25 Best Things to Do in Scranton, PA

Scranton, PA

Nestled in the rolling hills of northeastern Pennsylvania, Scranton offers a unique blend of modern amenities and old-world charm that keeps me, and many others, enthralled.

If you're eager to uncover the hidden gems and memorable experiences this city has to offer, then you've come to the right place.

Let's embark on this journey together, diving into the best things to do in Scranton, Pennsylvania.

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We extend our heartfelt gratitude to the following individuals for their invaluable contributions to this article: Melinda Speer, Delores Harris, Juliette Proctor, Joy Martin, Glenn Aguilar, Donnie Stephenson and Kara Harris.

Hike the Ricketts Glen State Park

A waterfall at Ricketts Glen State Park
Jon Bilous / Shutterstock.com

There's something magical about a day spent at Ricketts Glen State Park, where the sounds of the city are replaced by the rustling of leaves and the mesmerizing cascade of waterfalls.

This 13,050-acre park, nestled in my community, is a treasure trove of natural beauty.

Whether you're an adventure junkie or a tranquility seeker, there's something for everyone.

Embarking on the trails is like stepping into another world. The hiking trails, especially the waterfall trail, are a delight.

The terrain is rocky and often wet, making it quite a challenge.

But don't be deterred, each step brings you closer to stunning views of waterfalls - over twenty of them, including the breathtaking Ganoga Falls.

It's quite a workout, make no mistake, but it's so worth it. Don't forget to pack some snacks and drinks. You'll be grateful for the energy boost!

Footbridge at Ricketts Glen State Park
Jon Bilous / Shutterstock.com

If you're into camping, you're in for a treat. The camping sites offer a peaceful retreat under the stars.

However, you might want to avoid Site 32, it's not the best. The park rangers regularly patrol the area, which adds a layer of security.

And yes, you may spot a bear or two. But don't worry, the rangers are well equipped to handle them!

If you prefer a more laid-back day, head to the beautiful beach. It's the perfect spot for a family day out, with a little burger shack to keep the hunger pangs at bay.

You can also rent a boat or a kayak for a leisurely trip on the water.

One of the things I love about Pennsylvania State Parks is that they're free. And Ricketts Glen State Park is no exception.

A creek at Ricketts Glen State Park
Jon Bilous / Shutterstock.com

Step back in Time at Catlin House Museum

Exterior of Catlin House Museum
Smallbones, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

There's something incredibly fascinating about stepping through the grand doors of the Catlin House Museum.

This former residence of city financier George H. Catlin, is now home to the Lackawanna Historical Society and their treasury of information about our county's past.

If you have ever wondered about the influential Archbald family, this is the place to delve into their legacy.

I found myself captivated by the stories of this prominent family that helped shape our community.

And that's just the beginning. Catlin House Museum offers an in-depth look into the rich history of Lackawanna County, opening a window to the past that's both enlightening and engaging.

For those who are interested in genealogy or historical research, the museum’s research library is a gold mine.

The knowledgeable staff and dedicated volunteers are always ready to assist, boasting an impressive amount of information at their fingertips.

Every visit to the Catlin House Museum is like embarking on a personal historical journey.

It's a remarkable resource right here in our city that makes uncovering the past a true pleasure.

Go Trekking at Step Falls

One day, I stumbled upon a hidden gem, a place that I now call my own secret sanctuary - Step Falls.

It's quite difficult to find, your GPS might not be of much help leading you to it. It will probably take you to the closest street entrance.

The journey to Step Falls is not for the faint-hearted.

You need to don your best pair of sneakers or boots, as the slim path leading to the falls can be treacherous.

If you have pets, they might find it challenging to navigate through the path.

And if you have a fear of heights or lack balance, this might not be the best place for you.

The area lacks guardrails, and a fall could result in serious injury.

Despite all these, the trek to Step Falls is worth every step.

The most reliable way to reach the falls is to head down the tracks until you spot a diversion a few feet off the path.

That's your cue! The falls are a sight to behold, offering a beautiful and serene hideaway from the hustle and bustle of daily life.

