You guys, this is the trip I have been planning in my head for so long, and I am so happy we were able to make it happen! If you know me at all, or you have read my bachelorette party blog post, you know I am obsessed with the show, “The Office”! It has, and will always have a special place in my heart (I mean, heck, I have a “World’s Best Boss” mug tattooed on my ankle, it better always have a special place in my heart. haha)
For those of you who don’t know, “The Office” is a mockumentary focused on the “typical” workday of the employees at the Scranton, Pennsylvania paper supply company, Dunder Mifflin. Although the thought of a documentary of an office seems so mundane and uninteresting, you have no idea how outlandish and somehow relatable the high jinx that the office employees get into day in, day out! I love all the hilarious moments that this series has to offer, but above all else, I love the character development and relationship building that occur as the seasons progress.
Though the show itself was actually filmed entirely in Los Angeles, most of the places they reference in the show are real places in Scranton! The writer’s really did their research with each episode. Knowing that some of these places exist in real life made me want to check them out for myself! So that is what my husband and I decided to do for our first anniversary. I mean, the traditional first anniversary gift is paper, so why not explore the place that inspired the creation of the Dunder Mifflin paper company?!
Here is a map of the layout of all the locations we visited on our trip! We didn’t necessarily do these in this order, but as you can probably tell, all the sights are relatively close to one another! We were super surprised! With Scranton being the 6th most populated city in Pennsylvania, we were expecting the city to be a little more spread out! So this was a pleasant surprise!
Well, I won’t keep you waiting any longer! Ladies and Gents, here is our guide for a “The Office” road trip:
We definitely “felt God in this Chili’s” that night, just like Pam did in season 2, episode 1. But thankfully we were not kicked out and banned from that location for our excessive drinking like she was.
Chili’s is a beloved restaurant in The Office. It has been referenced countless times by the employees, it was the (changed) meeting place for one of Michael’s new clients (season 2, episode 7), it is where Billy Merchant met his waitress wife (season 2, episode 22), it is where Kevin won his “Don’t Go In There After Me” Dundie award for his smelly bowel-movements, and it is where Michael and Jan kissed for the first time! Not only is it the place Michael and Jan first kissed, it is also where Pam (drunkenly) kissed Jim for the first time! Lot’s of iconic moments took place here!
But the funny thing is, there is not a Chili’s actually located in Scranton! The closest one is in the next town over, Wilkes-Barre. (also referenced countless times in the show) Which is just a short 30 minute drive from Scranton, so it is definitely worth the trip.
Whether you want your Baby Back (Baby Back, Baby Back) Ribs like Ian, or want an order of Awesome Blossoms (with extra awesome) like I did, Chili’s has just what you are looking for!
*Episode References: The Dundies, The Client, Casino Night*
Poor Richard’s Pub
Poor Richard’s is probably one of the most mentioned locations in The Office, so we knew we had to go there! I mean it’s where Pam and Roy agreed that it is “so over“(season 3, episode 17), Where the gang got together to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day after Michael finally stood up to Jo Bennett (season 6, episode 19) and where they not only aired the premiere of Michael’s self-made commercial (season 4, episode 9), but where they aired the promo of the actual documentary (The Office: An American Workplace) they have been shooting the whole time. (season 9, episode 23) So this pub really holds a special place in all our Dunder Mifflinite hearts!
Getting to Poor Richard’s proved to be a bit more difficult than we anticipated! We found the address, put it in the GPS, but when we got there, it was not what we thought it would be. It brought us to a bowling alley! We thought about forgetting the idea altogether and head to another stop, but we decided to go in just to make sure it wasn’t inside the bowling alley. Which it was!
We headed inside where it looked like mostly locals were sitting around drinking and watching the game on the TV. To be fair, we did get there around 7pm on a Thursday evening, so we kind of expected it to be this way. We definitely felt out of place, but decided to order our drinks anyway. When we walked up to the counter to order drinks we noticed a shelf of The Office memorabilia! On the shelf they had a signed photograph of Steve Carell (swoon), a Meredith bobble head, a Vance Refrigeration magnet and a Dundie!! How cool?!
