Mauch Chunk Lake - Jim Thorpe, Pennsylvania
Photo: AardLumens /Fotolia

The historic town of Jim Thorpe, Pennsylvania is a popular place to visit in the Pocono Mountains. The town is home to historic attractions, unique inns, shops, and restaurants. Visit the Asa Packer Mansion Museum, the Old Jail Museum and the Bear Mountain Butterfly Sanctuary. Here are the best things to do in Jim Thorpe, PA.

»Asa Packer Mansion Museum

Asa Packer Mansion Museum


This Asa Packer Mansion Museum is located in the home of Asa Packer, a philanthropist, railroad businessman, and founder of Lehigh University. Architect Samuel Sloan built the three-story, 18-bedroom mansion in 1861. The mansion has been open to the public for tours since the Bear Mountain Lions purchased it in 1956. The inside of the mansion appears almost exactly as it did when the Packer family occupied the home in the late 1800s. Visitors can tour the mansion from Memorial Day to Halloween. After that time period, tour availability varies depending on the season.

PO Box 108, Jim Thorpe, PA 18229, 570-325-3229

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»Lehigh Gorge Scenic Railway

Lehigh Gorge Scenic Railway


Guests can get a taste of historic train travel by visiting the Lehigh Gorge Scenic Railway. A 70-minute narrated tour on a diesel engine train leads visitors over span bridges and through the Lehigh Gorge State Park during which they can admire tranquil mountain scenery, dramatic cliffs, and a variety of wildlife while traveling along the historic railway. All of the trains are family-friendly, pet friendly, and wheelchair accessible. Special train rides through the Lehigh Gorge for holidays and festivals are also available.

1 Susquehanna St., Jim Thorpe, PA 18229, 610-562-2102 Photo: jonbilous/Fotolia

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»Old Jail Museum

Old Jail Museum

The Old Jail Museum is a two-story stone structure that was built in the late 1800s. True to its name, the museum served as a jail for Jim Thorpe and surrounding communities through 1980. There are 27 cells inside of the jail, as well as rooms in the basement for solitary confinement. The jail is best known for the Molly Maguire trials, which ended with seven Irish coal miners being hanged from gallows. Today guests can tour the Old Jail Museum and see where one of the condemned Irishman placed his hand on the jail wall as a proclamation of his innocence. Read more

128 W. Broadway, Jim Thorpe, PA 18229, 570-325-5259 Photo: Old Jail Museum

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»Harry Packer Mansion

Harry Packer Mansion


The Harry Packer Mansion is a bed and breakfast that sits on Packer Hill, an area overlooking Jim Thorpe. The mansion may look familiar to Disneyworld visitors since the home was the inspiration for the theme park's Haunted Mansion attraction. With 15-foot ceilings, marble fireplaces, and luxurious furniture, this mansion is a popular spot for self-guided tours. The Libations Lounge, a built-in bar, is the perfect spot to have a drink while enjoying views of the town below. The Jim Thorpe community holds regular events at the mansion, including murder mystery dinners and wine tastings. The mansion is available to rent for private events as well. Nightly bed and breakfast room rates start at $175. Read more

19 Packer Avenue, Jim Thorpe, PA 18229, 570-325-8566 Photo: Harry Packer Mansion

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»Bear Mountain Butterfly Sanctuary

Bear Mountain Butterfly Sanctuary

The Bear Mountain Butterfly Sanctuary is a prime spot for family outings and field trips. In addition to butterflies, the sanctuary is home to a variety of frogs and fish. The sanctuary has an education center and art room for children, along with a nature gift shop. In the Flutterarium, visitors can observe butterflies and learn how to hand-feed them. The sanctuary is also available as a space for birthday parties, and the establishment offers an entire birthday package that includes balloons, crafts, goody bags, and butterfly hatching kits. Next read: water parks in PA

18 Church Road, Jim Thorpe, PA 18229, 570-325-4848

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»The Mauch Chunk Opera House

The Mauch Chunk Opera House


A trip to the Mauch Chunk Opera House gives visitors and locals a taste of Jim Thorpe's unique culture. This lively arts center constantly hosts performances and exhibits for people of all ages. Local artists and musicians from nearby communities put on the majority of shows at the opera house. Guests can also take tours of the Mauch Chunk Opera House during which they will learn about the history of the spacious performance hall. A historical exhibit and an art gallery featuring works by Jim Thorpe artists are also part of the tour.

