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January 10, 2024
DiscoverNEPA Bucket List
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A Definitive "Must-Do" List of NEPA Adventures

Whether you call NEPA home, or you just find yourself coming back again and again, you’ve got to get to work on the DiscoverNEPA Bucket List. From ambitious “out-of-the-box” ideas to more “let’s take it easy” adventures, you’ll find plenty of fun things to do right here in our own backyard.

Sure, there will be wild options like sky diving, zooming around the track in a race car or even running a marathon. And some will be simple, everyday sort of things like enjoying a pint at America’s oldest brewery. All of them, however, are specific to Northeastern Pennsylvania. From amazing, once-in-a-lifetime activities to awesome, family-friendly adventures, this list features some of the region’s most unique locations and action-packed experiences.

Get out there and dive right into your DiscoverNEPA Bucket List!

DiscoverNEPA Bucket List
#1 Jump from a Plane image
#1 Jump from a Plane

Multiple Locations

Jump out of an airplane… with a professional and a parachute, of course. It takes a bit of courage to step out of a perfectly good airplane, but all the best experiences do. Take flight with the help of NEPA’s awesome skydiving attractions.

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#2 Go Snowtubing image
#2 Go Snowtubing

Multiple Locations

It might not be as “extreme” as skiing or snowboarding, but it’s just as much (if not more) fun. Challenge friends to a race down the hill or take a few solo slides. You can find snowtubing adventures at all NEPA ski resorts.

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#3 Try Old Forge Pizza image
#3 Try Old Forge Pizza

Multiple Locations

Sure, there are probably several dozen towns calling themselves some form of “pizza capital,” but few offer up a truly unique take on one of the world’s most widely recognized treats. It’s different. It’s a tray, not a pie. It’s a cut, not a slice. And it’s completely NEPA.

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#4 Pittston Tomato Festival image
#4 Pittston Tomato Festival

Pittston, PA

It’s not a NEPA summer without the Pittston Tomato Festival. Fill up on delicious tomato-centric dishes from your favorite vendors and restaurants. When you need a breather, stop and enjoy the annual parade or check out some live music.

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#5 Pennsylvania Rail Bike image
#5 Pennsylvania Rail Bike

Hawley, PA

Hop on a custom-made rail bike for a tour of the incredible natural scenery of the Lackawaxen River and  Pocono Mountains. Led by a guide, this laidback excursion makes for both a fun and informational trip.

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#6 Stock Car Racing Experience image
#6 Stock Car Racing Experience

Stock Car Racing Experience

Pocono Raceway was designed for the most skilled drivers in the world…and apparently amateur daredevils looking for a 600-horsepower, 150 mph-challenge. Get behind the wheel and floor it around the track in this once-in-a-lifetime experience.

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#7 Tame a Wild River image
#7 Tame a Wild River

Multiple Locations

Gather a trusty team to navigate NEPA’s rolling rivers. From the cool, swift Lehigh and Lackawanna to the mighty Delaware and Susquehanna, you can pack in three seasons of kayaking, canoeing and rafting adventures all over NEPA.

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#8 Knoebels Amusement Resort image
#8 Knoebels Amusement Resort

Elysburg, PA

This classic NEPA amusement park has been welcoming visitors since 1926 and every year, they add something new. Enjoy daring thrill rides, vintage classics, plenty of kid-friendly fun and some of the best theme park food in America.

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#9 Have Fun at the Farm image
#9 Have Fun at the Farm

Multiple Locations

Whether you’re putting in a long day volunteering, stopping by to check out all the adorable animals, or taking on a giant corn maze, NEPA’s working farms offer hours of family fun.

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#10 Steamtown Marathon image
#10 Steamtown Marathon

Scranton, PA

It might seem impossible now, but with a few months of training and a bit of determination, no marathon is out of reach. Set your goal, put in the work and, come October, hit the streets of Scranton for the world-famous Steamtown Marathon.

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#11 Go Off Road image
#11 Go Off Road

Multiple Locations

Experience the great outdoors like never before on a wide range of ATV trails at several NEPA adventure parks. Bring your own ride or rent one and take on miles of muddy trails, sketchy rock crawls and stunning scenic overlooks.

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#12 Yuengling Brewery image
#12 Yuengling Brewery

Pottsville, PA

Open since 1829, Yuengling probably knows what they’re doing when it comes to brewing. Take a tour of America’s oldest brewery — from the hand-dug bedrock beer cellar to the massive boil kettles — before sampling a pint or two in the tasting room.