We didn’t want to seem like total annoying tourists and bother the pub’s patrons, so we just took a seat and drank our drinks without trying to freak out over the stuff on the shelf we just found.
Ian decided to go back up to the bar to purchase two of the custom t-shirts they sold there (one for me and one for him) and ended up striking up a conversation with the bartender. He told him about how we were there to celebrate our anniversary and how much we love The Office and how we admired what was displayed on the shelf. That’s when the bartender took down the Dundie and the magnet and told Ian to bring it over to me so I could see it up close and take pictures! What?!
Needless to say, I was in heaven.
*Episode References: The Dundies, Halloween, Branch Closing, Cocktails, Local Ad, Crime Aid, St. Patrick’s Day, A.A.R.M *
The Steamtown Mall (now known as The Marketplace at Steamtown) is another sight mentioned multiple times in the show. This is where Michael takes all the women of the office to shop for “women’s appreciation” (season 3, episode 21), where Kelly complains that the only thing to eat there is Auntie Anne’s (season 2, episode 18) and where Pam and Phyllis bought the same outfit at Boscov’s, I mean, “It sure looked good on the mannequin“. (season 5, episode 26)
The Marketplace at Steamtown appears to be a bit rundown, but still so important in the town. It seemed like every street we turned down there were signs pointing us toward the mall! Although, when we went that had just opened their new aquarium! So there may be hope for this mall after all!
*Episode References: Take Your Daughter to Work Day, Women’s Appreciation, Casual Friday *
The “Welcome to Scranton” Sign
This sign is one of the most widely recognized things in “The Office” because it is shown in the opening title sequence. So, when I found out it was real, I knew I had to see it!
Conveniently enough, it resides inside the Marketplace at Steamtown! When we visited, it was in a side hallway/section of the mall, right next to the Crunch Fitness.
We may have received a few laughs and eye-rolls for posing by the sign for too long, but I don’t care! It was a dream come true!
*Episode References: Every episode*
Steamtown National Historic Site
Remember the episode when Michael screamed, “I declare bankruptcy!!” (season 4, episode 8) Of course you do! Well, these are the train tracks that Michael ran away to hop on a train after he broke the news to Jan that he was in debt.
When we were there several trains were coming in and out on the tracks, wonder if Michael was riding on any? 😉
*Episode References: Money*
The Radisson is a huge hotel right in the middle of Scranton. It was actually never pictured on the show at all, but I wanted to showcase it due to the fact that it was mentioned a couple times such as when Michael changed his and Jan’s client meeting from the Radisson to Chili’s (season 2, episode 7), when Dwight interrogates Jan about where she is staying after Casino Night (season 2, episode 22) since Michael invited both her and Carol to come and when David Wallace asks Charles Miner about his “month stay at the Scranton Radisson” after Micheal quits, and Charles is forced to stay there and find his replacement. (season 5, episode 25)
*Episode References: The Client, Casino Night and Broke*
Alfredo’s Pizza Café
Not to be mistaken for Pizza by Alfredo. Because we all know that “there is a big difference between those two pizza places. Both in quality of ingredients and overall taste.” (season 4, episode 6) And if Toby (out of all people) won a free week of it, we needed to see what the big deal was! (season4 , episode 1) Obviously, we decided to order their “interpretation of Margarita pizza” and I am pleased to say it definitely lived up to the hype!
*Episode References: Launch Party, Fun Run*
Pennsylvania Paper and Supply Company
This was another must see on our trip to Scranton since it the outside of Pennsylvania Paper and Supply Company is also showcased on the opening credits of every episode!
The cool thing is, since “The Office” became so popular and brought a lot of tourists to Scranton, Pennsylvania Paper and Supply changed one of their signs that says “Penn Paper” to “Dunder Mifflin”! This is actually the first side of the building that we saw when we drove by it and a screamed when I saw that! haha
*Episode References: Every episode*
We did not spend a lot of time at Lake Scranton due to the fact that it was cold out and our GPS would not take us to a good location! Every place it took us was either private property or a sectioned off location due to it being closed for the season. But I guess we should have known not to trust the GPS around Lake Scranton since a GPS did make Michael drive into that same lake before! (season 4, episode 4) Haha!