14 West Broadway, Jim Thorpe, PA 18229, 570-325-0249 Photo: The Mauch Chunk Opera House

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»Mauch Chunk Museum

Mauch Chunk Museum


This museum tells the story of Mauch Chunk, the coal-mining town that preceded Jim Thorpe.

The main exhibit focuses on the Lenape Indians, the discovery of coal in the Jim Thrope area, the industrialization of Mauch Chunk, the Switchback Gravity Railroad, and Mauch Chunk's transformation into modern-day Jim Thorpe.

Geological history is another topic that is covered through the museum's exhibits. The second floor of the Mauch Chunk museum has a ballroom that is available for special events, including weddings, parties, and corporate get-togethers.

41 W Broadway, Jim Thorpe, PA 18229, 570-325-9190 Photo: Mauch Chunk Museum

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»DeFeo's Manor

DeFeo's Manor


The DeFeo Manor dates back to 1880. Now a small bed and breakfast, the manor provides guests with easy access to all of Jim Thorpe's downtown museums, shops, and restaurants.

The manor has rooms for singles as well as couples, and their suite with a built-in fireplace, Victorian furniture, and a private bathroom is the manor's largest room. Three other rooms, the blue room, the art deco room, and the Arizona room, are available at the DeFeo Manor. Each room provides guests with beautiful views of Jim Thorpe and the surrounding Pocono Mountains. Rooms start at $125 per night.

5 West Broadway, Jim Thorpe, PA 18229, 570-325-8777 Photo: DeFeo's Manor

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»Pocono Whitewater

Pocono Whitewater


Pocono Whitewater is an adventure company that organizes exciting river rafting trips for the whole family. The company offers two whitewater rafting trips on the Lehigh River Gorge. The first trip, Dam Release Whitewater, is a 12-mile-long rafting adventure that includes sections of Class III rapids. The other trip, Family Style Whitewater, is a shorter expedition through smaller rapids. Moonlight rafting and pirate rafting are also favorites among Pocono Whitewater customers. In addition to rafting, the company offers biking and paintball adventures, and Pocono Whitewater also has tour packages for all-inclusive trips to Belize.

1519 State Route 903, Jim Thorpe, PA 18229, 570-325-3655 Photo: Pocono Whitewater

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»Jim Thorpe Sidecar Tourz

Jim Thorpe Sidecar Tourz


Jim Thorpe Sidecar Tourz gives people an opportunity to whiz through the Pocono Mountains on a vintage BMW sidecar. Barb Timberz and Ed Fink, two locals who know the best spots to visit in Jim Thorpe and the Poconos, lead the tours. Gorgeous mountain views are the main benefit of these exciting rides. Guests can choose between a 1.5-hour tour or a 4 hour tour. Jim Thorpe Sidecar Tourz provides riders with eye gear and a helmet to keep riders as safe as possible. Once the tour ends, riders can pick up unique merchandise from the Jim Thorpe Sidecar Tourz shop.

Jim Thorpe Sidecar Tourz, 570-249-1570 Photo: Jim Thorpe Sidecar Tourz

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»Jim Thorpe River Adventures

Jim Thorpe River Adventures


Jim Thorpe River Adventures runs whitewater-rafting trips on the Lehigh River Gorge for people of all ages and skill levels. Intro to Whitewater Rafting and Easywater Rafting are their basic trips for beginners. Both of these trips are 3-4 hours long and include several sections of class I and II rapids. Adventurous rafters can join the Big Time Whitewater Rafting trip, which includes stretches of canyon paddling and class II and III rapids. Aside from its rafting trips, Jim Thorpe River Adventures rents out inflatable kayaks and mountain bikes.

1 Adventure Lane, Jim Thorpe, PA 18229, 570-325-2570

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11 Best Things to Do in Jim Thorpe in the Poconos, Pennsylvania