A stay at Hotel Anthracite is not complete without a day trip to experience the top things to do in Honesdale. The quaint town is an easy 15-mile drive on historic Route 6. Honesdale is steeped in history, oozing charm, and boasts a past that is intrinsically linked to Carbondale. Both communities came of age during the Industrial Revolution and helped fuel the nation’s growth. The Wayne County town is experiencing a renaissance of sorts and garnering a lot of attention in the process. Country Living Magazine named Honesdale one of the 10 Best Small Towns in the U.S. and was featured in a Philly Magazine article titled, “The Little Poconos Town That Accidentally Got Cool.”
Take a road trip and see for yourself what all the buzz is about. Spend some time checking out our top things to do in Honesdale. Don’t forget to download our free Northeastern Pennsylvania Destination Guide, chock full of helpful tips and essential information.
Relive the heyday of railroading in America. The Stourbridge Line offers scenic excursions departing from Main Street. Hop aboard for a relaxing trip to nearby Hawley or Lackawaxen, PA in one of four vintage coaches. There are two open window coaches that date to the 1920s. The table car offers booth seating and the 1950s Coach features more streamlined accommodations. Themed summer excursions include the Ice Cream Express, Farmers Market Explorer and Wine Tasting Express.
Strolling and nature watching are prime activities in this part of Honesdale. The beautifully landscaped park sits in front of the historic Wayne County Courthouse and is flanked by centuries old homes, businesses and churches. Central Park has been a community gathering place since it was established in 1834. A beautiful fountain is the cornerstone of the area. It was constructed to mark the U.S. Centennial in 1876. Take a picnic to enjoy at the park’s picnic tables, benches or sprawling lawn. Bring a blanket or lawn chairs to soak in the surroundings There are large shade trees and walkways throughout as well as an elaborate playground for children. During the colder months the park transforms into a winter wonderland. The picture-perfect scenes of snow draped rooftops and quiet landscapes are so idyllic it’s easy to see how Honesdale inspired the lyrics to the song “Winter Wonderland.” Its composer, Richard Smith, was a native of Honesdale and penned the song as an ode to his hometown.
Old Stone Jail
Get caught up in one of the more arresting attractions in Honesdale. The Old Stone Jail operated from 1859 to 1935. Tours are given on select dates so visitors may get an up-close and personal look at the imposing fortress. The structure is built entirely of rough stone giving it a dungeon-like quality. As visitors step inside the 9 x 12-foot cell, guides relate stories of the jail’s most notorious incidents and infamous convicts including James McCabe. The convicted murderer was the last person hanged in Wayne County. The execution took place in 1886 within the jail. The small but foreboding building is located on 10th Street in the shadow of Wayne County Courthouse.
Wayne County Historical Society Museum
Explore nearly 200 years of local history at the Wayne County Historical Society Museum. The former headquarters of the Delaware & Hudson Canal Company is home to a vast collection of Wayne County history. Visitors will find a full-size replica of The Stourbridge Lion, the first locomotive to run on commercial track in the United States. The Marjorie Smith Glass Gallery connects the 1860 building with the Jason Torrey land office, headquarters of one of the county’s earliest entrepreneurs. Over time, four additions were built to complete the Main Street campus and display the expanding collection as well as the Research Library.
Shopping in Honesdale
Browse Main Street and its adjacent side streets for a wealth of specialty shops. Housed within charming Victorian era buildings, the shopping district offers an eclectic blend of antiques, fine gifts, sporting goods, clothing, jewelry and more. Don’t miss Maude Alley, a quaint hideaway tucked along Main Street. The space features two historic buildings connected by a narrow alley, which leads to a secret garden. Along the way find access to six unique shops specializing in everything from women’s clothing to home goods, specialty cheese and fine art.
Moka Origins Factory Tour
Go behind the scenes at one of the few bean to bar chocolate makers in the United States. Much of the product is sourced from direct-trade farming partners across Africa. Moka Orgigins Factory Store and Café in Honesdale are open daily. Free tours and tastings are offered every Saturday at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. The 45-minute tour offers a behind-the-scenes look at the artisanal chocolate and coffee making process. Visitors can follow along from roasting and grinding to tempering, molding and packaging.
Change your perspective with a trip to this overlook. The vantage point from Gibbons Memorial Park offers a bird’s-eye-view of the town and surrounding Moosic Mountain Range. There’s a one mile out and back trail leading to the rock ledge that rises 300 feet above Main Street.
Breweries & Wineries
Sample the spirits of Honesdale. There are two breweries and one winery in town providing a diverse selection of beer and wine. Spend some time checking out microbreweries Here and Now and Irving Cliff Brewery. Antler Ridge Winery operates a Tasting Room on West Park Street in downtown Honesdale. The winery makes its award-winning wines in the nearby Endless Mountains region.
Honesdale Fire Museum
See the oldest operable Silsby Steamer in the United States at Protection Company #3’s fire hall at the corner of North Main and Park Street. The antique fire engine is the crown jewel of the Honesdale Fire Museum, which preserves and shares the history of firefighting. Honesdale’s Protection Company #3 purchased the engine new in 1875 for $4,700. It saw active service until 1936. The fire engine was painstakingly restored in 1986 and now sits proudly in the window of the museum and is always a showstopper in local parades.
Historic Honesdale Walking Tour
Explore the historic streets of Maple City on a self-guided walking tour. Pick up a brochure at the Wayne County Visitors Center to show the way. Points of interest are highlighted throughout town with a QR Code. Scan the code at each property to learn more about the site. Honesdale’s downtown is scenic and highly walkable allowing you to set a leisurely pace for the tour.
The Wall of Art
It’s hard to miss this display of public art, making it one of our top things to do in Hawley. A community project transformed the side of a brick building at the intersection of Fourth and Main Streets into a giant canvas. The Wall of Art features 11’ x 17’ photographic reproductions of original artwork. Featured work changes annually and there are 12 different pieces in each display. Artists in all mediums are invited to submit work that reflects a chosen theme. The result is an installation of bold, billboard-size work representing digital collages, photography, textiles, oil on canvas and more.
The Cooperage Project
See what’s happening at Honesdale’s favorite gathering place. Since opening over a decade ago The Cooperage has become a hub for arts, education, music, entertainment and community. It’s also the home of Honesdale’s Farmer’s Market.
Dining in Honesdale
Savor the flavors served daily at a multitude of eateries in town. Honesdale has emerged as a foodie destination with a number of fine restaurants and diverse options. Native has earned a lot of buzz since its opening. The restaurant features a hip, city vibe with an open kitchen and chef’s counter. The menu focuses on fresh, ingredients from local farmers and artisans. Other notables include Branko’s Patisserie du Jour, Ba and Me, which serves authentic Vietnamese cuisine and Dyberry Forks a farm to fork dining experience.
Plan Your Getaway to Northeast PA
Surround yourself in the heritage of the region at Hotel Anthracite. Our modern boutique hotel celebrates the region’s past and provides a fitting complement to your sightseeing adventure. Around the hotel you’ll find historical photographs and memorabilia depicting Carbondale’s past. Review our specials, check availability, and book your stay today.