Jim Thorpe: A Hidden Gem Of Pennsylvania

Laurisa Gruver | Writer


Nestled amidst the mountain ranges of Pennsylvania and settled along the border of the Lehigh Gorge Scenic Railway, Jim Thorpe is the perfect day trip for anyone looking to find a bit of charm close to home.

The area's website, jimthorpe.org, calls the town “. . . perfect for a weekend jaunt or an extended stay vacation.”

Despite its convenient distance, Jim Thorpe feels like a world away. The area has something for everyone, whether you’re an architecture connoisseur, avid shopper, or outdoor enthusiast.

When you walk into town, what will likely catch your eye is the intricate Victorian architecture.


Diane Murphy, the owner of The Artsy Olive shop along Broad Street, feels the unique design is one thing that makes Jim Thorpe a true ‘hidden gem’ of Pennsylvania.

“The architecture is just amazing,” Murphy says. “And it’s charming. It’s a charming little town.”

The peak of Jim Thorpe’s refined design is found in the Asa Packer Mansion, where visitors can take a tour that, according to Murphy, is a ‘must-see’ attraction. She has taken the tour herself multiple times.

She also suggests the tours offered at the historical St. Mark's and St. John's Episcopal Church and the Old Jail Museum, where visitors can hear the legend of the mysterious bloody handprint that remains on the cell wall to this day.

When you finish touring, you can explore downtown Broad Street.

According to jimthorpe.org, “You’ll enjoy the walkable downtown’s accommodations, shops, restaurants. . . and live entertainment as well as all the outdoor adventure you'd expect in the Pocono Mountains.”

A diverse number of shops line the street, selling everything from antiques, to furniture, to olive oil. You can also stop by the Mauch Chunk Opera House and the Dimmick Memorial Library, which was built in the year 1890.

If architecture, museums, and shopping don’t pique your interest, Jim Thorpe is surrounded by an array of outdoor activities, such as rafting trips in the Lehigh River, several hiking and biking trails, and paintball.

This pleasant little town is home to many small businesses and is packed with so many activities, it would be impossible to write them all in a single article. So go check it out yourself and find your own hidden gems in the delightful town of Jim Thorpe.