Zelienople is located in southwestern Butler County, situated on the south bank of Connoquenessing Creek, in an area that is rich with coal and iron ore. The borough is bordered by Jackson Township on the north, southeast, and south, and by the borough of Harmony on the northeast. The western border of Zelienople is the Beaver County line.
U.S. Route 19 (Perry Highway) is the main north-south road through the center of town. Interstate 79, running generally parallel to US 19, passes just to the east of the borough, with access from Exits 85, 87, and 88. Via I-79 and I-279 it is 28 miles south to downtown Pittsburgh. To the north I-79 leads 100 miles to Erie. Pennsylvania Route 68 runs east from US 19 as East Grandview Avenue and southwest as West Beaver Street. Via PA 68 it is 17 miles east to Butler, the county seat, and 12 miles southwest to Rochester on the Ohio River. Routes 288 and 588 lead west from town on West New Castle Street, PA 288 turning northwest to lead 10 miles to Ellwood City, and PA 588 leading 14 miles west to Beaver Falls.
Every year, Zelienople hosts a Fourth of July parade through downtown. The Strand Theater is a performing arts center on Main Street that has been restored, and hosts concerts and films for the borough and surrounding area.
For the past 44 years, one of the major annual events is the town's summer Horse Trading Days Arts and Music Festival. Crafters, vendors, entertainers and tourists are drawn from the entire tri-state area to participate in the family-oriented event that features concerts, games, contests, shopping, food, and a 5-mile run/walk event. The festival funding comes from local residents, businesses, the police and fire department, Lancaster Township, and the Zelienople borough.