Scranton, Pennsylvania : History, Culture, and Travel

Are you a fan of the world famous TV series “the office” as well? Then you must be familiar with the word Scranton PA. Perhaps you know it as the hometown of President of the United States, Joe Biden?

This city was the Home-base of “the office”, both in the show and where the shooting took place. If for some reason you have not done so, then after reading this blog I recommend you to go and do so, trust me when I say this you will not regret it.

Let me take you on a journey of the history and culture of the city as well as the best places to see in Scranton PA and the best things to do in Scranton as well.

However, before that, lets take a look at the historic highlights of Scranton first.

History and Culture timeline of Scranton, PA:

©wikipedia

1771

The oldest known residence that still stands till this date, is known to have built back in 1771 by Isaac trip famously known to be the first European American immigrant in this area.

1811

Nearby downtown Canton the first post office of Scranton was established in 1811 mainly to help out the newly opened businesses that originated the cause of rapid influx in European immigrants.

1840

The Lackawanna Iron and steel company started out as a small establishment in 1840 by the Scranton family no one could have known that the area will be rich in business because of it later on.

1847

A large scale production of Iron tee-rails started to be produced in Lackawanna Iron and steel company, which was known to be the first ever in the entire country.

1853

1853 holds a special significance for the history of Scranton PA. The major reason being an efficient transport system was built because of the railroads created during this era. The transport for Iron and Coal became much more easily viable and businesses started booming because of it.

1866

Another day of importance For the timeline of Scranton is April 23rd 1866. This is the date when Scranton PA was formally incorporated as a city from being just a small settlement at the beginning.

1884

Lackawanna adenan cool company donate it an expansive bit of land for a courthouse to be built, and hence the Lackawanna County courthouse originated in 1884. It was located in the downtown Scranton area.

1886

Scranton has been a leading city from historic times for the development in railway and relevant technological niche. In 1886 the first successfully working, continuously operating electrified steel car our trolley system was introduced in the nation by the Scranton railway company.
This is the major reason why Scranton is famously known as the electric city.

©scranton moving

1890

The biggest producer of Nottingham Leys in the nation named Stanton lays launched at maylord Ave in Scranton. at its peak it employed around 1400 people but now the company is no longer running however the building still stands being a constant reminder of the historical richness of the city.

1891

The international correspondence school ICS, or to be more direct, the first distance learning programme in the entire world was introduced by Thomas J. Foster, mainly to educate the miners in the region.

1902

This is the time Of the historically famous anthracite coal strike that Was led by Johnny Michelle the president of miners union at the time.

The protest occurred becausr of the absurdly low wages that was offered to the miners and The US president Theodore Roosevelt had to intervene an anthracite coal strike Commission was formed which are thought the peaceful negotiations between both partie.

Lackawanna County Courthouse was the place where the hearing took place and this became an historical event.

1908

The worldwide famous everhart museum Of Natural History science and art was established by doctor Isaiah Fox in 1908.
The museum is located in nail park 1901 Mulberry St.
To this day the museum continues to entertain tourist throughout the country as well as foreigners.

1930

The famed architect Raymond M. Hood designed the Masonic temple and Scottish Rite cathedral at 420 N. Washington Avenue, in downtown Scranton.

The structures were inaugurated on January 2 1930. Even to this date, both structures remain wholly open to public, working as major tourist attractions of the area as well as a great site for art performances.

Best Places to see and Things to do in Scranton :

Nay Aug Park

©TripAdvisor

Go hiking through Nay Aug Gorge
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.

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.

Everhart Museum

©wikipedia

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.

Located at 1901 mulberry st, Scranton PA, [Museum is closed usually only on Wednesdays and the whole of January(for maintenance)]

Everhart art education camp
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.
Registration fees are, $40 for museum non-member, $35 for museum members.

Ricketts glen state park

©travel+leisure

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.

Anthracite heritage museum

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
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.

Bushkill Falls

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.

Steamtown NHS

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.

Electric city trolley museum

©wikipedia

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.

Houdini Museum

©amny.com

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.

Best Places to Eat and Best Places to drink in 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.

now that you know the basic overview of the history Oscar and then as well as the best places to see and fun things to do in Scranton PA, then the only thing left for you to do is visit it.
If your plan you’re visiting the city I recommend you to browse around the web for the right accommodations to stay at as not every place might be as safe as another.

Go on now traveller, have fun, Happy Travels.

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