Moving to Allentown
Step right up folks, and let's embark on a fascinating journey! Our destination? Allentown, PA-a city brimming with culture, history, and opportunities just waiting to be explored. Whether you're in pursuit of a serene neighborhood, career growth, or a dynamic community, Allentown is the perfect place to start new chapters in life. Our comprehensive relocation guide will serve as your beacon, illuminating Allentown's vibrant atmosphere and assisting you in finding the perfect nook in this bustling city. So tighten your seat belts. Relocation, here we come!
What to Know Before Moving to Allentown
1. It's a City with Lots of History
Did you know that Allentown is the third-largest city in Pennsylvania? Nestled in the heart of Lehigh Valley, Allentown has a rich historical heritage dating back to its founding in 1762. Once the hiding place of the Liberty Bell during the Revolutionary War, this city is packed with a myriad of historical sites, uber-cool museums, and charming historical districts. Be prepared to be swept off your feet by Old World reminiscences like the grand Victorian and Colonial homes!
2. Access to Excellent Education
Education is a vital component of any community, and Allentown takes it quite seriously. The city has access to a range of education opportunities - from elementary schools to high schools and colleges. Muhlenberg College, Cedar Crest College, and Lehigh Carbon Community College are all within the city's borders. So if you're moving to Allentown with your little ones, rest assured they have a promising future here!
3. Abundance of Outdoor Recreation
Outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers will have a blast in Allentown. With more than 2,000 acres of parkland, including the beautiful Lehigh Parkway, this city is an outdoor paradise. Whether you're into hiking, biking, or just enjoying a picnic by the water, Allentown's got you covered. Oh, and did we mention that it's home to one of the top-rated city park systems in the US?
4. It's the Land of Rib-Sticking Delicacies
One unexpected charm most people would be unaware of is Allentown's food scene. It's amazing and diverse, with over 300 restaurants serving up everything from classic American to international cuisines. Here, you can get a mouthful of 'pierogies,' a Polish dumpling and 'chow-chow,' a sugary tasting pickled relish - both local favorites that are a must-try!
5. Home to the Oldest Craft Brewery in the United States
Are you a craft beer fanatic? You're in for a treat! Allentown is home to Yuengling, America's oldest operating craft brewery. Besides Yuengling, its beer scene boasts an impressive lineup of local breweries, pubs, and bars. So while moving here, make sure your celebratory beer is locally-brewed.
6. It Celebrates Diversity
Last but indeed not least, Allentown takes pride in its cultural diversity. The city hosts a list of annual festivals celebrating the diverse heritage of its community. From the lively Great Allentown Fair to the extravagant Puerto Rican Parade and Festival, living here means you get to partake in some of the most incredible cultural celebrations!
In conclusion, making Allentown, Pennsylvania, your next home could turn out to be a decision you'll cherish forever. This city has something for everyone - from history buffs and nature lovers to foodies and education enthusiasts. More than a city, it's an experience that promises to keep thrilling you at every corner - and that's an adventure you won't want to miss!
Pros and Cons of Living in Allentown
Pros of Living in Allentown
Proximity to Major Cities
Allentown is conveniently located with easy access to several major cities. Philadelphia, New York City, and Harrisburg are all within a two-hour drive, which can be ideal for day trips or weekend excursions.
The city boasts a variety of cultural attractions including the Allentown Art Museum, the Da Vinci Science Center, Symphony Hall, and the historic Dorney Park & Wildwater Kingdom amusement park. These provide a range of recreational options for residents of all ages.
Over the years, Allentown has been experiencing economic growth, mainly due to revitalization efforts in the city center. Multiple restaurants, shops, and businesses have opened, providing a lot of job opportunities and contributing to the economic health of the city.
Affordable Cost of Living
When compared to many U.S. cities, the cost of living in Allentown is relatively more affordable. Things like housing, groceries, healthcare, and transportation tend to be less expensive, which makes it a desirable place to live for many people.
Allentown is surrounded by natural beauty. With parks like the Lehigh Parkway, Trexler Nature Preserve, and Cedar Beach, residents can enjoy outdoor activities year-round, from hiking in the lush greenery to snow sports in winter.
