From watching a movie under the stars at America's oldest drive-in, to shopping at the country's oldest farmers' market, to taking a quiet walk across a covered bridge, there are plenty of opportunities to stretch out and enjoy the outdoors in what was once America's steel manufacturing mecca.


Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania's lush valleys and gentle hills — about 60 minutes from Philadelphia and 90 minutes from New York City — offer throwbacks to a simpler time.


"There is so much to see and do here, and that's because we are a microcosm of the development of our country," said Charlene Donchez Mowers, president of Historic Bethlehem Museum and Sites.


One of the best ways to learn about that local history and soak in its natural beauty is to walk along the Delaware and Lehigh National Heritage Corridor. The D&L Trail winds its way through about 140 miles of American industrial history, nature and recreation areas — of which are within Lehigh Valley — and traverses local parks, state forests, farmland, historic boroughs and the three vibrant downtowns of Bethlehem, Easton and Allentown.


One of the trail's most historic areas is the Hugh Moore Park and the National Canal Museum in Easton. The 520-acre park is home to the Josiah White II, a re-created canal boat pulled by two Percheron mules (Hank and George) in the same manner as when such boats transported anthracite coal more than 100 years ago.


The trail also runs by the old Bethlehem Steel mill that has been repurposed as SteelStacks, an entertainment venue built amid the five Gothic-looking blast furnaces. There also are walking tours of the mill and Hoover Mason Trestle that was used to transport raw materials into the furnaces.


During the Industrial Revolution's heyday, Bethlehem Steel employed more than 30,000 people and was the country's second-largest steel producer and largest shipbuilder. The company's steel production on the banks of the Lehigh River supplied I-beams and other building materials for the Chrysler Building and the George Washington Bridge in New York City.


Behind the Historic Hotel Bethlehem is the Colonial Industrial Quarter, where the Moravians made almost all of what they needed. The park has one of the largest and earliest concentrations of pre-industrial revolution craft and trade buildings in the country.


For a nostalgic night under the light of the moon, Lehigh Valley is home to two drive-ins. Movies first flickered onto the big screen at Shankweiler's Drive-In Theatre in Orefield in 1934 — making it the oldest in the country. Becky's Drive-In Theatre, near Walnutport, opened in 1945 and is the county's oldest drive-in continuously run by the same family.


The Covered Bridge Tour features seven bridges built between 1839 and 1860 is a self-guided, 50-mile trip that passes through some of the most picturesque farmland in Lehigh Valley.


There are eight wineries on Lehigh Valley's Wine Trail, and the locally grown Chambourcin grape — dubbed the jewel of Lehigh Valley — is a French hybrid that produces red wine.


For more information, visit DiscoverLehighValley.com.