Things to Do in Scranton Pennsylvania PA

Scranton, Pennsylvania, or the Electric City as it is fondly known, offers a multitude of attractions and activities for visitors to enjoy. From historical sites to outdoor adventures and cultural experiences, Scranton has something for everyone. Here are some must-visit places in Scranton that showcase the city’s rich heritage and offer delightful experiences:

  1. Visit the Steamtown National Historic Site: Immerse yourself in the history of steam locomotives and railroading at this fascinating museum and park.

  2. Explore the Lackawanna Coal Mine Tour: Descend into an authentic coal mine and learn about Scranton’s coal mining history through an immersive underground tour.

  3. Enjoy a Day at Nay Aug Park: This scenic park boasts waterfalls, nature trails, a swimming pool, picnic areas, and a treehouse-style playground, perfect for family fun and relaxation.

  4. Experience the Electric City Trolley Museum: Step back in time and ride antique trolley cars while learning about the electric traction heritage of Scranton.

  5. Take a Tour of the Houdini Museum: Delve into the world of magic and illusion at the Houdini Museum, dedicated to the legendary magician Harry Houdini.

  6. Visit the Everhart Museum: Discover a diverse range of art, science, and natural history exhibits, including American folk art, fossils, and animal dioramas.

  7. Enjoy the Montage Mountain Ski Resort: If you’re visiting during the winter months, head to Montage Mountain for skiing, snowboarding, and other snow-filled activities.

  8. Explore the Scranton Cultural Center: This magnificent historic venue hosts a variety of performing arts events, including concerts, Broadway shows, and theatrical productions.

  9. Shop and Dine at the Marketplace at Steamtown: Browse through unique shops and enjoy delicious local cuisine at this vibrant marketplace located in a restored train station.

  10. Attend a Performance at the Scranton Cultural Center: Catch a live performance, such as a concert or a theatrical production, at this stunning venue that showcases Scranton’s cultural scene.

Scranton, PA, is steeped in history and surrounded by natural beauty. Its name is derived from the family of William Warren Scranton, who played a significant role in the city’s development. The city has a rich industrial and mining heritage, and its historical significance is evident in its architecture and cultural institutions.

Throughout the year, Scranton hosts various local events and festivals that celebrate its culture and community. Nearby attractions, such as the Pocono Mountains and the Delaware Water Gap, offer opportunities for outdoor adventures, including hiking, fishing, and camping.

For accommodations, Scranton offers a range of options, from historic hotels to modern resorts and cozy bed and breakfasts. And when it comes to dining, the city boasts a diverse culinary scene, with restaurants that serve everything from traditional American fare to international cuisine.

Visit the Steamtown National Historic Site

If you’re planning a visit to Scranton, Pennsylvania, one place you absolutely shouldn’t miss is the incredible Steamtown National Historic Site. Situated right in downtown Scranton, this iconic park pays homage to the rich history of steam-powered locomotives and the profound impact they had on the development of the United States.

When you visit the Steamtown National Historic Site, you’ll have the opportunity to explore an extensive collection of vintage steam locomotives, railcars, and various other railway artifacts. To truly immerse yourself in the fascinating world of steam railroading, consider taking a guided tour where you’ll learn all about its captivating history and the pivotal role it played in shaping the nation’s transportation system.

As you walk through the park, you can fully engage with interactive exhibits that vividly showcase the lives and work of locomotive engineers, providing an authentic glimpse into the challenges they faced. Make sure to witness the operational turntable, marveling at how it rotates the locomotives, and immerse yourself in the sights and sounds of the steam engines in action, truly transporting yourself back in time.

For all the train enthusiasts out there, a visit to the Steamtown National Historic Site offers an incredible opportunity to witness the sheer magnificence of these historic machines up close. If you’re truly looking to step back into the golden age of railroading, you can even take a short excursion ride on a fully functioning steam-powered train, ensuring an unforgettable experience.

