Southside-Lehigh – Allentown, PA

The large South Side/Lehigh area of Allentown is located in the central part of Lehigh County and contains several smaller neighborhoods, including Alton Park, Mountainville, and Lehigh Parkway. Apartments in South Side/Lehigh put you roughly three miles south of Allentown and about 63 miles north of Philadelphia. Allentown is one of Pennsylvania's largest cities with a population of about 118,000. It is also the fastest-growing city in Pennsylvania. With its large parks and easy access to nearby highways, Allentown's South Side continues to attract new residents.

Schools in Southside-Lehigh

School data provided by GreatSchools

Restaurants & Nightlife

You'll find a wide variety of restaurants when you move to your South Side apartment, from fast and easy to locally-owned favorites. Many restaurants are located along Lehigh Street, South 4th Street, or along West Emaus Avenue. Residents have access to a world of flavors, including Mexican, Italian and classic American. For south-of-the-border flavor, try Diego's Mexican Restaurant on South 4th Street, which serves a diversified menu that includes Greek gyros and authentic Mexican specialties, such as chorizo tacos, chicken flautas and carne enchilada tortas. Diego's menu also features burgers, hoagies, and breakfast items from huevos rancheros to omelets. The Brass Rail is a historic restaurant that opened in 1931. A neighborhood tradition, this should be one of your first stops after moving to Allentown. Stop in for breakfast and enjoy eggs Benedict, a cheesesteak omelet, or a stack of pancakes. For lunch and dinner, the Brass Rail serves one of the best steak sandwiches in the Lehigh Valley, in addition to pub grub like chili dogs and sausage and pepper sandwiches. Louie's, located on 31st Street, also makes a mean cheesesteak, though most people come for the Italian food. Louie's opened in 1958 and specializes in appetizers like mussels marinara, rice balls, and hot antipasto with shrimp, mussels, fried calamari, and fried mozzarella. Patrons choose from casual fare, including deep-dish pizza and sandwiches, or shrimp scampi, veal scaloppini, and chicken parmigiana entrees. Louie's also features live entertainment every Friday and Saturday night, with local and regional performers taking the stage. Carmike Cinemas Promenade 16+ IMAX on Center Valley Parkway offers a 3D and jumbo digital screens, stadium seating, and all the latest movies. After the movie, grab a frosty beer while enjoying live music at the Strange Brew Tavern, which features local and regional bands every weekend. This laid-back pub carries more than 20 specialty beers on tap, including a variety of craft beers, microbrews, imports, and domestic beers. Sign up for the Century Mug Club and after completing a list of beers to try, you'll be rewarded with a handcrafted mug.

History & Culture

In 1736, a group of 23 Native American chiefs from different Indian Nations "sold" William Penn's sons John, Thomas, and Richard a beautiful valley known for its pristine river filled with trout. The price? Just a few shoes, some hats, knives, rum, scissors, pipes, and looking glasses. It was quite the bargain, and that land would eventually become Allentown. But first, it was known as Northhamptontown. The long and somewhat clumsy name was given to the town by William Allen, the Chief Justice of Colonial Pennsylvania's Supreme Court. He is considered the town founder; his business partner, Joseph Turner, was given a warrant to the land by Thomas Penn in 1732. He, in turn, sold the land to Allen. Allen's hope was to make the town a commercial hub, but the low water level of the river made it impossible for shipping. From the beginning (and perhaps because Northhamptontown was a bit long), everyone referred to the village as "Allen's Town." Eventually, Allen gave up on building a commercial center and gave the land to his son, James, who built a country home. During the American Revolution, Allentown hid the Liberty Bell from British soldiers in the basement of a church (today, it is the Liberty Bell Museum). The church, which was built in 1773, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Be sure to visit the High German Evangelical Reformed Church after moving to your Southside-Lehigh apartment -- it is an impressive landmark with a fascinating history. Unfortunately for James, his idyllic life in his country home didn't last. He was loyal to the British, so he lost his wealth, his freedom, and some even claim his life. The home he built around 1770, Trout Hall, is the oldest home in Allentown. Today, it is a house museum available for tours. During the mid-1800s, Allentown became the nation's leading iron producer. As the country built more and more railroads (and needed more and more iron), Allentown flourished. Unfortunately, the prosperity of that era didn't last -- when the railroad boom ended, Allentown suffered. Allentown and its residents are very resilient, and they've reinvented themselves. Once a hub of manufacturing, Allentown today focuses on technology and other businesses, and the city is developing the riverfront into a fantastic mixed-use area with shops, restaurants, apartment buildings, and office space.


With the neighborhood's proximity to Lehigh Street, Emaus Avenue and Route 145, residents can easily travel by car for recreation or commuting to work. Access to Interstate 78 connects residents with neighboring Hellertown and Bethlehem, as well as points east and west, such as New York City or Harrisburg. Public transportation options include the LANta buses, operated by the Lehigh and Northampton Transportation Authority. LANta buses serve South Side with stops on 4th Street, Emaus Avenue and South Mall. Susquehanna Trailways, located in Allentown, operates bus service to Philadelphia.


Life in Allentown's South Side neighborhood typically carries a lower cost of living than the average for Philadelphia and the state of Pennsylvania. Rental prices average about $753. Purchase a day-pass for LANta buses for $4. A one-way ticket into Philadelphia costs approximately $13.50 from Susquehanna Trailways. Gas prices hover roughly 7 percent higher than the national average.


South Mall on Lehigh Street provides plenty of shopping with stores like Dockers, Stein Mart, Ross, and Bon-Ton. The mall also houses Black Rose Antiques, which features antiques and collectibles from more than 130 dealers. Shoppers interested in specialty stores choose from nearby boutiques, such as Francesca's on Center Valley Parkway. This specialty shop sells women's clothing along with shoes, handbags, accessories, and gifts. Under the Mulberry Tree, located on Hamilton Boulevard in the Wescosville neighborhood, sells women's clothing, home accessories, handbags, jewelry and fragrances. Residents have several options when it comes to grocery stores, including Redner's Warehouse Market, Weis Market, Don's Food Market, PriceRite and Giant. Residents can take the short drive to the Allentown Fairground Farmers' Market, a year-round market that sells local produce, prepared foods, flowers, and gifts.


Allentown is famous for its gorgeous parks, considered some of the best in the country. Be sure to visit West Park after choosing your apartment in South Side. You might be able to catch a performance by the Allentown Band in the historic bandshell, built in 1909. Several public parks are located in or near South Side. Residents with children can choose from several playlots, including Ithaca Playlot and Lumber and Benton Playlot. Allen Park on South 4th Street operates as part of the Lehigh County Heritage Museum. One of the largest parks in the area, South Mountain Park, spans 77 sprawling acres. Its centerpiece, Bauer Rock, rises nearly 40 feet above South Mountain's Crest, providing stunning panoramic views of the southern region of Lehigh County. The park has acres of hiking trails, opportunities for nature study, athletic fields and covered picnic pavilions. The Lehigh Parkway extends along the Little Lehigh River and offers terrific fishing locations, exercise trails, horseback riding trails, a shooting range, and the Museum of Indian Culture. Dorney Park and Wildwater Kingdom, a nearby amusement park, hosts the annual Halloween Haunt, which transforms the park into a spooky festive destination. During summer, Wildwater Kingdom features a wave pool, a children's splash park, an activity center, and thrilling water slides. Dorney Park has multiple roller coasters, thrill rides, family-friendly rides, and entertainment.
701 Harrison St, Allentown, PA 18103
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2940 Fernor St, Allentown, PA 18103
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1 hr
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