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Allentown- Manufacturing and Health Care Center
   by Howard Giske

Allentown, Pennsylvania is the largest of three cities, the others being Bethlehem and Easton, in the Lehigh Valley. The population is 106,632. Though there has been a decline in traditional industrial activity, 15% of the workforce is still involved in manufacturing. Allentown serves as the corporate headquarters for Agere Systems, Air Products & Chemicals, Mack Trucks, Olympus Corporation USA and Pennsylvania Power & Light. The largest employer in the city is Lehigh Valley Hospital, with 8,000 employees, which includes nearby branches in Muhlenberg and Cedar Crest. They have the region's only Level 1 Trauma Center and a fully capable Heart surgery center. Another area business is Miller Beer, which still has a brewery in the city. Allentown homes and real estate are not terrible expensive, with houses on the market for as little as $100,000 to $150,000. In addition, Allentown is close to recreational facilities including skiing and other winter sports in the Pocono Mountains. Nearby, there is Pocono Raceway at 2.5 miles long, one of the most competitive tracks of NASCAR.

Expressways running through the Allentown area include Interstate 78, which runs from Harrisburg in the west to New York City in the east and the Northeast Extension of the Pennsylvania Turnpike, which runs from near Philadelphia in the south to Interstate 81 in the Pocono mountains. Allentown is a major national center for commercial rail traffic.

Two festivals held annually in Allentown are Mayfair, an arts and crafts festival, held each May and the Allentown Fair is held annually, in early September, on the grounds of the Allentown Fairgrounds. Recreational sites in Allentown include Allentown Municipal Golf Course, Dorney Park & Wildwater Kingdom and the Lehigh Valley Zoo. Dorney Park and Wildwater Kingdom is located just outside of Allentown, and is a popular destination, both from New York City and Philadelphia. Rides include "Hydra, the Revenge", a huge roller coaster that includes a 105-foot drop. The water rides are in a swimsuit only area, obviously only used when the weather is warm.

Historical buildings of note include the Allentown Symphony Hall and the Farmer's Market, Agricultural Hall. Old Zion Reformed Church & Liberty Bell Shrine Museum was the temporary home of the Liberty Bell in 1773. Trout Hall, dating from 1770 is the oldest building structure in Allentown, once owned by William Allen.

Allentown museums and cultural organizations include: Allentown Art Museum, Allentown Symphony Orchestra, the Da Vinci Discovery Center of Science and Technology, and the Liberty Bell Shrine and Museum.

The area also has its share of hotels and convention centers near skiing and other recreation. The Pennsylvania Expo Center at Lehigh Valley is the region's newest and largest exhibition facility. This facility has more than 95,000 square feet of exhibition space. The Agri-Plex at the Allentown Fairgrounds offers 58,000 square feet.

Public transportation services provided within Allentown is provided by LANTA, a public bus system serving both Lehigh County and Northampton County. The city's main airport is Lehigh Valley International Airport. Public bus transportation is available from Allentown to Lehigh Valley International Airport.

About the Author

Howard Giske writes about Allentown homes and nationwide real estate at http://millionsaver.com

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