Pennsylvania is home to many towns that have a rich and fascinating history, and this is especially true of the Lehigh Valley. This area is known for its past production of steel, Portland cement, and apparel, and thus has a variety of local museums that showcase and celebrate these industries. When planning your next trip to our area, be sure to check out some of the incredible local museums that will give you an education you’ll never forget! Here are some of our favorites.
The Best Local History Museums in Pennsylvania
1. Lehigh Valley Heritage Museum: This 30,000 square foot headquarters museum is a state-of-the-art climate-controlled facility that houses one of the finest historical research libraries in the state of Pennsylvania. It includes 6 galleries with more than 13,000 square feet of exhibits.
2. Allentown Art Museum of the Lehigh Valley: The Allentown Art Museum offers a variety of collections and exhibitions, educational programs, and public events. They host over 100,000 visitors each year including more than 14,000 children in school programs, and their collection of 17,000 works of art offers the opportunity to experience nearly 2,000 years of cultural heritage.
3. Da Vinci Science Center: The Da Vinci Science Center is a national award-winning science center that has connected science to life since 1992. The Center’s mission is to promote curiosity, creativity, and the qualities of greatness that Leonardo da Vinci embodied, and engages approximately 125,000 participants annually with its exhibits, programs, events, and partnerships.
4. America On Wheels Museum: This museum educates, entertains, and offers new ways of looking at the history of transportation technology. Guests can tour a variety of exhibits and will have the chance to touch, feel, see, and experience parts and pieces of iconic automobiles.
5. Lehigh & Keystone Valley Model Railroad Museum: For the past 17 years, the members of the L&KV have been working on duplicating the paths of the Lehigh Valley and Reading Railroads from West Portal, NJ through the Lehigh Valley to Reading, PA. Guests are welcome to come and experience one of the most spectacular model railroads ever built!
6. Museum of Indian Culture: Founded in 1980, the Museum of Indian Culture is a unique all-volunteer, non-profit center for people of all ages to learn about Native American cultures throughout the western hemisphere. For over 35 years, their festivals, educational programs, and exhibits have set the standard for Native American education in eastern Pennsylvania.
7. National Museum of Industrial History: This hidden gem in Bethlehem is a Smithsonian affiliate housed in a one-time electric repair shop at the former Bethlehem Steel complex. The Museum is home to exciting exhibits, engaging programs and amazing history. View artifacts on loan from Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History that were part of the Centennial Exhibition, learn about the history of the Bethlehem Steel, peak into the life of a Lehigh Valley textile worker or take a ride in a virtual hot air balloon.
Stay at the Historic Sayre Mansion
Just a short twenty-minute drive from all of these fantastic local museums is the stunning Sayre Mansion in Bethlehem, PA. Built in 1858, our gorgeous bed and breakfast has historic charm and luxurious accommodations that will make your trip to Pennsylvania the vacation of a lifetime! For more information on historic sites and other attractions our area, download our free vacation guide.
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