11 Best Things to Do in Jim Thorpe, PA in 2024

Things to Do in Jim Thorpe PA
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Jim Thorpe, popularly known as ‘The Switzerland of America’, is a quaint town in the Poconos, Pennsylvania. Jim Thorpe is full of culture and history, providing a wide range of activities for everyone. The attractions of Jim Thorpe are unique and showcase the town’s rich character and cultural heritage. There are plenty of things to do in Jim Thorpe, PA.

The town Jim Thorpe got its name in 1953 to honor the famous athlete, James Francis Thorpe, amending its original name, Mauch Chunk to Jim Thorpe. Jim Thorpe isn’t just about its name; it’s a place steeped in history and memories.

For those interested in local culture, history, or community activities, Jim Thorpe is the perfect destination. And if you are looking for things to do in Jim Thorpe, you’ll find plenty of things to keep you entertained and engaged and make incredible memories:

11 Best Things to Do in Jim Thorpe, PA in 2024

1. The Lehigh Gorge Scenic Railway

Things to Do in Jim Thorpe PA

Experience one of the amazing things to do in Jim Thorpe at the Lehigh Gorge Scenic Railway, a 16-mile round-trip adventure through the beautiful Lehigh Gorge State Park near Jim Thorpe. Originally a coal transport route in 1827, it’s now a tourist attraction since 2005, offering narrated tours on diesel and steam trains. Departing from Jim Thorpe Station, each 70-minute journey showcases the stunning scenery, with special events and themed trips adding to the excitement year-round.

Address: 1 Susquehanna St, Jim Thorpe, PA 18229.

2. The Harry Packer Mansion

Things to Do in Jim Thorpe PA

The Harry Packer Mansion in Jim Thorpe is a stunning three-story red-brick mansion, built by architect Addison Hutton in 1874. It was a gift from Asa Packer to his son, Harry, and sits in the town’s historic district. Famous for its appearance in movies and its resemblance to Disneyland’s Haunted Mansion, it’s also on the National Register of Historic Places. One of the must things to do in Jim Thorpe, PA.

Address: 19 Packer Hill Ave, Jim Thorpe, PA 18229.

3. The Jim Thorpe Memorial

Things to Do in Jim Thorpe PA

The Jim Thorpe Memorial is a public park and burial site honoring the legendary athlete Jim Thorpe, after whom the town was named. Thorpe, the Sac, and Fox Nation excelled in football, basketball, and baseball, and won gold at the 1912 Olympics. Despite never visiting Jim Thorpe, the town renamed itself in his honor after his death in 1953. The memorial offers a place for visitors to enjoy nature commemorate his achievements and try out fun things to do in Jim Thorpe, PA.

 4. Asa Packer Mansion Museum

Things to Do in Jim Thorpe PA

The Asa Packer Mansion, designed by Samuel Sloane and finished in 1861, was the home of Asa Packer, a prominent figure in Pennsylvania’s railway and coal industries and the founder of Lehigh University. This grand three-story, 18-room mansion showcases Italianate-style architecture with ornate details like arched valances and intricate lacework. Inside, visitors can explore the things to do in Jim Thorpe, PA its opulent Victorian-era decor and antique furnishings. Recognized for its historical significance, the mansion is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and designated as a National Historic Landmark. Today, it serves as a living museum, attracting many visitors to Jim Thorpe to try stunning things to do in Jim Thorpe, PA.

Address: Packer Hill Ave, Jim Thorpe, PA 18229.

5. Broadway Street

Things to Do in Jim Thorpe PA

Broadway Street runs through the heart of downtown Jim Thorpe, spanning about two city blocks. Lined with opera houses, art galleries, museums, bars, restaurants, and unique shops, it has been central to the town’s growth and prosperity since the discovery of coal in 1791.

In the late 19th century, it was known as “Millionaire’s Row,” boasting grand Victorian homes and buildings. Today, many of these structures have been restored, adding to the street’s charm and making it a favorite spot for tourists to enjoy a leisurely stroll. Seeing these stunning buildings is a must-have thing to do in Jim Thorpe, PA.

6. The Bear Mountain Butterfly Sanctuary

Things to Do in Jim Thorpe PA

The Bear Mountain Butterfly Sanctuary, located near downtown Jim Thorpe, offers an engaging hands-on experience for visitors of all ages. Opened in 2002, it boasts an impressive collection of butterflies and other critters to admire. The sanctuary features indoor and outdoor attractions, including art and activity rooms, a gift store, and an indoor flight room known as the “Flutterarium.”

Situated about 6 miles outside downtown Jim Thorpe, the sanctuary provides workshops and camps where visitors can interact with rare butterfly species, making it an educational and enjoyable destination for families and travelers alike to try this must thing to do in Jim Thorpe.

Address: 18 Church Rd, Jim Thorpe, PA 18229.

7. The Old Jail Museum

Things to Do in Jim Thorpe PA

The Old Jail Museum in Jim Thorpe has a rich history as the former home to Carbon County’s most infamous criminals from the 19th to the 20th centuries. Built-in 1871, it operated as a jail for over a century until its closure in 1995.