But a word of caution: swimming in Step Falls is not advisable as there are invisible whirlpools that pose a danger.

Always remember to prioritize your safety.

Step Falls is a place to marvel at nature’s raw beauty and appreciate its tranquillity, not a place to take unnecessary risks.

Discover Railroad History at Steamtown National Historic Site

View of Steamtown National Historic Site
George Sheldon / Shutterstock.com

Every now and then, when the hustle and bustle of everyday life starts to get overwhelming, I find solace at the Steamtown National Historic Site.

It's not just a museum, it's an immersive journey through time that showcases the incredible advancements in technology, particularly in the railroad industry.

The vast yard is filled with an awe-inspiring collection of locomotives and passenger cars.

I often lose myself strolling around the colossal machines that transformed the American way of life.

I am not a train enthusiast per se, but the grandeur of these titans of steel and fire never fails to impress me.

The imposing locomotive shop is a testament to the Steamtown National Historic Site's dedication to preservation. It houses numerous engines, each at a different stage of restoration.

I am always amazed by the meticulous attention to detail in each project.

This is a living, breathing testament to our history, and I am proud to have it in our city.

One of the highlights of my visit is always the technology museum. It showcases the evolution of railway technology over the years.

Steam trains at Steamtown National Historic Site
George Sheldon / Shutterstock.com

The carefully curated exhibits serve as a reminder of how far we have come.

In addition to the exhibits, Steamtown also offers a Junior Ranger Program.

This interactive, hands-on program is a great way to engage children and instill in them a love for history.

It's not uncommon to see groups of wide-eyed kids eagerly listening to the rangers as they share fascinating stories about the railway.

But what really sets Steamtown apart is its documentary films.

They offer a deeper insight into the history of the railway and serve as a poignant reminder of the role it played in shaping our nation.

I always make it a point to catch at least one during my visits.

Steam locomotive at Steamtown National Historic Site
Wangkun Jia / Shutterstock.com

Cool Down at McDade Park

Signage of McDade Park
Billy Hathorn at English Wikipedia, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

If you've never spent an afternoon soaking up the sun at McDade Park, let me paint a picture for you.

Imagine the cool splash of water as you dive into the Olympic-sized pool, the scent of grilled burgers wafting through the air, and the laughter of children echoing from the playground.

One of the best parts is that the park offers free entry to the swimming pool.

However, brace yourself for a mini workout; unless you unload your gear at the top of the hill, you'll have to haul it up a steep, paved incline - about 200 yards to the pool.

The pool itself is quite family-friendly.

The splash pad is a hit with kids of all ages, and the pool has depths ranging from an incline for toddlers to 8 feet for the more adventurous swimmers.

There are a few round picnic tables equipped with umbrellas for shade, but most of the area is bathed in sunlight, so pack a beach umbrella if you can.

Don't expect much in terms of a changing area, but the bathroom stalls do the job.

What's more, McDade Park is not just about recreation - it's about history, too.

I highly recommend taking the coal mine tour.

It gives a fascinating insight into the harsh working conditions of the miners, making it a truly educational experience.

Just remember to bring a medium jacket; it can get a bit chilly down there, even on the hottest days.

Go Winetasting at the Lucchi Family Wine Cellars

Oh, where do I begin with the delightful experience that is the Lucchi Family Wine Cellars!

It is, without a doubt, the best place to savor the finest wines in the city.

The moment you step into Lucchi Family Wine Cellars, you feel an immediate sense of warmth and welcome that is simply unparalleled.

It's a place where you won't just be served wine but will also be treated like a dear guest.

The staff there are always so amazing, going above and beyond to ensure that every visit is a memorable one.

And then, there's the wine.

Delectable, exquisite, heavenly - these words seem too small to capture its true essence.

Each sip unleashes a symphony of flavors that is so captivating you can't help but lose yourself in the experience.

Discovering Nay Aug Falls

Water flowing through the rocks at Nay Aug Park
Jennifer Theresa Barrett / Shutterstock.com

Living just a drive away from the beautiful Nay Aug Falls, I can't help but frequent this hidden gem whenever I need a breather from bustling city life.

