Rittersville – Allentown, PA

The mature residential neighborhood of Rittersville, nestled in East Allentown boasts a rich history and a charming community feel with its combination of quaint row houses, single-family homes, and apartment buildings. Situated four miles east of Allentown and 67 miles north of Philadelphia, Rittersville offers a relatively quick and quiet escape from the hustle and bustle of the city.

Schools in Rittersville

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Restaurants & Nightlife

Rittersville's restaurant and nightlife scene can be described as nearly nonexistent, with the exception of three establishments located along Hanover Avenue, which includes El Greco's Pizza, a great spot when you crave pizza or a steak sandwich. For good food and a laid-back atmosphere, Rittersville residents have two local spots to choose from, including Stahley's, a family restaurant and sports bar with cheap beer, live entertainment on Saturday nights and tasty menu items such as steamed clams, crab dip and steak sandwiches. Mahoney's Irish Pub has more of a dive-bar ambiance, with a smoky atmosphere and cheap prices. On the up side, the staff is friendly and the food is good. Menu items include fried chicken, burgers, steamed clams and surf-and-turf on the weekends, which is also when Mahoney's has live music. Residents don't have to travel far to find fine-dining options such as Edge, located on Broad Street in Bethlehem. This Asian-fusion restaurant has an upscale atmosphere and a menu filled with flavorful options such as tuna tartare, crispy pork belly, lump crab cakes and Thai chicken curry. Levitt Pavilion SteelStacks, a nearby music venue, hosts free family-friendly concerts during the summers and numerous concerts throughout the year.

History & Culture

Established in the early 19th century, the once-quiet village of Rittersville began with a tavern and a few hotels. In the early 1900s, businesses such as George Weisel's Granite and Marble Works, the Rittersville Fire Company and several manufacturing companies moved into the neighborhood, and the village experienced a population boom. The State Homeopathic Hospital for the Insane opened its doors in 1913. It was later renamed Allentown State Hospital, a psychiatric hospital that operated until 2010. Although this residential neighborhood lacks galleries, museums or annual events, residents only need to travel a short distance for options such as The Alternative Gallery in Allentown or the Priscilla Payne Art Gallery in Bethlehem. Nearby museums include the Allentown Art Museum of the Lehigh Valley and Burnside Plantation, which hosts Bethlehem's annual Blueberry Festival. Rock out at MusikFest or the Great Allentown Fair, two of the region's premier summer festivals are also held in Allentown.

Transportation

Many residents of Rittersville commute by car, either driving themselves or carpooling. Hanover Avenue runs through this residential neighborhood, connecting its residents to major regional roadways such as U.S. Highway 22 and State Routes 378 and 987. Although traffic in the region can be problematic during weekday rush hour of 3 p.m. to 6 p.m., the access to various routes makes traveling by car relatively fast and convenient. Unlike Allentown or Bethlehem, Rittersville lacks public parking garages. However, residents typically have access to off-street parking lots or driveways, in addition to on-street parking options. Uber is not available here, but call a local taxi company such as Lehigh Valley Transportation Services to arrange cab service. Walking and biking in the neighborhood requires the pedestrian or cyclist to observe traffic laws and remain aware of the surroundings. Hanover Avenue can be tricky to cross due to the high volume of high-speed traffic. Proceed with caution and always use pedestrian crosswalks to reduce the risk of accidents. Whether you’re traveling for business or leisure, Lehigh Valley International Airport provides the convenience and low-stress travel characteristic of a smaller airport. Located just minutes from Rittersville, this busy regional airport features ample parking and service from numerous airlines, including Delta, U.S. Airways, Allegiant Air and United.

Cost

Rittersville residents generally enjoy a lower cost of living than residents of Allentown or Philadelphia. Rental rates in this East Lehigh County neighborhood average $840 for a one-bedroom apartment, and a pint of beer at local bars such as Stahley's Cellarette costs around $2. A day-pass for LANta buses costs $4. Traveling from Allentown to Philadelphia on a Susquehanna Trailways bus costs $13.50 each way. Gas prices in the Rittersville neighborhood hover approximately 7 percent above the national average.

Shopping

Auto dealers, service centers and chain stores such as Family Dollar, Walgreens, and Dollar Tree characterize the quiet shopping scene in Rittersville. Nearly all of the neighborhood's stores reside along busy Hanover Avenue. Lehigh Valley Mall, located approximately 4.5 miles northwest of Rittersville, offers an abundance of shopping all in one spot. The outdoor promenade features shops such as Williams-Sonoma, J. Crew and Pottery Barn, in addition to restaurants such as Bonefish Grill. The rest of the mall houses major department stores, JC Penney, Macy's and Boscov's in addition to two levels of stores, shops, eateries, and kiosks. Drive west to Allentown for specialty shops such as Boutique to Go, located on North 19th Street. Specializing in high-end, designer accessories, this shop carries a variety of handbags, jewelry, clothing and gifts from designers such as Clever Carriage Company and Angelique de Paris. Rittersville residents have access to several grocery stores and markets, including F5 Variety Store on Hanover Avenue. Other nearby markets include Sim's Quality Market on West Broad Street and Giant Food Store on Union Boulevard. For fresh produce, you can't beat the selection at nearby farmers markets, which include the Tilghman Street Farmers Market near Allentown, the Allentown Fairground Farmers Market or the Bethlehem Farmers Market, located near Lehigh University.

Parks

Rittersville residents have access to two free public parks located in this urban neighborhood. Both parks have minimal amenities and a pet-friendly policy that welcomes leashed pets. Keck Park features open grassy areas and a picnic pavilion. In addition to picnic tables, grill and public restrooms, Canal Park features access to the Lehigh River Water Trail via the 2.5-mile Allentown Canal, which runs parallel to the Leigh River. Larger parks located a short drive away include Cedar Beach Park, which features playground equipment, a rose garden and a fee-based public pool. Cedar Beach hosts the annual Mayfair Festival of the Arts, which brings visual arts, theater and musical performances together in one spot, along with clothing designers and food vendors. For thrills and chills, plan to spend the day at Dorney Park and Wildwater Kingdom. This historic amusement park features stomach-twisting rollercoasters and other exciting rides, as well as a separate water park with water play for children, thrilling water slides and a wave pool. To get the best prices, look for discount coupons at area grocery stores, or head over to the park during twilight hours.