Spending a Weekend in Scranton, Pennsylvania

categories: USA Travel

Scranton, PA

The city of Scranton, Pennsylvania is more than just the location of The Office’s Dunder Mifflin. It is a city filled with rich history, and several travel gems. Part of the Lackawanna River Valley, Scranton is a cultural hub. Spend a weekend there, and you will be sure to enjoy what you find.

Here are some ideas of things to do in Scranton for a suggested weekend itinerary.

Friday Afternoon

The Marketplace at Steamtown

Start off your weekend in Scranton with a visit to the Marketplace at Steamtown. Formerly known as the Mall at Steamtown, the Marketplace at Steamtown is a re-vamped, modern mall which includes a multi-specialty doctor’s office, over fifty shops, and the Electric City Aquarium.

Electric City Aquarium and Reptile Den

Speaking of the Electric City, after checking out the other shops in the Marketplace, explore the aquarium and its famous reptile den. The aquarium features fish, sharks, and even sting rays that you can pet. In the reptile den, you will find yourself surrounded by tortoises, frogs, snakes, and even crocodiles.

Friday Evening

Thai Thai, Scranton

After all the excitement at the Marketplace, settle down for dinner just a few blocks away at Thai Thai Scranton, a favorite for authentic Thai cuisine. A family-owned restaurant, Thai Thai is sure to please with their cozy atmosphere and best-selling pad thai. Top off your meal with a mango flavored bubble tea, or a Thai iced tea, and you will be quite satisfied!

Saturday Morning

Pennsylvania Anthracite Heritage Museum - Scanton

Pennsylvania Anthracite Heritage Museum

As Scranton is the cultural center of the Lackawanna Valley, you will certainly want to make your way over to the Pennsylvania Anthracite Heritage Museum. Blending the history surrounding coal mining and the immigrants of Scranton, this museum portrays the story of hard coal mining’s contribution to the economy, and the people who worked there.

One of the exhibits, called the “People Exhibit,” carves out the culture that embodied the immigrants of the Anthracite Region. Immigrants from nearly three dozen countries, from various backgrounds and ages came to work in the flourishing industry of mining and textiles. You can learn more about what the museum has to offer, and plan your visit on their website.

Electric City Trolley Museum

Did you know that Scranton is also known as the Electric City? This is because it was the first city to test out the first ever electric streetcar. The Electric City Trolley Museum offers an interesting look with a history of trolleys, exhibits with exposed trolleys, and interactive displays about electricity. To add to the excitement, the museum sells tickets to a trolley excursion which follows the Laurel Line electric railroad.

Saturday Afternoon

Lunch at Abe's Kosher Delicatessen and Restaurant - Scranton

Lunch at Abe’s Kosher Delicatessen and Restaurant

Before you head out for your afternoon activities, stop by for a quick bite to eat at Abe’s Deli in Scranton. This is a relaxed, unassuming New York Style diner plopped right in the middle of Downtown Scranton. Abe’s has an affordable menu with familiar favorites such as corned beef and pastrami Reuben’s, and homemade, old-fashioned potato pancakes and blintzes.

Houdini Museum

Once you finish lunch, drive over to the Houdini Museum for some magic and fun. Described as the top Scranton attraction, the Houdini Museum showcases the life of the ever-famous magician, Harry Houdini. You will not only see some rare footage of the magician, but you will also see a fun magic show. This attraction is very popular, so it might be worth making reservations to ensure your admission.

Saturday Evening

Scranton Lake Walking Path

Scranton Lake Walking Path

There is nothing like rounding out a wonderful day without enjoying the sunset in a beautiful natural setting. Head out over to the Scranton Lake Walking Path to get a bit of fresh air. The trail is just a little over 3.5 miles long, and is completely paved. Because there is no car traffic on this trail, you can enjoy the scenery of the calm waters of Scranton Lake, and perhaps you may also see some wildlife.

Lucchi Family Wine Cellars

A family-owned wine cellar with wines made from locally-grown grapes, the Lucchi Family Wine Cellars is a hidden gem. The son of Italian immigrants in the 1900s, Robert Lucchi carries on his family’s tradition of making homemade wine. Check out the fun named wines like Sweet Trouble and Karma.

The Loading Dock Bar and Grill

End the night strong with a delicious dinner with the freshest seafood in town at the Loading Dock Bar and Grill. If you are not feeling like seafood, no worries, because this restaurant will serve you up a wide range of family favorites like hoagies, BBQ ribs, and even pierogies. They also serve up a fine selection of beers on tap, including several locally brewed ales.

Sunday Morning

Northern Lights Espresso Bar - Scranton

Northern Lights Espresso Bar

A trip to Scranton would not be complete without a stop for coffee or tea at the Northern Lights Espresso Bar. Located on Courthouse Square, this cafe is located in the postcard-worthy historic Scranton Life Building. Offering local roasts from Damiani Coffee Roasters, and Gimme! Coffee from Ithaca, this place will hit the spot.

Nay Aug Park

Start your Sunday morning fresh with a walk in Nay Aug Park, located right by the Nay Aug Gorge. As the largest park in Scranton, there is certainly a lot to see here. Take a short, half-mile walk to see a lovely waterfall at the Roaring Brook.

From here, you can continue to cross the brook, and stand on an observation deck across from the falls. Nay Aug Park is also home to a zoo, Olympic sized pools with water slides, and if you are in town for the Holidays, a Christmas light show.

Albright Memorial Library

Things to do in Scranton, PA | A Weekend Guide to Scranton, PAAlso known as the Scranton Public Library, the Albright Memorial Library is yet another gem in town. Not only is it a wonderful place to sit down, and spend an afternoon reading, you can also admire its beautiful stained glass windows, and historical architecture.

A Little Pizza Heaven

Before you head home, grab a bite to eat at Scranton’s number one rated restaurant, A Little Pizza Heaven. Savor some authentic Italian in this cozy, family owned restaurant. They have pizza, sandwiches, signature gnocchi, tortellini soup, just to name a few.

Where to Stay

There are many places to stay in Scranton, but the Radisson Lackawanna Station Hotel is a must. An old train station converted into a hotel, comfort and history combine here as you get cozy in their clean, modern rooms, then marvel at the neo-classical French renaissance architecture in the lobby. Not only does the hotel feature coffees and a great selection of wine, it is also within close proximity to downtown Scranton.

There you have it! You have a full itinerary to enjoy a quick weekend in Scranton. If you have not figured it out yet, Scranton’s rich cultural history adds to its charm. Not only will you find this in its unique things to do, but also in its dining options! Are you ready for a visit?

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by Jake

Jake is an editor at 570MENU - a travel guide for Northeast Pennsylvania. Where he enjoys writing on the great local events, attractions and restaurants of the area. Go explore NEPA!

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