Hey there all you nature/travel lovers! I’m so happy to be back to start a new travel series with all of you! Today, we’re on our way East to the home of Hershey Bars, The Liberty Bell, Cheesesteaks and The Office.
That’s right, we’re in Pennsylvania, AKA the hardest state to spell. And while our minds might flash to Primanti’s, Yuengling, Punxatawny Phil and The Little League World Series, PA is so much more. Including, big beautiful Mountains.
If I told you I was headed to Pennsylvania to hike, you’d probably think I was crazy. But when I say The Poconos, I’m pretty positive that will ring a bell. Although you might be thinking of this…
(PS… the first four photos are courtesy of the Cove Haven Resorts page! You can still stay there if you’re into champagne hot tubs and heart shaped beds!)
“The Pocono Mountains in Pennsylvania have long been a destination for vacationers seeking to relax. The earliest resorts opened in the early 1900s. Known for theater, skiing, and resorts ranging from affordable to exclusive, it grew in popularity through the 1920s and 30s. Starting in the 40s, the region began attracting honeymooners. The idea of romantic honeymoon resorts took off as soldiers coming back from WWII, and later, Vietnam, began seeking out the perfect post-wedding retreat. As people became cooler with the idea of sex, resorts dedicated to all aspects honeymoon romance boomed. Think, heart-shaped beds, red vinyl, lots of mirrors, and very few windows. But, unfortunately, the love affair with honeymoon resorts wasn’t meant to be. Today, the area is dotted with abandoned Poconos resorts.” (Stole this from a really cool article about abandoned Poconos honeymoon resorts because Chronicle couldn’t have written it more perfectly. The original article is really cool. Check it out here!)
And while love may be dead at many honeymoon resorts in the area, the love affair with the mountains and the charming small towns that call them home is booming.
Where the heck are “The Poconos”?! I had the HARDEST time figuring out exactly where The Poconos were. Other mountain ranges (like The Tetons) are within National Parks, so it’s easy to know where to go on an adventure. But The Poconos are different. They encompass 2,400 square miles across northeast Pennsylvania’s Carbon, Pike, Wayne and Monroe counties. And there aren’t just in one state or national park. They are spread out from a National Park, to state game lands and everything in between.
Are The Poconos actual mountains? YES! But they aren’t like the Rockies. The Poconos are v. similar to the Catskills or the Smokies in that they don’t look like a typical mountain. Rather like giant forest covered hills.
What can I do in The Poconos? Hiking, exploring, zip lining, white water rating, skiing, relaxing, eating, antique shopping, fishing… the possibilities are endless.
How long should I spend in The Poconos? A weekend getaway is the perfect amount of time to explore The Poconos!
Where To Stay
The Poconos are made up of a bunch of tiny towns and a few bigger cities. No matter where you stay, you’ll be in driving distance of the rest of The Poconos, but I would suggest choosing a town that has the amenities you are looking for. For example, we were less than 3 minutes from the Delaware Water Gap, putting us right in the middle of all the hiking we could dream of. From quaint inns and bed and breakfasts to large resorts for couples or families, you’ll find what you’re looking for in The Poconos! Start your search here.
What To Do
Over the new few weeks, I’ll be sharing all the places I loved most in The Poconos! From trekking up mountains to wandering the streets of quaint little towns and everything in between, you’ll find it here! (Be sure you’re subscribed to have each post delivered to your inbox so you don’t miss any!)
Where To Eat
Eeeek there are SO many great places to try! Of all the places we ate, I had two stand out favorites. For lunch be sure to check out the Shawnee General Store, and for dinner Barley Creek Brewing! (We actually went to TWO breweries while we were there that me and my favorite guest blogger are going to be reviewing for you soon. (PS, if you haven’t seen his post on The Poconos yet, click here! You’ll get a sneak peak at our trip.)
I’m so excited to bring this beautiful place to my blog the next few Tuesdays. I’ll be sharing detailed itineraries, tips for navigating the parks and state game lands, and where to find the best attractions, food and brews. I just know that by the time this travel series is over, I’ll have you booking a weekend getaway to The Poconos!
Alright guys. I am off! I’m cramming a Greek Salad from Panera in my mouth as I write this trying to get it up for you in the hour between when I got off work and have to clock back in for a meeting. Ugh. I’m just ready to go home!
Have a fantastic rest of your Tuesday friends. Let me know… is anyone else counting down the minutes to Friday?! I’ll be back tomorrow 😘