Submitted by DiscreetScreams t3_zec3um in Pennsylvania

So, I will probably be moving to the area in mid March of next year. My spouse has a job offer in NJ, but the taxes and cost of living made us choose this area primarily.

For those of you who are familiar with or live in Allentown, would you recommend living there? How is the crime? Are people overtly racist/homophobic? What are the nicest and most affordable areas?

As a point of reference, I am moving from the more affluent suburbs of Chicago, IL. We are a gay couple with no children, and live quite comfortably as is. We aren't completely sold on leaving, as this is where we feel the best or most settled.

I have done some research on my end, but I figure it better to ask those who'd know better.



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Nostromo48 t1_iz64f1h wrote

Bethlehem is definitely the nicer urban area. Right next door to Atown. Your gonna wanna be near the 78/22/33 highways for easy jersey/nyc access. GL!


Unique-Public-8594 t1_iz5pbdy wrote

For a pretty area for people not used to rural living and for easier access to NJ I’d suggest a home that is considered walkable to Bethlehem shops, restaurants, and entertainment.

Think music festival and Christmas market.

Be sure to visit Maple Springs winery once you get settled.


Allemaengel t1_iz5kx8w wrote

Depends on what you want housingwise but it sounds like Allentown's West End from just west of Union Terrace to Cedar Beach Park around the Rose Garden and then north to Muhlenberg College and beyond and then on our into South Whitehall Township's older established suburban areas like Centronia might work for you. A number of parks, very walkable, near shopping, hospitals, and easy access to major highways.

Nice mix of single-family houses, twins, a few rowhome blocks.

One note: South Whitehall in Parkland School District will typically have lower real estate taxes than the West End itself in Allentown City School District but the charm of the West End might make that worthwhile.

I've lived in the general area for over 50 years and the area I described has become much more diverse and liberal than it used to be back in the 1970s and 1980s.


DiscreetScreams OP t1_iz9mczw wrote

That’s great info! Nice to hear from someone there for that long!


Allemaengel t1_iz9uxvq wrote

Yeah, I think that you'll like it here.

The Lehigh Valley is actually a nice place overall but that said transportation infrastructure sucks with both public transit lacking and warehousing and it's associated truck traffic exploding in scale to the point that one bad rush hour accident on either Route 22 or I-78 gridlocks the place.



Hopeful_Scholar398 t1_iz5zr1s wrote

Allentown is a nice little city and has become much more progressive as of late. You may want to look into Bethlehem as well. Very close to Allentown.


[deleted] t1_iz95o48 wrote

I’m biased because I was born and raised here, but I personally think Allentown is trash 😭 it has its positives, but depends which area you’re living in. If I were to recommend a living area to an outsider I would say look into Bethlehem hands down.


DiscreetScreams OP t1_iz9mnch wrote

That’s what I kind of figured from what I’ve seen. Thanks for the info!


NeCrom-X t1_iz9w46h wrote

Allentown still has bad areas but they are way better than they used to be in the 90s. It's come along way but like a lot are suggesting Bethlehem has a lot going on for a small town and is a better option.


bushwhack227 t1_izax887 wrote

For context, I live in Philly, but have spent a lot of time in Chicago over the years and think the cities are very similar. I'm also an Allentown native.

Bethlehem will be an easier adjustment for you. It tends to be more affluent with a better arts scene and nightlife, and it has more of an urban feel.


gvillepa t1_iz76onj wrote

Check out Bethlehem, College Hill in Easton, PA, and New Hope if you are willing to make the extra commute.

Try to get a short term lease somewhere or extended hotel stay until you explore and get a good feel for the areas


IamSauerKraut t1_iz82mgg wrote

Hellertown is a nice little municipality. Close to uber-liberal Lehigh College.


NeCrom-X t1_iz9w9vm wrote

Went there to see Lost Caverns their main street is nice.