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#13 Bury the Hatchet image
#13 Bury the Hatchet

Multiple Locations

Sometimes you just need to let a few axes fly. Grab some beers and snacks, round up your friends and embrace your inner Viking at these awesome, stress-reducing axe-throwing experiences all over NEPA.

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#14 La Festa Italiana image
#14 La Festa Italiana

Scranton, PA

There is no shortage of great Italian food in NEPA. And, every Labor Day Weekend in Downtown Scranton, the area’s best restaurants and vendors set up shop to dish out traditional Italian favorites at this beloved festival. Be sure to save room for a cannoli or two…or three.

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#15 Capture that Fall Foliage image
#15 Capture that Fall Foliage

Multiple Locations

By mid-October, NEPA’s world-renowned fall foliage has come alive. In a matter of a few weeks, some of the most stunning scenery in Pennsylvania is on display at parks, on long countryside drives and on our many trails. Don’t miss it!

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#16 Hit the Trail(s) image
#16 Hit the Trail(s)

Multiple Locations

Rejuvenate in the fresh, clean mountain air. Go waterfall spotting. Snap those awesome wildlife pics. Or, just kill some time with a leisurely Sunday walk in nature. Whatever the reason, NEPA’s got miles and miles of incredible, accessible hiking trails.

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#17 Get in Touch with the Past image
#17 Get in Touch with the Past

Multiple Locations

Explore NEPA’s fascinating coal mining heritage with a hands-on tour of a deep, underground coal mine or a real coal town at one of these unique historic sites throughout the region.

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#18 Shred It image
#18 Shred It

Multiple Locations

Drop in on steep plunging trails. Shred through some of the coolest terrain parks. Or, hop on a tube and take it easy. Whether you prefer skis or a snowboard (or a tube), NEPA offers some of the best powder-covered mountain runs on the east coast.

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#19 Take the Ultimate Ice Cream Tour image
#19 Take the Ultimate Ice Cream Tour

Multiple Locations

Spend the summer finding your new favorite NEPA ice cream spot. Luckily, we have a comprehensive list of over 70 sweet shops and stands. Each location has something totally unique to offer, so be sure to try as many sundaes, shakes and cones as possible.

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#20 Polar Plunge image
#20 Polar Plunge

Multiple Locations

It takes a certain kind of person to willingly jump into a frozen lake or pond. Leave it to the hearty citizens of Northeastern PA to make it look easy. Break out the bathing suit for icy plunges at Lake Wallenpaupack and Montage Mountain.

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#21 Soar Over NEPA image
#21 Soar Over NEPA

Multiple Locations

Make it a nice and easy adventure with a laidback float in a hot air balloon. Soar through lush valleys and over the scenic countryside. You can even cap off your voyage with a champagne toast in the sky.

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#22 Be a Little Irish  image
#22 Be a Little Irish

Multiple Locations

Even if you begin the day without a kilt you might go home wearing one. It’s no secret that St. Patrick’s Day is kind of a big deal around here. Check out festive parades in Wilkes-Barre, Scranton and Pittston to name a few.

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#23 Hit the Open Road image
#23 Hit the Open Road

Multiple Locations

Get out there and explore some of NEPA’s most scenic locations in style. Take the wheel of a Polaris Slingshot, a cross between a motorcycle and a sports car, and head out in search of the tightest curves. Check out Pocono Slingshot Adventures in Newfoundland or Pocono Slingshot Rentals in Blakeslee.

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#24 Fill Up on NEPA Favorites image
#24 Fill Up on NEPA Favorites

Multiple Locations

Enter a world where the humble pierogi reigns supreme at the Edwardsville Pierogi Festival. Or, roam from tent to tent sampling more kielbasa than any human should ever consume at the famous Plymouth Kielbasa Festival.

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#25 Festival of Lights image
#25 Festival of Lights

Tunkhannock, PA

You know it’s the holiday season once Stone Hedge Golf Course lights up in late-November. Each year the lighted displays get bigger and brighter and more cars line up to get a little taste of that feel-good holiday spirit.

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#26 Sip Some NEPA Wine image
#26 Sip Some NEPA Wine

Multiple Locations

Sip your way from Schuylkill County to the Poconos to the Endless Mountains and everywhere in between using our comprehensive NEPA Wine Trail. From robust reds and crisp whites to fruit wines and more, our awesome wineries have it all.

