Bethlehem : Pennsylvania


What It Is Like to Retire in Bethlehem

Bethlehem is a city of about 75,000 people in eastern Pennsylvania. It is home to Lehigh University, a highly rated school with over 5,000 students, as well as Moravian College and Northhampton Community College. Bethlehem Steel was formerly here, whose departure the city is struggling to overcome. The Sands Casino was built on brownfields here and now brings in substantial revenue for the city. Photo of Main St. courtesy of Wikipedia and 7mike5000, Tim Kiser, Jschnaizer; Photo of Lehigh University Williams Hall (1904) courtesy of Wikipedia and Kenneth C. Zirkel, photo of Monocacy Creek courtesy of  Wikipedia and Tim Kiser, all Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0/

Watch this short Youtube video prepared by City of Bethlehem DCED:

Where to Retire in Bethlehem and Home Prices

You can live in town or in one of the active communities in the area (see link at left).
The National Association of Realtors reports the median sale price to be $241,700 in the 1st quarter of 2021, an increase of 20.4% from a year earlier, in the Allentown-Bethlehem- Easton PA-NJ area.


What Is Special about Bethlehem

Money Magazine named Bethlehem as one of its "100 Best Places to Live".   The Sands Casino is one of the most ambitious brownfields redemption projects anywhere. Thanks to Pat, Bethlehem is... "home to STEEL STACKS, a venue for concerts , craft shows, Octoberfest, 1 of the nations biggest music festivals, Musikfest and many other events. The site of those steel stacks bathed in rainbow light as a backdrop to a Steely Dan or Chicago outdoor concert is priceless. Downtown Bethlehem also has a thriving downtown & is known as the Christmas City, drawing thousands of holiday visitors for tours."

What Is Not Special about Bethlehem

This is an old industrial city that is trying hard to reinvent itself. Unemployment at about 7% whch is higher than the U.S. average.


Who Will Like Retirement in Bethlehem

Retirees who want to live in a college town with a low crime rate, and low cost of living may like it here. The town offers bus service and it is very close to an international airport. 


Local Economy Is Driven by

Education, healthcare, and the new Sands Casino power the economy.


Climate and Physical Environment

The average July temp is in the low 70s and and the average Jan temp is in the high 20s. Bethlehem is in Eastern PA.


Restaurants & Cultural Scene

Bethlehem has appropriately been called "Christmas City" as the town offers more than 50 different events and attractions during the holiday season, including walking tours and carriage rides.  Christkindlmarkt is an arts and crafts market modeled after European open-air markets where vendors sell ornaments, nutcrackers and art work.  The town is home to many restaurants, parks and recreation opportunities. Bethlehem also hold several other festivals throughout the year including a Blueberry Festival and a Harvest Festival.  The Sands Casino Resort is an entertainment destination with games, live music and restaurants.



Bethlehem's crime rate is below the national average.


Medical Facilities

St. Lukes and Lehigh Valley are among the hospitals and medical centers in the area.



There is bus service throughout the Lehigh Valley and daily service to NYC, Atlantic City and JFK. The nearest airport is the Lehigh Valley International Airport just 7 miles away in Allentown.


Valuable Links

City of Bethlehem


What people are saying about Bethlehem

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