Health & Recreation
Warning: Please be advised, the following story may be offensive to coach potatoes and Oreo cookie addicts.
If you’re looking for a new way to get fit in the new year, or entertaining ideas for a fun day trip, look no further than the winners in the Health & Recreation category. From zumba classes to local biking trails, there are plenty of ways to stay active in The 570, even during winter.
Let’s start with two places that are beautiful winter destinations — Elk Mountain Ski Resort and the lovely village of Jim Thorpe.
Winning top honors with our readers for Best Skiing, Elk Mountain, the resort has a long history in northeastern Pennsylvania. Elk Mountain became one of Pennsylvania’s first commercial ski areas in 1959, and today it offers ski lovers 27 trails. If you’re itching to hit the slopes, the wait is almost over. According to Elk’s website, the tentative opening date is Tuesday, Dec. 18. (Since this date is tentative, be sure to visit www.elkskier.com before you head to the slopes).
Another great place to spend the day during winter or any time of the year is Jim Thorpe. Resembling a Swiss village, Jim Thorpe offers art and cultural activities, fine dining, great shopping at small boutiques and antique stores, and is home to famous venues such as the Mauch Chunk Opera House and the Harry Packer Mansion.
Even closer to home is another great tourist attraction, the Steamtown National Historic Site in Scranton. If it’s been a few years since you’ve visited, or you’re new to the area, be sure to plan a visit soon. The holiday season is a wonderful time to explore the site readers voted Best Tourist Attraction, as you’ll enjoy annual events at the Electric City Trolley Museum such as the Festival of Trees (kicking off on Friday, Dec. 14), and families may enjoy holiday express excursions. To learn more, visit www.nps.gov/stea/index.htm.
That covers some of our favorite recreational opportunities. Now, let’s talk fitness. You have to be in shape in order to enjoy a hike at Ricketts Glen State Park, voted Best Place to Hike, or before hopping on your bicycle for a ride through the scenic Lackawanna River Heritage Trail, voted Best Place to Bike. How do you do it? Many of you pump iron and take fitness classes at Brown’s Gym in Clarks Summit, voted Best Gym/Health Club.
Yoga, pilates and zumba are all popular ways locals are staying healthy. For the Best Yoga, you sign up for classes at Mission Yoga in Scranton. When pilates is on your to-do list, you head to Jaya Yoga in Clarks Summit, and when zumba is calling your name, you know where to go — work out with Allan Souza at Uno Fitness in the Electric City.
And when a more social workout beckons you, bowling is a great option. That means a trip to South Scranton to spend an evening at the Best Bowling Alley, South Side Bowling Alley.
— julie imel
Best Bowling Alley South Side Bowl • Best Day Trip Jim Thorpe • Best Gym/Health Club Brown’s Gym • Best Pilates Jaya Yoga • Best Place to Bike Lackawanna River Heritage Trail • Best Place to Hike Ricketts Glen State Park • Best Skiing Elk Mountain Ski Resort • Best Tourist Attraction Steamtown National Historic Site • Best Yoga Mission Yoga • Best Zumba Uno Fitness with Allan Souza