Have a Dream Vacation in the Poconos
We’re all looking for the perfect vacation. The dream is a no-brainer. It’s finding the spot to fit the dream that takes some time and patience. Well, I have some good news for you. I’ve found the dream spot for you: the Pocono Mountains in Pennsylvania. Exploring the Poconos is about discovering all the things you want and learning even more you didn’t know existed. Think 2,400 square miles of relaxing, rebooting, and engaging with the great outdoors.
How could you not love rolling mountain terrain, magnificent waterfalls, flourishing woodlands, 170 miles of winding rivers—widely considered the best in the entire country—and tasting farm-fresh local dishes at off-the-beaten-path dining landmarks?
Located in the northeastern region of Pennsylvania, the mountainous vacation region known as the Poconos embraces several counties, including Wayne, Carbon, Pike, and Monroe. Visitors enjoy an infinite collection of natural beauty and engaging activities. Often called The “Niagara of Pennsylvania,” the Poconos offers guests the opportunity to view more than eight different waterfalls and explore scenic hiking trails, while the Lehigh River provides white-knuckle white-water rafting trips through magnificent terrain.
The area’s elevation and cold temperatures make it a popular ski destination, and resorts such as Camelback Mountain Resort and Jack Frost Big Boulder run lifts all winter. Many know this area as the “honeymoon capital of the world.” Though it is charged with romance and a sense of passion, I think its true calling is the boundless opportunities to relax and enjoy life in a natural setting. Whether your thing is outdoor picnics or an elegant meal, spas or a dip in pool, you can find it here. Nightlife is plentiful, and area hotels offer dancing. You can find cafés featuring jazz musicians and pubs offering craft microbrews. Leisurely shopping excursions to small towns, area outlet malls, and weekend flea markets provide alternative entertainment for all. It’s all about the relax and the renew here. Affordable to upscale options are available, and it’s a great place for couples, singles, and families.
Follow this suggested itinerary, one after another, or pick and choose as fits your dream:
A turn of the century resort with all the modern amenities you could ever want is set on more than 3,000 acres and offers seasonal activities and recreation, a world-class spa, and championship golf. Enjoy the killer buffet breakfast.
Located in the town of Jim Thorpe and built in the Victorian Italianate architecture style in 1861, this beautiful home was the residence of Asa Packer, the multi-millionaire who built the Lehigh Valley Railroad and founded Lehigh University. You will see his mansion just as it stood during Packer’s lifetime. The mansion has limited open hours, so be sure to call for times and dates.
This is a quaint Victorian town named for the controversial Native American athlete who was forced to relinquish his Olympic gold medals when it was discovered he had played one season of professional baseball. The town of Jim Thorpe was home to the first railroad in the United States—and home to the men who made their millions from the railroads. Spend a few days exploring this historic town with its unique shopping, museums, and outdoor adventure offerings.
Located inside the historical Inn at Jim Thorpe, the Broadway Grille & Pub combines old charm with a stylish, downtown ambiance. The food is outstanding and reflects the local character. Anything on the menu is good.
Shoppers rejoice! Country Junction is one of the largest shopping experiences of its kind where visitors will find gifts, patio furniture, home accessories, food, candy, housewares, fresh flowers, ice cream, and gourmet coffee. It’s a great place for unusual gifts and unique treasures from around the world.
Beautiful and stately, the Shawnee Inn and Golf Resort sits on the edge of the pristine Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area and on the banks of the wild and scenic Delaware River. The resort offers a wealth of outdoor recreation opportunities, including kayaking, canoeing, rafting, biking, hiking, and fishing. Be sure to check out the Gem and Keystone Brewpub for its great craft beers and delicious food.
Grey Towers, built in 1886, is the ancestral home of Gifford Pinchot, the first chief of the United States Forest Service and the Governor of Pennsylvania twice. This is a wild and wacky yet serene and beautiful home, not a stuffy old museum. The outdoor dining bar built around a serving pool is worth the price of admission.
The Anthill Farm is dedicated to creating an ecological food production system that mimics nature and a perennial-based production model that uses agroforestry and silvopasture as its foundation. Using the African savanna ecosystem as a model, this small family farm with eight acres of mixed vegetables and 10 acres of immature fruit and nut orchards committed to organic farming practices is a great place for kids (and adults) to understand the true meaning of organic farm-to-fork practices. Ask for a tour for the best understanding of what this project has to offer the world.
The Settlers Inn is a craftsman-style inn featuring 21 guest rooms decorated in mostly period pieces. The inn’s restaurant showcases the true meaning of dining excellence and features a menu influenced by the seasons and artisan baking. There are also lovely gardens, a gift shop, and killer cocktails—especially the Bloody Mary.
Built in 1880 and operated as a silk mill until 1956, the Hawley Silk Mill is still the largest laid bluestone building in the world. Recently refurbished into a combination of local shops and businesses, it’s a must see for its character and gift offerings—especially the Mill Market. In front of the massive structure sits an adorable little building that once sheltered the cocoons that supplied the silk. Today, it is the home of one of the best coffee houses in America. (Yes, you read that right). Dedicated to sourcing the best coffee beans from tiny sustainable coffee farms around the world, this business not only serves crazy good coffee, treats, and light meals but also has a philanthropic commitment to paying small coffee farmers a living wage.
If you’re looking for one of the best places to go on vacation, consider these authentic, adventure-rich, mouth-watering, awe-inspiring, and affordable vacation ideas and think “Poconos.” Plan your visit, whether for a day or a week, with the confidence it will meet your requirement for a dream vacation.