One of the many nice things about living in the Philadelphia area is the vast array of interesting and fun destinations to choose from when you're in the mood for a day trip. While we often take a jaunt to the New Jersey seashore when we both have a day off (especially in the summer), my wife and I wanted to try something a little different earlier this week. So we took a ride into central Pennsylvania and visited the historic, quaint, and fascinating town of Jim Thorpe, PA.
The town features excellent shopping, restaurants, museums, and various attractions and activities, all surrounded by the majesty of Pennsylvania's Pocono mountains. And though the place feels like another planet when compared to the urban density of Philadelphia and its suburbs, Jim Thorpe is only about an hour and a half away from us.
The first photo shows a typical view of the main thoroughfare in Jim Thorpe. Historic buildings, craft-oriented shops, places to eat, and cheap parking carry the day in the town. It really is an easygoing, relaxing place.
Oh, how did Jim Thorpe get its unusual name? Glad you asked. Following the 1953 death of renowned athlete and Olympic medal winner Jim Thorpe, the Carbon County boroughs of Mauch Chunk and East Mauch Chunk merged and adopted the name of Jim Thorpe in hopes of attracting attention and tourism to bolster the local economy.
But that wasn't enough. In a bold move, the town actually bought the athlete's remains from his third wife, reburied him in the new town, and erected a monument to the Oklahoma native, who began his sports career in nearby Carlisle, Pennsylvania. I did use the term fascinating when describing the place, didn't I?
The second photo shows my wife Alison examining some hand-crafted birdhouses, made out of dried gourds, that a shop on one of Jim Thorpe's many side streets had on display. Yes, she ended up buying one.
Anyway, if the place is geographically within your reach, look up a little information on it. You just may decide to plan a visit. We may actually stay overnight in Jim Thorpe at some point, as there are a generous handful of cute inns, all reasonably priced.