Best Things to Do in Scranton, PA

Steamtown National Historic Site

Steamtown National Historic Site, established in 1986, showcases the evolution and significance of steam railroading in America. This 62-acre site in downtown Scranton features historic locomotives, rail cars, and exhibits that narrate the story of steam-powered transportation. Visitors can explore the museum complex, complete with a working turntable and a roundhouse filled with restored trains. Steamtown offers immersive experiences like guided tours, train rides through the Pocono Mountains, and demonstrations of steam technology. It serves as an educational hub, illustrating the impact of steam power on shaping the nation’s transportation and industrial history. The site hosts special events, such as Railfest and holiday-themed train excursions, attracting railroad enthusiasts and families seeking a glimpse into America’s railroad heritage.

Lackawanna Coal Mine Tour

Descending 300 feet beneath the earth’s surface, the Lackawanna Coal Mine Tour plunges visitors into the depths of Pennsylvania’s mining history. Located in McDade Park, this tour guides guests through an actual anthracite coal mine, providing an authentic glimpse into the challenging yet vital work of coal miners. Led by knowledgeable guides, visitors ride mine cars and walk through the tunnels, learning about the hardships and triumphs of mining life. The experience offers a firsthand understanding of the mining processes and the crucial role coal played in fueling the region’s industrial revolution. With its immersive and educational nature, the Lackawanna Coal Mine Tour appeals to history enthusiasts, families, and anyone eager to grasp the region’s industrial past.

Nay Aug Park

Nay Aug Park, spanning over 150 acres, stands as one of Scranton’s natural gems, featuring lush landscapes, picturesque waterfalls, and a variety of recreational activities. The park’s centerpiece is Nay Aug Gorge, where visitors can witness the stunning 20-foot waterfall, enjoy walking trails, and explore the David Wenzel Treehouse for a bird’s-eye view of the gorge. Families often gather at the park for picnics, while children revel in the multiple playgrounds and the swimming pool complex. The Roaring Brook, which cuts through the park, offers serene spots for fishing or simply enjoying the sounds of nature. Nay Aug Park provides an ideal escape for both relaxation and outdoor adventures, attracting locals and tourists alike throughout the year.

Electric City Trolley Museum

The Electric City Trolley Museum in downtown Scranton commemorates the city’s vibrant trolley era. Visitors explore the history of electric traction and urban transportation through a remarkable collection of restored trolleys and interactive exhibits. Guided tours take guests through the museum, showcasing vintage streetcars and offering insights into how these vehicles shaped Scranton’s growth and development. The museum also operates streetcar rides along a recreated portion of the original trolley line, providing a nostalgic journey through the city’s past. Educational programs and events, including Trolley Fests and holiday-themed rides, cater to all ages, making the Electric City Trolley Museum an engaging destination for families, history enthusiasts, and transportation aficionados.

Scranton Cultural Center

The Scranton Cultural Center, housed in the majestic former Masonic Temple, stands as a cultural hub in the heart of downtown Scranton. This architectural masterpiece, built in the 1930s, features stunning Byzantine-style design elements, including intricate murals, ornate ceilings, and a grand theater. The center hosts a diverse array of events, ranging from Broadway productions and concerts to art exhibitions and community gatherings. Patrons can experience performances by renowned artists, attend lectures, or participate in workshops and classes offered by local arts organizations. The Scranton Cultural Center not only preserves the city’s architectural heritage but also fosters a vibrant arts scene, attracting visitors seeking enriching cultural experiences.

Lackawanna County Courthouse

The Lackawanna County Courthouse, an architectural gem nestled in downtown Scranton, stands as a testament to the city’s rich history and architectural grandeur. Designed by noted architect Isaac G. Perry and completed in 1886, the courthouse boasts a stunning blend of Romanesque and Second Empire styles. Its iconic clock tower and ornate exterior draw visitors’ attention, while the interior dazzles with intricate murals, stained glass, and detailed woodwork. Inside, courtrooms are adorned with historical significance and artistic details, providing a glimpse into the region’s legal history. The courthouse serves as more than just a judicial center; it’s a living monument to Scranton’s past and a symbol of its enduring civic pride.

Houdini Museum

The Houdini Museum in Scranton pays homage to the legendary escapologist, Harry Houdini. Established by Dorothy Dietrich and Dick Brookz, renowned magicians and historians, the museum features an extensive collection of Houdini memorabilia, artifacts, and illusions. Visitors delve into the life and magic of Houdini through exhibits showcasing his straitjackets, handcuffs, and iconic escape acts. The museum offers live magic shows, presentations on Houdini’s groundbreaking techniques, and interactive experiences for enthusiasts eager to learn about the art of magic. It stands as a unique attraction, celebrating Houdini’s legacy while mesmerizing audiences with his unparalleled feats of magic and escape.

