Whether it’s a chic urban hotel or some unique Airbnb, America has a wide array of accommodation types to offer to its travelers and you will never run out of options. The Sayre Mansion is one such classic Bed and breakfast where history meets modern-day comfort.
Where is Sayre Mansion:
Nestled in the historic town of Bethlehem in the stunning Leigh Valley region of Pennsylvania, Sayre Mansion is situated near all the city landmarks like the Lehigh University, St. Luke’s Hospital, the Steel Stacks Performing Arts Center, etc. The Steel Stacks is visible right outside the front door of the building. Bethlehem is around 2 hrs driving distance from New York City, New Jersey, or Philadelphia. Known for its rich colonial and industrial history, it is also called the “Christmas City USA“
Story of The Sayre Mansion:
Dating right back to 1858, this gothic-style mansion was originally built as the private estate of Robert Heysham Sayre, chief engineer of the Lehigh Valley Railroad and a prominent philanthropist of the community. He was also the director of Bethlehem Steel and trustee of both St. Luke’s Hospital and Lehigh University. This 150 years old mansion was then reclaimed its former glory while being repurposed as a Bed and Breakfast during 1992.
Sayre Mansion exterior & interior:
Arriving at Sayre mansion we were immediately struck by the gothic revival architecture of the main building. Sprawled across 2 acres of picturesque grounds with a well-maintained lawn, it has plenty of outdoor and indoor seating arrangements. The dining room and breakfast parlors are elegantly decorated with beautiful chandeliers, brass candlesticks, and stone fireplaces. The reception area looks welcoming with an antique piano stand. The interior of this B&B is exquisite with a perfect blend of modernity and old-world charm.
Check out this Link for a video tour of the property.
Sayre Mansion offers a variety of single rooms and guest suites varying in size and price point. It has a total of 22 rooms altogether, 19 of them are located in the main house and 3 in the Carriage house, including a roof-top conservatory which offers a bird’s eye view of the entire town.
During our visit to The Sayre Mansion, we stayed in the Carriage house Suite 3. The suite has multiple windows which offer a great view of the beautiful city of Bethlehem and the mansion ground. This elegant suite features a very spacious living room with a fireplace, lots of seating arrangements, and a bedroom and with a king-size bed. But the highlight of our suite was the extra spacious bath with a whirlpool tub and a walk-in shower. This is just perfect for a family of four. I found the place extremely kids & family-friendly as it has a cozy, homely vibe.
Classic American breakfast
The term bed and breakfast is significant to delicious morning breakfast complimentary with a cozy, intimate stay and the Sayre Mansion doesn’t disappoint you in this. We started our day with a hearty breakfast made-to-order breakfast with some tasty combination of praline peach French toast bake, egg with cheese and spinach quiche served with some hot coffee and orange juice. Having Breakfast at the outdoor patio amidst chirping birds and blooming flowers were extra appealing which created an unforgettable B&B experience.
Two-Days Bethlehem itinerary
We spent a whole weekend in Bethlehem, PA. On day1, before checking in at Sayre Mansion, first we visited The Crayola Experience at Easton, PA which is just 20 mins away from Sayre Mansion. We started from New Jersey around 9 am and arrived at Crayola Experience around 10:30 am (our scheduled entry time) and spend half of the day at Easton before heading to Sayre Mansion.
Crayola Experience at Easton, PA
If you are traveling with kids, then Crayola Experience, PA is a must-visit place to make the most out of your stay at Leigh Valley. I bet, it is the most colorful experience with tons of unforgettable memories to cherish forever. Crayola Experience is open between 10 am till 4 pm, Monday & Tuesday closed.
Book your tickets online to get a flat discount of $3 on each ticket. As per our experience, 2-2:30 hrs is enough to cover all the activities at Crayola. Once done, grab lunch at the nearby restaurants at Easton, browse through the cute book and antique shops afterward.
Check this video here to get the inside scoop of the Crayola Experience.
We checked in at Sayre Mansion around 3 PM. After settling down in our suite, we freshened up and headed to explore the SteelStacks during the evening. You can cover Bethlehem steel, Hoover Mason Trestle, and the national museum of industrial history, all in one shot here as they are located next to each other. As we visited the place during the evening, we kept the museum visit for the next day.
Steel Stacks performing art Center Bethlehem, PA
Steel Stacks is spread across a 10-acre campus which hosts a variety of events related to art and culture and especially famous for hosting Musikfest, the largest free music festival in the nation. This premise was once home to Bethlehem Steel, the second-largest steel manufacturer in the USA. We started at the steel Stacks visitor center and then climbed up the stairs to the steel walkway. The Hoover Mason Trestle is a 1650-foot elevated trail park adjacent to Bethlehem Steel. This 46 feet high trestle was originally used for transporting raw materials to the furnaces. The walkway features benches, landscaping, and a self-guided tour with plates describing how steel was made, and other significant details. The day we visited this place, we were lucky enough to experience history and music both at the same time as there was a concert going on at the ArtsQuest ground here. You can also grab some burgers, chicken fingers, ice cream, or pretzels from the Mack Truck Stop here during any concert or show. We grabbed our dinner here and came back to our hotel.
After having a scrumptious breakfast at the Sayre Mansion, we were off to the National Museum of Industrial History.
National Museum of Industrial history
The National Museum of Industrial History, a Smithsonian Affiliate, is housed in Bethlehem Steel’s former Electrical Repair Shop. It exhibits a collection of artifacts from the textile, steel and iron, and propane gas industries. The museum also showcases the nation’s industrial past by highlighting the machinery and the lives of workers at that period. This place brought out the inner Mechanical engineer in us(both me n hubby). And our little one being such a history buff and machine enthusiast, enjoyed it thoroughly.
Stroll through the historic downtown of Bethlehem
Historic Bethlehem’s downtown is quite a happening place with plenty of shopping and dining options. I generally don’t miss a chance to stroll through the downtown of the cities, I visit as it reflects the true side of a city. After we visited the National Museum of Industrial History, we drove to the downtown area and first grabbed some delicious ice cream at “Hotel B Ice cream shop” the most famous in the area. Main Street has many socially distanced outdoor dining areas. Be it, Mexican, Italian, Chinese or American bar grill, there is something for everyone to satisfy the taste buds. It also has many vintage clothing stores, cute candy shops, handmade chocolate shops, and art galleries just on the road.
After enjoying lunch at the Urban Mexican kitchen and bar, we headed back to our suite to just relax and lounge around at our suite and explored beautiful outdoor photo ops at the property before going back to New Jersey around 7 PM.
Loved how detailed you were about the hotel and the stay. I also enjoyed that you included things to do.