Cons of Living in Allentown
Public School System
While there are some top-rated schools in the Allentown area, the public school system overall draws mixed reviews. Some parents and teachers have reported issues with overcrowded classrooms and inadequate resources.
Allentown experiences all four seasons, with notably harsh winters. The cold season can bring heavy snowfall and freezing temperatures, which might be discouraging for those not accustomed to such conditions.
Limited Public Transportation
The city doesn't have an extensive public transportation system. While buses are the primary mode of public transportation, the lack of a comprehensive rail system can make commuting challenging for those without private vehicles.
Like many cities, Allentown struggles with crime in certain areas. While overall crime rates have been decreasing and the city center is fairly safe, certain neighborhoods have higher instances of crime.
Though the city has a lot to offer, it has fewer social amenities compared to larger cities. For those who crave the bustle and variety of a big city, Allentown might be a bit too quiet with its fewer nightlife choices and shopping options.
Is Allentown a Good Place to Live?
Allentown, PA is a great place to live because of its rich history, affordable living, and a strong sense of community. The city also boasts exceptional outdoor spaces, including the gorgeous Lehigh Parkway, and a variety of fun-packed entertainment options like Dorney Park, the PPL center, and a slew of delightful restaurants.
What Is Allentown Famous For?
The Liberty Bell Shelter
Did you know that the historic Liberty Bell hid from the British in Allentown during the American Revolutionary War? Yes, you heard it right! The bell was secretly transported and hidden in the Zion's Reformed Church in the heart of Allentown.
Allentown Art Museum
Lovers of paintings, sculptures, prints and textiles must add this to their itinerary. This museum boasts a collection of more than 20,000 works of art, from European Renaissance and Baroque paintings to American paintings and textiles from across centuries. You can find more information about the Allentown Art Museum on its official website.
Dorney Park & Wildwater Kingdom
Turn your day into a fun-filled adventure at Dorney Park & Wildwater Kingdom! This venue combines a roller coaster park and a water park into one, ensuring entertainment for anyone regardless of their age or thrill-seeking level.
IronPigs Baseball at Coca-Cola Park
For baseball fans, catching an IronPigs game at Coca-Cola Park is a must. As the Triple-A affiliate of the Philadelphia Phillies, the Lehigh Valley IronPigs offer fun and competitive baseball in a family-friendly atmosphere!
Overview of Tax Rates
In Allentown PA, as of 2023, the property tax rate is approximately 2.24%, which is quite high compared to the national average of around 1.1%.
The sales tax rate for Allentown, PA, in 2023 stands around at 6%, which is slightly lower than the weighted average US sales tax rate of approximately 7.3%.
As of 2023, the income tax in Allentown, PA, is at the flat state rate of 3.07%. This is low compared to the average state income tax in the US which is usually within the bracket of 5-8%.
In Allentown, PA, the housing market is less expensive compared to the national average, making it attractive to both renters and buyers. While the median home price in the U.S. stands around $320,000, an Allentown property averages around $170,000. If you're looking to rent, expect lower prices too with median rents falling under $1,000 per month, compared to the U.S. average of $1,200. Despite lower costs, Allentown offers a blend of urban and suburban lifestyles rich with history, culture, and growing businesses, making it an enticing location for anyone considering a move.
Cost of Living
The cost of living in Allentown, PA is considerably more favorable compared to other cities in the United States. The city's low housing costs play a significant part in this, being 26% less than the national average. Other living costs such as groceries, health care, utilities, and transportation are also observed to be notably less. Nevertheless, the overall cost of living in Allentown is still around 10% lower than the U.S. average. This affordable cost of living, paired with the city's rich culture and convenient amenities, makes Allentown an appealing choice for many.
Weather & Natural Disasters
Allentown, PA benefits from a classic Northeastern climate characterized by distinct seasons. Summers exhibit warm temperatures averaging in the 80s, but can occasionally surpass 90degF. Winters are typically cold, with temperatures often dipping below freezing and an annual average snowfall of 32 inches. Between these extremes, spring and fall bring moderate and enjoyable weather. There's no shortage of precipitation, with fairly consistent bouts of rainfall throughout the year. However, Allentown's strategic location in the Lehigh Valley sometimes shields it from extreme weather events. Despite this, it is not immune to natural disasters. The area can experience flooding, especially near the Lehigh River and its tributaries. Hurricanes and tropical storms can also impact Allentown, albeit infrequently. Snowstorms and blizzards are more common and can cause significant disruption during the winter months.
