History buffs will love exploring the coal-mining and steam train heritage of Lackawanna County, Pennsylvania, a fascinating and top value weekend getaway.
In scenic Lackawanna County, PA, not far from Wilkes-Barre and within a two-hour drive of New York or Philadelphia, your family can plunge into another era — the Industrial Revolution. Note that most of the region’s attractions operate daily in summer, and on weekends in June, September and October. Many re-open for sightseers around the Christmas season.
Coal Was King & Rails Ruled the Road
From the days when “Coal was King”, you can tour the impressive but non-functional Historic Scranton Iron Furnaces (570/963-3208) and the restored 19th-century “patchtown” where miners lived at the Museum of Anthracite Mining (570/875-4708) in Ashland.
Tour an actual coal mine by steam train at the Ashland Pioneer Tunnel & Coal Mine (570/875-3850), or descend to tunnels 300 feet below the surface on Scranton’s Lackawanna Coal Mine Tour (800/238-7245).
The Rails ruled, too, as evidenced by the powerful locomotives on display at the Steamtown National Historic Site (570/340-5200). This place is a huge favorite, especially with young boys, and participating in the many special events and educational programs can take up a full day of your vacation. Two hour rail excursions are offered from Memorial Day through late October. Seasonal and weekend tours are also offered by the Stourbridge Rail Excursion (717/253-1960) in Honesdale.
Sleeping With History
The glorious, gilded Radisson Lackawanna Station Hotel (570/342-8300) is the place to call home. Built atop Scranton’s beautifully-restored 1908 train terminal (the 2nd and 3rd floors were actually station offices converted to hotel rooms), it’s sure to delight all train buffs. Babysitting is available with advanced notice.
This story was accurate when it was published. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question, and stay up to date with current events to ensure a safe and successful trip.