We did still make an effort to at least get a picture there though since they not only played their beach games there, but that is also the location that Pam told Jim that she “missed their friendship“. (season 3, episode 22)
*Episode References: Beach Games, Dunder Mifflin Infinity*
Cooper’s is another location that is mentioned several times throughout the entirety of “The Office” and we knew we had to go see it! Like when the whole office thought their branch was closing so Kevin suggested eating there together one last time (season 3, episode 7), and when Karen asks Jim to meet her at Cooper’s to get a drink after work because she is so stressed out about the Scranton and Stamford branch merger. (season 3, episode 8) There is also the time where the Banker comes through and inspects the office to see what they are worth before Sabre buys them and Michael makes a reservation for them both to eat lunch at Cooper’s because “they make the best Maine lobster in the world” but Computron has to disagree. (season 6, episode 14) And in the episode where Meredith admits she is sleeping with a supplier of Dunder Mifflin for discounts and Michael asks Holly to go to lunch to discuss what to do about her, they go to Cooper’s! The cool thing about this episode is that they actually show a clip of the outside of Cooper’s when they are eating there! (season 5,episode 3)
Cooper’s was such a neat place! As you can see on the picture above, it is very nautical themed. Each hallway and room are filled from floor to ceiling with sea-inspired decor and pictures of Scranton. Unintentionally, we ate at Cooper’s on a night during Pirate Fest, where they have live bands come through and everyone dresses up like pirates! I guess if you (as a guest) come dressed as a pirate you get to pick out a prize!
We were talking to an employee about our anniversary road trip and discussing why we were there and what all we did on the trip so far when she told us about the Pirate Fest costume prizes. She complained that no one came dressed up this evening, so no one was able to win a prize. We told her if we would have known, we would have come dressed up! (which you all know is the truth lol) When we told her that, she pulled out two eye patches from the stand she was at and said “if you put these on, I will give you each a prize!” So, of course we did!! Ian ended up winning a T-shirt and I won a gift basket filled with lots of things like a glass, a bottle opener, sunglasses, a drink koozie and so much more! We really chose the perfect night to eat there!!
They also had a gift shop FILLED with “The Office” memorabilia, so I definitely dropped a little too much money there!
*Episode References: Branch Closing, Launch Party, The Merger, The Banker and Business Ethics*
The Electric City Sign
We strategically decided to end our night looking up at the beautiful lights of The Electric City Sign. This is a super popular sight in Scranton and is located right in the middle of town, but it was only mentioned on the show a couple times! Like when Andy and Erin sing a parody to “Party in the USA” for Gabe when Sabre first buys Dunder Mifflin. In their song they sing, “Look to the right and see the Electric City sign…“. (season 6, episode 15) And it is displayed behind Michael in his and Dwight’s “Lazy Scranton” video. (season 3, episode 8)
*Episode References: The Merger, Sabre*
You all know by now that I love a theme, so you already know that I planned all our outfits to go with the trip as well! You may have noticed a few of our “The Office” themed t-shirts in some of my pictures, but don’t worry, this coming Fashion Friday will showcase each one in all their glory!!
Also, to make the trip even better, Ian downloaded ALL of the songs that have been played, mentioned or sang on “The Office” and we listened to them the entire way to and from Scranton! If you take this trip, this is a must-do! It really enhanced the whole experience and made us cry on a few of our favorites! (like I Will Remember You and All The Faces) You can find the whole list of songs on Dunderpedia!
Well, there you have it! I am so happy we were finally able to make our trip to Scranton and I can mark it off my bucket list! If you love the show, like I do, I definitely suggest going and checking everything out!
“Catch you on the flippity-flip!”
We live in Cincinnati, and with Scranton being over 8 hours away, we decided to stop by a few places on the way there and back such as Pittsburgh, New York City and New Jersey. But I wanted to keep this post focused primarily on our “The Office” adventures! A post is coming in the near future about what we did in NYC! 😉