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#27 Experience NEPA by Train image
#27 Experience NEPA by Train

Multiple Locations

There’s no better way to see the quaint towns and majestic mountains of NEPA than by vintage steam train. And in Northeastern PA, trains are kind of our thing. Hop on a classic train car for a scenic experience of a lifetime.

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#28 Ricketts Glen State Park image
#28 Ricketts Glen State Park

Benton, PA

Some of the state’s most beautiful waterfalls are just a short hike into Ricketts Glen State Park. The iconic park features over 26 miles of trails, 22 waterfalls including the 94-foot Ganoga Falls, a 245-acre lake and so much more.

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#29 Hit the Water image
#29 Hit the Water

Multiple Locations

Summers in NEPA are all about looking for new and interesting ways to cool off. Whether you’re renting a boat at Lake Wallenpaupack or water skiing your way across Harveys Lake, there’s no shortage of fun watersports throughout the region.

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#30 Take in the Arts & Culture image
#30 Take in the Arts & Culture

Multiple Locations

On any given night in NEPA, you may find yourself enjoying live music, theatrical productions, art festivals and museums. Truly, our amazing arts & culture scene matches that of any major city and we’re not afraid to show it.

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#31 Skirmish Paintball image
#31 Skirmish Paintball

Albrightsville, PA

Gather your troops and gear up for the paintball battle of a lifetime. With special games structured after real, historical battles, you and a bunch of friends can get down and dirty in an attempt to walk away the victors.

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#32 Drink Local Beer image
#32 Drink Local Beer

Multiple Locations

Between nearly 50 publicly-accessible breweries stretched across 10 counties, 29 towns and over 400 miles, our Brewer’s Loop showcases the best places to simply grab a pint, hang with friends or even take a brewhouse tour.

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#33 Go Fishing image
#33 Go Fishing

Multiple Locations

Even if you’ve been holding a pole since you could walk, there’s always something new to learn when it comes to fishing. All over NEPA, we’ve got cool, clear streams, lakes and rivers teeming with bass, trophy trout and more for the avid angler, seasoned fly fisher, or the plucky novice.

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#34 Bloomsburg Fair image
#34 Bloomsburg Fair

Bloomsburg, PA

The fair is filled with sights from animals to midway games to rides and attractions, but the real star of everybody’s favorite September attraction is the unique food creations you find along the way. Where else can you wash down a peanut butter bacon hot dog with a blue birch beer?

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#35 Head to the Waterpark image
#35 Head to the Waterpark

Multiple Locations

Take on epic water slides, wave pools, surfing simulators and so much more at some of NEPA’s favorite indoor waterpark resorts. Book a relaxing weekend. Enjoy a variety of dining options, awesome arcades, spa amenities and more.

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#36 Become a Crack Shot image
#36 Become a Crack Shot

Hausmann’s Hidden Hollow — Friendsville, PA

Located on 110 acres of rolling Susquehanna countryside, you can blast some sporting clays in peace. Whether you’re an old pro or a first-timer, everyone is welcome to fire off a few shots at Hausmann’s.

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#37 The Friedman Observatory image
#37 The Friedman Observatory

Lehman, PA

Penn State Wilkes-Barre is home to a little secret. Every Friday evening, the university’s observatory opens to the public, inviting guests to get a rare look at the cosmos using their high-powered telescope. Just check the forecast beforehand.

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#38 Electric City Aquarium image
#38 Electric City Aquarium

Scranton, PA

Spend a day with fascinating sea-dwelling creatures like sharks and turtles. Explore the reptile den with snakes, alligators and spiders. Enjoy 20,000 square feet of colorful, interactive space at this popular Scranton attraction.

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#39 Swing Away image
#39 Swing Away

Multiple Locations

Golf in NEPA combines spectacular views with tricky terrain to create some of the most challenging, yet rewarding courses in the east. Try your luck on scenic mountainside greens and undulating valley fairways.

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#40 Explore a State Park image
#40 Explore a State Park

Multiple Locations

Whether it’s fishing, hiking, boating, camping or swimming. Or if it’s picnicking, hunting, birdwatching, cross-country skiing and mountain biking. Then again, maybe it’s frisbee golf, kayaking, wildlife spotting, snowmobiling or waterfall seeking. Our point – NEPA’s 18 incredible state parks have it all. Go check em’ out.

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Article Updated from its Original Version Published on 1/28/2019.

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