Economy & Job Market
Healthcare and Social Assistance
Accommodation and Food Services
Allentown, PA's economy was historically dominated by the heavy industry, notably steel manufacturing; in fact, the town was home to the renowned Bethlehem Steel, one of the world's largest manufacturers of steel. Unfortunately, the closure of the facility in the 2000s led to a period of economic adversity, but from those ashes, Allentown has undergone a fantastic economic transformation. It now boasts a very diverse job market, with Healthcare and Social Assistance leading the way, providing countless jobs for the city's residents. Manufacturing still maintains a vital role, demonstrating the city's resilience and adaptability. Further, the expansion of Retail Trade, Education Services, and Accommodation & Food Services gives an excellent insight into the city's economic dynamism, illustrating that Allentown, PA is not a one-trick pony!
If you are considering a move to Allentown, PA, and plan to scout for a job after your move, here's what you need to know: it's a great place to be! The employment rate is continually improving, and the diversity of its key industries provides plenty of opportunities for job seekers. You'll see a substantial presence of jobs in the healthcare sector due to several hospitals and healthcare facilities located in the city. Education is another promising field considering the city's commitment to providing quality education, demonstrated by the variety of good schools and colleges. The retail and food service industry is also a goldmine for jobs, thanks to Allentown's excellent shopping and dining scene. So dust off your resume, shore up your interview skills, and experience the thrill of job hunting in Allentown, PA --where opportunity knocks!
Traffic and Transportation
Hey there, globetrotters! Welcome to Allentown, PA, a city where the average commute time is a breezy 23.3 minutes. That's a whole lot faster compared to the national average, huh? If you're more into the eco-friendly way, LANTA - Lehigh and Northampton Transportation Authority - has got you covered with an array of public bus services that you can hop on to cruise through the city. Plus, they've recently launched an app so you're only a tap away from your next ride. Not enough thrill for you? Try catching a flight at the Lehigh Valley International Airport. Just a stone's throw away from the city center, it regularly schedules flights across the country. Whether you're a land lover or sky explorer, Allentown, PA offers a transportation experience to write home about.
Best Neighborhoods in Allentown
1. West End Allentown
If you appreciate a mix of historic and modern, West End Allentown should be at the top of your list. This eclectic neighborhood serves up a healthy dose of charm with its well-preserved old-world buildings and homes. Plus, it also offers a selection of modern conveniences like small retail shops, amazing restaurants, and engaging cultural centers. Music and theater enthusiasts will appreciate the proximity to the Allentown Symphony Hall and the Civic Theatre. Wild at heart? Take a jaunt to the Trexler Park or the nearby Lehigh Valley Zoo. Come experience the allure of West End Allentown where tradition and modernity exist in perfect harmony.
2. Hamilton District
Welcome to Hamilton District, the beating heart of Allentown. This area, which hosts the central business district, is among the liveliest neighborhoods in the city. If you find joy in regularly attending local events, trying different foods, or shopping at unique boutiques, this might be the place for you. The district is previously known for its 19th-century architecture, today it stands as a testament to the city's urban-revitalization efforts, worth checking out are the PPL Center and the Allentown Art Museum. The Hamilton District, where old-world charm coexists with urban sophistication.
3. South Allentown
South Allentown is all about community vibes, providing a serene environment that's perfect for families and outdoor enthusiasts. This neighborhood is brimming with lush green parks, including the beautiful Lehigh Parkway. The neighborhood also hosts the annual Great Allentown Fair, which showcases agricultural exhibits, concerts, and food vendors. South Allentown also boasts a range of educational facilities, including elementary schools and high schools. Longing for a cozy, quiet, yet exciting place to call home? South Allentown could be your perfect fit.
