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Escape NYC for a Weekend in the Pocono Mountains

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By: Emily Whalen

In need of some fresh mountain air? Take a break from Manhattan’s summer heat: just a two hour drive away from the city, you’ll find cool waterways and lakes, unspoiled mountains covered in lush greenery and laid-back small towns full of history and charm.

The Pocono Mountains is about 100 miles away from New York City, an ideal distance for a day trip or weekend getaway. Several major highways including I-84, I-380, I-476 and I-80 (the most direct route) lead visitors up into our hills.

The region encompasses 2,400 square miles and four counties: Wayne, Pike, Monroe and Carbon. Winding scenic roads like Route 402, Route 507 and Route 6 lead to antique shops, historic sites and attractions, hiking and biking trails galore, delicious local dining, craft breweries and wineries, plus world-class, one-of-a-kind accommodations.

Asparagus Sunshine is a unique antique store located in the Historic Appalachian town of Delaware Water Gap, offering constantly revolving inventory of antiques, salvaged and up-cycled items, locally handcrafted pieces and local memorabilia. Owner Lauren Chamberlain opened Asparagus Sunshine in 2018 after careful renovation of the space. She is an avid antique collector of mostly small things and enjoys creating jewelry and re-purposing anything she deems cool! When you visit the store, you may also get to meet Tinker, a very large grey tiger with a face that looks like Ron Pearlman, who has taken residency in the antique shop. Take a step back in time at the Asparagus Sunshine next time you visit the Delaware Water Gap.

Start planning your escape! Keep reading to discover things to do and places to see in the Poconos that you won’t want to miss.

  • Find Your Weekend Mountain Home
  • Fun for the Whole Family (and Fido!)
  • Explore with Local Experts
  • Savor Fresh Flavors and Craft Beverages


Find Your Weekend Mountain Home

The Pocono Mountains is home to plenty of places to stay that you can’t find anywhere else. Historic accommodations like Skytop Lodge or French Manor Inn & Spa offer the timeless countryside peace and luxury that have tempted tourists here for generations. Both properties feature fine dining and relaxing spa facilities right on site.

For a classic family vacation all ages will love, experience the warm welcome and hospitality of family-owned properties like Woodloch Resort and Keen Lake Camping and Cottage Resort. Looking to move into a cabin or vacation home rental for the weekend? We’ve got plenty to choose from!

Columns Museum is an official county museum offering genealogical and educational services and group tours. The museum’s exhibits center around the people, places and happenings that have made Pike County’s history so colorful. Current features include the Lincoln Flag, Hiawatha Stagecoach, C.S. Pierce Room and vintage clothing.

Fun for the Whole Family (and Fido!)

With the Lehigh River on our western edge and the Delaware River on our eastern edge, plus plenty of lakes and waterways in between, the Poconos is a picture-perfect destination for canoeing and kayaking, thrilling whitewater rafting expeditions or just a lazy day tubing or relaxing by the water’s edge. But the splash-worthy attractions don’t stop there. You’ll find some of the largest and most impressive indoor and outdoor waterpark resorts in the country in our area. Surf the FlowRiders, float in the wave pools, or even try America’s first virtual reality waterslide.

When it comes to family fun in the Poconos, four-legged family members are welcome too! You’ll find lots of dog-friendly hotels, restaurants and attractions where your pet is welcome to come along for a hike, an ice cream cone or even to stay for the night!


Explore with Local Experts

For an insider’s look at the region, let the people who know the Poconos best show you where to go and what to see. Take a guided tour of the scenic town of Jim Thorpe with the Jim Thorpe Trolley Company, or explore the winding roads further afield in the Lehigh Gorge area with Jim Thorpe Sidecar Tourz.

Hike to scenic overlooks, waterfalls and river views in the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area (DWGNRA). The 70,000-acre park is laced with hiking trails of varying distance and difficulty. Some, like the McDade Recreational Trail, are packed gravel with easy segments, while others, like the Milford Knob Trail, are challenging with big rewards. Both the Milford Knob Trail and the nearby Cliff Trail offer spectacular views after moderate ascents. The storied Appalachian Trail runs through the park, offering panoramic vistas from Mount Minsi, a popular spot for a strenuous walk. Hikers enjoy the DWGNRA in every season. Dozens of trails are open and ready for exploration. Visit the park website for details including length, rating and scenic highlights.

Camelback Mountain Adventures offers fun tours of Big Pocono State Park via Segway, or you can take a relaxing cruise on Lake Wallenpaupack with Wallenpaupack Scenic Boat Tours. Looking to go beyond ground and water? Take to the skies with Moyer Aviation to get an aerial view of the region.


Savor Fresh Flavors and Craft Beverages

No getaway is complete without some delicious things to eat! In the Pocono Mountains, you’ll find a wide variety of restaurants and dining to choose from. Why not sample colorful produce fresh from local fields at Hanna’s Farm Market, Monroe Farmer’s Market or The Cooperage Project.

For a true foodie experience, get a behind-the-scenes look at the ethically-sourced, small-batch delicacies being made at Moka Origins Coffee Roasters Cafe and Chocolate Factory, or tour the state-of-the art greenhouses at Pocono Organics, one of the largest regenerative organic farms in North America.

Whitewater rafting in the Poconos has long been an exciting and popular adventure sport that brings friends and families together to share a unique, memorable experience. And thanks to regular dam releases that keep the rivers flowing, whitewater is enjoyed all season long. A number of Pocono outfitters service both the Lehigh and Delaware Rivers. Visitors can take to the challenging rapids while enjoying a glimpse of the surrounding wilderness and its wildlife inhabitants. Be prepared for an escape from the ordinary–from cascading waterfalls to swimming holes and a memorable day of shared excitement. It is cool wet fun for those hot summer days. If you want a slower adventure, try a calm tube or raft ride on the river.

Perfect for date night or an outing with friends, the Pocono Beverage Trail highlights local breweries, distilleries and wineries. From moonshine to unique vintages to small-batch beers, locally-crafted spirits are served up in airy tasting rooms, atmospheric bars and sprawling vineyards around the region.

Use our interactive map to start charting out your trip, and don’t forget to take a look at more things to do and our upcoming calendar of events. Browse current packages and deals to lock in savings on your Pocono getaway!


Emily Whalen is the Communications Manager for the Pocono Mountains Visitors Bureau. A small town coffee shop connoisseur and lifelong lover of the mountains, she is excited to share tips to help visitors make the most of their stay in the Poconos.

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