This gorgeous waterfall in Nay Aug Park has become my sanctuary.

I often bring along my nieces and nephews for a day out since the trails leading to the falls are fairly easy for their little legs to navigate.

We love the anticipation that builds as each lookout or point of interest pops up, giving us just enough of a rest before moving on to the next one.

When we finally reach the falls, the sight is nothing short of breathtaking.

The kids enjoy spotting the distinct features of the waterfall from the two observation decks.

On one of our visits, we were thrilled to come across a bridge spanning the falls.

It's not every day you get to stand in the middle of such a natural spectacle!

Top view of Nay Aug Falls
Jason Healey Photography / Shutterstock.com

Unfortunately, the overlook tree house was closed, but that didn't dampen our spirits.

We spent the remainder of the day at the park's playground, which had enough slides, swings, and climbing ropes to keep the kids entertained for hours.

What's surprising is that despite its beauty and the array of activities it has to offer, Nay Aug Falls is not swarming with people.

It's a rarity these days to find such a peaceful place with minimal crowd.

It's a great spot if you want to spend a relaxing day with nature without feeling overwhelmed by throngs of tourists.

Uncover Hidden History at the Anthracite Heritage Museum

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

I've always had a deep-rooted connection with the Lackawanna Valley, having grown up in the area, and the Anthracite Heritage Museum has always been a beacon of exploration for me.

It's not just about coal, the museum provides a detailed look into our immigrant past, showcasing how those who came before us lived and worked in our region’s mines, mills, and factories.

Stepping into the museum is like stepping into a time machine.

The displays on textiles, particularly silk, are a particular favorite of mine.

They offer an intriguing insight into the long-gone industries that once thrived in our area.

It's a vivid journey through our history, one that I always find surprisingly enlightening.

Anthracite Heritage Museum also hosts tours every 30 minutes, remember to get there a bit early, as they can fill up quickly.

I've always enjoyed these guided experiences; the last one I went on lasted about 1 hour and 15 minutes and was jam-packed with fascinating facts and stories from our past.

The gift shop is another little gem that always brings a smile to my face.

I love browsing through their unique selection, and yes, they even have a section dedicated to "The Office" merchandise!

But the real charm of the Anthracite Heritage Museum, in my opinion, lies in the unexpected.

From the sculptures by Charles Edgar Patience to the antique mining equipment, there's always something new to discover.

It's this sense of wonder and curiosity that keeps drawing me back time and time again.

Craft Personal Scents at Noteology

I was strolling through my hometown one weekend when I decided to pop into Noteology, a small boutique tucked away in a cozy corner.

The moment I stepped inside, I found myself in a whimsical wonderland of olfactory delights.

The entire store was an absolute sight to behold, with a charming interior that left me in complete awe.

The highlight of the day was undoubtedly creating my own signature scent, an experience that was both exhilarating and challenging.

After much mixing and matching, with expert guidance, I was able to concoct a fragrance that was uniquely mine, one which I absolutely adore.

But the fun at Noteology didn't stop at perfumes.

On my daughter's recommendation, I returned with a few friends to create our own candle scents.

It was a delightful, laughter-filled afternoon that brought us all closer together.

Another day, I stopped by on a whim.

Luckily, the store wasn't busy, and I had a chance to explore their wide range of pre-made fragrances.

They also have a delightful collection of lip balms, which I couldn't resist purchasing.

Bring Your Train Enthusiast at Electric City Trolley Museum

Scenic view of Electric city trolley museum
Wangkun Jia / Shutterstock.com

There's something magical about the clanging bells and the rumbling tracks, it takes you back in time.

I'm talking about the Electric City Trolley Museum, a charming little spot nestled in the heart of Scranton.

It's a place where childhood fantasies come to life and history unfolds in the most interactive way possible.

The first thing that caught my eye was the children's area, a space designed to spark the imagination.

A giant table covered with wooden buildings depicting the Scranton/Wilkes-barre region.

It's an open canvas for the young ones to build their imaginary city, a sight that always fills the air with pure joy and enthusiasm.

