Jim Thorpe, PA
Offering both the charms of a European village and the thrills of a mountain sports destination, this historic town nestled in the Lehigh Gorge in Carbon County is one of the great gems of the Pocono Mountains.
Founded in 1818 and originally known as Mauch Chunk, Jim Thorpe is now named after the greatest athlete of all time, and there's plenty of rich history to discover. The elegant Victorian mansions which were once home to turn-of-the-century industrialist millionaires have been revitalized and today house unique shops, eateries, bed & breakfasts, museums, galleries and popular entertainment venues.
About the Town
About the Town:
Once the second most popular tourist destination in the country right behind Niagara Falls, the town of Jim Thorpe is no stranger to hospitality. Visitors from all over the world come to wander the inviting old world streets and to discover exhilarating outdoor adventure right on the town's doorstep in Lehigh Gorge State Park.
Take in an in-the-moment view over the town of Jim Thorpe. Check out more live cameras in the Poconos.
Intimate inns, charming B&Bs and historic guest houses line the streets of Jim Thorpe. These unique lodging destinations preserve pieces of the town’s famous past while incorporating all the modern amenities you need for a comfortable and refreshing stay.
Jim Thorpe is bordered by Lehigh Gorge State Park which can be accessed via the Mansion House pedestrian bridge right near the train station downtown. The Delaware & Lehigh National Heritage Corridor, known as the D&L Trail, also runs right through town, following the twists and turns of the Lehigh River. Trails and waterways beckon, and a wide variety of open-air adventures await within the park, including hiking, biking and whitewater rafting.
Paintball, skiing and boarding are other popular pastimes around town. For a more leisurely way to take in the natural beauty of the area, try a train ride with the Lehigh Gorge Scenic Railway, a motorcycle tour with Jim Thorpe Sidecar Tourz, or a trip with the Jim Thorpe Trolley Company.
Sweet memories are made in historic Jim Thorpe, and adventurers both young and old are welcome. The town’s seasonal festivals like Jim Thorpe Fall Foliage Festival and Jim Thorpe Birthday Celebration bring family-friendly entertainment to the streets and sidewalks, and abundant local attractions ensure there’s fun to be had in any weather at all times of year.
Museums are great for family day trips, and there are many local historic sites to explore. Experience the Asa Packer Mansion, Harry Packer Mansion and Old Jail Museum tours, and discover what life was like 200 years ago. Learn more about family fun throughout the Pocono Mountains.
A day spent strolling the sidewalks of Jim Thorpe is sure to result in at least a few shopping bags! From charming boutiques and specialty stores lining the winding streets and alleys, like historic Stone Row along Race Street, Jim Thorpe and its surrounding area are filled with unique shopping destinations. Find fine wines at Wild Elder Wine & Co., artistic creations at Trend & Source Marketplace or browse holiday decorations available any time of year at the Jingle Bells Christmas Shoppe. There are great gifts, home décor, clothing, curiosities and much more to discover all over town.
Offering fantastic menus and breathtaking mountain views, Jim Thorpe’s dining destinations serve up delights for all the senses. Whether enjoying dinner and a show at Roadies Restaurant and Bar or dining al fresco downtown at Molly Maguires Pub & Steakhouse , come taste the delicious flavors of the area. Stop by the Broadway Grille & Pub or the Marion Hose Bar in the heart of town, head up to the summit for dinner at Blue Mountain's Slopeside Pub & Grill, or venture into nearby Lehighton for snacks from the The Gorge Eatery or Chantilly Goods.
Jim Thorpe is amazing in any weather, but a blanket of snow adds a little something special. Winter festivals like Jim Thorpe’s Olde Time Christmas spread warmth and good cheer throughout the town while holiday train excursions delight passengers of all ages. The town is also 20 minutes from three great ski resorts: Blue Mountain Resort, Big Boulder Ski Area and Jack Frost Mountain. Downhill and cross-country skiing, as well as paintball, snowshoeing and other winter sports can be enjoyed at destinations in the area. Learn more about ski and snow activities throughout the Pocono Mountains.
The roots of Jim Thorpe stretch back to the early nineteenth century when Josiah White, the founder of the town, discovered how to effectively use Anthracite coal as an energy source. The Lehigh Coal & Navigation Company was created and began mining operations in the surrounding hills at locations like the No. 9 Coal Mine & Museum. Innovative techniques were used to transport the coal, including dams, locks and canals along the Lehigh River as well as a Switchback Gravity Railroad which is known as one of the oldest roller coasters in the world. After its days of mining use were over, it became a popular thrill ride for Victorian tourists, who came to the area enjoy the great outdoors and admire the incredible mansions of wealthy industrialists like Asa Packer. Jim Thorpe's Broadway Street was then known as "Millionaire's Row."
The town took on the name it holds today in 1954, when it became the final resting place for Olympian and famous Native American athlete Jim Thorpe. His legacy is honored every year during the Jim Thorpe Birthday Celebration in May, and his mausoleum and memorial can be found along route 903.
FAQ & Parking
FAQ & Parking:
A wealth of beautiful historic buildings packed along winding mountain streets means that parking can be limited in Jim Thorpe. Be sure to plan ahead and arrive early to secure a spot.
The main Jim Thorpe Municipal Parking lot is located at 1 Susquehanna Street next to the train station. The cost for automobiles is $8/day 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday-Friday and $12/day 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, Sunday and holidays. Pricing may vary during events and festivals. The municipal lot also services the local courthouse, and some spots are reserved, so be sure to watch for signage designating visitor parking or indicating parking time limits. Parking is available for buses, campers and vehicles towing trailers in the lot for $15/day. Pay at kiosks in the lot or via the Flowbird app. The county parking lot near Josiah White Park at 41 Susquehanna Street also has public parking places. Visit the Carbon County Parking Portal for more information.
On-street metered parking administered by the Borough of Jim Thorpe is available along Broadway Street, with a five hour parking limit. Pay at nearby kiosks or via the Flowbird app. Meters cost $1/hour from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Originally called Mauch Chunk, the town was renamed in 1954 when it became the final resting place of Olympian and famous Native American athlete Jim Thorpe.
The town was founded in 1818 by the Lehigh Coal & Navigation Company and initially called Mauch Chunk which means "Bear Place" or "Bear Mountain" in the language of the Native Lenape people.
The town of Jim Thorpe, PA is well worth visiting at any time of year! Snap photos along the beautiful old world streets, browse eclectic shops and restaurants, attend local festivals and shows, find one-of-a-kind, welcoming places to stay, dive into the area's rich history at local museums, or explore the incredible natural beauty of the surrounding Lehigh Gorge area with outdoor recreation like a whitewater rafting trip, a hiking or biking expedition, or a scenic train ride.