The Pocono Mountains in northeastern Pennsylvania have long been a popular tourist destination. The area dates back to the early 20th century as a place for vacationers, and boasts grand hotels, casinos, resorts and B&B’s.
With roughly 170 miles of waterways (including the Delaware River, Lehigh River and Lackawaxen River), the Delaware State Forest, seven state parks and a national park (The Delaware Water Gap National Recreational Area) there is something to engage every type of outdoor enthusiast.
The Poconos area features fishing, hunting, golfing, water sports, hiking, harness racing and automobile racing in addition to the indoor sport of outlet shopping.
If auto racing is your thing, check out The Pocono Raceway in Long Pond (poconoraceway.com), which hosts both the Pocono 400 in June and the Pennsylvania 400 in August, making it the closest NASCAR track to Philadelphia and New York.
Summertime concerts as well as year-round events with big acts can be enjoyed at East Stroudsburg’s Sherman Theater (shermantheater.com).
Hiking and mountain climbing aficionados will enjoy North Knob in Elk Hill, which boasts the area’s highest summit at 2,693 feet. Also check out the southern Pocono area’s Blue Mountain Ridge, part of the Appalachian Trail.
Alaska Pete’s Roadhouse Grille is consistently rated the best family restaurant in the Poconos. They have everything from burgers to pastas to seafood. 151 Seven Bridge Rd., Marshall’s Creek, 570-223-8575, alaskapetes.com
Jorgenson’s at the Dimmick Inn is a classic steakhouse located in historic Milford. The Dimmick dates back to the early 1800s. On weekends, get the prime rib. 101 East Harford St., Milford, 570-296-4021, dimmickinn.com
The French Manor on Huckleberry Mountain features award-winning French cuisine in a fine dining setting. Feast on quail, duck confit and escargots. 50 Huntingdon Dr., South Sterling, 570-676-3244, thefrenchmanor.com
WHERE TO STAY
Great Wolf Lodge is a family-friendly resort known for its water park. The property also includes restaurants and a spa, and is close to a renowned antique co-op with over 125 dealers. 1 Great Wolf Dr., Scotrun, 800-768-9653, Greatwolf.com
The Skytop Lodge, established in 1928, is a classic Poconos destination. Surrounded by 30 miles of hiking trails, this resort has everything, from nature walks to kayaking. One Skytop, Skytop, 855-345-7759, skytop.com
The Inn at Pocono Manor has been welcoming guests since 1902. This sprawling resort was started by Philadelphia Quakers as a getaway from the city. It underwent a $5 million renovation two years ago. One Manor Dr., Pocono Manor, 800-233-8150, poconomanor.com
Rickard’s Lake B&B, tucked away in a historic community, has a pool and access to Rickard’s Lake. 290 Park Rd. Dingman’s Ferry, 570-828-9356, rickardslakebnb.com)
HOW TO GET THERE
The Poconos area is about a two-hour drive from New York City. Greyhound and Martz buslines both go to the Delaware Water Gap and casinos operate courtesy vans from there to their properties.