But the showstopper is the Trolley ride. The thrill of snagging a seat at the "end" window is something else: watching the tracks disappear into the distance.

The trolley, despite its vintage charm, manages to pick up serious speed, easily touching 30 mph. It's not just a ride; it's an adventure, a journey through time.

Electric City Trolley Museum's station
Ritu Manoj Jethani / Shutterstock.com

But it's not all fun and games, Electric City Trolley Museum is a treasure trove of history. Each exhibit is meticulously preserved, each relic telling a story of an era gone by.

The trolley tour is a must, the guides are walking encyclopedias.

They breathe life into the past with their words, making the experience worth every minute.

The Electric City Trolley Museum shares its space with the nearby train museum, making it an interesting mix of history and entertainment.

It's a testament to the significant role that trolleys played in the local history of Scranton.

View inside a trolley of Electric City Trolley Museum
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Catch a Show at the Scranton Cultural Center

Exterior of Scranton Cultural Center at the Masonic Temple
ARK NEYMAN / Shutterstock.com

The moment you lay your eyes on the Scranton Cultural Center, you instantly recognize its historical significance.

The architecture is simply breathtaking. It's not just a venue, it's a living testament to our city's vibrant past.

I had the pleasure of attending a wedding at the center last year, and I must say, it was an unforgettable experience.

From the grandeur of the hall to the proficiency of the staff, everything was perfect!

Night light of Scranton Cultural Center at the Masonic Temple
Noel Biesecker / Shutterstock.com

But, it's not just weddings where the center shines. I've also been to several concerts and theater performances here, each one better than the last.

There's something incredibly special about seeing a ballet performance or a live concert in such a historical venue.

One St. Patrick's Day, my partner surprised me with tickets to Riverdance at the center.

It was an exciting night!

The Scranton Cultural Center remains a jewel of our city.

It's a place where every local and visitor should experience the magic of live performances while being enveloped in a piece of our city's history.

Night lights of Scranton Cultural Center at the Masonic Temple
Noel Biesecker / Shutterstock.com

You know, there's something about stepping foot into Artworks Gallery & Studio that just sets my heart aflutter.

The moment the doors swing open, you're greeted by an expanse of creativity and talent, with the spacious gallery playing host to an array of local artists.

There's no shortage of talent on display, especially during their First Friday events.

Strolling around during these events, it's truly heartwarming to witness the array of talent on show, from emerging artists to established ones.

Now, let's talk about their Crafts and Pottery section.

Trust me when I say it's like being a kid in a candy store.

Their collection ranges from quaint, delicate teapots to larger, intricate single-bloom vases.

The attention to detail and sheer beauty of these pieces still astonishes me every time I visit.

And the best thing? They're all crafted by the wonderful, talented individuals from our community who deal with intellectual challenges.

Their creations are not just pieces of art, they're stories of resilience and creativity, making them the perfect gifts for any occasion.

The vibes at Artworks Gallery & Studio are infectious.

Every day, the studio is filled with joy and inspiration, making it a pillar for our community.

Art classes for individuals with disabilities are currently being offered, transforming lives for the better.

And let me tell you, there's nothing more uplifting than seeing the joy and inspiration fill the room as these individuals create their art.

Take a Stroll around Bushkill Falls

Beautiful Bushkill Falls on a sunny day
Chiragsinh Yadav / Shutterstock.com

Living in close proximity to Bushkill Falls, I consider myself fortunate to have such a mesmerizing spectacle of nature just a stone’s throw away.

For me, a walk here isn't just a simple leisurely stroll, it's an adventure.

The robust trails, with their numerous steps, provide a fantastic workout and make every visit exhilarating.

Each trail is a path to a different experience, with each turn offering a new perspective of the falls.

The beauty of it is that you don't have to be a professional hiker to conquer these trails. Although, be prepared to feel your calves burning the next day.

The 100-ft waterfall is, without doubt, the park's crown jewel. The grandeur of it is truly breathtaking and manages to amaze me every single time.

It's as if the waterfall changes with every visit, embodying the ever-changing nature of life itself.