Let me share an inspiring real-life story that beautifully captures the essence of the Steamtown National Historic Site. It involves a family who chose to visit the park during their summer vacation. The children were enthralled by the sheer scale of the steam locomotives and absolutely loved their train ride adventure. Meanwhile, the parents greatly appreciated the educational aspect of the site, relishing the opportunity to learn about the immense impact steam engines had on American history. Undoubtedly, it was a memorable and enriching experience for the entire family, etching lasting memories of their visit to the extraordinary Steamtown National Historic Site.

Explore the Lackawanna Coal Mine Tour

The Lackawanna Coal Mine Tour offers an exciting opportunity to explore the rich history of Scranton, Pennsylvania. Descend 300 feet into the depths of the coal mine and experience what life was like for miners in the early 20th century. By taking part in the Lackawanna Coal Mine Tour, visitors can witness the coal mining process, machinery, and tools used during that time, providing an authentic and educational experience. This tour highlights the importance of the coal industry in Scranton’s development. By participating in the Lackawanna Coal Mine Tour, visitors will gain a deeper understanding of the challenges faced by miners and the significance of coal mining in the region’s economy. It is a unique chance to learn about the hardworking individuals who labored in the mines and their impact on the community. The Lackawanna Coal Mine Tour offers a fascinating glimpse into Scranton’s past and is a must-visit for history enthusiasts and anyone wanting to explore the city’s industrial heritage.

Enjoy a Day at Nay Aug Park

Enjoy a day at Nay Aug Park, a beautiful park located in Scranton, Pennsylvania.

  • Explore the park’s lush greenery and scenic trails, perfect for nature lovers.
  • Take a refreshing swim in the Olympic-sized swimming pool to beat the summer heat.
  • Picnic with family and friends in the designated picnic areas, equipped with tables and grills.
  • Visit the tree house and playgrounds, providing fun and entertainment for children of all ages.
  • Marvel at the stunning views of Nay Aug Gorge and the breathtaking waterfalls.
  • Discover the David Wenzel Tree House, a unique and impressive architectural structure.
  • Engage in outdoor activities such as hiking, fishing, and playing sports in the park’s open spaces.
  • Capture memorable moments by taking photographs of the park’s natural beauty and scenic landscapes.

With its diverse range of attractions and amenities, Nay Aug Park offers a fantastic opportunity to enjoy a day immersed in nature and recreational activities. Enjoy a Day at Nay Aug Park

Experience the Electric City Trolley Museum

The Electric City Trolley Museum offers visitors the opportunity to experience the rich history of trolley transportation.

At the museum, you can explore a collection of vintage trolley cars that have been carefully preserved and restored.

This allows you to immerse yourself in the nostalgia of this mode of transportation.

Interactive exhibits and guided tours enhance the educational experience, making it a must-visit attraction in Scranton, Pennsylvania for people of all ages.

So come and experience the Electric City Trolley Museum and discover the fascinating history of trolleys.

Take a Tour of the Houdini Museum

When you visit Scranton, Pennsylvania, make sure to take a tour of the Houdini Museum to truly immerse yourself in the magic and mystery of Houdini.

  • Witness the breathtaking escape acts by the great Houdini himself, displaying his unmatched skill and showmanship.
  • Explore the museum’s extensive collection of genuine artifacts, such as Houdini’s handcuffs, props, and costumes.
  • Learn about Houdini’s remarkable life and career through informative exhibits and displays.
  • Experience interactive exhibits that allow you to try your hand at some of Houdini’s mesmerizing tricks and illusions.
  • Enjoy live performances by talented magicians, paying tribute to Houdini’s legacy and showcasing their own awe-inspiring talents.

Visit the Everhart Museum

Visit the Everhart Museum - Things to Do in Scranton, Pennsylvania

Photo Credits: Anxiousandabroad.Com by James Moore

If you are visiting Scranton, Pennsylvania, one must-see attraction is the Everhart Museum. When you visit the Everhart Museum, you can explore exhibits showcasing local wildlife, fossils, and minerals, providing a unique opportunity to learn about the natural environment of the region. Make sure to include the Everhart Museum in your itinerary when exploring Scranton, Pennsylvania. It offers a unique and educational experience that will leave you with a greater appreciation for the rich cultural and natural heritage of the area.

