Emmaus, a southern suburb of Allentown, is a popular Pennsylvania retirement town. Residents enjoy its active downtown, featuring local breweries, shops, and a farmers market. Additionally, its milder climate, affordable housing, and ample outdoor recreation make it an attractive destination for active adults.
Climate & Geography
Located in Eastern Pennsylvania, Emmaus has a humid subtropical climate moderated by nearby mountains. Summers are hot and muggy, fall and spring are mild, and winters are cold. Though snowfall is variable and sporadic, it is less frequent, and winter temperatures are milder than more southern Pennsylvania cities like Philadelphia. Precipitation is evenly spread throughout the year, resulting in higher than average rainfall and slightly less than average snowfall. Residents can expect 203 days of sunshine per year.
Emmaus borders South Mountain, a large mountain range, and is south of the Appalachian Mountains. The terrain is generally level in the Lehigh River Valley, growing hiller closer toward the mountains.
Recreation, Culture, & Entertainment
Much of Emmaus’ outdoor recreation takes place along the South Mountain. The Wildlands Conservancy South Mountain has miles of hiking trails through the nature preserve, leading up and down the mountain for beginners and experts. On the northern end of the city, the other Wildlands Conservancy features a river, camping areas, and walking trails. In addition, the Little Lehigh Creek is popular for fly fishing as well as having extensive running and biking trails.
For culture and entertainment, residents head to downtown Emmaus. The area features boutiques, antique shops, gourmet local restaurants, and specialty stores. The center of downtown, Triangle Park, hosts the Emmaus Farmers Market during the summer. There are also several local breweries and distilleries for craft beer lovers.
Residents looking for more historic sites, museums, and theaters can head only 15 minutes north to Allentown. Additionally, there are several country clubs surrounding Emmaus, giving retirees plenty of golfing opportunities.
Cost of Living & Taxes
The cost of living in Emmaus is lower than the national average because of its very affordable housing. Other factors like health care, groceries, and utilities hover above average.
Pennsylvania does not tax Social Security, and other forms of retirement income are largely deductible. In order for pensions to be exempt from taxation, retirees must be 59-and-a-half or older. Property taxes in the state are high, but retirees may qualify for a rebate. Sales taxes are lower than average.
The Allentown metro area ranks in the top 100 communities on Gallup’s Well-Being Index.
There are no hospitals in Emmaus, but the Lehigh Valley Hospital in Allentown is nationally ranked by U.S. News. In addition, there are two hospitals in Bethlehem that U.S. News rates as high performing: St. Luke’s University Hospital and Lehigh Valley Hospital-Muhlenberg.