Historic Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, at Christmas time (Photo: Caitlin Kohl)
Nestled in the Lehigh Valley of Pennsylvania, Bethlehem is known as “Christmas City” in honor of its founding on Christmas Eve 1741 by a small group of Moravians. It remains true to its holiday roots and cultural heritage, with an iconic 91-foot high Moravian star shining down from South Mountain year-round. Spend two days in this fascinating town, staying at the Historic Hotel Bethlehem, an elegant landmark that dates from 1922.
Bethlehem’s European-inspired Christkindlmarkt is one of its favorite holiday traditions. Explore the extensive, mostly indoor market as you enjoy browsing, shopping, ongoing entertainment, and savory foods along the way. After a dinner at the Hotel Bethlehem, don’t miss the chance to stroll the town’s Main Street aglow in holiday lights.
Although the Christmas celebration is the main seasonal draw, Bethlehem holds much more history to discover, starting with the 1740s Moravian buildings. A tour of the Moravian Museum of Bethlehem, a Smithsonian Affiliate museum located in these historic German Colonial structures, reveals their fascinating story.
A guided tour of the new National Museum of Industrial History, another Smithsonian Affiliate, offers an overview of Bethlehem’s significant industrial and commercial past. Follow in the steps of steel workers as you walk the Hoover Mason Trestle and explore the remnants of the original Bethlehem Steel Factory, and visit the Colonial Industrial Quarter, the country’s first industrial park.
The tour involves considerable walking, and some historic buildings have no elevators. Dress to spend time outside in potentially cold weather.
- Cost includes bus transportation, lodging, all activities, and the following meals: one breakfast, lunch, and dinner
- Overnight accommodations are at the Historic Bethlehem Hotel.
- Tour departs by bus from the Mayflower Hotel, Connecticut Ave. and DeSales St., NW, with a stop at DoubleTree by Hilton Laurel, 15101 Sweitzer Lane, Laurel, Maryland at approximately 7:30 a.m.
- Single-room supplement $120 (factored into the Single Room Member and Single Room Non-Member pricing).
- Singles registering at the double-room rate are paired (on a nonsmoking basis) if possible, but must pay the single-room supplement otherwise.
- Detailed information is mailed to registrants about four weeks prior to departure.
- Registrants may want to consider purchasing trip insurance.
Detailed information for overnight tours
is mailed approximately FOUR WEEKS
prior to departure. For immediate questions
please call 202-633-8647