Things to Do Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania
The city of Wilkes-Barre is located in the heart of the Wyoming Valley in Pennsylvania. The valley itself is surrounded by the Pocono Mountains, the Endless Mountains, the Lehigh Valley and the Susquehanna River at the eastern, western, southern and northwestern borders, respectively. Nestled in breathtaking natural beauty, there are many wonderful things to do in Wilkes-Barre, whether you are seeking to bond with nature, sample the vibrant city life, or enjoy a combination of both.
Metropolitan Wilkes-Barre boasts many fine restaurants, casinos and gambling venues, sights and landmarks, not to mention a vibrant nightlife engulfing the best concerts and shows. Both Ricketts Glen and Frances Slocum state parks are within an hour’s drive of the center of Wilkes-Barre. If it’s pampering you’re after, the Woodlands Resort, an Ascend Hotel Collection member, is conveniently located right off Interstate 81.
Wilkes-Barre’s restaurants offer an impressive selection of different styles of cuisine. Stations Grill and Frog Pond Pub and Pizzeria serve up traditional food, while the Thai-Thai and Mirakuya Japanese restaurants cater to the more adventurous. Speaking of adventure, if you feel like chancing your luck on the slots and similar activities, the Mohegan Sun Casino in Wilkes-Barre was named USA Today’s #1 Best Casino. What are the odds of that!
A thrilling and exotic world in its own right, even if you don’t spend a moment gambling, the Mohegan Sun has a luxury hotel towers with a total of 2,38 rooms, entertainment venues and retail shops, as well as a mountain (literally) of other attractions.
Restaurants in Wilkes-Barre
Among the many things to do in Wilkes-Barre, dining out is practically a leisure activity. There are many fine restaurants and a delectable array of different cuisines.
The Thai Thai Restaurant
Early Thai food reflected the waterborne lifestyle; its primary ingredients were aquatic animals, herbs and plants. Rice, especially jasmine rice, also features prominently in Thai cuisine. Thai Thai is open Mondays through Saturdays. Guests are invited to bring their own alcoholic beverages.
The lunch menu contains as many as 24 selections at any one time, about about half of which are stir fries. Choose from red, green or yellow curry, as well as a handful of rice, noodles or even fried macaroni. The dinner menu includes a selection of appetizers, soups, salads, duck, Thai curry, entrees, Thai noodle dishes, fried rice, seafood, chef’s specials, whole fish, and vegetarian offerings.
Skimming through the Yelp reviews for Thai Thai, you find words like, ‘always,’ and ‘my favorite,’ indicating that these patrons have visited the establishment more than once and that they seem to like it.
The Frog Pond Pub and Pizzeria
The most popular items on the menu at the Frog and Pond Pub and Pizzeria are the signature “bullfrog” wings, served crispy and with a sufficient amount of butter-garlic parmesan sauce, and the pizza, which is described as fantastic, amazing and with a great, sweet sauce that may surprise you. the cheese and the toppings are top notch.
Customers also recommend the salads, fries and even the broccoli bites! customers rave about the great selection of beers and the family atmosphere. the waitstaff are quick and willing to offer their honest opinions. Lionshead beer is reportedly available on draft.
Locally and family owned, Stations Grill is known for its delicious, fresh dining. Located inside Ashley Furniture Plaza since 2013, Stations serves up both traditional and more daring dishes. Clients remark on the seemingly endless variety; you could eat at Stations every day for a month and still not have the same thing. They also appreciate the spacious dining area and ample parking.
Mirakuya Japanese Restaurant
Everything on the menu at Mirakuya is a work of art.. Dishes are prepared right at your table in what is rapidly becoming North Pennsylvania’s favorite Japanese restaurant. As an appetizer, the health-conscious can enjoy edamame, a dish of fresh steamed soy beans in sea salt, while the more robust can wire into veggie or pork gyoza, or dumplings. The sushi and sashimi menu includes tuna, yellowtail, salmon, and other delicacies. For lunch, choose one of the specials, a hibachi meal or a lunch box. For dinner, add sukiyaki, teriyaki or tempura into the mix.
Out of towners lavish praise for its generous portions that keep you filled up until lunch time the next day, reasonable prices and good food. Be careful, those of drinking age have been known to end up getting sake squirted into their mouths!
Campgrounds Near Wilkes-Barre
Camping is another of the more popular things to do in Wilkes-Barre. Here, we highlight two of the popular campgrounds, Frances Slocum State Park and Ricketts Glen State Park.
Frances Slocum State Park
Located in Luzerne County’s Kingston Township, Frances Slocum State Park occupies 1,035 acres. One of the main attractions of the park is Frances Slocum Lake, a 165-acre man-made body of water popular for boating and fishing. The park is named for Frances Slocum, a five-year-old girl who was kidnapped by the Lenape in 1778. Her brothers finally located her 59 years later, by which time she had been married twice, borne four children and refused to leave. Approximately 700 acres of Frances Slocum State Park is open to hunting, commonly for squirrels, white-tailed deer and rabbits. Hunting of groundhogs is strictly forbidden.
Available water fun includes fishing, swimming, scuba diving, sailing, boating, whitewater rafting and canoeing. Visitors can also hit the trail via hiking, rollerblading, horseback riding and several forms of cycling, including mountain biking and bicycling.
Come the winter time, there is ice skating, snowmobiling, cross-country skiing, sledding, ice fishing, downhill skiing, and ice boating.
Day trips to Frances Slocum State Park
Visitors for the day can spend their time geocaching, orienteering, rock climbing, picnicking and either disc golfing or regular golfing. Disc golfing involves tossing a frisbee or golf disc from a tee to a basket-like target.
Staying overnight at Frances Slocum State Park
Overnighters at the park have several choices of sleeping accommodation. There are deluxe cottages and yurts, cabins, camping cottages, organized group tenting and organized group cabin camps.
Ricketts Glen State Park
Ricketts Glen State Park is home to Glens Natural Area, a National Natural Landmark. There are dozens of things to do at Ricketts Glen State Park, some of which include hiking the falls trail system, swimming on the beach at Lake Jean, camping overnight, hunting among 10,044 acres of land, and enjoying the view from the Grand Trail. Lake Jean also affords opportunities for boating and picnicking.
There are more than 120 waterfalls in Ricketts Glen State Park, and 22 of them may be viewed on the falls trail system. You don’t need to be an experienced hiker, but you do need to be moderately fit and wear sturdy footwear. Allow several hours and prepare to get damp. It will definitely be worth the effort!
Mohegan Sun Casino in Wilkes-Barre
A veritable playground, Mohegan Sun Casino is one of the fun things to do in Wilkes-Barre for families and grownups alike. A worldwide premier destination, the Mohegan Sun has something for everybody. If you’re a thrill-seeker looking for the elusive grand payout, the Mohegan Sun boasts more than 300,000 square feet of gaming delight encompassed by three separate casinos: Sky, Wind and Casino of the Earth. All contain smoke-free areas.
The 82 square foot gaming floor encompasses 2,332 slot machines, 91 table games, a state-of-the art poker room and a chance to view live horse racing at one of 200 individual carrels. View and listen to the race of your choice. Four 16’x20’jumbo screens make you feel like you’re standing right at the finish line, while sixty-three 42-inch and seven 65-inch screens thoroughly immerse you in continuous action from greyhand, harness and thoroughbred racing in addition to the excitement of jai-alai.
Drinking and Dining at Mohegan Sun Casino
Meet old friends and make new ones at Breakers Bar while listening to “Music on the Menu,” an hour-long live, free showcase of local bands held every Thursday. Happy Hour from 5:00pm – 7:00pm Mondays through Fridays features half price drinks.
Family friendly and casually cool, Bar Louie is the place to go for oversized sandwiches and exotic beverages. Modern lighting, plasma televisions and innovative decor earned it the “Concept of Tomorrow” award from Restaurant Hospitality Magazine.
Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse
This is the place that taught the world how to cook steak. Known worldwide, it sears its beef at 1800 degrees. Try getting that in your backyard barbecue! Ruth’s Chris is also known for its seafood, desserts and New Orleans-inspired appetizers.
Mohegan Sun Casino boasts more than a dozen other restaurants. Among them are the international brands Krispy Kreme Donuts, Dunkin’ Donuts, Ben & Jerry’s and Starbucks.
Get A Room at Mohegan Sun Casino
With all there is to see and do, who wants to spend just one day at Mohegan Sun Casino. Book a room in one of the two towers, Sky or Earth. Lose yourself in luxury in one of the original Sky Tower’s 34 stories of elegance and exquisite service. Alternatively, Earth Tower, Mohegan’s newest hotel, is only a stone’s throw from where the action is. Make time to enjoy the fire pits on the expansive patio.
Amenities include two swimming pools that are convenient for both towers, and a fitness center. Bell staff, valet, childcare and concierge services are also available. For the disabled, wheelchairs may be borrowed free of charge, or guests can rent a mobility scooter for a nominal fee. Dining, elevators, entertainment and restrooms are all wheelchair-friendly.
The Woodlands Inn
High on anyone’s list of things to do in Wilkes-Barre is spending a night or two at the Woodlands Inn. Located in a beautiful area of the Poconos, the Woodlands Inn is a member of the Ascend Hotel Collection, situated near the center of Wilkes-Barre and convenient for all of its local attractions, including the state parks. Dining facilities include a cafeteria and room service. Among the features that make the resort unique are the bandstand, outdoor deck and bar overlooking a forest and a waterfall. Rooms at the Woodlands Inn are spaced out so that the guests do not feel crowded. Guests comment on the spaciousness of the rooms and the comfortable beds. They also appreciate the speedy free wifi.
Dining at Woodlands Inn
Shogun Japanese Restaurant
Shogun is one of the top Japanese restaurants in the entire Wyoming Valley. Hibachi tables offer a lively dining experience for a group, or you can enjoy a more quiet, intimate meal in the softly lit dining room.
Crescenzo’s Brick Oven Eatery and Espresso Bar
Crescenzo’s is a sports bar with a difference, that difference being cuisine that is several knotches above conventional bar snacks. With so many pizzas, wings, starters, salads, soups and ‘things’ to choose from, you will have to keep coming back. When you’re not eating or watching the big game, sit on the patio and watch the stream go by.
Indoor pool and fitness center
The Woodlands Inn boasts an indoor swimming pool, where you can relax or work off those extra calories consumed the previous night at either Shogun or Crescenzo’s. Yesterday’s golf leave you with aches and pains? Work them off in in the amazing hot tub. Don’t feel like getting wet but want to work up an appetite for Crescenzo’s Meatloaf Tower? Treat yourself to a workout in the fully-equipped fitness center.
25th Hour Nightclub
Dancing the night away in the 25th Hour Nightclub is another method of working off calories, or you can just have fun with friends, new and old. Fun for everyone from teens to baby boomers.
Clients are always pleased with the facilities and services in the conference space. Staff frequently stop by and ask if anything is required without being obtrusive.
With so many different things to do in Wilkes-Barre, it is impossible to get bored. Somewhat off the beaten tourist path, Wilkes-Barre is a peaceful and pleasant place to spend time with family, friends, or yours special someone.