Wind Creek Bethlehem may find itself as one of the crown jewels in the Christmas City, but this growing area in the Lehigh Valley is home to several hidden treasures to discover if you’re looking to take a day or two off from the casino gaming.
And man, this place provides the perfect combo of shopping, history, music, entertainment, nature, and a shining star. So, regardless of your interest, there is something here for you. Oh, and if you’re in love with the holiday season, then that alone should motivate you to explore a little.
This city’s more obsessed with the holidays than Whoville, hence its nickname. Anyway, we have the oldest bookstore in the US located here. We also got a slew of entertainment options both at the casino itself and all around Bethlehem. Excited to do some activities besides gambling in Pennsylvania? Let’s go.
Alright, so let’s start this series off with a bang for a shopping spree over at Westgate Mall. This mall is ideal if you’re not into those mega malls comprising three floors and wall-to-wall shopping options. Nope, you won’t find it at this mall.
Here, you’ll find just 32 tours along with three anchor tenants and a compact 270,000 square feet of retail space. This is the perfect venue to spend some time away from Wind Creek Bethlehem if you’re looking for a faster, in-and-out shopping experience.
While Westgate isn’t the flashy mall attracting large crowds where you’re elbow to elbow with strangers, it provides a quieter atmosphere with just a handful of stores on its single-story layout.
Moravian Book Shop
It is believed, but not proven, that Moravian Book Shop is the oldest continuously operating bookstore in the US and the second-oldest in the world. And since this place was founded all the way back in 1745, we can grant credibility to such a claim.
Anyway, back to Moravian Book Shop. What is it that separates this store from your large chain outlets like Barnes & Noble or even the world’s largest convenience outlet like Amazon?
Well, for starters, you’re bound to find hidden gems you never knew existed. Gems like indie bestsellers and trade books are common finds here at the shop. But if you loved history class back in school, go ahead and park yourself in a corner along with a mountain of books depicting the area’s history.
Don’t worry, Wind Creek Bethlehem will still be there when you finish your reading experience. But it may be a while before you return to the casino after you discover books regarding the history of Moravians, Bethlehem, Bethlehem Steel, and the Lehigh Valley.
Oh, and if you’re looking to meet and greet with some of the most established and up-and-coming authors, Moravian Book Shop is definitely a place to check out. Each week, the shop hosts weekly reading sessions and discussions along with monthly events with these authors.
So, go ahead and take a break from the real money slots and tables. Come on down, read up a little on the history of the area, meet an author or two, and discover the next indie bestselling book.
Zoellner Arts Center
Are you looking for some of the latest and greatest live entertainment but also need something different from what you’ll get over at Wind Creek Bethlehem?
Head over to the Zoellner Arts Center located on the campus of Lehigh University, where you’ll find three distinct auditoriums, each guaranteeing you more intimate entertainment in favor of the packed houses you’ll find elsewhere.
Take a seat in Baker Hall, which seats just over 1,000 guests and enjoy the next great concerts and stage productions played at the arts center. If you want something even more intimate, then the 309-seat Diamond Theater is calling your name.
But if you want something even smaller, then grab a ticket and enjoy the show at the 125-seat Black Box Theater. You can’t get any more intimate than this, and you will definitely enjoy arguably the most intimate stage productions in the Lehigh Valley.
You’ll also find a two-story art gallery over at the Zoellner Arts Center as well, so if art is your thing, don’t forget to make a trip over and enjoy all the creations on display. And if you’re in town for it, check out the Progressive Rock Festival, NEARFest, which is also held at the facility.
While Wind Creek Bethlehem offers the latest and greatest world-class and local entertainment in the Lehigh Valley, it’s more than worth checking out the event schedule at the Zoellner Arts Center to see all of what’s going on in this growing area.
Alright, so we’ve talked about malls, bookstores, and entertainment outlets, but we haven’t had a chance to discuss nature and scenery. Well, look no further if you’re the nature enthusiast looking for a break from all the gaming and guests at the casino, because the Lehigh Canal is a beauty.
It’s also important to remember that some portions of this trail are unsafe to access, so please exercise caution if you’re looking to hike on the towpath trail.
However, when you decide to check the place out, you won’t just catch scenic views of the river, railways, and tree line, you’ll also find some cool remains of the old locks. So, if you’re looking to treat the eyes to some beautiful and historic scenery in the area, the Lehigh Canal is worth the trip.
As mentioned a few times in this article, the Lehigh Valley and Bethlehem itself is laden with breathtaking views of nature at virtually every single turn. And Monocracy Creek is no different.
It’s another great place for the avid trail hiker in you to venture off to and explore the majestic beauty this area offers. If you’re looking to hike this place from headwater to river, it’s best if you start in Chapman, where you’ll find the headwaters in what is known as the Slate Belt.
After approximately 20.3 miles, you’ll hitchhike your way to the Christmas City of Bethlehem. So, if you’re the endurance type of hiker who doesn’t mind seclusion in the wilderness, a trip along this creek is calling your name.
Also, if you’re into the sport of fishing, you can place a winning bet that you will catch scores of wild trout in the area as they are abundant in these parts. So if you’re looking for a new kind of gambling besides playing casino games, a fishing date in Monocracy Creek may just be your answer.
This attraction is perhaps Bethlehem’s most worthy. Or, at least that’s what it was when the city decided to erect the star as an attempt to attract tourists and boost the surrounding economy.
The Christmas Star lights up the Bethlehem sky from 4:30 PM to midnight. Located on the top of South Mountain, you can view the Christmas Star any time you’re in town.
Standing 91 feet high, the original star was erected back in the late 1930s during the Great Depression and has since become the symbol of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.
Catch the shining star from a distance or take a hike to the top of the mountain to view the star for yourself while catching an astonishing view of the Lehigh Valley of which the star oversees.
The star itself is a definite resident of a city where Christmas lives all year-round. A perfect fit for a settlement that was founded on Christmas Eve back in 1741.
If one thing is for certain, it’s that Bethlehem, Pennsylvania definitely lives up to its nickname as Christmas City, USA.
Okay, so if you’re into shopping and the holidays, you have a lot to get excited about here. And hey, if you hit the jackpot over at Wind Creek, you’re in line for a shopping spree, right? Thought so!
But as you can tell from this article, there is a lot of treasure here. The history buff and bookworm in you will love that book shop and whether you’re into books or live entertainment.
And if you just need to experience the great outdoor scenery the Lehigh Valley offers, then a hike on the Lehigh Canal or a day at Monocracy Creek is calling your name.
Have you gamed at Wind Creek Bethlehem and if so, did you explore any of the attractions listed above? Let us know in the comments.