15 Best Things to Do in Scranton PA

15 Best Things to Do in Scranton PA

Usually known for being the home base of the popular tv show “the office”, Scranton PA is home to a lot of tourist attractions, whether you prefer taking a hike through the wild alone, looking for an adventure with your gang or seeking a family-friendly environment to have fun at. These are the 15 best things that you should write down in your to-do list, when you visit Scranton PA.

Hike, Swim, Chill at Nay Aug Park

Nay Aug Park
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Take in the beautiful sights of the Park while hiking through the trails running along the western slope. The 22-ft high waterfall named ‘Nay Aug falls' is the destination most hikers set as aim. There are two looking platforms on each bank, built to facilitate better access to the scenic view of the majestic fall.

Relax in the swimming pool

While jumping off of a cliff to the depths of waterfalls may seem cool in movies, extremely risky and not permitted in real life. If you wish to relax, taking a dip in the swimming pools of the Nay Aug Park, that are Olympic-sized and offer water slides is definitely a better and safer idea. Fees; swimming & waterslide for both residents & tourists is $5, single season pass is $50 & $75, family season pass is $75 & $100 respectively for residents and tourists. Free for kids aged 5 & below.

Enjoy the view from David wenzel tree house -Built by forever young Inc. In 2007. The tree house is one of its kind attraction in the park, providing view of the surrounding forest, it is also handicapped accessible.

Side trip to Knoebels Amusement Park

Knoebels amusement park
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If you’re already in the city and actively trying to find fun things to do, then why not take a short side trip to Knoebels Amusement Park, located in Elysburg Pennsylvania, approximately 1h 24minute ride away from Scranton.
Knoebels claims itself to be the biggest free entry-fee amusement park in America. A perfect classical getaway offering rollercoasters, swimming, picnic trip with your family for your weekend plans.

The Rides range from kid special, family special to thrill rides and Hallo-fun rides. The main attractions of the amusement parks are its ‘Lazer Command, Mini golf, XD theater and bald eagle habitats. If your family is in the mood for some splish-splashing fun then, there are water slides of varying kinds and kiddie pool area for small children.

If you plan to spend your whole weekend away at the amusement park then there are many choices available such as Knoebel Campsite ($56/night, $355/week) cozy log cabins(single cabin for up to 6 people,$155/night, $965/week), Lake glory campground and some other offers ranging from budget to luxury stays.

Learn history at Everhart Museum

Everhart Museum in Scranton
Jeffrey from Dunmore, PA, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Built in 1908, named after the civil war veteran Dr. Isaiah Fawkes Everhart, the first financer and a substantial provider of its expansive natural history collection.
Originally the museum was dedicated to displaying a collection of native birds and wildlife specimens, but as the varieties of themes in their collections grew, so changed the focus of the museum.

At the start, the art collection of the museum only held, Oceanic, Japanese African art. Later it was granted a generous assortment of American art in 1940. The Everhart art education camp offers foundation art courses for students range from Grades- standard 5th to 8th & kindergarten to 4th  demonstrations and teaching of various foundational art methods. Lab of Creative expression for grades k-6th, Encouraging creativity, imaginative ability and critical thinking in kids through art therapy.

Short trip to Ricketts Glen State Park

Ganoga Falls in Ricketts glen state park
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Looking for a place to take long hikes, seeking hidden gems and waterfalls deep in the forest trails? Just a short 57 minute ride away from Scranton is one of the top tourist attractions of Pennsylvania, Ricketts glen state park.
This state park is known for its 22 waterfalls that are named, the most notable being Ganoga falls with 94ft height.

There are hiking trails of varying difficulty, while there are family friendly activities aplenty in the park, including relaxing by lake jean which has waterside picnic tables, some of the hiking trails are best to be travelled by regular and expert hikers only. It’s a great place for a weekend trip with your family and Fishing, hunting and swimming is allowed for all in this park, there are also log cabins and campsites for you to spend your nights at.

