Center Valley

Center Valley

Home to several higher education campuses, as well as some of the Lehigh Valley’s best shopping and dining locations, Center Valley offers an attractive combination of cultural hotspots, entertainment and commerce – all conveniently located in Upper Saucon Township.

Since 1965, DeSales University has been a pillar of the Center Valley community. A private Catholic university, it was originally known as the Allentown College of St. Francis de Sales.

This changed in 2001 when it expanded from college to university status.

Today, DeSales offers more than fifty undergraduate major and minor courses of study, as well as twelve graduate programs in fields such as business, criminal justice, computer science, education and healthcare. Their renowned performing arts division includes “Act 1 Productions” – the university’s own highly-acclaimed performing arts company. Each year, Act 1 presents a variety of choral and dance concerts, plays, musicals and film festivals. This year, the spring season opened with the award-winning Irish drama “Dancing at Lughnasa”, which depicts the struggle of five unmarried Irish sisters living in County Donegal in the mid-1930s.

In addition to the Act 1 productions and performances, DeSales also hosts the yearly Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival. With more than 150 artists and performers, including winners and nominees of Tony, Obie, Emmy and other renowned awards, the festival features over 140 performances of seven productions every summer. These productions, which attract more than 30,000 patrons from approximately twenty different states, include Shakespeare and other classics, a musical theatre and a children’s theatre.

Besides DeSales University, Center Valley is also home to the Penn State Lehigh Valley campus. The oldest continuously operating Penn State campus outside of University Park, Penn State Lehigh Valley started in 1912 as a small technical center established in the attic of Allentown’s Stevens School. A partnership with Bethlehem Steel in the 1920s helped prompt a jump in enrollment by making classes available to all Steel employees. In the following decades, enrollment continued to grow, and the school was compelled to move to several different locations in Allentown, Fogelsville and Bethlehem. Finally, in the fall of 2009, Penn State Lehigh Valley moved to its current location in Center Valley.

Beyond its impressive educational and industrial facilities, Center Valley is well known for its premier shopping – in particular, the Promenade Shops at Saucon Valley.

One of the Lehigh Valley’s largest and highest-rated employers, the Olympus Corporation of America is also headquartered in Center Valley. Founded in Japan in 1919, the global company is a worldwide leader in optical and digital equipment for both the consumer and healthcare sectors. According to a poll conducted by The Morning Call, the Center Valley corporation was recognized as one of the Lehigh Valley’s top workplaces of 2014.

Beyond its impressive educational and industrial facilities, Center Valley is well known for its premier shopping – in particular, the Promenade Shops at Saucon Valley. A high-end outdoor shopping mall designed with a “town square” ambiance that features warm, communal fire pits in the winter and inviting fountains and water displays in the summer, the Promenade Shops opened in October of 2006.

Its venues consist of an assortment of mouth-watering restaurants, Carmike Cinemas that offers more than a dozen different screens (one of which is an IMAX), major retail stores such as Barnes and Noble, and L.L. Bean (which also happens to be the first L.L. Bean outfitter to open in the state of Pennsylvania), and specialty shops including Sage, Murphy Jewelers, Evolve and Sneaker King.

Throughout the different seasons, the mall hosts a variety of entertaining events and activities, including fashion shows, a spring plant exchange with local gardeners, costume parades and pet-centric events such as “Paws on the Promenade”, which involves an “Adopt-a-PAL-ooza”, photo booth and other attractions geared towards pets and their owners. This summer, the mall is hosting a series of free performances by local musical groups every Friday night in June and July.

Dining & Entertainment

Torre
Located in the Promenade Shops, this restaurant tempts the palate with a modern twist on classic Mexican dishes. Check out their full menu at torrerestaurant.com.

Melt
An upscale Italian restaurant, Melt offers a warm and inviting atmosphere. Its rooftop bar is the perfect place for a summer drink. Located in the Promenade Shops, you can make a reservation or book a private party by visiting meltgrill.com.

Copperhead Grille
Known for award-winning wings, certified Angus burgers and “fall off the bone” baby back ribs, Copperhead is the ultimate sports dining experience. To find out more, visit copperheadgrille.com

Ye Old Spring Valley Tavern
Formally known as the Spring Valley Inn, this tavern features an atmosphere rich in history and an extensive land and sea menu.

Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival at DeSales University
This year’s season runs May 29th through August 2nd and includes performances of “Henry V’, “Rapunzel”, “Around the World in 80 Days” and “Les Misérables”, among others. For the full schedule and ticket sales, please visit pashakespeare.org.

Putt U Miniature Golf
Located at 5201 Route 309 in Center Valley, Putt U features two impressive 18-hole miniature golf courses. Fun and challenging for both kids and adults, the courses are open all summer long (weather permitting). After you finish your game, stop by the ice cream shop, located on the premises.

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