In Lackawanna County in Northeast PA and Scranton, its largest city, you can experience our rich history in a variety of unique and exciting ways.
Visitors of all ages will be overjoyed at the abundance of activities you can choose from when you combine educational adventures with exhilarating entertainment as you plan your unforgettable getaway to Lackawanna County.
Lackawanna Coal Mine Tour
Go down in History! Put on a hard hat, board a mine car, and descend 300 feet beneath the earth through an anthracite coal mine originally opened in 1860. Follow your guide through underground gangways and rock tunnels past three different veins of hard coal. Listen as they explain the fascinating methods and heroic efforts involved as men and boys worked to heat a nation and fuel the conversion of America’s economy from agriculture to industry. A National Award-Winning Historical Attraction, The Lackawanna Coal Mine Tour is a must-see for locals and visitors alike.
Steamtown National Historic Site
All Aboard! Step back in time to learn, see, and experience how steam-powered engines drove the industrial revolution. Lackawanna County’s history, much like the steam engine locomotive, is coal-powered. At Steamtown National Historic Site, located in downtown Scranton, you can learn the history of the steam engine, see the giant locomotives that helped expand our nation, hear the sensational true stories of those who rode, worked for, and built these beautiful machines, and, best of all, you can ride the rails. You will feel the weight of history as you tour this national museum and be amazed at the ingenuity of the engines and the turntable.
Electric City Trolley Museum
Located on the Steamtown National Historic Site grounds, in a restored late 19th-century mill building, the Electric City Trolley Museum commemorates the first successfully operational electric-powered streetcar system in the U.S. You will enjoy the interactive exhibits and displays, including vintage trolleys. Make sure to check out the impressive John Oliver train set. The train was donated to the museum after being featured on the HBO show, Last Week Tonight with John Oliver. Then, climb aboard an authentic 1926 or 1932 antique trolley for a 5 ½ mile trip over Roaring Brook through the mile-long tunnel and along the original “Laurel Line.”
Destination Freedom: Underground Railroad Walking Tour
The Destination Freedom: Underground Railroad Walking Tour of Waverly is an interactive program that explores the lives of the small village’s abolitionists and formerly enslaved settlers. As a public-oriented program, they aim to tell the story of Waverly by exploring the town itself and using the experiences of 19th-century Waverly residents to better understand the world around us today. Destination Freedom is one of the locations on the National Park Service’s National Underground Railroad Network to Freedom.
We celebrate our diverse cultures through parades and food festivals and honor our heritage with unique and exciting events. Join in on the celebrations during our annual festivals such as the Scranton St. Patrick’s Day Parade, Saint Ubaldo Day, La Festa Italiana, and the Lackawanna County Heritage Fair.
We invite you and your students to experience our history and cultures firsthand. Ride a train or trolley, go 300 feet underground into the mines, get to know the residents of Waverly, and enjoy the festivities of the area.
“The communities of Lackawanna County still embrace the traditions passed down from their relatives who made the journey to the states at the turn of the century,” said Alexa Peregrim, Director of Sales for the Lackawanna County Visitors Bureau. “While we get to enjoy these attractions and festivals, we want to remember the history that brought them to life over 100 years ago.”
For more information, head to visitnepa.org/groups/student-youth-travel.
Photo Courtesy of Lackawanna County Visitors Bureau / Photo by Rebekah Smith.