Visit the Anthracite Heritage Museum

Anthracite Heritage Museum
Billy Hathorn at English Wikipedia, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

This is not only a museum to educate you about the coal mining industries but it also a place to rediscover the tale of European immigrants to NE Pennsylvania in search of work in textile and mining industries.
Listen to the Story of the Anthracite people - There are displays of moments in daily lives of the people that built the town on the back of mining industry, while going through hardships themselves.

Visit the Scranton Iron Furnaces

Scranton Iron Furnaces
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There are 4 blast furnaces that are remainders of historical iron industry age of America. The furnaces teach the visitors about the significance of coal mining industry lf Scranton on the national economy. The Museum is open from May 1 to Sep 30(Mon-Sat 9am to 5pm) in summer & Oct 1 to April 30(Wed-Sat 9am to 5pm) in winter.

Admire the beauty of nature at the Bushkill Falls

Bushkill Falls
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Located high up in the pocono mountain, privately owned by the peters family, about 1h and 12min drive away from Scranton, with a spectacular series of 8 waterfalls and long winding forest hiking trails, wooden bridges and gushing rivers is one of the best tourist attractions of entire Pennsylvania, known as Bushkill Falls.

The hiking trails vary in difficulty, so if you have made up your mind to hike, please do keep all the necessary hiking gears(mainly appropriate hiking shoes) including medical first aid kit just in case. The waterfalls can be viewed from closer up through the wooden bridges constructed over the rivers, be sure to check out the tallest waterfall, that has an impressive height of 100ft.

There are options for fishing, paddle boats over the river, playground for children and specified picnic areas as well. It can get crowded past 11am so I would suggest to plan an early trip and buying your tickets online to avoid waiting the long lines. Admission fees; weekends/holidays; $18/adult, $17/senior, $9/child. Weekdays; $15/adult, $14/senior, $9/child.

Jog around the trails of Lake scranton

Lake scranton
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Looking for a place to have your morning jog without worrying about bikers and crowded places? The walking trail around lake Scranton is the perfect pick.
It’s a 3.57 mile loop trail, secluded from the hustle and bustle of the city and yet with moderate foot traffic of walkers and joggers. Takes around 8-10 minutes to get there from the city area, free parking. Swimming in the lake and biking on the trails is strictly prohibited, its a place to walk and jog in peace while taking in the beautiful sights of the area only.

Feel the classic vibe at Steamtown NHS

Steamtown National Historic Site
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Technology may keep advancing but classics stay classics. There may be bullet trains aplenty nowadays, but there is a distinct attraction to the idea of steam engine trains still, that draws tourists and denizens swarming to the Steamtown National historic site.

‘Scranton limited' short train rides is a famous attraction of the place. The passage takes you by the Lakawanna river, past Radisson (lakawanna station hotel) briefly taking a stop a the Uni. of Scranton and coming to stop back at the boarding area of Steamtown NHS. It’s usually a 30 minute round trip, Fare is $5/person ages 6+.
A caboose is a rear end of the train, usually reserved for its crew members. This is called ‘the caboose experience', visitors are allowed to ride in the caboose and feel like a part of the crew in the past. It’s an inclusive part of “the scranton limited” ticket.

This site in its essence is a documentation of the US train history, with the use of steam engine trains rides and exhibitions. Located at 350 Cliff St, Scranton PA, 18503, USA.

Fun times at Camelbeach mountain waterpark

A short 44 minute drive away from Scranton, located in pocono mountains, claiming to be the biggest waterpark in PA, with more than 37 rides and slides and family friendly attractions, Camelbeach mountain waterpark is a good place to check out if you’re looking for things to do around Scranton.

While taking a break from the waterpark, you can enjoy nearby attractions at pic on mountains that offers a wide variety of services ranging from ski & snow activities to casino, fishing, boating, restaurants and dining, beers and beverages to adventure parks and many more. The camelbeach mountain waterpark admission fees; general pass- $34 to $44, twilight pass- $25 to $30 and bonus night packages range from $44 to $54.

Take a trip to the past at Electric city trolley museum

Electric city trolley museum
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For those visitors who are enthusiastic about trains and the artefacts related to them or if you just want to watch the restorations of classic machinery back to working order, I recommend Electric city trolley museum. Enjoy the exciting ride connecting Steamtown national historic site to a trolley restoration facility in moosic PA. The trip offers a long tunnel ride too, which makes you feel as if you’ve just glimpsed a part of life of the 1920s.

