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Scranton, a city situated in northeastern Pennsylvania, occupies land in Lackawanna County. Much of Scranton’s history surrounds the coal industry, which was a notable characteristic of the city, as the name, Scranton, originates from the Lackawanna Iron and Coal Company that was founded by George W. and Seldon Scranton.[3] The Scranton Destination contains a humid continental climate, featuring all four seasons, annually.[1] Mountains, hills, and other natural features, including the Lackawanna River that runs through the city, make up a relatively large portion of the environment, with some urban areas.[7] Native plants can be found throughout the region, as well as wildlife including squirrels, skunks, woodchucks, and wild hogs.[9] The Steamtown National Historic Site is one of the most popular draws for tourism in the destination, as the attraction features a collection of locomotive exhibits, and offers self-guided tours through the museum.[4] In close proximity to this attraction is the Iron Furnaces of Scranton, where visitors can view the remnants of a relatively extensive plant that was formerly operated by the Lackawanna Iron and Steel Company, which first began in 1840. Scranton’s historical background plays a prominent role in the city’s significance and is evident within many of the buildings, businesses, and attractions that teach visitors about the city’s past.

What Philadelphia is known for

Located in the northeastern area of Pennsylvania is the city of Scranton in Lackawanna County. The city serves as the county seat, with a population of 75,561, as of the 2020 census, making Scranton the 7th largest city in the state. Over the expanse of 26 miles, Scranton’s population density is approximately 2,986 people per square mile. The general racial demographic of the city is white, which makes up 83.09% of the population, with black or African American as the second leading race of the city, adding up to 5.85%.[2] Scranton was named in honor of George W. and Seldon Scranton, who founded the area that eventually became the Lackawanna Iron and Coal Company, in the year 1840. In 1866, the name was first incorporated.[3] One particularly unique aspect of the city is that Scranton is known for being the setting for the American television show The Office.[7]

New York, one of the major cities of the United States, can be found nearly two hours away from Scranton, Pennsylvania, in the southeastern direction of the city. Some of the more populated cities in the state are Manhattan, Queens, Brooklyn, and Long Island. A relatively high number of tourists go to New York to visit notable attractions such as The Statue of Liberty, Empire State Building, Central Park, and the Brooklyn Bridge, all of which are located in the heart of New York City. The Statue of Liberty, in particular, is one of America's most iconic national monuments and key tourist attractions.[11] Each year, this national monument receives nearly 3.5 million visitors.[12] Another notable draw for tourism in the area is the broadway shows featured at theater venues in the Theater District and along the street of Broadway.[11] 

Philadelphia, the biggest city in Pennsylvania, is located an approximate two-hour drive from Scranton. As of 2017, over six million residents populate the city, making it the seventh-largest metropolitan area in the nation. Though Philadelphia is generally known for its colonial history, culture, arts, and cuisine, one particularly unique aspect of the city is that it is the center of economic activity in Pennsylvania.[13] As stated, Philadelphia's historical background is one of many noteworthy features of the city and can be considered a draw for tourism, as the Independence National Historical Park receives a number of visitors each year. This attraction contains several historical features such as the Liberty Bell, the National Constitution Center, and the Independence Hall, the building where the United States Constitution was written.[14]

One of Scranton’s most prominent attractions that typically draw in a fair amount of tourists annually is the Steamtown National Historic Site. The building acts as both a railroad and a museum, and visitors who attend Steamtown can engage in train rides, self-guided tours, and various events. The majority of train rides and locomotives are accessible for wheelchairs, though some may not be. Collections and exhibits of trains from diverse time periods can be found throughout the museum, as well as programs for visitors of varying ages.[4] Another notable draw for tourism in the area is the Nay Aug Park, the largest park in Scranton, which features an amusement park area, a swimming pool, two playgrounds, and a museum.[5]