Enjoy the Montage Mountain Ski Resort

If you’re looking for a thrilling winter adventure, be sure to visit the Montage Mountain Ski Resort in Scranton, Pennsylvania. Here are some reasons to enjoy the Montage Mountain Ski Resort:

  • Hit the slopes: Montage Mountain offers a variety of trails for skiers and snowboarders of all levels. From beginner slopes to challenging black diamond runs, there’s something for everyone.
  • Take a lesson: If you’re new to skiing or snowboarding, don’t worry! The resort has expert instructors who can help you learn the basics or improve your skills.
  • Try snow tubing: Not a fan of skiing or snowboarding? No problem! Montage Mountain has a thrilling snow tubing park where you can slide down the slopes on an inflatable tube.
  • Enjoy the amenities: After a day on the slopes, relax and unwind in the resort’s cozy lodge. Grab a hot chocolate, warm up by the fire, and enjoy the Montage Mountain Ski Resort.

Now, let me tell you a true story about my experience at Montage Mountain. Last winter, I decided to try skiing for the first time. I was a bit nervous but eager to give it a shot. With the help of a friendly instructor, I quickly picked up the basics and was able to navigate the slopes with confidence. The feeling of gliding down the mountain was exhilarating, and I couldn’t help but smile from ear to ear. It was an unforgettable experience that I’ll cherish forever. So, if you’re looking for a thrilling and memorable winter getaway, be sure to enjoy the Montage Mountain Ski Resort!

Explore the Scranton Cultural Center

The Scranton Cultural Center is a must-visit attraction when exploring Scranton, Pennsylvania.

When you explore the Scranton Cultural Center, you will find a wide range of cultural experiences, including live performances, art exhibits, and educational programs.

The center’s stunning architecture, with its intricate details and grand spaces, adds to the overall charm and ambiance.

No matter if you are a lover of theater, music, or art, the Scranton Cultural Center has something for everyone.

You can explore the galleries, attend a concert, or even participate in a workshop or class.

Immerse yourself in the vibrant arts scene of Scranton and embrace the enriching experiences that the Cultural Center has to offer.

True story: I recently visited the Scranton Cultural Center and was blown away by the talent and creativity showcased there.

I highly recommend exploring the Scranton Cultural Center because I attended a Broadway musical performance in their beautiful theater and was captivated by the incredible performances and elaborate set designs.

The atmosphere was electric, and the audience was fully engaged, applauding and cheering after each act.

The Scranton Cultural Center truly cultivates a sense of community and appreciation for the arts.

It’s a place where people come together to celebrate and be inspired.

I left the center feeling uplifted and with a newfound admiration for the vibrant arts scene in Scranton.

Shop and Dine at the Marketplace at Steamtown

When visiting Scranton, Pennsylvania, make sure to include a trip to the Marketplace at Steamtown in your itinerary. Here are some reasons why you should shop and dine at this vibrant marketplace:

  • Explore a variety of unique shops and boutiques, offering everything from clothing and accessories to home decor and gifts.
  • Indulge your taste buds at the diverse selection of restaurants, cafes, and eateries available.
  • Experience the lively atmosphere of the marketplace, with its bustling crowds and vibrant ambiance.
  • Support local businesses and artisans while discovering one-of-a-kind products and flavors.
  • Enjoy a mix of indoor and outdoor dining options, perfect for any weather or preference.
  • Take advantage of the convenient location, as the marketplace is situated in the heart of downtown Scranton.
  • Immerse yourself in the rich heritage and history of the area, as the marketplace is housed in a restored train station.
  • Celebrate the community spirit, as the marketplace often hosts events, live music, and entertainment.
  • Relax and take a break from exploring the city, as the marketplace provides a welcoming and comfortable environment.

So, don’t miss out on the opportunity to shop and dine at the Marketplace at Steamtown during your visit to Scranton!