Montage Mountain

Montage Mountain presents a year-round recreational haven, catering to outdoor enthusiasts and thrill-seekers alike. In winter, it transforms into a premier skiing and snowboarding destination, boasting diverse trails suitable for all skill levels. Its snow tubing park and terrain parks provide additional snowy adventures. As the snow melts, Montage Mountain transitions into a lively summer hotspot, offering waterpark attractions like slides, a wave pool, and a lazy river. Concerts and festivals also grace the mountain during warmer months, attracting music lovers and families seeking entertainment. With its range of activities and scenic views of the Pocono Mountains, Montage Mountain remains a popular destination for locals and tourists seeking both adventure and relaxation.

Everhart Museum

The Everhart Museum, founded in 1908, stands as one of Scranton’s premier institutions dedicated to art, natural history, and science. Its diverse collection comprises over 20,000 objects, including fossils, minerals, taxidermy, and fine art pieces. Visitors embark on a journey through time, exploring exhibits that delve into regional history, wildlife, and cultural artifacts from around the world. The museum hosts rotating exhibitions, educational programs, and hands-on activities, making it an engaging destination for families, students, and art enthusiasts. From ancient artifacts to contemporary artworks, the Everhart Museum encapsulates the intersection of art, science, and culture, fostering appreciation and understanding among its diverse audience.

The Marketplace at Steamtown

The Marketplace at Steamtown, situated in a historic train station, offers a vibrant shopping and dining experience in downtown Scranton. This renovated complex houses an array of shops, boutiques, and eateries, showcasing local businesses and artisans. Visitors can peruse specialty stores offering unique crafts, gifts, and clothing, or savor diverse cuisines at the various dining establishments. The Marketplace often hosts community events, live entertainment, and seasonal markets, creating a bustling atmosphere that celebrates local culture and creativity. Whether seeking a leisurely shopping spree or a flavorful culinary adventure, the Marketplace at Steamtown invites visitors to indulge in the city’s charm while supporting its entrepreneurial spirit.

University of Scranton

The University of Scranton, founded in 1888, stands as a prominent educational institution known for its academic excellence and picturesque campus. Nestled in the hills of Scranton, the university showcases Collegiate Gothic architecture, featuring iconic buildings like the DeNaples Center and the majestic Loyola Science Center. Visitors can stroll through beautifully landscaped grounds, admire historic structures, and appreciate the university’s commitment to education and community service. The campus hosts cultural events, lectures, and performances open to the public, enriching the local arts and intellectual scene. Whether attending a public lecture or simply exploring the campus’s architectural splendor, the University of Scranton offers a glimpse into higher education and the city’s academic heritage.

Scranton Public Library

The Scranton Public Library, an architectural gem, traces its roots back to the late 1800s, serving as a cornerstone of knowledge and community engagement. The library, housed in a magnificent neoclassical building, captivates visitors with its grandeur and historical significance. Inside, patrons discover a vast collection of books, periodicals, and digital resources catering to diverse interests and ages. Beyond its literary offerings, the library hosts cultural events, workshops, and educational programs for children and adults. The ornate reading rooms, stained glass windows, and towering shelves create an inviting atmosphere for reading and exploration. The Scranton Public Library remains a cherished institution, fostering a love for learning and serving as a gathering place for the community.

Lackawanna River Heritage Trail

The Lackawanna River Heritage Trail, spanning approximately 70 miles, meanders through Scranton and neighboring communities, tracing the scenic beauty of the Lackawanna River. This multi-use trail offers a picturesque route for walking, jogging, cycling, and birdwatching, providing outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers a chance to immerse themselves in the region’s natural splendor. Along the trail, visitors encounter diverse ecosystems, historic landmarks, and public art installations that tell the story of the river’s significance to the area’s heritage. With sections suitable for various skill levels, the Lackawanna River Heritage Trail invites individuals and families to enjoy outdoor recreation while appreciating the beauty and history woven into its landscapes.

Scranton Iron Furnaces

The Scranton Iron Furnaces, remnants of the city’s industrial past, stand as a testament to Scranton’s role in the iron industry during the 19th century. These historic structures, part of the Lackawanna Iron & Coal Company, were operational from the mid-1800s to the early 20th century. Today, they serve as a preserved historical site, allowing visitors to explore the towering furnaces and learn about the iron-making process that fueled the region’s growth. Interpretive displays and guided tours elucidate the significance of these furnaces in Scranton’s industrial heritage, offering insights into the laborious yet innovative practices that powered the city’s economy.

Local Eateries

Exploring Scranton’s culinary landscape is an essential part of experiencing the city’s culture. Local eateries serve up a delectable array of dishes that showcase the region’s flavors and traditions. From iconic diners like the Glider Diner, known for its classic American fare and nostalgic ambiance, to eateries like Ale Mary’s, offering craft brews and inventive pub fare, Scranton’s dining scene caters to diverse palates. Must-try local specialties include pierogies, a beloved Eastern European dish, and hoagies, a Scranton favorite packed with various meats, cheeses, and veggies. The city’s culinary charm lies not only in its diverse flavors but also in the warm hospitality found in its family-owned restaurants, making dining experiences in Scranton memorable and satisfying.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *