The lovely Pocono Mountains serve as the backdrop for a unique arts and culture scene. If you are looking for a cultural experience on your next trip to the area, consider visiting the many Poconos attractions for art or stopping by a local vineyard to taste some of the regions finest wines.
The Anita Shapolsky Art Foundation is located inside an old Presbyterian Church that was built in the late 1800s. The gallery is one of the largest collections of American Abstract Expressionism in the country. Much of the work they carry is from the New York School of Abstract Expressionism and features the work of Ernest Briggs, Christo, and many more artists. The exhibition center is located at 20 West Broadway in Jim Thorpe and is open on Saturdays and Sundays from 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. or by appointment.
Also located in Jim Thorpe is one of the top Poconos attractions, the Bach and Handel Chorale. The group is dedicated to the preservation of sacred music and puts on four concerts a year: one in the fall, one in December for Christmas, one in the spring for Easter, and one in May. They perform choruses from the works of Bach and Handel and are accompanied by a piano and orchestra works. The group is in their 35th year and they perform at the Christ Lutheran Church in Penn Forest Township, just outside of Jim Thorpe.
In addition to its art scene, Jim Thorpe also has an array of wine culture. Big Creek Vineyard is located in Kresgeville and they have a shop in Jim Thorpe. You can visit the winery Sunday – Thursday from 12 p.m. – 5 p.m. or on the weekend from 12 p.m. – 7 p.m. This vineyard is one of our favorite things to do in Poconos PA, where you can enjoy free tastings at the vineyard as well as a selection of nuts, cheese, and fruit. Big Creek Vineyard also offers tastings at their Jim Thorpe store. Tastings are $5 to try five of their wines at the store.
If you purchase a bottle of wine at the vineyard or at the store, they will not uncork the bottle for consumption on site. They also do not allow buses, vans, or bachelor and bachelorette parties at the vineyard; however, they can accommodate large groups at the Jim Thorpe store. If you are with a group of eight or more people, call ahead of time to make sure they can accommodate your group.
Built in 1881, the Opera House was once the heart of the arts and culture scene in what was then known as Mauch Chunk, and today it still manages to be the star of the town! Featuring a wide selection of up and coming musicians, this former vaudeville stage is comfortably embracing the trends of the new millennium. Some of the best cover bands in the land perform here, including ones covering the music of Prince, Bob Dylan, and Pearl Jam; the rafters are always rocking in this historic venue! For those who love to laugh, the stage of the Opera House often is often filled with some of the best comedians in the land. Their website has all the details, so if you have your heart set on a specific performance, you can schedule your trip to coincide with their performance!
Vacation explorations stir up quite the appetite and while you are in the Jim Thorpe area, it might be nice to enjoy a delicious dinner before the show! Moya, located at 24 Race Street, is a popular local steakhouse, serving prime cuts of beef and perfectly prepared seafood and the wine list is topped by none. Offering an extensive menu that changes regularly, it’s worth stopping in more than once during your stay, and the elegant ambiance will enhance your night of art and culture!
Tony Stella’s Encore, 66 Broadway, offers a menu filled with your favorite dishes, including steak, burgers, and seafood, in an atmosphere very similar to Moya’s—the difference being the historic mansion in which it is housed! Resembling a New York brownstone, and found just down the street from the Asa Packer Mansion Museum, this spot is one of the best restaurants in Jim Thorpe.
Looking for some comfort food served with a taste of the unusual? The Marion Hose Bar, 16 W Broadway, is proud of its comfort food and the building it is housed in as it is a restored firehouse! Located next to the Opera House, its menu is one of our faves and the whiskey bar makes it even better! Also serving refreshing beers and wines, a night at this local hot spot is made even better as you find yourself walking next door to the Opera House to listen to the musical stylings of your favorite cover band; save the uber fees for the ride home!