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A Guide to the Enigmatic Locale of Scranton, Pennsylvania

submitted on 24 May 2023 by

The Birthplace of the American Industrial Revolution

Scranton, Pennsylvania, affectionately known as "The Electric City," was once the pulsating heart of America's Industrial Revolution. This seemingly ordinary city nestled in the northeastern corner of the state is not just the birthplace of Joe Biden and the setting of the wildly popular TV show, The Office, but also boasts a rich and fascinating history. With its roots sunk deep in coal mining, railways, and iron production, Scranton has a magnetic appeal to urban explorers and history buffs alike.

Stepping Back in Time

Begin your sojourn in Scranton's historic downtown, where architectural remnants of the city's past remain untouched by the ravages of time. Stroll past the imposing Gothic facade of the Lackawanna County Courthouse, constructed in 1884, and the Scranton Cultural Center, once the stunning Masonic Temple and Scottish Rite Cathedral, which now serves as a hub for performing arts and events. To truly immerse yourself in the city's rich history, be sure to visit the Steamtown National Historic Site. This intriguing site is a veritable wonderland of meticulously preserved steam locomotives and railroad cars, showcasing the golden age of American rail travel.

A Subterranean Expedition

For a more subterranean experience, venture into the Lackawanna Coal Mine Tour. Don a hard hat and descend 300 feet below the surface into the dark, dank confines of a once-thriving anthracite coal mine. As your tour guide regales you with tales of labor strife, deadly explosions, and the toil of generations of miners, your appreciation for modern conveniences and the lengths to which humanity has gone to harvest resources will only deepen.

Natural Wonders in The Electric City

While the city's industrial roots may loom large, Scranton also offers an array of outdoor activities that showcase the region's natural beauty. The Lackawanna River Heritage Trail is a 40-mile meandering path perfect for walking, running, or cycling alongside the scenic Lackawanna River. For those who relish the thrill of discovery, the Seven Tubs Recreation Area features a series of striking waterfalls and natural pools carved out of bedrock over millennia.

Curiosities Abound

No visit to Scranton would be complete without exploring its eclectic assortment of offbeat attractions. For the admirers of the macabre, a visit to the Houdini Museum is a must. This enigmatic museum, housed in a former Masonic temple, pays tribute to the legendary escape artist and magician, Harry Houdini. The collection includes rare artifacts, personal effects, and even a sťance room, where Houdini himself allegedly attempted to contact the spirit world. If your fascination with the bizarre extends to the heavens above, pay a visit to Keystone College's Thomas G. Cupillari Observatory. Gaze into the celestial abyss through powerful telescopes and ponder the immensity of the universe, as well as your own insignificant existence within it.

Refueling in Scranton

After a long day of exploration, you'll undoubtedly require sustenance. Fear not, for Scranton's culinary scene is as diverse and intriguing as its history. Sample authentic Polish delicacies at Roseanna's Restaurant, or feast on sumptuous Italian cuisine at Alter House. And of course, no visit to Pennsylvania would be complete without indulging in a classic Philly cheesesteak from Steve & Irene's Hoagies. Wash it all down with a pint from one of the city's many local breweries, such as the Wallenpaupack Brewing Company or Cooper's Seafood House.

Where to Rest Your Weary Head

For lodgings that continue the city's historical theme, consider the Radisson Lackawanna Station Hotel, housed in a former train station dating back to 1908. Or, for a more budget-friendly option, the Microtel Inn & Suites by Wyndham offers modern accommodations near the Steamtown National Historic Site.

In Conclusion...

Scranton, the fabled Electric City, has much to offer the intrepid traveler willing to step off the beaten path. With its storied past, natural beauty, and quirky attractions, there's no shortage of adventure to be found in this unexpected slice of Americana. So, pack your bags, leave your preconceptions at the door, and prepare to be enthralled and delighted by the enigma that is Scranton, Pennsylvania.

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