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There are reasons to visit Wilkes-Barre at any time of year. In the winter (December to March), the ski slopes will be available, along with ice skating in town and there are lively Christmas celebrations. Come summer, and the town hosts outdoor events, and the natural beauty of Luzerne County comes into its own. Cities like Philadelphia are worth visiting no matter which season you choose.
Situated in Pennsylvania, Wilkes-Barre is one of the finest destinations in the eastern United States for outdoor lovers – with a huge selection of parks and activities to enjoy.
The town is located in Luzerne County, which is home to four State Parks – areas of natural beauty where visitors can enjoy a range of sports and leisure activities. Lovely cycling and hiking trails run alongside the picturesque Susquehanna River, while mountain bikers will love the tucked away routes in Kirby Park.
The area around Wilkes-Barre is also prime hunting country, and specialist guides will be happy to teach visitors how to enjoy one of America’s favourite hobbies. There are also plenty of excellent golf courses, as well as water courses and well-stocked ponds for fishing enthusiasts.
Come winter, the area is also one of the best places to ski and snowboard in the eastern United States. Head to Montage Mountain for well-marked and reliable trails, or youth-oriented Eagle Rock which attracts snowboarders and freestyle skiers.
Back in Wilkes-Barre, any visitors will love its relaxed atmosphere and wide range of eating options. There are family friendly bowling alleys, cinemas, theatres and art galleries which show the finest creations of rural Pennsylvania. And at the Mohegan Sun Arena, visitors can enjoy shows from international acts like the Harlem Globetrotters.
History is another great attraction of the city. Head to the informative Luzerne County Historical Society Museum to learn all about the town’s history as one of America’s greatest coal producers, as well as its Native American past, and see beautiful old buildings like the stately municipal courthouse.
The town is a short distance from the historical delights of Philadelphia, or even the monuments in Washington DC – making Wilkes-Barre an ideal holiday destination.
Public transport is a great way to see the various sights in Luzerne County itself, and to get around Wilkes-Barre. Renting bikes is also a good option, particularly if you wish to enjoy the riverside trail. For most people, having a car of their own will be essential, however. For anyone renting a car, New York and Philadelphia are realistic day trip destinations.
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton International Airport (AVP) is around 8 miles (13 km) from Wilkes-Barre. Ground transportation options at the airport include taxi firms – which will be available from just outside the baggage reclaim area. There are also more luxurious limousine hire services as well as minibuses linked to some hotels. However, many people will prefer to rent a car from one of the outlets present at the airport. Book ahead to minimise fuss.