The Museum has a gallery where visitors can watch the ongoing repairs on trolleys and Inter-urbans. An exciting place to be for train enthusiasts for sure.
The Museum displays some classic models and restored artefacts related to trains such as, trolley museum car 76 set in the museum station, trolley car 506 which is on display inside the museum, septa brill bullet 206 and the John Oliver display.
Located at 300 cliff St, Scranton, PA 18503, Usually Opens from 10am to 4pm.
Fares for admission and ride combined are $14 for adults, $13 for seniors, $12 for age 3-17 if you visit in a group larger than 20 then fares are $10 & $8 for adult and kids respectively.

Be amazed at Houdini Museum

Do you like magic shows? does the allure of fantastical happenings attract you? Get to know the wondrous Life and times of Harry Houdini, check out some of his authentic artefacts and watch spellbinding amazing magical events at the Houdini Museum!

Managed by the world famous ‘the first lady of magic' Dorthy district and Dick Brookez located at 1433 N Main Even, Scranton PA 18508, USA, best to visit from Sun-Sat 1pm-4;30 pm. It’s one of the places with the most positive feedback by visitors, for its beautiful display of various information related to Harry houdini’s life by talented hosts and outstanding magic shows popular among kids and adults alike.

Admire Nature at Choke Creek Falls

Choke Creek Falls
Nicholas A. Tonelli from Northeast Pennsylvania, USA, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

If you have a spirit of a hiker in you or general sense of liking towards scenic natural hidden gems then taking a short hike to Choke creek falls should be in your things to do.

Located in the Thornhurst tract of the Pinchot state forest, Twenty feet tall and similarly wide with two drops, placed in one of the most scenic spots of Pennsylvania, choke creek falls attracts non-resident visitors and resident hikers alike. Follow the trail past the gate that goes for about ¾ of a mile, crossing a makeshift wooden bridge over butler run, quarter a mile after the bridge the trail will lead you to your destination soon enough.

Seek the hidden waterfall; Rattlesnake falls

 Rattlesnake falls
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Forests and waterfalls are one of the most universal stops in the journey of travellers of all kinds. Especially if its a hidden gem, then all the better.
Take the old forest trail from route 502, going around the Nestbitt Reservoir, after about 10minutes of walk, turn right with the trail going upstream to reach to the top of the Rattlesnake falls in about 100yards.

It has a height of about 12-15 feet, carving out a gorge below. The whole area is picturesque and best for solo hikers looking for some quiet and seclusion in the heart of nature. This hidden waterfall is located in the pinchot forest nearby the Nestbitt Reservoir.

Best places to Eat & Drink at Scranton

Taste the Lebanese speciality of Savory maza from salads to entrees, enjoy the homely Lebanese cuisine experience. Check out the Seafood of Cooper’s Seafood House, good place to get quality seafood and enjoy eating and drinking on the patio. If you want to check out a Mediterranean restaurant then, The gardens is the perfect choice. Modern middle eastern and Mediterranean recipes, outdoor eating experience, grab a quick bite.

Sip the Crafts beer of Backyard Ale and be amazed by their quality. house Scranton's premier crafts beer hub, with outdoor patio and a range of dining options available, good place to hang out with your gang.
Go on a Romantic dining at “Posh”. For a romantic evening with your partner, enjoy the fine-dining experience at posh. Reservations are recommended.

Archbald Pothole state Park

Archbold Pothole state Park
Clint, stitched and cropped by Ruhrfisch, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Found accidentally by miners while blasting the area with aims to expanding the mining tunnel in 1884, it is now known as the world’s largest glacial pothole, it’s depth 38ft and 42ft wide.

It was formed by the subsiding glacier melt-water swirl during the ice age. It was undiscovered and untouched for about 10,000 years before the mining accident.
If you’re a student or geology aficionado, or find yourself travelling route 6 in Scranton, then you can add this spot to your lists of places to check out while in Scranton PA.