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The colonial traveler that came into our county on foot or on horseback, via a canal boat or in a carriage found a tavern owner or an innkeeper readily at hand and accommodating. The same can be said of the traveler that visits our community today. Whether you are bringing your children or grandchildren to Easton for a day at the Crayola Factory, you are here for a Busch race at the Nazareth Speedway, you are here at Christmas to follow the “Star of Bethlehem,” or you are one of more than a million August guests who journey to Northampton County to hear great music during Musikfest, we promise that you’ll be received just as well in the 21st century as your predecessors were in the 18th century.
Northampton County’s innkeepers, tavern owners, and restaurant staffs look forward to making you feel right at home, whether that’s for a quick cup of tea or coffee to refresh you after a long morning of touring Bethlehem’s historic district, after a busy day calling on your customers scattered throughout the Lehigh Valley, or after an evening of listening to Crosby, Stills and Nash on the main stage.
Northampton County’s inns, hotels, motels and bed and breakfasts offer our visitors and travelers exceptional accommodations, whether you are here for a night or a fortnight. You can stay at the Radisson Hotel in downtown Bethlehem, built by Charles Schwab as the elegant Hotel Bethlehem, or at any of more than a dozen name brand hotels – like Holiday inn and Hampton Inn – or you can select from an ever-increasing number of bed and breakfast inns that make a traveler feel at home.
If you stay at the Radisson Hotel Bethlehem, lovingly restored to its 1922 grandeur, please make sure you take time to view the seven large murals painted by George Gray and hung in the Colonnade Steakhouse since 1937. These murals retell the history of Bethlehem; in particular the story of how Count Zinzendorf and other early settlers met on Christmas Eve in 1741 in a crude cabin on the site now occupied by the hotel, and named the city of Bethlehem.
Because Northampton County and the Lehigh valley are home to hundreds of thousands of residents, outstanding shopping is a given. Our retail stores also benefit from a significant influx of shoppers from New Jersey and New York who travel a few extra miles to shop for clothing – because unlike NJ and NY, PA does not charge sales tax on clothing; that’s a 7-9% advantage.
The largest retail shopping mall in the county (Westgate Mall) is located near the Lehigh Valley, Muhlenberg Medical Center. A large new retail complex is currently under construction on 25th Street on the western edge of Easton. The largest shopping mall in the valley (The Lehigh Valley Mall) is located just north of Route 22 near Allentown.
Wherever you travel in Northampton County, particularly in the cities of Easton and Bethlehem, you will find unique shopping experiences. Small specialty shops thrive in both cities; they offer crafts from local artists, as well as international brands such as Portmeirion and Royal Doulton china. Antique shops seemingly are located at every corner, and rare and used book shops, often now combined with a quality coffee shop, are easy to find. It’s getting out of a used book shop that’s tough. The Celtic cultural community thrives in Bethlehem. Near the Hotel Bethlehem you’ll find an original tea shoppe with imported goods from Ireland and Scotland. The Crayola Store in Easton provides your child or grandchild with an “artists’ toyland.”
The Moravian Book Shop in Bethlehem is far more than a book-shop; it includes clothing, fine china, foods, and a variety of gift items. Donegal Square in Bethlehem opened in 1985, and has now evolved into one of the most comprehensive Celtic Import shops in North America. Neville Gardner, the shop’s gregarious owner, was born in Belfast, Ireland, and grew up in the County Antrim village of Lambeg. His mother was Irish and father was Scottish, meaning he grew up in a family of great cooks and bakers. In addition to his outlandish shop, Mr. Gardner conducts annual tours of Ireland, and while on tour with his clients, he browses the Irish shops to find the unique clothing, jewelry and pottery that is available in his shop. Mr. Gardener’s tea room, Granny McCarthy’s, features the recipes left to him by his late mother. Josh Early Candies in Bethlehem has been hand-crafting chocolates for chocoholics since 1933. Right in the heart of Bethlehem’s historic district, in what was once the city’s finest department store is located The Shoppes at Main Street Commons, where you will find an eclectic collection of shops offering one-of-a-kind, and very unique gifts for everyone. The Foo-Foo Shoppe, as an example, sells handmaid soaps of all sizes, shapes, scents and colors.
As we mentioned, restaurants of every size, character and attribute are available to hungry travelers, shoppers, and residents who need a “special night out.” A few of our favorites include; The Apollo Grill in Bethlehem brought New York style to downtown Bethlehem. The Fegley family’s Bethlehem Brew Works in downtown Bethlehem has quickly become the “standard” by which a good brew pub is judged. These folks know how to make “real beer,” and the atmosphere is just right. Bruno Scipioni's Italian Ristorante in Bethlehem is a great pizzeria, but they also offer steak, veal, chicken and seafood. The Golden Pheasant Inn in Erwinna is located in a 1857 fieldstone inn nestled between the Delaware River and the Canal. Chef Michel Fauré’s cuisine includes country French cuisine – served in three romantic dining rooms, including the Tavern with fireplace and the Greenhouse overlooking the canal. The Edge Restaurant in Bethlehem is one of the newest additions to the dining scene in Historic Bethlehem. Godfrey Daniels Coffeehouse in South Bethlehem provides an intimate venue for music lovers – a unique coffee shop that also offers world-class folk and blues entertainment. Hanoverville Road House in Bethlehem is located in a renovated 17th century roadhouse. Inside the historic Inn of the Falcon in Bethlehem, a fire crackles in the hearth while chef-owner Shirlee Neumeyer prepares classic continental cuisine. The Marblehead Grille & Chowder House in Easton is the "Shore Thing" to conjure up memories of your finest sea shore vacation. The Blue Grillhouse and Wine Bar in Bethlehem specializes in fresh seafood, prime steaks and chops with over 60 wines per glass and over 200 more by bottle. In 1858, Robert Heysham Sayre, engineer and industrialist and one of the founders of what was to become Bethlehem Steel moved his family into his newly constructed Gothic Revival mansion, the first to be built in what is now the Fountain Hill National Historic District. Now, the Sayre Mansion Restaurant provides Northampton County residents with the absolutely finest in elegant dining. The Stroudsmoor Country Inn in Stroudsburg is an inn atop its own 200-acre mountain.