Founded on Christmas Eve in 1741 by a small group of Moravian settlers and christened “Christmas City, USA” in 1937, Bethlehem turns its gaze toward the past year-round guided tours and museum exhibits. The 10.9-mile Heritage Trail snakes through 80 historic stops, including two National Historic Landmarks, Victorian-era homes, and the nation’s oldest gift shop. On historic walks, guides lead tour groups through the now-defunct site of Bethlehem Steel, the city’s oldest cemeteries, and the 1762 Waterworks, known as the first municipally pumped water system in the country. The Kemerer Museum Of Decorative Arts is one of only 15 of its kind in the country. Located inside the 1741 Gemeinhaus, the Moravian Museum of Bethlehem curates a collection of exhibits about the town’s settlers, including their missionary work, education system, and medical techniques.
Knowledgeable tour guides and fluctuating locales spicy up this lively approach to dinner, in which food fanatics embark upon a steered exploration of center-city cuisine. The three-hour tour ditches wayward water vessels for walking shoes and begins with appetizers of calamari fries and three-cheese flatbread and drinks at Mediterranean-fused Sangria. Next, move onto the entree portion at Made in Brazil Steakhouse for authentic grilled comestibles. Lastly, wrap up the itinerant palate party with coffee and dessert at Allentown Brew Works, located in the historic Harold's Furniture Building. Indulge in a custardy chocolate pot de crème and a professional beer talk accented with malty ghosts of armchairs and footstools. Tours include tax and gratuity and vary per weekend night.
Villa Milagro Vineyard is more than a spot for the creation of fine wines. It's also a protective habitat for native species, a culinary school, and a bastion of organic and sustainable agricultural practices. On winery tours, guests stroll down lanes surrounded by vines that are grown without pesticides or herbicides. You can sign up for cooking or wine-tasting classes, or simply sit down with the vintners for dinner. Tastings let you sample the vineyard's output, and bottles are for sale once you find something you like.
According to local legend, Oliver Sommersby built the Waldorf Hotel not to welcome travelers, but to usher them towards an untimely demise—at his own hands. Today, at The Haunting at the Waldorf Hotel, his victims' souls wander through the hotel's peeling paint and overturned furniture, lurking in the wine cellar, perching at the head of the dining table, or crouching over a dollhouse, waiting for more guests to terrorize. Outside in the cornfields, hayrides tow guests through the haunted grounds, where the undead thumb-wrestle each other as they lie in wait for fresh victims in more than a dozen horror-filled scenes.
Sportations connects amateur adrenaline jockeys to certified professional adventurers, drawing from a nationwide network of aeronauts and speed demons to introduce habitual pedestrians to the wonders of skydiving, ballooning, hang gliding, and stock-car racing. Thrill seekers can zipline across a forest canopy, hollering like Tarzan or taunting nearby birds until they agree to race. Helicopter tours ferry patrons skyward over landmarks and cityscapes, whereas paragliding adventures get up close and personal with blue skies and clouds. For most sports, Sportations accommodates groups of any size, from physics classes empirically proving gravity's existence to solo ballooning supervillains declaring dominion over all they see.