The sound of the cascading water has a calming effect that drowns out the noise of the world, making every visit a peaceful escape.

A trail along Bushkill Falls
Songquan Deng / Shutterstock.com

The well-maintained boardwalk is another highlight. It adds a touch of sophistication to the raw beauty of the falls, making for a delightful blend of the natural and man-made.

Walking on it, I feel like I'm floating above the forest floor, closer to the sky, and more in sync with nature.

For the kids, there's a maze outside the trails, which is quite a hit. It's a fun way to keep them entertained while soaking in the beauty of the surroundings.

And after a day of exploration, the cafe and the gift shop offer a wonderful respite.

Trees framing a footpath at Bushkill Falls
Songquan Deng / Shutterstock.com

Dive into History at the Lackawanna Coal Mine Tour

Entrance to the Lackawanna Coal Mine Tour
Mrosen99, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

There's a good reason why I speak so fondly of the Lackawanna Coal Mine Tour.

Not just one but a myriad.

It's not every day that you can delve 300 feet below the surface, riding in an original mine car as you embark on a journey through time.

The tour offers an experience that's both stimulating and educational, eliciting a sense of respect for the miners who bore the brunt of hard labor to keep the fires burning.

The journey begins with a thrilling descent, a sharp contrast to the verdant Pennsylvania landscape above.

The temperature drops noticeably as you venture deeper into the heart of the mine.

So remember, even though it may be a summer day, it's prudent to bring a jacket to combat the chill.

Exploring the old tunnels is nothing short of fascinating.

The guides during the Lackawanna Coal Mine Tour seem to have an inexhaustible wealth of knowledge about the mine's intricate history.

They are not just tour guides, they're storytellers, spinning tales of hard work and determination that leave you feeling a profound sense of respect for the men who once labored here.

Post the tour, there's a chance to browse through the quaint gift shop that sells some unique souvenirs, transporting you back to the coal mining era.

And for those of us who can't resist a snack or two, there's a small food court that offers a limited selection of quick bites.

Have a Family Day Out at Electric City Aquarium & Reptile Den

I have to say that the Electric City Aquarium & Reptile Den is one of my regular weekend haunts.

You won't believe it's tucked inside a shopping mall!

I was initially surprised by its size - it's much larger inside than you'd expect.

Before even stepping inside, the kids can have a ball panning for gems or shells.

It's an adorable little feature they have right out front, and it's a great way to kick off our visit. Once inside, the variety of animals is truly impressive.

From exotic fish to slithering snakes, they have it all in there.

And it's not just about the variety: these animals seem well-cared for and happy, which makes the experience even more pleasing.

What's more, their ticket pricing system is pretty cool.

I usually buy tickets online to save a few bucks.

And don't forget about the parking garage!

They validate your ticket, so you don't have to worry about any extra costs.

Just remember to bring it with you.

Exploring the Charms of Nay Aug Park

Boardwalk at Nay Aug Park
quiggyt4 / Shutterstock.com

You know that feeling when you discover something really cool in your own backyard?

That's how Nay Aug Park makes me feel.

A seemingly hidden gem located in the heart of Scranton, you can find more information on their official website, nayaugpark.org.

The moment you step into the park, you can't help but be drawn to the unique treehouse.

It's like something you would see in a glossy magazine spread— a true testament to the creativity of the City of Scranton.

Children and adults alike find the treehouse enchanting, a perfect place to spark the imagination.

But Nay Aug Park isn't just about the playground or treehouse.

One of the highlights is the stunning waterfall and gorge area.

Learn about the Industrial Revolution at the Scranton Iron Furnaces

Stone buildings of Scranton Iron Furnaces
Noel Biesecker / Shutterstock.com

Strolling through the historical site of the Scranton Iron Furnaces, time seems to rewind itself.

The stone blast furnaces, an integral part of Scranton's iron and steel industry since 1840, stand as proud relics of our city's rich past.

They transport you to an era where the pounding heat from the furnaces was a daily part of life.

The sprawling site is conveniently located just a stone's throw away from the local mall. And there's never a worry about parking - it's always free here.

The descriptive signs scattered across the site are more than just chunks of metal.

