Jim Thorpe, often called ‘The Switzerland of America’, is a picturesque town in the Poconos, Pennsylvania. It’s full of culture and history, offering a wide range of activities for everyone. The attractions in Jim Thorpe are quite unique and reflect the town’s rich character and cultural heritage.
The town got its name in 1953 to honor the famous athlete, James Francis Thorpe, changing from its original name, Mauch Chunk. Jim Thorpe isn’t just about its name; it’s a place steeped in memories and history.
For those interested in history, local culture, or community activities, Jim Thorpe is the ideal destination. And if you’re looking for things to do in Jim Thorpe, you’ll find plenty to keep you entertained and engaged.
Historical Exploration of Jim Thorpe
One of the many things to do in Jim Thorpe, PA is to explore the deep rooted history of the town. Whether you are not particularly interested in history or not, the town’s culture is very interesting and worth exploring.
Jim Thorpe’s History
Jim Thorpe is a borough in the seat of Carbon County in Eastern Pennsylvania, and is filled with historical places. The town we know today as Jim Thorpe was initially called Coalville in 1815. It was called Coalsville because of its location, it was close to a major coal seam. Later in 1918 it was established as ‘Mauch Chunk’ and then rechanged again in ‘53. The name change of Jim Thorpe was actually somewhat of a controversy, the reason behind the name change being that it would attract tourists. There are still many old timers in the region who call themselves “chunker” nodding to the old name.
Asa Packer Mansion
The Asa Packer Mansion is a victorian-style mansion that was Asa Packer’s residence. It has now been converted to a museum and is one of the top attractions in Jim Thorpe,PA. The museum is open for visiting during June-October Wednesday-Monday from 11:00 am to 3:30 pm. It is closed on tuesdays.
Old Jail Museum
One of the things to do near Jim Thorpe, PA which has become very popular is the Old Jail Museum. The museum became popular for its ‘supernatural’ and eerie vibe. The jail consists of two buildings, Cell Block and The Dungeon, that’s right an actual dungeon! The cell block consists of 27 cells, you can peer into the lives of the prisoners and how they lived.
Outdoor Activities Near Jim Thorpe, PA
In Jim Thorpe, things to do are endless! Whether it is spending an afternoon at the Old Jail Museum or spending your day outdoors, you can do both in Jim Thorpe.
Here is a list of things to do in Jim Thorpe, PA this weekend outside!
Lehigh Gorge Scenic Railway
Experience a train ride like no other! You will be transported back in time, to the 20th Century with trains dating back to 1917. Ride the trains from Jim Thorpe into Lehigh Gorge State Park. The view along this route is simply gorgeous!
Biking Along the Trail
Enjoy the scenic trails on two wheels! The trail itself is 25 miles long. You and your bike will have to board the Lehigh Gorge Railway and travel an hour into White Haven, from where you can begin your ride back into Jim Thorpe on your bike, through the Lehigh Gorge State Park. There are several other state parks in Jim Thorpe perfect for biking, find the guide to top 4 State parks in Jim Thorpe.
You are in Jim Thorpe, what to do? Why not take a hike through the gorgeous trails of Jim Thorpe. Explore and take in the scenic views of the Poconos by foot! Discover the 4 best hiking trails in Jim Thorpe and enjoy the eye-catching views.
Adventure Activities in Jim Thorpe PA
Whitewater rafting is one of the most fun things to do in Jim Thorpe! White water rafting is thrilling, fun filled and even the perfect activity to enjoy with your family. ‘White Water Rafting Adventures’ have been in the business for over 40 years and are located just a short drive from Jim Thorpe. They also offer other activities like zip lining and paintball.
Mauch Chunk Lake Park:
A Mauch Chunk Lake Park would make for a relaxing and fun thing to do in Jim Thorpe this weekend. You and your family can enjoy a splashy picnic at the beach! The beach and swimming hours are 11am-7pm daily. A beach day with your family can be the perfect break from exploring Jim Thorpe.
Jim Thorpe Film Festival
The Jim Thorpe Independent Film Festival is taking place from April 18-21 this year! The festival features 90 world class films of every genre and 2024 will mark the 7th season of the festival. The best things to do in Jim Thorpe, PA this april will be to spend at least a day at the JT film fest!
Dining Options in and Around Jim Thorpe
Jim Thorpe has some really artisanal and great restaurants and cafes:
- The 80s Bar
An 80s theme restaurant that serves delicious home style food! Must try: $0.75 wings!
- Bonnie & Clyde Pub and Grill
With a unique and interesting 1930’s atmosphere and 36 beers on tap, B&C is a popular joint! Must try: Buttery Chin Dipping Lobster Cocktail
- Broadway Grille & Pub
Broadway Grille offers an extensive drinks and food menu with offers almost every day of the week! Must try: Tito’s Bloody Marys
Accommodation in Jim Thorpe, PA
Jim Thorpe is an extremely hospitable place, make your stay longer in Jim Thorpe and enjoy the various activities and attractions by staying close. Instead of opting to stay at hotels, choose HolidayKeepers and one of their many properties in Jim Thorpe and experience the town as one of the locals.
Jim Thorpe is known for its paranormal activities as much as it is known for historical places. Creepy stories and ghost encounters are no stranger to the town of Jim Thorpe. No fearless tourist can laugh away the eerie atmosphere the town carries in October. Even if you scare easily it is part of the charm of the town.
Events and Festivals:
In Jim Thorpe PA, things to do like events and festivals are around all year!
Here are some events happening this year:
- The Linda Ronstadt Experience: Muach Chauk Opera House
- Peaches and Wine
- Annual Jim Thorpe WinterFest
Plan your visit to the poconos and enjoy all the fun-filled activities mentioned above in Jim Thorpe. Experience history, art culture with a side of adventure and nature!
Immerse yourself in the unique and exceptional culture of Jim Thorpe.
Paul P, Senior Editor and Travel Planner at HolidayKeepers, brings over 10 years of experience from New York. He expertly combines storytelling with extensive knowledge in travel and hospitality. Known for turning vibrant travel experiences into engaging articles, Paul covers everything from hidden gems to the latest in vacation rentals, resonating with adventurers and leisure-seekers alike.