Bethlehem is a city in Lehigh and Northampton counties in the Lehigh Valley region of the eastern portion of the U.S. state of Pennsylvania. As of the 2010 census, the city had a total population of 74,982, making it the seventh largest city in Pennsylvania, after Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Allentown, Erie, Reading, and Scranton. Of this, 55,639 were in Northampton County, and 19,343 were in Lehigh County. Bethlehem lies in the center of the Lehigh Valley, a region of 731 square miles (1,893 km²) that is home to more than 800,000 people. Together with Allentown and Easton, the Valley embraces the Allentown-Bethlehem-Easton, PA-NJ metropolitan area, including Lehigh, Northampton, and Carbon counties within Pennsylvania, and Warren County in the adjacent state of New Jersey. Smaller than Allentown but larger than Easton, Bethlehem is the Lehigh Valley's second most populous city. In turn, this metropolitan area comprises Pennsylvania's third-largest metropolitan area and the state's largest and most populous contribution to the greater New York City metropolitan area. There are four general sections of the city: central Bethlehem, the south side, the east side, and the west side. Each of these sections blossomed at different times in the city's development and each contains areas recognized under the National Register of Historic Places. Zip codes that use the address Bethlehem totaled 116,000 in population in the year 2000. These zip codes include Bethlehem Township and Hanover Township. In July 2006, Money magazine placed Bethlehem as number 88 on its "Top 100 Best Places to Live." Wikipedia
Since it was founded on Christmas eve, the town of Bethlehem earned its name after the birthplace of Christ in Israel. It was an important railroad junction. Bethlehem today is a center for arts. The Banana Factory is home of two art galleries that also serve as studios and classrooms for art students. Another important location is the Zoeliner Arts Center at the Lehigh university where you can catch musical and dramatic performances throughout the year. You can learn about the founding of Bethlehem through the Morovian Museum. From any part of the city, you are likely to see the Star of Bethlehem fixed on the top of the South Mountain. The Lehigh Canal is often used for biking and hiking near the main city. Walking tours of the old city are also available. The Musikfest held every year in August is a major crowd puller to Bethlehem. Do try and visit the tourist heaven that is Bethlehem.
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