They narrate fascinating tales about the furnace's role in iron production, sating the curiosity of history buffs and casual visitors alike.

One of my favorite activities to witness here is a casting pour. The molten metal dances and twirls, illuminating the darkness with its fiery glow.

It’s a sight that never fails to amaze me, reminding me of our city's industrious roots.

The furnaces may no longer belch out smoke or noise, but they still tell a story of the city's hard-working past.

One of the blast furnaces at the Scranton Iron Furnaces
Noel Biesecker / Shutterstock.com

While the furnaces themselves are gated off, you can get a decent view from the gate below or the hole above.

The interconnected tunnels whisper tales of the time when iron flowed through them, day in and day out.

But don't be disheartened by the locked gates. The surrounding grounds are just as captivating.

Up by the pavilion, the roses bloom in a riot of colors. Their beauty juxtaposed against the rugged stone furnaces is a sight to behold!

While it may be an iron furnace site, it's not all iron and smoke at Scranton Iron Furnaces.

Our city hosts a variety of events on these grounds throughout the year, adding life and cheer to the historical backdrop.

The view inside one of Scranton Iron Furnaces
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Have a Splash at Camelbeach Outdoor Waterpark at Camelback Resort

I can't help but feel a rush of excitement every time I approach the sprawling grounds of Camelbeach Outdoor Waterpark at Camelback Resort.

Nestled in the beautiful Poconos, this place is more than just a waterpark.

It's a whole world of fun, sun, and splashes – a perfect retreat from the mundane routine.

One hot summer day, I decided to take a break and head on over to the park.

I opted for the Fun 4 Pack - a wise decision that saved me a bit.

It was a weekday, and I was pleasantly surprised to find that the park was not too crowded.

Camelbeach Outdoor Waterpark at Camelback Resort was neat and clean, and there was something for everyone in the family to enjoy.

I guess it's worth mentioning that weekdays might be a better option if you prefer a less crowded time.

The water rides were exhilarating, a welcome relief from the summer heat.

But what caught my eye the most was the stunning views of the park itself.

It was beautifully maintained, with lush greenery and stunning water features that perfectly showcased the natural beauty of the Poconos.

In my opinion, if you can get a cabana, it's totally worth the added experience.

And if you're worried about food, don't be.

The food they serve is not only delicious but also reasonably priced.

Have a Learning-Filled Experience at the Everhart Museum

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

The twinkling of the past merges with the present as the Everhart Museum, a park-based cultural center in Scranton, unveils its treasures.

This place has been a part of me since my early childhood, a haven full of art, science, and natural history.

I remember the dinosaur fossils, a majestic display that always instilled a sense of wonder in my young mind.

The bird room was another favorite, offering a peek into the world of our feathered friends.

I recall the shrunken head, the mineral stones glowing under the black light, and the industrious bees that once buzzed in the basement.

Although some exhibits have changed over time, the charm remains untouched, if not amplified.

A visit to the museum now is a walk down a polished memory lane.

The galleries are pristinely maintained, exhibiting a collection of modern art that seems to blend seamlessly with the older pieces.

The museum boasts a refreshing cleanliness, brought to life by the freshly painted walls and intricate displays.

What amazes me is the resilience of this place.

Despite the city's financial ups and downs, the museum has stood firm, flourishing to become a beautiful landmark.

Every time I visit, I am struck by a sense of pride - for this gem of a museum standing tall in my hometown.

Everhart Museum charges a nominal admission fee of $5, a small price for the wealth of knowledge and experience it offers.

Stay in a Historic Hotel: Radisson Lackawanna Station Hotel Scranton

Exterior of Radisson Lackawanna Station Hotel Scranton
Ajay Suresh from New York, NY, USA, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

When you live in a city full of history like Scranton, it's easy to become accustomed to the historic architecture and charm.

But the Radisson Lackawanna Station Hotel Scranton is one place that still takes my breath away with its grandeur.

Every time I step into this former train station, I'm transported back in time - the stunning marble walls and columns, high domed ceilings, and the sense of sophistication and majesty that fills the air.