4. East Allentown
East Allentown gives off an industrial yet residential vibe, resulting in a unique character. It offers affordable housing options, making it a great choice for young professionals. The neighborhood is home to the iconic Dorney Park and Wildwater Kingdom, where fun times await for all ages. East Allentown also accommodates a variety of eateries and shopping areas. It strikes a balance between city living and the tranquility nature offers, with its majestic views of the Lehigh River.
5. Center City
Not to be confused with the Hamilton District, Center City holds its own allure despite its closeness to the city's business hub. With an array of historical landmarks, this neighborhood embodies Allentown's illustrious past. It is home to the Liberty Bell Museum and the Old Allentown Historic District, perfect for history enthusiasts. Walking through city streets will give you an appreciation of the rich architectural landscape, from ornate Victorian homes to historic churches. If you're after a place that marries history and city living, Center City won't disappoint.
In conclusion, Allentown is bursting with unique and diverse neighborhoods each embracing a distinct character. Whether you're an art enthusiast, a history buff, a nature lover, or someone who enjoys the hustle and bustle of city life, you're bound to find a place that speaks to your heart in Allentown. The city awaits to enchant you with its charm. So get ready to unbox a fresh lifestyle in Allentown, PA!
Things to Do
So, you're moving to Allentown, PA? How splendid! This Pennsylvania gem is rich in history, brimming with cultural experiences, and yes, tasty food waiting for you to discover. Whether you're into outdoor activities or prefer exploring museums or live performances, you will never be short on things to do. We've put together a list of top 7 activities you should check out after unboxing! Here we go!
1. Explore Dorney Park & Wildwater Kingdom
Dorney Park, considered the region's most significant amusement and water park, is an absolute must-visit. With thrilling roller coasters and countless water slides catering to daredevils, and excellent kid-friendly attractions, there's something for everyone. Plus, there are plenty of fantastic restaurants when you need refueling.
2. Learn at the Da Vinci Science Center
This interactive science center offers a unique and fascinating experience for people of all ages. With immersive exhibits on topics like environmental science, engineering, and biology, you'll learn something new every time. Don't miss their rotating feature exhibitions for a delightful day of exploration.
3. Lehigh Valley IronPigs Baseball Game
No, not actual pigs. The IronPigs are the city's beloved minor-league baseball team, and attending a game is an Allentown tradition. You'll experience a picnic-like ambiance mixed with sports, all seasoned with finger-licking stadium food and drinks.
4. Liberty Bell Museum
Did you know Allentown kept the real Liberty Bell safe during the Revolutionary War? The Liberty Bell Museum, located at Zion's Church downtown, is a hidden gem that tells the bell's remarkable story. You'll even find a full-size replica bell that you can ring yourself.
5. Explore Lehigh Parkway
Lehigh Parkway is a perfect place for those who crave an outdoor adventure. From hiking and running trails to fishing spots, it has it all. And don't forget your camera: the views of covered bridges and lush greenery are downright stunning.
6. Visit the Mack Trucks Historical Museum
This one's a bit off the beaten track, but it's a great time for everyone, particularly if you're a fan of big vehicles. The museum provides an intriguing commercial truck-based time capsule that presents the evolution of highway transportation.
7. Dinner at The Hamilton Kitchen & Bar
What's moving to a new city without sampling its culinary delights? At The Hamilton Kitchen & Bar, dive into their mouthwatering menu featuring locally-sourced ingredients that will leave you craving for more. The restaurant also mixes some pretty decadent cocktails!
In a nutshell, Allentown is abundant with fun, culture, and a dash of history. From adrenaline-pumping rides to insightful museums and scenic parks, this city is far from a sleepy town. So, here's to new beginnings and, most importantly, memorable adventures in your new city! Welcome to Allentown!
Find Movers for Your Allentown Relocation
Having explored the wonderful things Allentown has to offer, you're likely eager to begin your moving journey. Great Guys Moving can streamline the process, connecting you to top-tier, licensed, and insured moving companies. Whether you're moving from across the country or from just a few cities away, their network of reputable movers can make your shift to Allentown stress-free and cost-effective. Why not reach out now to receive a free moving quote? Starting your new chapter in Allentown has never been so seamless with Great Guys Moving.
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