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See America First Series: #3 - Athens and Bethlehem

Aug 17, 2007
Visiting Athens, Greece - the cradle of the Olympics - is on your agenda, but the wallet is too thin right now? Well... while you're waiting for it to "take on some weight", how about spending some time in Athens County, Ohio. The area is no piker when it comes to welcoming guests. Its opening statement on its web page says it all:

"Welcome to Athens County where adventure awaits in historic Southeast Ohio."

Besides the breathtaking scenery in that part of the state, there are many places to explore, such as arts and music scenes, charming communities, family-friendly festivals and a rich history. It is especially noted for the following:

Halloween Events - Athens is steeped in the Halloween spirit. It has been named one of the most haunted places in the world by the British Psychical Society. Each year, it hosts a Halloween Block Party, which has become a nationally-known standard there.

Bobcats Game Weekend - Athens tourism agency makes sure that visitors have much to do and see during game weekends. Specific groups in the area are given tourism grants to make the weekend very special for visitors. Take time out in any of the camping areas. Tackle your hunger at the many restaurants, cafes and pubs around the county where the fare runs from burritos to gourmet cuisine and from cappuccino to micro-brewed beer.

Final Fridays - The area hosts an art event of the final Friday of every month except December at one of its historic public squares. Merchants and individuals unite to make this event a memorable one for visitors.

We all know the wonders of Bethlehem, Jerusalem and dream of visiting this holy area one day. Today is not the day, huh? A little moolah problem? Why not drop by Bethlehem in Pennsylvania? They keep the welcome mat out all year round. A guide in colonial Moravian costume narrates all tours.

Bus Tour
This bus tour begins in Bethlehem's Northside historic district aglow with candles in windows and simple white lights, travels through Bethlehem's Southside where multicolored lights mark the city's ethnic diversity, and includes a spectacular view of the Lehigh Valley from the top of South Mountain and a look at the star of Bethlehem.

Old Bethlehem Historic Walking Tour
Thurs-Sun by Lantern. The guide shares stories of the people and places that made Bethlehem a center of culture and industry in early America. Tour route includes important historic locations such as the 1741 Gemeinhaus, 1748 Brethren's House, 1803-1806 Central Moravian Church, 1810 Goundie House, 1758 Sun Inn, and God's Acre.

Old Fashioned Horse and Carriage Rides
Enjoy a quaint, 20 minute ride through Bethlehem's Historic District. Many visitors have made this ride one of their family's holiday traditions.

These are just a few of the many activities for tourists to enjoy in our own Bethlehem.
About the Author
Glenn H. Kipps is the owner of http://www.validtravel.com/, a travel resource. There are over 100 articles to browse through and over 700 products by Coleman to look through in our new adventure travel catalog. ValidTravel.com is also affiliated with Samsonite. There is a free newsletter.
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