You can literally feel the history in every corner of this magnificent building.

I often enjoy strolling down to the hotel for a meal at one of their two restaurants.

Whether it's a quick bite or a relaxed dinner, the experience is always delightful.

The restaurant located right in the courtyard in particular, is a feast for both the eyes and the palate.

One of my favorite things about this place is how it blends the past and the present.

Interior of Radisson Lackawanna Station Hotel Scranton
Allen McGregor from Brampton, Canada, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

They host modern events, like the jazz event that was a hit with the locals. It's a surreal experience to enjoy contemporary music in such a historic setting.

The rooms at Radisson Lackawanna Station Hotel Scranton are as impressive as the building itself.

With high ceilings and spacious, well-maintained quarters, they offer all the comfort you need.

And let's not forget the soothing silence at night that guarantees a good night's sleep.

View of Radisson Lackawanna Station Hotel Scranton at night
Noel Biesecker / Shutterstock.com

Embark in a Magical Encounter at the Houdini Museum

Every weekend, I find myself drawn to a place of charm and wonder nestled in the heart of the city - the Houdini Museum.

A converted home, it transports me back in time with its intricate collection of Houdini memorabilia, making history feel more alive than ever.

The museum itself is a treasure trove of Houdini's rich history.

Every inch of the place is covered with memorabilia that narrates an interesting story, making the tour a completely immersive experience.

The original artifacts are meticulously detailed, narrating the story of Houdini's life and his intriguing escapades.

Remember, the Houdini Museum is not just a museum.

It's an adventure of magic and history that awaits every weekend.

Peruse the Shops at The Marketplace at Steamtown

Exterior of the Marketplace at Steamtown
quiggyt4 / Shutterstock.com

There's something about The Marketplace at Steamtown that always pulls me in. It's more than just a shopping center, it's a genuine community hub.

Somehow, it always manages to keep things fresh and exciting, even for someone like myself who has been visiting for years.

What really stands out is the variety of shops and experiences available.

From fashion boutiques that offer the latest trends to relaxing salons where you can pamper yourself after a long week.

The dining options here are also diverse, catering to different tastes and preferences, perfect for a casual meal or a meet-up with friends.

One of the main highlights of my regular visits has been the mall's unexpected treasures, like the sign used in "The Office."

It's a quirky piece of pop culture history that always brings a smile to my face.

Interior of the Marketplace at Steamtown
JohnDziak, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

But the real star of the show, in my opinion, is the aquarium tucked away within the mall.

It's a surprising yet delightful addition that transforms a visit to The Marketplace at Steamtown into a mini-adventure.

Walking through the aquarium never gets old; there's something genuinely soothing about watching the fish and reptiles, a serene oasis amidst the bustling shopping center.

On other days, I find myself wandering through Boscov's.

This two-story department store is a treasure trove of items, a throwback to the old-school shopping experience.

Its convenient location within the marketplace makes it an easy stop to pick up anything from clothes to home goods.

Have a Retreat at Montage Mountain Resorts

In my backyard lies a gem that brings joy and pleasure to many. Montage Mountain Resorts is a place that I have so many fond memories of.

Be it the thrill of snow tubing in winter or the splashy fun at the water park during summer, this resort has something for everyone.

One of my favorite memories was celebrating a friend's birthday at the water park.

The pricing was reasonable, and the food was more than enough for our group of 15.

The kids and adults alike had a fantastic time, and the exceptional service provided by Hannah B in guest services left a lasting impression on all of us.

But the fun doesn't stop with the water park.

Last winter, despite the lackluster snowfall, I took my nephews to Montage as part of their school ski club.

Even with just five trails open, we had a fantastic time.

The dedicated staff had done an amazing job ensuring there was snow on as many trails as possible.

The food and drinks at the on-site restaurant were excellent and well-priced.

It was a memorable day that left us all yearning for colder weather and more snow.

Perhaps one of the best things about Montage is its location.

While there's not much lodging on the mountain itself, there are plenty of affordable places to stay nearby.

And for ski enthusiasts like myself, Montage Mountain Resorts boasts some of the most challenging runs in the mid-Atlantic.