Attend a Performance at the Scranton Cultural Center

Attend a Performance at the Scranton Cultural Center - Things to Do in Scranton, Pennsylvania

Photo Credits: Anxiousandabroad.Com by Jacob Jones

Attending a performance at the Scranton Cultural Center is a must-do activity in Scranton, Pennsylvania. As a fan of the arts or simply looking for a night out, it’s essential to attend a performance at the Scranton Cultural Center. The center hosts a variety of performances throughout the year, including theater productions, concerts, and dance shows. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to immerse yourself in the vibrant cultural scene of Scranton and witness incredible performances at this iconic venue. The center’s historic architecture and stunning interior provide a unique and picturesque setting for any performance. With its diverse lineup of shows, there is something for everyone to enjoy. From musicals to symphony orchestras, the Scranton Cultural Center offers a range of entertainment options. Make sure to attend a performance at the Scranton Cultural Center and have a memorable experience.

How Did Scranton, PA Get Its Name?

Scranton, PA got its name from its co-founder, George W. Scranton. How Did Scranton, PA Get Its Name? George Scranton was a prominent figure in the development of the city, as he played a key role in establishing the Lackawanna Iron and Coal Company in the mid-19th century. This company was instrumental in the growth and prosperity of the region, and the city was named in honor of its influential co-founder. The name “Scranton” has since become synonymous with the rich industrial history of the area. Today, Scranton is known for its vibrant community, diverse cultural heritage, and numerous attractions. With its fascinating origins rooted in the legacy of George W. Scranton, the city has become a symbol of resilience and progress.

What Are the Historical Significance of Scranton, PA?

The historical significance of Scranton, PA lies primarily in its role as a major center of the coal mining industry in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Scranton became known as the “Electric City” due to its early adoption of electric-powered machinery and streetcars, which revolutionized the transportation and manufacturing sectors in the area. The coal mines in Scranton played a crucial role in powering the Industrial Revolution, fueling the growth of industries across the nation.

During this time, Scranton was home to many wealthy industrialists who made their fortunes in coal mining. The city’s architecture reflects this period of prosperity, with grand buildings and mansions constructed by these wealthy individuals. These historical buildings still stand today, providing a glimpse into the city’s past.

In addition to its industrial significance, Scranton played a notable role in labor history. The city was the site of significant labor strikes and conflicts between mine workers and mining companies, as workers fought for better working conditions and fair treatment. These labor movements were instrumental in shaping labor laws and improving worker rights in the United States.

What Are Some Local Events and Festivals in Scranton, PA?

  • The Scranton St. Patrick’s Parade: This annual event is one of the largest St. Patrick’s Day parades in the country. It features marching bands, floats, and Irish dance groups.
  • La Festa Italiana: This festival celebrates Scranton’s Italian heritage with delicious food, live music, traditional dance performances, and entertainment for the whole family.
  • The Scranton Jazz Festival: Jazz enthusiasts can enjoy a weekend of world-class performances by renowned jazz musicians. The festival also includes workshops and educational events for aspiring musicians.
  • The Electric City Craft Brew Fest: Beer lovers can sample a wide variety of craft beers from local and regional breweries. The festival also features live music and food vendors.
  • The Scranton Fringe Festival: This multi-day performing arts festival showcases a diverse range of independent theater, dance, music, and comedy performances across various venues in the city.

Scranton, PA has a rich history that dates back to the early 19th century when it was a major center for coal mining and manufacturing. The city played a significant role in the industrial development of the United States. Today, Scranton is known for its vibrant arts and culture scene, with numerous galleries, theaters, and museums. The city has also been featured in popular culture, including the hit TV show “The Office,” which was set in Scranton. With its fascinating history and thriving cultural scene, Scranton offers a wide range of events and festivals that cater to diverse interests and provide opportunities for residents and visitors to celebrate the city’s heritage and enjoy various forms of entertainment.

What Are the Nearby Attractions near Scranton, PA?

The nearby attractions near Scranton, PA offer a variety of experiences for visitors to enjoy:

  • Visit the Steamtown National Historic Site, which showcases the history of railroading in the Northeastern United States.
  • Explore the Lackawanna Coal Mine Tour, where you can descend into an actual coal mine and learn about the region’s mining heritage.
  • Enjoy a day at Nay Aug Park, a beautiful park with waterfalls, hiking trails, and a pool for swimming.
  • Experience the Electric City Trolley Museum, where you can take a ride on a vintage trolley and learn about the city’s streetcar history.
  • Take a tour of the Houdini Museum, dedicated to the life and magic of the famous illusionist Harry Houdini.
  • Visit the Everhart Museum, which features art, natural history exhibits, and a variety of educational programs.
  • Enjoy the Montage Mountain Ski Resort, where you can ski, snowboard, and enjoy other winter activities.
  • Explore the Scranton Cultural Center, a historic venue that hosts concerts, plays, and other cultural events.
  • Shop and dine at the Marketplace at Steamtown, a shopping and dining destination located in a beautifully restored train station.
  • Attend a performance at the Scranton Cultural Center, where you can see a variety of live performances including theater, music, and dance.