The Iron Furnaces of Scranton can be found in close proximity to the Steamtown National Historic Site. There, visitors can see the remnants of a formerly operating plant that was associated with Lackawanna Iron and Steel Company. The plant was dismantled and moved to Lackawanna, New York in 1902, for the purpose of allowing the plant to be closer to the high-grade iron ores that were being discovered in the Mesabi Range. The Iron Furnaces are open year-round for tourists to visit, and they are accessible by car or a Historic Trolley ride. A visitors center, which contains exhibits on the creation of iron and steel, is also available.[10]

Temperatures in Scranton are relatively colder for almost half of the year, while the other half of the year contains temperatures between 40 and 50 degrees Fahrenheit, with a chance of snow or rain throughout the year. Typically, visitors come to Scranton during the warmer months when temperatures reach the 70s, which occurs through July, August, and September.[6]


The Scranton Destination features four distinct seasons, with a humid continental climate being a characteristic of the area. Temperatures occasionally reach over 90 degrees Fahrenheit during the summer. The coldest month of the year, January, brings temperatures down below 30 degrees, with an average of 28 degrees Fahrenheit. During late spring and early summer, precipitation is relatively greater, as winter is considered to be drier. Precipitation can be seen 10 to 13 days each month, on average, with an annual total of 38.72 inches. Snowfall fluctuates yearly, with some winters bringing more snowstorms than usual, and others bringing light snow.[1]

In the northern area of Scranton, cities including Chinchilla, Dickson City, Clarks Green, and Clarks Summit can be found, while Dunmore is located to the east of Scranton. State Game Lands make up an extensive portion of the land to the south of Scranton. To the west, cities including Taylor, Old Forge, and Moosic occupy the land. Scranton has a total area of 25.4 square miles. Mountains make up much of the eastern and western areas of the city, as Scranton is relatively hilly, with elevations ranging from 1,900 to 2,100 ft. [7]

One particular natural land feature of the destination is Lake Scranton, which occupies land just off the Scranton city borders. Various plants, which are native to the Scranton Destination, can be found in the area, including Columbine, Butterfly Weed, Blue Wild Indigo, Wild Ginger, Wild Bleeding Heart, and Dwarf Crested Iris. Many of these plants were grown in the area before the European settlers arrived.[8] As the environment has many natural areas and is mostly made up of forests, some of the wildlife that tends to roam the area includes wild hogs, squirrels, skunks, raccoons, chipmunks, bears, opossums, porcupines, and woodchucks.[9]


Prior to when white settlers first entered the region in the mid-18th century, Munsee Indians, who primarily used the Algonquian language by means of communication, were the first inhabitants of the area. There had been very little development in the earlier years when permanent settlement discovered the land. Before being named Scranton, the city was formerly known as Deep Hollow, then Unionville, Slocum Hollow, revising to Scrantonia, and finally becoming Scranton in 1851 after the establishment of Lackawanna Iron and Coal Company, in 1840. The establishment of this company set in motion the construction of other businesses including a rolling mill, a nail factory, and a steel-rail works, all of which were operating by the year 1850. Several immigrant miners had come to the area, and the majority of their wives were skilled in silk weaving, clothing, and other similar industries. The production of Nottingham lace is one particularly notable aspect of Scranton.[1] The city had gained the title of “Anthracite Capital of the World,” as Scranton had become one of the nation’s leading industrial centers.[3]

In the 1950s, oil replaced coal as a more popular option for energy, and mining in the area was discontinued.[3] After the decline of the coal industry, the city began what was known at the time as the “Scranton Plan,” which caused the provision of jobs through industrial expansion, as well as national recognition. The construction of new plants occurred throughout the city, financially assisted by community contributions and private and state aid. As Scranton is granted access to the Pennsylvania Turnpike, the city functions as a printing center and a transportation hub.[1]

The events of Scranton’s history have led the city to become the home of several institutions of higher education, including Lackawanna College, Marywood University, The University of Scranton, Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine, and Johnson College. The development of the downtown business district is an additional characteristic of the city.[3]