SENIORS TRAVEL TO WILKES-BARRE, PA

Jan 19th, 2012 | By James E Becker | Category: Senior Travel

Seniors Visit Wilkes-Barre

Wilkes-Barre…what an interesting name. Described by many today as one of America’s more “historical cities”, Wilkes-Barre, PA has gained considerable bad press (although it is not a major nationally recognized location) since the Knox Mine Disaster. In addition to being one of the few cities in the United States that features a hyphen, seniors find the name of this fine city can also prove to be tricky to pronounce. The two widely accepted ways to pronounce Wilkes-Barre are “Wilkes-BERRY” and “Wilkes-BEAR”. “It is unquestioned…that John Durkee named this town ‘Wilkesbarre’; which form of the name was recognized and confirmed by the Legislature of Pennsylvania in 1806… thus giving legislative authority to a name which custom had then sanctioned for more than thirty-five years. The settlement was named Wilkes-Barre after John Wilkes and Isaac Barré, two British members of Parliament who supported colonial America.”

Wilkes-Barre is the birthplace of the Planters Peanuts Company, which was founded in 1906 by Italian immigrant Amedeo Obici and partner Mario Peruzzi. It is said that Babe Ruth hit one of the longest home runs in history in Wilkes-Barre early in the 20th century. Manufacturing and retail have remained Wilkes-Barre’s strongest industries, but the city’s economy took a major blow from Tropical Storm Agnes in 1972. The storm pushed the Susquehanna River to a height of nearly 41 feet, four feet above the city’s levees, flooding downtown with nine feet of water. While no lives were lost, 25,000 homes and businesses were either damaged or destroyed, and damages were estimated to be $1 billion, with President Nixon sending aid to the area.

As of the census of 2000, there were 43,123 people, 17,961 households, and 9,878 families residing in the city. I wonder who counted all those stats. Tour the Luzerne County Courthouse built at the end of the Victorian era (Victorian Wilkes-Barre). Step back in history at Sugar’s Tea Room or tour the Frederick Stegmaier Mansion, a stunningly restored Victorian Mansion. Seniors, you can finish the day with ice cream at The Lands at Hillside Farms a Victorian era farm. Yahoo and their Travel site invites seniors to come and see 25 attractions in WB.

Founded in 1770, this former coal town along the Susquehanna is an excellent base from which to explore 18 Poconos ski areas and take in live harness racing at Pocono Downs. Minor league hockey fans can watch the Pittsburgh farm team, the Penguins, and baseball buffs can watch the Red Barons at the Lackawanna County Stadium. Beer enthusiasts can visit the century-old Lion Brewery. The arts are an important part of Wilkes-Barre, too: the Sordoni Art Gallery stages historical and contemporary exhibitions and lectures, and the Fine Arts Fiesta presents demonstrations and performances every year. Wilkes-Barre is home to 16 colleges and universities, including a branch of Penn State University.

Major Colleges and universities


Scranton & Wilkes-Barre Region, an Area for Senior History Buffs

The Scranton & Wilkes-Barre region is not just an area for history buffs. Modern performing arts centers, cultural venues, live music clubs and recreational facilities satisfy a diverse palette of senior tastes. Lackawanna, Frances Slocum and Archbald Pothole State Parks supply the recreational facilities for activities that range from swimming and boating to hiking and trail riding.

Living in, moving to, or visiting the greater Wilkes-Barre area? Find out where to go and what to do with listings and info for Wilkes-Barre hotels,  Wilkes-Barre attractions,  Wilkes-Barre restaurants,  Wilkes-Barre nightlife, and Wilkes-Barre entertainment. Hockey fans will enjoy watching the PenquinsAmerican Hockey League games and the games are played at the Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza. This visitor’s guide provides info, addresses and more on the S-WB area.

Plan to visit Luzerne County in scenic Northeast Pennsylvania when looking to take a short getaway or just get out and do something. Whether you plan to visit Wilkes-Barre, Hazleton or points- in-between there is always something going on. Outdoor recreation is bountiful and offers a variety of scenery and activities for different skill levels.  History is all around Luzerne County from the various monuments to the many living reenactments.

Wilkes-Barre, PA, Luzerne’s county seat, continues to revitalize the downtown with restaurants, pubs and a new urban park. The River Common offers 12 miles of trails for bikers, joggers, walkers and roller bladers along the Susquehanna River. It is not uncommon to see kayakers paddling by the city. The River Common is host to many local events including Riverfest in June when 100’s of kayakers adorn the banks of Nesbitt Park.

While you are in the area, check out all the nearby entertainment possibilities for seniors. Perhaps a nice tour of the area might be of interest to you.  If so, take your pick. W-B will be an interesting area for visitors to take in any season of the year.  jeb



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  1. [...] from urban areas around New England.  The region lacks any major cities, although Scranton and Wilkes-Barre together form a moderate-sized conurbation. The region, dominated by streams and waterfalls, is [...]

  2. [...] is the home of the PONY Baseball and Softball International Headquarters and is the home of the Pennsylvania Trolley Museum. It’s also famous for its Rock Shelters at Meadowcroft Village, which are some [...]

  3. [...] been to north east Pennsylvania?  Not yet? Wilkes-Barre, located 100 miles northwest of Philadelphia, was founded way back in 1770. In Wilkes-Barre, senior [...]

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