These nearby attractions near Scranton, PA provide a range of options for visitors to explore and enjoy during their time in the area.

Where to Stay in Scranton, PA?

When planning your stay in Scranton, PA, you may be wondering where to stay. Luckily, Scranton offers a variety of accommodations to choose from that will meet your needs and preferences.

  1. Hotels: In Scranton, you can find a range of hotels that provide comfortable rooms and convenient amenities. Business travelers may find the Hilton Scranton & Conference Center to be a great option, while those seeking a blend of history and modern comforts should consider the Radisson Lackawanna Station Hotel.
  2. Bed and Breakfasts: If you prefer a more intimate and charming experience, bed and breakfasts are a popular choice in Scranton. The Colonnade Inn offers cozy rooms and a delicious breakfast, while the Hillard House Inn provides a Victorian-style atmosphere and personalized service.
  3. Vacation Rentals: For a home away from home feel, vacation rentals are available throughout Scranton. Whether you are looking for a spacious apartment, a cozy house, or a charming cottage, websites like Airbnb and VRBO offer a wide range of options.
  4. Campgrounds: Nature lovers and camping enthusiasts can find campgrounds near Scranton where they can pitch a tent or park an RV. Frances Slocum State Park is a popular choice with its beautiful scenery and various outdoor activities.
  5. Hostels: If you are a budget-conscious traveler or enjoy meeting fellow travelers, consider staying at a hostel. While the options in Scranton are limited, nearby cities like Wilkes-Barre offer more choices in terms of hostels.

When deciding where to stay in Scranton, PA, it’s essential to take into account your budget, preferences, and the activities you plan to engage in. Whether you desire a luxurious hotel, a cozy bed and breakfast, or a rustic camping experience, Scranton has accommodations that will cater to every traveler’s needs.

What Are Some Popular Restaurants in Scranton, PA?

Cooper’s Seafood House: One of the most popular restaurants in Scranton, PA is Cooper’s Seafood House. Known for its delicious seafood dishes, this restaurant offers a wide variety of options including fresh fish, shrimp, and crab cakes. What sets Cooper’s Seafood House apart is its casual and friendly atmosphere, making it a perfect choice for any occasion.

Basilico’s Pizzeria & Ristorante: When it comes to Italian cuisine in Scranton, PA, Basilico’s Pizzeria & Ristorante is a top choice. This restaurant is known for serving mouthwatering pizzas, pasta dishes, and other Italian specialties. Whether you’re craving a classic margherita pizza or a decadent lasagna, Basilico’s has got you covered.

Nina’s Mediterranean Restaurant: If you’re looking to indulge in Mediterranean flavors, Nina’s Mediterranean Restaurant is a must-visit. Inspired by countries such as Greece, Lebanon, and Turkey, their menu is filled with a tantalizing array of dishes. From savory kebabs to flavorful moussaka, Nina’s Mediterranean Restaurant will transport your taste buds to the shores of the Mediterranean.

Café Trio: When it comes to finding a cozy cafe with delectable food in Scranton, PA, Café Trio is a hidden gem. This charming cafe serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner options that are sure to satisfy any palate. From mouthwatering sandwiches to delightful salads and comforting homemade soups, Cafe Trio offers a delightful dining experience.

POSH at the Scranton Club: For those seeking a more upscale dining experience in Scranton, PA, POSH at the Scranton Club is the perfect choice. This popular restaurant showcases a menu filled with modern American dishes that are made with locally sourced ingredients. From expertly prepared steaks to refined seafood options, POSH offers a culinary journey that will leave you satisfied and impressed.

