We’ve partnered with Penn State Wilkes-Barre, Penn State Hazleton and Penn State Scranton to offer fresh, student perspectives on all the awesome things to do, sights to see, places to eat and more throughout Northeastern Pennsylvania.
Keep an eye on this space every month for new ideas on where to go and what to see from our proud Nittany Lions in NEPA.
Discovering Downtown Wilkes-Barre
Coming from the bustling Big Apple to a smaller city in Northeastern Pennsylvania proved to be an adjustment for me. Due to my lack of knowledge about Wilkes-Barre, I stuck to the Penn State Wilkes-Barre campus like a joey in its mother’s pouch and only ventured out for necessities. I didn’t know what this city had to offer—or if it was anything I’d be interested in. Soon enough, I’d be pleasantly surprised.
Thanks to the help of DiscoverNEPA, I was able to research gems throughout the Wilkes-Barre Area.
The website is easy to navigate and has categories and sections for every occasion. From food and drinks to activities and events, DiscoverNEPA has been pivotal in allowing me to connect to Wilkes-Barre — all in the palm of my hand.
I recently spent the day visiting some of the businesses I discovered in Wilkes-Barre, which were enjoyable to say the least. It’s only right to share those experiences with you all.
To start the day, I went to Peaceful Potter in Wilkes-Barre. Upon arrival, Eileen, the owner and class instructor, greeted me. She was extremely welcoming and guided me to my seat. I was a bit early, so I waited for the other students in the class to show up. In the meantime, I struck up conversation with other guests in the class. The environment was serene and peaceful. There was relaxing music playing subtly in the background and plenty of sunlight to boost those serotonin levels.
In New York City, classes like these typically attract dozens of participants, but here there were only about eight of us. This allowed me to connect with everyone and permitted Eileen to give attendees the proper guidance they needed. The theme for the day was a clay garden, and we made wall pockets for plants. The class exceeded my expectations and is something I’d recommend to anyone who can attend.
Afterward, I worked up a slight appetite and needed some refreshment.
I made my way over to Abide Coffeehouse, also in Wilkes-Barre. I enjoyed a creamy and sweet oat milk latte that had notes of cinnamon and warm aromatics. I also had an apple scone that was fluffy with a mild sweetness. Abide has a cozy setting with regular table seating and a few couches for whatever fits your mood. At some of the tables, they have brain teasers and puzzles to enjoy while you wait for your order. As a student, it’s a great place to get homework done, refuel or relax. Abide offers merchandise and apparel, coffee and tea to make at home and a large menu of specialty drinks and treats.
To cap my day, I went to Caribbean Paradise in Wilkes-Barre. There, I ordered oxtail, rice and peas, and cabbage. Being from Brooklyn, Caribbean culture is a staple and I’m no stranger to the authentic cuisine. For a moment, I felt as if I was back home. I was greeted by two gentlemen who were kind and helpful in ordering. The food was well-cooked and expertly seasoned. The oxtail was savory and tender. The rice was fluffy and cooked to perfection. I would recommend this restaurant to anyone seeking authentic Jamaican food.
The places I visited on my day in downtown Wilkes-Barre were all found with the help of DiscoverNEPA. If you are a student like me, a resident or just visiting Wilkes-Barre, DiscoverNEPA is a wonderful resource for finding things to do. I will continue using it as a tool to navigate around Wilkes-Barre and the surrounding area.
Featured image (top) courtesy of Jaymes Jackson.