College is about exploration. So get out and see what Wilkes-Barre has to offer. Dig through crates for rare vinyl at Musical Energi, or scale the wall at the Wilkes-Barre Rock Climbing Gym. Check out R/C Movies' 14-screen theater. Then feast on everything from pizza and pasta to barbeque, burgers, Chinese buffets, sushi and Thai—all within the city limits.
Looking for more far-flung adventures? The gorgeous new Susquehanna River Common park is perfect for biking or hanging out, and the Poconos are the place for skiing, hiking, or even skydiving. With New York City only 103 miles away, Philadelphia 97 miles away, and D.C. 173 miles away, some of the most significant cultural centers in the country are less than a tank of gas away.
10,000 screaming, hollering, and hootin' folks pack themselves into Wachovia Arena for the Wilkes-Barre Penguins—Pittsburgh's minor league hockey team—as well as their pleasantly insane mascot, Tux. This nearby arena also attracts major concert draws like AC/DC, Lil Wayne, Elton John, and many others, so students get big-city acts with just a short drive from campus.
Atmosphere: Raucous, Frenzied, Hockeyish
Reptiles, simians, oversized felines, and critters too numerous to mention can all be found at the Pocono Snake & Animal Farm. It's an ideal date spot, where guys can show their sensitive side by milking a baby goat, and girls can "ooh and ahh" at various deer. This mini-zoo also houses leopards, wolves, bears, mountain lions, bobcats, servals, monkeys, lemurs, sloths, fennec foxes, chinchillas, raccoons, macaws, alligators, huge snapping turtles, and more.
Atmosphere: Amazonian, Snake-Tastic, Jurassic-Fantastic
When the weather heats up, students head to Camelbeach to cool off and get their hearts racing on a variety of slides, wave pools, beaches, and other H2O-based mayhem. You can even get the endless summer vibe in the Flowrider, a Pipeline-esque wave pool in the heart of the mountains. In the summer, the area brings a bit of the tropics to the Poconos, and in the winter, it's Camelback Ski Area, one of the numerous places to ski or snowboard very close to campus.
Atmosphere: Sunny, Wet, Un-Dry
Hunger pangs sometimes strike mid-study, and Januzzi's has been feeding Wilkes students for years with a mix of sammiches (sandwiches to you snobs), pizzas, wings, and various deep-fried deliciousness. Located in the heart of Wilkes-Barre, it's the perfect spot to hit prior to a movie or for a late night noshing session. It's one of the many places nearby where famished students flock.
Atmosphere: Delicious, Chatty, Wingeriffic
On the edge of town, an odd bublle sprouts out of the horizon. Take a peak inside this igloo looking creation and you'll find handrails. quarterpipes, and all the accoutrements of a great skate and BMX park. It's all part of a larger indoor sporting complex where skaters shred side-by-side with soccer squads , who practice on the indoor turf fields that are also in the park. It's a strange, odd building. But one that is quite awesome.
Atmosphere: X-Games-ish, Bone-Breaking Fun
We admit, college can be stressful. Exams. Roommates. The appearance of oversized mascots at random turns. So when the blood pressure rises, Skirmish Paintball provides an outlet for your bottled-up aggression. With a ten-tower castle, a replica city, mock helicopters, and many other crazy backdrops, Skirmish provides the fields for you to prove your mettle. Hopefully you have a strategic mastermind like the Colonel guiding you to victory.
Atmosphere: Aggressive, Hawkish, Spartan
College is a time to try new things. Food. Classes. Freefalls from planes. And if you're going to jump several thousand feet out of a plane, you want to be in good hands. Above the Poconos' owner Don Kellner certainly fits the bill. He's the Guinness Book of World Records holder for most skydive attempts, at more than 38,000 jumps and counting. Should you work up the courage to make the leap, you can even get a photographer or videographer to document the loop on your face.
Atmosphere: Alternately Serene and Terrifying
If skydiving or paintballing seem a bit too aggro, perhaps a quiet day at Ricketts Glen State Park is more your speed. Whether you go for a bit of fishing, a relaxing hike, or just to soak in some natural beauty, Ricketts Glen feels like a world away from, well, the world. Waterfalls, winding streams, and wildlife at every turn make this a perfect spot to clear your mind. Walden had his pond; Wilkes students have Ricketts Glen.
Atmosphere: Tranquil, Relaxing, Serenity Now!