Now a Pennsylvania landmark, the museum offers fascinating displays and exhibits, showcasing its historical and cultural significance. For those intrigued by the paranormal, the museum also hosts ghost tours around Halloween, adding to its allure for visitors seeking an eerie experience, which makes visiting this place a Best things to do in Jim Thorpe

Address: 128 W Broadway, Jim Thorpe, PA 18229.

8. Mauch Chunk Museum & Cultural Center

Things to Do in Jim Thorpe PA

The Mauch Chunk Museum & Cultural Center, named after Jim Thorpe’s former name, is a unique cultural hub in town. Opened in 1993, it combines event space with museum exhibits, offering insights into the region’s history and industrial growth in the 19th century. Visitors can explore exhibits on the Switchback Railroad, the town’s Victorian era, and the life of Jim Thorpe. With a diverse collection of artifacts and historical items, the museum is a must-visit for anyone interested in learning about the booms, busts, and resurgences of Jim Thorpe and Mauch Chunk and must things to do in Jim Thorpe, PA.

Address: 41 W Broadway, Jim Thorpe, PA 18229.

9. The Stabin Museum

Things to Do in Jim Thorpe PA

The Stabin Museum, located in a renovated 19th-century factory on Broadway Street in downtown Jim Thorpe, showcases the unique art of American artist Victor Stabin. Stabin’s unconventional and thought-provoking works draw comparisons to Dali and Dr. Seuss, and some of his notable pieces are on display here.

Beyond being an art gallery, the museum also houses “Vic’s Jazz Loft,” a popular jazz bar, and “Café Arielle,” adding to its appeal as a cultural destination in Jim Thorpe and must things to do in Jim Thorpe, PA.

Address: 268 W Broadway, Jim Thorpe, PA 18229.

10. Hickory Run State Park

Things to Do in Jim Thorpe PA

Hickory Run State Park, located 19 miles north of downtown Jim Thorpe, spans 16,000 acres and includes three distinct natural areas. Established in 1945, it’s recognized as one of Pennsylvania’s top state parks. Visitors can enjoy a variety of activities such as swimming, seasonal hunting, hiking, and cross-country skiing. The park’s 40+ miles of nature trails lead to attractions like Stony Point Fire Tower and Hawk Falls, offering ideal opportunities for hiking or cycling through the picturesque Pennsylvania countryside. Hence, making it one of the best things to do in Jim Thorpe

Address: 3613 PA-534, White Haven, PA 18661.

11. Mauch Chunk Lake Park

Things to Do in Jim Thorpe PA

 

Mauch Chunk Lake Park offers year-round outdoor fun centered around its 345-acre freshwater lake. During the summer, the lake is a favorite spot for swimming, fishing, and boating. The park is conveniently located near the Switchback Railroad Trail, allowing visitors to easily explore Jim Thorpe and Summit Hill on foot.

With several designated hiking trails to choose from, such as the scenic Shoreline Trail and the moderately challenging Fireline Trail, there’s something for every outdoor enthusiast at Mauch Chunk Lake Park and top and must things to do in Jim Thorpe, PA.

Address:  625 Lentz Trail, Jim Thorpe, PA 18229.

FAQ about Things to Do in Jim Thorpe, PA

Q: What are the top attractions in Jim Thorpe, PA?
A: Castle Ruins and Skytop Tower, Asa Packer Mansion Museum, Old Jail Museum, Lehigh Gorge State Park, Mauch Chunk Lake Park, Jim Thorpe Riverwalk.

Q: What outdoor activities can I enjoy in Jim Thorpe, PA?
A: Hiking, biking, white water rafting, kayaking, swimming, fishing, train rides, zip-lining, ATV riding.

Q: Are there any historical sites in Jim Thorpe, PA?
A: Yes, Jim Thorpe is known for its Victorian architecture and rich railroad history. Visit the Asa Packer Mansion Museum, the Old Jail Museum, and the Jim Thorpe Historic District.

Q: What is the best time of year to visit Jim Thorpe, PA?
A: Jim Thorpe is beautiful year-round, but autumn is particularly stunning with its vibrant foliage.

Q: Is Jim Thorpe, PA, family-friendly?
A: Yes, Jim Thorpe offers many activities for families, such as the Switchback Gravity Railroad, the Penn’s Peak Fun Park, and the Blue Mountain Lake Resort.

Q: Is Jim Thorpe, PA, wheelchair accessible?
A: Yes, the main attractions in Jim Thorpe are wheelchair accessible, including the Castle Ruins and Skytop Tower, the Asa Packer Mansion Museum, and the Old Jail Museum. Some of the outdoor activities may have limited accessibility.

Q: How do I get to Jim Thorpe, PA?
A: Jim Thorpe is located in northeastern Pennsylvania, about 90 miles northwest of Philadelphia. You can reach it by car via I-80 or I-78.

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