Their weekday specials for lift tickets are a steal, and the music they play in the lodge creates an enjoyable atmosphere. Montage is not just a resort; it's a beloved local hangout for many of us.

Other Things to Do Nearby

Check out the Unique Land Formation at Archbald Pothole State Park

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

Every time I take a quiet walk through Archbald Pothole State Park, I'm reminded of the simple beauty and mystery that lies right in our backyard.

It's a charming, albeit a bit neglected, gem tucked away just off the highway.

The park's main feature, the 'Pothole,' is a captivating natural formation that always stirs my curiosity.

Even for those unfamiliar with its history, the mere sight of it is enough to evoke wonder.

It's worth noting that the park isn't your typical "state park."

There aren't any bathrooms or clearly marked trails. It's more of a quiet, tucked-away spot perfect for a quick stop and a breath of fresh air.

The park's charm lies in its rich history, dating back to when the pothole first formed.

The signage tells the story of how it probably scared the living daylights out of the people back then, and you can even see an old photo showing a group of men gawking at the newly formed danger.

The ladies, dressed in their finest, can be spotted cautiously standing back on the rocks.

The nearby boulders also hold traces of the past, with barely legible carvings from the late 1800s embedded into them.

For someone with a keen interest in geology like myself, Archbald Pothole State Park is an intriguing spot.

While it might not be a huge "attraction" in the traditional sense, there's something peaceful about its quiet simplicity.

If you're someone who can find beauty in nature's oddities and the allure of history, this park is well worth a visit.

It may not have a playground or state-of-the-art facilities, but for me, it's a place to enjoy nature and indulge my love for geology.

Have a Family Time at Knoebels Amusement Resort

Ferris wheel at Knoebels Amusement Resort
John M. Chase / Shutterstock.com

Ever since I was old enough to appreciate the thrill of a roller coaster, Knoebels Amusement Resort has been my go-to place for fun.

Nestled just a short drive from my home, this local treasure is a sanctuary for those seeking heart-pounding rides, delicious food, and relaxed family time.

One of the greatest perks of Knoebels Amusement Resort is its free admission and free parking policy.

For someone like me, who enjoys the ambiance and excitement of an amusement park more than the rides, this is a perfect arrangement.

Knoebels is more than just roller coasters and thrill rides. The variety of food on offer is nothing short of astounding.

Over the years, I've indulged in everything from classic hot dogs and pizza to more eclectic choices like local Pennsylvania Dutch specialties.

And, it's not just the variety that impresses, but the quality of food which is unusually high for an amusement park, in my opinion.

The park's inclusivity extends to our four-legged friends as well.

I have fond memories of bringing my dog along and seeing his tail wag endlessly as he revels in the excitement and energy of the place.

If you are the adventurous type, the thrill rides at Knoebels will not disappoint.

Cable lifts at Knoebels Amusement Resort
Bryan Littel / Shutterstock.com

The wooden roller coasters are some of the best I've ridden, each one offering a unique and exhilarating experience.

But the park also caters to the younger crowd or those seeking less adrenaline-inducing fun.

There's a good balance of family-friendly rides and activities, ensuring everyone in the family has a memorable time.

Knoebels also offers shelter areas, perfect for those spontaneous summer rain showers.

These areas also serve as a great spot for a break, to catch your breath, and to plan your next ride.

Then, if you're planning on spending the whole day, there are lockers available for storing your belongings and water clothes.

The only slight drawback, if you can even call it that, is that the park doesn't open until noon.

But let me tell you, the wait only builds up the anticipation, and once you're in, time flies amidst the laughter, screams, and joyous atmosphere.

Rollercoaster at Knoebels Amusement Resort
Pete unseth, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Final Thoughts

Scranton, Pennsylvania, is a treasure trove of history, nature, and culture, brimming with unique experiences around every corner.

From the thrill of the coaster at Knoebels Amusement Resort to the tranquility found at Nay Aug Falls, I find something new and exciting every time I explore my city.

As I continue to uncover the gems of my city, I look forward to what new adventures await in Scranton.

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