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Jul 02

Scranton PA: Touring the Electric City


Northeastern Pennsylvania is a quiet region that has maintained much poise and equanimity over the years. Its most prominent city of Scranton is a place where nature and verdant mountainscapes are never too far away, all the while providing for the wants and needs of a charming urban scene. Scranton is a town that embodies the concepts of hard work, splendid culture and unique historic appeal. It has the diversity of a big town with the rapport of a friendly neighborhood.


First off some might wonder as to its epithet: the electric city. It was one of the first places worldwide to implement the new discovery of electricity in the 1880’s for broad use in public. The presence of many engineering and innovative industrial complexes at this time meant that it was a city where healthy competition and ingenuity were praised. Today the remnants of this era of prosperity are readily visible in the classic 19th century brick and stone buildings, the converted and aging factories and the symbol of the city, the illuminated ‘electric city’ sign.


Some of the classic things to explore are museums and tours related to the city’s coal and railroad industry. The Lackawanna County coal mine tour is a classic journey 300 feet underground. The electric city trolley station can provide rides to nearby Montage Mountain and the Steamtown National historic site offers a massive collection of steam-powered locomotives.


The city itself is quite easy to explore on foot. The main downtown consists of a couple dozen square blocks that contain many classic buildings, historic sites and inspiring parks. The main streets to explore are Lackawanna, Jefferson and Vine. There are parking garages all around with affordable rates. In the downtown one can explore many beautiful churches such as the Catholic and Orthodox Cathedrals. These houses of worship are marvelous expressions of the hard work and devotion of the first settlers to the region.


The Lackawanna County Courthouse is probably the most ornate and structurally fascinating building in the city. It is a great place to stroll and take pictures. Nearby is the University of Scranton, an historic institution with a beautiful city campus housing a variety of old and new buildings.


The Steamtown Mall is just a short walk away and it is the epicenter of shopping and touring in downtown Scranton. It houses an eclectic gathering of stores and it is definitely one of the preferred downtown hangouts. Just a few minutes walk is the Radisson hotel. This hotel is unique in that it is a former train station. The lobby is a wonderfully preserved waiting room full of ornate stone, glass and artwork. Scranton’s hotel offerings focus more on historic significance than modern trends, so in general expect smaller and more dated facilities.


There are many good restaurants to explore in the city that offer a variety of cuisines and atmospheres. Pizza is a favorite as well as Hoagies. Cooper’s Seafood is one of the best known and recommended as well. There are plenty of lakes, parks and mountains to explore just minutes from the city which bring both summer and winter sports to life no matter when one decides to visit.




This is the Editorial Board of The Joys of Traveling. We are passionate travel writers who seek to provide objective and accurate accounts of travel experiences by means of written articles, photos and videos.

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