to nearly three-quarters of a million people and eight colleges and universities. Head over to for a wider look at what the Lehigh Valley has to offer.  In Easton you'll find the Easton Public Market and a lots of new restaurants, bars, and stores that all make for a great afternoon or evening.  The Phillies Triple A team, the Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs are close by and the Flyers AHL team, the Lehigh Valley Phantoms are a 10-minute drive away in Allentown.  Like to hit the slopes?  You're in luck because Blue Mountain Resort, Camelback and Jack Frost Big Boulder are just a short drive from campus.