Nighttime view of streets and PPL Center in Allentown, Pennsylvania

Allentown is small enough to be comfortable but big enough to have fun amenities. (Image via Shutterstock.com)

Allentown, Pennsylvania real estate is once again on homebuyers' radars, including active adult home seekers looking to downsize. Located in PA’s Lehigh Valley, this mid-sized city is bisected by the Lehigh River and is one of the fastest-growing cities in the state.

Named after businessman and former Philadelphia Mayor William Allen, Allentown has not lost its entrepreneurial spirit. After the Revolutionary War, it became a farming town and then morphed into a focal point for America's industrial revolution.

After surviving economic downturns in the 19th and 20th centuries, Allentown’s infrastructure has become revitalized. Over $1 billion in new developments have made it a mecca for new businesses and flourishing residential suburbs.

And, there’s so much to do. The city’s Municipal Opera Company puts on professional musical and theatrical shows. The Allentown Art Museum showcases world-class exhibits, and the Lehigh Valley IronPigs Class AAA baseball team plays at Coca-Cola Park.

There are more than 25 parks here, and locals head out to them for biking, disc golf, picnics, flower gazing, dog walking, and more. There are four top-notch hospitals here as well, including Sacred Heart and the facilities of Lehigh Valley Health Network.

The 22 retirement communities in this area offer excellent downsizing options for 55+ homebuyers, with the added bonus of being near an exciting city. See which of these choices holds the most appeal for you.

The Village at Upstream Farm - Easton

Mid $100s - High $100s

Surprisingly affordable, The Village at Upstream Farm is an intimate 55+ neighborhood of 124 attached resale homes just a 30-minute drive from Allentown. This gated community was built from 2002 to 2009 in a convenient location less than 10 minutes from the New Jersey state border. Nearby attractions include Riverview Country Club, Mill Race Park, and shopping in Forks Township.

The Village at Upstream Farm offers three ranch-style floor plans that range from 991 to 1,180 square feet. These have one bedroom, one or one-and-a-half bathrooms, central air conditioning, and attached one-car garages. Two of the models have dens that can be converted into second bedrooms. Upgrades include fireplaces, patios, and sunrooms.

The community clubhouse has its own exercise room plus several multipurpose rooms. The community’s HOA fee covers landscaping, grass cutting, and snow removal.

Red Hill Estates - Red Hill

Below $100k - Low $100s

Drive 20 miles south of Allentown and you will come upon Red Hill Estates, which sits just outside of Green Lane Park.

This outdoor recreation area is the place to go for boating, fishing, hiking, mountain biking, horseback riding, and winter sports like cross-country skiing. Red Hill Estates is also in close proximity to several grocery stores, retail shops, banks, a library, and other services.

Built from 1987 to 2003, this mid-sized active adult neighborhood has 260 resale single-family homes. There are two different ranch-style models with two or three bedrooms, two bathrooms, and a one-car garage or a carport. Desirable options include large master suites, gas fireplaces, covered front patios, decks, and eat-in kitchens.

Red Hill Estates has a quiet, rural setting, with parks and natural space plus several biking and walking trails. Residents can also use the clubhouse for meetings and social gatherings.

The Vineyards - Pennsburg

Low $200s - Low $300s

Not far from Red Hill Estates, The Vineyards is an impressive active adult community of 200 resale attached homes. It is also near Green Hill Park and just minutes from Sweet Water Golf Course, banks, grocery stores, and several churches.

Built from 2004 to 2007, this gated property has especially nice amenities, like its own putting green and chip-n-putt golf course. Its clubhouse has an exercise room, gathering rooms, a catering kitchen, and a cozy sunroom.

There are also parks, walking trails, two playgrounds, and four gazebos on the grounds. Well-attended community events include the annual Christmas cookie swap, bingo nights, and picnics.

Arbours at Hearthstone - Quakertown

Low $200s - High $200s

Quakertown is a popular choice for active adults and it is just 16 miles from Allentown. Located in Bucks County, it has a rich cultural legacy that dates back to the eighteenth century. Arbours at Hearthstone fits right in here with its small-town feel and pastoral, rural setting.

This 55+ community offers 133 new and resale attached homes across three models. These townhomes are sized from 1,565 to 2,100 square feet with two or three bedrooms, one-and-a-half to two-and-a-half bathrooms, and attached two-car garages.

Exclusive options include tray ceilings, bay windows, and hardwood floors. A homeowners’ association fee pays for trash and snow removal, plus landscaping.

There is an on-site clubhouse with its own fitness room, catering kitchen, and game room. Homeowners can also wander along the walking and biking trails, go boating or hiking at nearby Nockamixon State Park, head downtown to visit shops, or grab a bite at one of the many area eateries.

Briarwood Commons - Whitehall Township

Mid $200s - Mid $300s

If your vision of downsizing brings to mind a small, peaceful community, then Briarwood Commons could be your next community.

This private active adult neighborhood is located four miles from town and will have 63 attached new and resale homes upon completion. All homes feature first-floor master suites that include two walk-in closets and generously sized bathrooms.

The five floor plans range from 1,382 to 2,650 square feet with one to three bedrooms, two or three bathrooms, and attached two-car garages. Features like granite countertops, cathedral ceilings, and stainless steel appliances make these exclusive homes aesthetically pleasing and comfortable.

Briarwood’s cozy clubhouse has several activity rooms, an exercise facility, and a covered deck for small gatherings. Neighbors enjoy their time spent here, and they can also head over to historic Saylor Park. The surrounding area is replete with grocery stores, churches, restaurants, and shops.