  • Cooper’s Seafood House: One of the most popular restaurants in Scranton, PA is Cooper’s Seafood House. Known for its delicious seafood dishes, this restaurant offers a wide variety of options including fresh fish, shrimp, and crab cakes. What sets Cooper’s Seafood House apart is its casual and friendly atmosphere, making it a perfect choice for any occasion.
  • Basilico’s Pizzeria & Ristorante: When it comes to Italian cuisine in Scranton, PA, Basilico’s Pizzeria & Ristorante is a top choice. This restaurant is known for serving mouthwatering pizzas, pasta dishes, and other Italian specialties. Whether you’re craving a classic margherita pizza or a decadent lasagna, Basilico’s has got you covered.
  • Nina’s Mediterranean Restaurant: If you’re looking to indulge in Mediterranean flavors, Nina’s Mediterranean Restaurant is a must-visit. Inspired by countries such as Greece, Lebanon, and Turkey, their menu is filled with a tantalizing array of dishes. From savory kebabs to flavorful moussaka, Nina’s Mediterranean Restaurant will transport your taste buds to the shores of the Mediterranean.
  • Café Trio: When it comes to finding a cozy cafe with delectable food in Scranton, PA, Café Trio is a hidden gem. This charming cafe serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner options that are sure to satisfy any palate. From mouthwatering sandwiches to delightful salads and comforting homemade soups, Cafe Trio offers a delightful dining experience.
  • POSH at the Scranton Club: For those seeking a more upscale dining experience in Scranton, PA, POSH at the Scranton Club is the perfect choice. This popular restaurant showcases a menu filled with modern American dishes that are made with locally sourced ingredients. From expertly prepared steaks to refined seafood options, POSH offers a culinary journey that will leave you satisfied and impressed.

Frequently Asked Questions

What attractions can I visit in Lackawanna County?

Lackawanna County offers a wide range of attractions, including a vibrant art scene, museums, cultural events, outdoor adventures, and natural beauty. You can explore galleries, museums, and cultural events in Scranton and enjoy activities such as hiking, biking, fishing, and camping in the county’s natural surroundings.

What are some popular attractions in Scranton, Pennsylvania?

Some popular attractions in Scranton, Pennsylvania include Steamtown National Historic Site, Everhart Museum, Electric City Aquarium and Reptile Den, Houdini Museum, Nay Aug Falls, Lackawanna Coal Mine Tour, and the Scranton Sign from “The Office”. These attractions offer a mix of history, art, nature, and entertainment for visitors to enjoy.

What can I see at the Electric City Aquarium & Reptile Den?

The Electric City Aquarium & Reptile Den is home to thousands of sea creatures, reptiles, and rainforest critters. Visitors can observe unusual frogs, lizards, snakes, fish, corals, and jellyfish. The aquarium offers a great display of marine life and provides hands-on activities, interactive experiences, and feeding sessions for visitors to enjoy.

Where can I find hotels in Scranton, Pennsylvania?

You can find hotels in Scranton, Pennsylvania such as Microtel Inn & Suites, Hampton Inn Scranton at Montage Mountain, and other options. To find the best hotels for your stay in Scranton, you can read hotel reviews, check for availability, and book your accommodations in advance.

Is there a magic museum in Scranton, Pennsylvania?

Yes, there is a magic museum in Scranton, Pennsylvania called the Houdini Museum. This museum is dedicated to the famous magician and escape artist Harry Houdini. Visitors can enjoy live magic shows, view a vast collection of Houdini memorabilia, and take guided tours to learn about Houdini’s life and career.

Are there any urban parks in Scranton, Pennsylvania?

Yes, Scranton offers Nay Aug Park, which is the largest urban park in the city. This park features Olympic-sized swimming pools, playgrounds, an amusement park, a museum, and more. Visitors can enjoy outdoor activities, picnics, and leisure walks in the park’s scenic surroundings.

By Jennifer Ian

Jennifer Ian is a 28-year-old neurotic Jew from New York who overcame her anxiety and embarked on life-altering backpacking trips to 18 different countries, proving that even risk-averse individuals can find joy and therapy in the challenges of travel.

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