is a large neighborhood situated about four miles northwest of Downtown Scranton.
The area has a rich history, particularly in relation to its boom town days when the coal mines remained active and the railroad industry brought a huge influx of workers to the area. West Mountain is near the Lackawanna Coal Mine tourist attraction and the Steamtown Historic site, a museum devoted to the area's railroading days.
I-476 runs through the center of West Mountain, and I-81 is situated along the northeast side. This area of West Scranton is convenient to Downtown Scranton, the University of Scranton, and McDade Park.
Restaurants & Nightlife
Savory Maza, a family-run Lebanese restaurant in Scranton, has a casual atmosphere and a diverse array of dishes perfect for adventurous eaters, and it even offers a host of items for vegetarians and vegans. Prompt and courteous service allows guests to focus on the variety of delightful and unique dishes, the most popular of which include the Lebanon Platter, falafel wraps, and kebabs. The Wednesday special, a beef dish called Kibbee Nayeh, also has its share of fans. The dessert menu includes the Esmalie or the Knafe bel jeben, both healthy and tasty options.
Next door, the Garibaldi Mexican Restaurant may not wow locals with its appearance, but a single visit reveals food full of flavor and authenticity. This incredibly cheap street-style Mexican food comes with the restaurant's unique chili pepper salsa and cilantro-heavy guacamole. Favorite dishes include the delectable tamales, traditional-style sopes, and juicy chicken or steak flautas.
Maroni's family-owned restaurant has an old-school feel, complete with decor straight from the '70s, including a jukebox in the corner. The reasonably priced food includes cheesesteaks, pastas, and the unique square pizzas with the restaurant's special (secret) sauce.
As for bars, West Mountain has two: Haggerty's Tavern and Bigsy's Bar and Grille, both of which cater to small crowds in a dive bar setting with affordable prices. For a wider selection of lounges and bars, head to Downtown Scranton.
History & Culture
Originally, the Lenape tribe made its home in West Mountain. The first settler to the area, Isaac Tripp, arrived in 1778 and built a home that still stands to this day. In the mid-1800s, coal mining became central to the area after the discovery of the nation's largest vein of anthracite coal. Around the same time, the Scranton brothers formed the Lackawanna Steel Company. Over the years, three separate rail systems were built nearby to aid the thriving coal industry, and in 1886, Scranton became the first city with a trolley system.
The most popular cultural attractions include Steamtown National Historic Site, the Anthracite Heritage Museum, and the Lackawanna County Coal Mine Tour.
West Mountain commuters enjoy convenient access to Interstate 476, which runs right along the edge, and Route 81 runs diagonally past Scranton and on down below West Mountain. Keyser Avenue, a prominent thoroughfare, also cuts through the neighborhood.
Residents can reach some parts of West Mountain, such as those closest to Scranton city center, using a COLTS (County of Lackawanna Transit System) bus. Though pedestrians and cyclists alike can travel safely through the area, the neighborhood doesn't have bike lanes. Many residents bike for leisure, but few use anything other than cars to commute to work or run errands due to the fact West Mountain sits a few miles from the Scranton city center. Find free public parking on the streets in parts of the neighborhood, or use larger designated areas in Scranton, though most usually require a small fee.
Rent for a one-bedroom apartment in West Mountain costs about $780, several hundred dollars below comparable offerings in the Greater Philadelphia area. Though Scranton lies only about four miles from West Mountain, little in the way of public transit exists to connect the two areas, making driving the most popular local means of transportation. Those who do choose public transit can pay $1.75 one-way to take a COLTS bus. Gas prices in the area average about five percent higher than the national norm. At local bars, beers go for as little as $5.
West Mountain doesn't have much in the way of its own shopping offerings. Rather, residents travel the mile or so into downtown Scranton for the area's selection of stores. There, you can find a number of shopping malls and mid-level department stores, such as Macy's and Wegman's, where residents go for most basic retail needs.
Pierre's, a small boutique, sells high-end women's clothing and accessories, many of them from Europe. For less expensive items, Duffy Accessories also provides a wide range of women's clothing, jewelry, and accessories within a unique atmosphere, and the owner comes bursting with information about the latest events and places to go in Scranton and the neighboring area.
For groceries, West Mountain residents have the Catalano Importing Company and Redner's Warehouse Market, along with the Co-op Farmer's Market on weekends.
Created in the 1970s, the 180-acre McDade Park sits within the West Mountain neighborhood and serves as a unique area home to, among other things, the Lackawanna Mine Tours and the Boundless Playground. The Boundless Playground, designed in 2009, aims to create a recreational space especially for special needs children. It consists of a safe playground structure, a butterfly garden, wind chime areas, sand and water tables, and quiet areas intended for autistic children. In addition, McDade has many amenities for sporting and recreation, including an Olympic-sized swimming pool, a children's fishing pond, basketball and tennis courts, a softball field, a nearly two-mile cross-country running course, hiking trails, bocce courts, a multipurpose field, and free sports equipment rentals. Those with more leisurely plans enjoy two pavilions as well as some outdoor picnic areas with grills, the Pennsylvania Anthracite Heritage Museum and gift shop, the Cancer Memorial Garden and Arboretum, and the Lackawana Mine Tours.