Pennsylvania’s peerless renown as the forge and foundry of American invention and innovation has a consummate showcase in this 730-square-mile expanse about an hour north of Philadelphia. Combining industrial-strength lineage with warm hospitality and year-round fun, the region, including the main cities of Allentown, Bethlehem and Easton, provides what Alicia Quinn, strategic brand manager for Discover Lehigh Valley, calls “an excellent value for groups seeking inspiration.”

“The region prides itself on our history, affordability beyond the room rate, and off-site attractions,” Quinn said. “Our clients tell us they love the unique venues and atmosphere, friendly people, accessibility, wonderful F&B products and shared concern for the environment.”

For pre- and post-activities or teambuilding events, four-season Lehigh Valley offers professionally designed golf courses, whitewater rafting, hiking trails, snowsports and more, including year-round cultural activities at its theaters and performing arts centers. Group business, coming primarily from the Mid-Atlantic, includes faith-based, association, corporate and specialty groups like pharmaceutical, education, agriculture, technology, environmental, military and religious, plus sporting and recreational events.

Fitting a range of budgets, key conference properties include Sands Bethlehem, the redevelopment of the legendary former Bethlehem Steel plant; Renaissance Allentown Hotel; Holiday Inn Center City Allentown; and historic Hotel Bethlehem.

And offering 26,000 square feet of highly versatile space, the 116-room Bear Creek Mountain Resort & Conference Center is a quintessential group escape.

“Set on 330 acres, the retreat nature of our property sets us apart,” said Jeff Zellner, marketing and public relations manager for the property. “Groups seeking a secluded, distraction-free atmosphere have everything they need here for productive meetings and relaxation, without having to leave.”

Discover Lehigh Valley

5 Fantastic Off-Sites
C.F. Martin Guitar Factory Tour
Founded by German immigrant Christian Frederick Martin Sr. in 1833 and still family-owned, this legendary company has produced some 2 million acoustic guitars, including instruments played by Elvis Presley and Paul McCartney. Seeing craftsman in action as they complete some 300 assembly steps is definitely a high note.

Crayola Experience
Created at Binney & Smith’s Easton, Pa., mill in 1903, Crayola wax crayons are a timeless American invention. With today’s rising emphasis on creative personal development and fun for groups, this 65,000-square-foot facility and its interactive exhibits add color and play to the agenda.

Historic Bethlehem Museums & Sites
Showcasing 20 faithfully preserved sites from 1741 Moravian Bethlehem, this National Historic Landmark District is pure enchantment. Rental spaces include the Colonial Industrial Quarter buildings, and with Bethlehem named “Christmas City, USA” in 1937, the year-end holiday season here is especially magical.

Lehigh Valley Wine Trail
Designated an American Viticultural Area, Lehigh Valley is Pennsylvania’s fastest growing wine region. The Trail comprises nine family-owned vineyards and wineries that have won Pennsylvania’s Governor’s Cup 10 times, along with numerous other domestic and international awards; Blue Mountain Vineyards is among those hosting private events.

This 10-acre cultural campus on the former Bethlehem Steel grounds dazzles in every way. With the site’s five namesake blast furnaces providing the ultimate visual backdrop, groups can enjoy shows and hold events at venues such as the Banana Factory and multipurpose ArtsQuest Center.