Planning a vacation sometimes seems like more work than it’s worth. There are tickets to buy, suitcases to pack and the frustration of circling a rental car around in an unfamiliar city, trying to find your hotel or a place to park. Sometimes you just want to relax.
Fortunately, nestled in beautiful northeastern Pennsylvania, and under a two-hour drive from both New York City and Philadelphia, the tranquil Pocono Mountains await. They are far enough from home to get away, but near enough to be easily accessible, and are sure to please whether you’re there for a weekend or a week.
No matter if you are seeking a shopping destination, outdoor excitement, scrumptious dining, or a luxurious spot to relax, you won’t be disappointed with a trip to the Poconos.
Here are just a few ways to enjoy your next vacation in the Pocono Mountains:
Enjoy the Great Outdoors
The Pocono Mountains are widely known for their miles of beauty both on land and in water. The word “Pocono” translates to the “stream between two mountains.” There are tons of outdoor recreational activities available. My personal favorite was a lengthy, adventure filled white water rafting tour of the winding rivers among the mountains. You may also enjoy a clear-bottom kayak tour or, if you prefer, a trip to the water park.
While visiting the Pocono Mountains, you will not want to miss out exploring Bushkill Falls. Known as the “Niagara of Pennsylvania,” this beautiful set of waterfalls is accessible on trails that take you up and down over 2,000 steps. Hope you’ve been hitting the gym!
Along with the entertainment that the water brings, there is plenty to enjoy on land. You can rent bikes and explore the miles of beautiful trails on wheels or on foot. If you’re feeling adventurous, catch the beautiful scenery while on horseback or while gliding through the air on zip lines. Whatever your comfort level, there is a trip waiting for you.
Shop ‘til You Drop
A vacation would not be a vacation without a day spent shopping. The Poconos provides various areas and stores for you to fulfill all of your retail desires. Although I enjoyed the unique Victorian style neighborhood shops and classy boutiques, I spent most of my time at the Crossings Premium Outlets.
The area is also home to a huge number of antique stores, flea markets and consignment shops for people looking to snag that unique find with a little history behind it. You can find anything from that unique 50 cent postcard to shoot off to a jealous friend stuck at work to fine China. With so many options, it will hard to resist bringing something antique home with you!
Eat Your Heart Out
The Poconos boast an impressive number of restaurants including many cuisines ranging from Thai to Italian with styles from bar & grill home-style to four-star fine dining. Eating in the Pocono Mountains is always an experience, from the outdoor sidewalk cafes, or enjoying live jazz music with your dinner.
My personal favorite culinary experience while vacationing in the Poconos was enjoying Stroudsmoor Country Inn’s Champagne & Caviar Brunch. Reserve your Sunday morning for this delightful spread of fresh champagne and caviar, and a veritable feast of classic brunch delights.
Rejuvenate at the Spa
With all of the sightseeing and exploring you’ll be doing throughout your time at the Poconos, a day at the spa will be both obtainable and necessary. (Especially if you’re going to tackle all 2,000 of those steps at Bushkill Falls!) Rich in health and wellness options, the mountains are the perfect place to be pampered before heading home.
There are a number of destination spas, day spas, yoga classes and state-of-the-art fitness clubs in the area. One of my favorite days during my vacation was spent challenging myself with an underwater treadmill and experiencing my first-ever chocolate scrub. Yum!
When planning your next vacation, be sure to keep the Pocono Mountains in mind. You will not find a more all-around luxurious location with activities to please everyone. After your trip to these beautiful mountains, you will finally understand what you have been missing!