Local Atmosphere

Wilkes-Barre, PA
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1 College Freshman

Local Atmosphere: Ask anyone. The night life is in the dumps. Boring campus. Very plain with nothing to do.

3 College Freshman

Local Atmosphere: Wilkes-Barre is a small city, but there are things do to in the Square and there are several other colleges near by. Other attractions in reasonable driving distance.

3 College Sophomore

Local Atmosphere: Really nice small town with great restaurants and businesses, however the locals aren't the greatest.

2 College Sophomore

Local Atmosphere: There is nothing to do

4 College Sophomore

Local Atmosphere: It's a city with a nice campus life. If you leave campus be careful. It has a very negative surrounding population.

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Student Author OverviewWhat's This?

Nicole Frail
Wilkes-Barre, PA
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Wilkes University is nestled in Northeast Pennsylvania, just above the Pocono Mountains in the city of Wilkes-Barre. Wilkes-Barre is the county seat of Luzerne County, and has a population of about 50,000 people. Wilkes University is not the only college in the Wyoming Valley. King's College is located a few blocks away. College Misericordia and Penn State Wilkes-Barre are located in Dallas, in the Back Mountain area. Also, Luzerne County Community College is in neighboring Nanticoke. Aside from drinking (covered in another section), there is much to do when it comes to arts and entertainment. There are large and small venues, and the theater-type venues bring musicals, plays, comedians and other events aside from concerts. Skiing, camping, hiking, and boating are just 20 minutes away. For sports fans, there is hockey (the Penguins), baseball (the Wilkes Barre/Scranton Yankees), and football (the Pioneers). Even though Public Square and the rest of downtown is growing again, after business hours it is still mostly a ghost town. There are often bums, drug dealers, prostitutes, and other riff-raff that hang around the streets of downtown. Many would advise not going downtown alone after dark. Crime has been a focus of the new administration, and the local papers are seeing more arrests than ever-a very good thing. As well, the addition of a new movie theater and street lights has lit up Main Street a bit more and made the area feel safer. Nonetheless, there are still reports of petty to violent crimes occurring in the areas just off campus.

Facts & Statistics

Fun Local Trivia
  1. HBO debuted in Wilkes-Barre, and the city is dubbed home of modern cable TV.
  2. Wilkes-Barre was a stop on the Underground Railroad.
  3. Open grate, in-home coal burning was first discovered in Wilkes-Barre.
  4. Wilkes-Barre is the birthplace of Planters Peanuts.
  5. NBC's The Office is set in nearby Scranton. But the Chili's they go to often is modeled after the Wilkes-Barre Chili's.
Notable Natives
  • Ben Burnley - Breaking Benjamin
  • Raghib Ismail - former NFL player and Heisman Trophy runner-up
  • Qadry Ismail - former NFL player for the Baltimore Ravens
  • Edward B. Lewis - winner of the 1995 Nobel Prize in Physiology and Medicine
  • Jay McCarroll - winner of Bravo's first "Project Runway"
  • Mary McDonnell - Academy Award-nominated actress, "Dances with Wolves"
  • Jason Miller - actor, best known for "The Exorcist"
  • Kelly Monaco - "General Hospital" and "Dancing with the Stars"
  • Mike Munchak - professional football coach of the Tennessee Titans and former pro-football player for the Houston Oilers
  • Amadeo Obici - founder of Planters Peanuts
  • William Daniel Phillips - winner of the 2001 Nobel Prize in Physics
  • Michael Schoeffling - actor who played Jake Ryan in '80s classic film "Sixteen Candles"
Local Slang
Heyna: "You think?" or "Do you agree?" For example: Today's a nice day, heyna?
Shopping Centers
  • Arena Hub Plaza
  • East End Shopping Center
  • Gateway Shopping Center
  • Shoppes at Montage
  • Westside Mall
  • Wilkes-Barre Township Commons
  • Wyoming Valley Mall
Movie Theaters
Cinemark at Moosic
40 Glenmaura National Blvd.
(570) 961-5922
Movie Theaters
Garden Drive-In (seasonal)
Route 11
Hunlock Creek
(570) 735-5933
Movie Theaters
R/C WIlkes Barre Movies 14
24 E. Northhampton St.
(570) 825-4444
Major Sports Teams
  • Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins: minor league hockey
  • Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Pioneers: arena football
  • Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Yankees: minor league baseball
Distances to Nearest Major Cities
  • New York City: NY: 2 hours, 20 minutes
  • Philadelphia: PA: 2 hours

Student Polls

Rate the local atmosphere on the following topics    Based on 15 responses

Very poor
  • Cost of living
  • Dining
  • Friendliness of locals toward students
  • Museums/cultural attractions
  • Nightlife
  • Parking
  • Parks and recreation
  • Professional sports
  • Safety
  • Scenery
  • Shopping
  • Transportation

What is the local atmosphere like at your school?    Based on 12 responses

  • 8% Painfully remote.
  • 33% In or near a big city, but there's not much to do off campus.
  • 8% Small town with plenty of charm.
  • 25% Vibrant college town. There's no big city, but there are plenty of things to do off campus.
  • 25% City living at its finest. There's always something fun and interesting going on.

What is the proximity to other universities? Is there much interaction?    Based on 12 responses

  • 0% There aren't any nearby schools.
  • 8% There are nearby schools, but students do NOT interact much.
  • 92% There are nearby schools that students often interact with.

Can you see yourself living here after graduation?    Based on 15 responses

  • 53% No way.
  • 33% Maybe, if I could find a good job.
  • 13% Totally.


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