Northeastern Pennsylvania, commonly referred to as NEPA, is the interesting northeast corner of Pennsylvania. There is certainly no shortage of activities and attractions regardless of your interests. Coal mining was prevalent throughout NEPA for many decades late in the 19th century and early in the 20th century. As the mining industry declined with the demand for anthracite coal, the area was left with not much more than abandoned coal breakers and desolate land once booming with miners and daily activity both above and below the ground. NEPA needed a spark to re-ignite the enthusiasm that once made this area a popular place to settle. Although the coal mining days were far from glamorous, they are part of history in Northeast PA.
Embracing the history of this area was just one way to bring the past back to life and reproduce our local history for those who may find it of interest. Along with the coal mines were the railroads that carried to coal to various cities including New York, New Jersey, and the surrounding areas. Scranton, in particular was named the Electric City based on the fact that it was the first city to deploy an electric trolley for public transportation. These historic bits and pieces of local history opened the doors for plenty of tourist-oriented ideas.
Scranton, in particular is the home of a variety of interesting attractions including the Steamtown museum. Complete with one of its early roundhouses, and a fantastic modern facility, it is family fun at its finest. There is something for everyone to enjoy including train rides on authentic steam locomotives. Steamtown has flourished thanks to fans of the old locomotives who come from miles around to enjoy this trip back into the early days of locomotives with their families. Steamtown is a national park. Literally a stone’s throw away is another museum dedicated to another form of transportation. The trolley museum, although not quite as large as Steamtown, is an interesting venture featuring many old trolleys, interactive displays, and plenty of vintage photos. Another mining-themed attraction is the Lackawanna Coal Mine tour where you are literally transported down a mine shaft and given a walking tour through the mines. This is a must-see if you enjoy the history of coal mining or just the history of life in NEPA back in the good ‘ol days..
Wilkes-Barre, just a few miles south of Scranton has been fortunate enough to become the home of a successful minor league hockey team, the featured attraction of their indoor arena. But the arena hosts many additional events including top name musical entertainers, big name circus performances, indoor motocross racing, and truck pulls to name a few. The Scranton/Wilkes-Barre area is also home to the AAA Yankees baseball minor league team for the baseball fans. The pocono area features ultra-modern casino environment, multiple vacation resorts, dining, and dancing for those looking for night life. NEPA is fortunate to be gifted with numerous award-winning golf courses including nine hole beginner courses and eighteen hole professional grade courses. If shopping is on your mind, the Crossings in Tannersville is loaded with boutiques and specialty shops. This is ideal if you enjoy an outdoor shopping experience. Scranton also features their own recently opened Crossings located high atop Montage Mountain.
Overall, you can’t go wrong with a visit to NEPA.. With friendly, hospitable residents and plenty of activities to keep the whole family busy, Northeast Pennsylvania has become a destination for those eager for action or just some simple relaxation no matter the season.