By: Emily Whalen
Take advantage of the warm weather and long hours of daylight while they last. Treat yourself to an end-of-summer vacation in the Pocono Mountains! The region is only a few hours’ drive away from big Northeastern US cities like New York and Philadelphia. Whether you’re looking for exciting Labor Day events, fresh-air adventure or charming small-town strolls, we’ve got regional itinerary suggestions to help you have a great Labor Day weekend in the Poconos.
The Pocono region encompasses 2,400 square miles and four counties in Pennsylvania, which means there’s a lot to see and do! We’ve packed one county per day into the itinerary below, but feel free to pick and choose your favorites and take your trip at a more leisurely pace. You could always extend your four-day weekend to take advantage of midweek deals or plan to come again to discover more and experience another season.
Friday: Explore the Small Towns of Carbon County
Morning: Start the day with coffee and pastries from Uncommon Grounds at the Mill, then get ready for a hike or bike ride! The Delaware & Lehigh National Heritage Corridor, also known as the D&L Trail, is just steps away. Adventure Center at Whitewater Challengers offers bike rentals and shuttles. Pedal or pace over the gravel track alongside the Lehigh River, and when you’re ready for some early afternoon refreshment, make a stop to sample small-batch spirits at Insurrection Distillery.
Insurrection Distillery is located right along the D&L Trail…and it’s also a stop along the Pocono Beverage Trail! Be sure to download the brand new Pocono Beverage Trail digital pass to use throughout the weekend. As you visit local breweries, wineries, and distilleries, you can check off locations, earn points, and get access to exclusive discounts.
Afternoon: Step back in time to experience an authentic coal mine as you journey 1,600 feet into the mountain with No. 9 Mine & Museum in Lansford. Visitors can walk the “mule-way” and examine the original mine shaft, opened in 1855 by the Lehigh Coal and Navigation Company. If you’re hungry, the nearby Coal Miners’ Bar & Grill is a great place to grab wings, burgers and more. Take advantage of First Fridays in Lansford with Lansford Alive to enjoy discounts at participating local businesses around town.
Evening: Take time during your visit to stroll through the picturesque streets of historic Jim Thorpe! Embark on a self-guided Jim Thorpe Walking Tour to tour local sights and beautiful buildings. From Victorian architecture to contemporary culture, pay an evening visit to The Stabin Museum to take in eclectic, environmentally conscious fine art. When it comes to dinner, there are plenty of delicious eats in town. Enjoy sushi and hibachi at MYST Restaurant or grab some small bites and drinks at Wild Elder Wine and Cider Co. Don’t forget to download the Pocono Beverage Trail digital pass for 10% off your food purchase.
When it comes to places to stay, Carbon County and the Jim Thorpe area boast a wide variety of accommodations, from Hotel Switzerland, founded in 1830 and the oldest commercial building operating in Jim Thorpe, to charming bed and breakfasts like The Dolon House or Times House .
Saturday: Fun Events in the Heart of Monroe County
Morning: Start your Saturday in Stroudsburg for Labor Day Weekend events galore! The popular Stroudfest will once again take over the sidewalks from 5th to 9th Street with retail, craft, and food vendors plus live music across multiple performance stages. Browse the stalls and pick up something fresh to eat at the Monroe Farmers Market in Courthouse Square. Arts and crafts lovers will want to swing by Artisans on Ann to find makers displaying their photography, pottery, jewelry, soap making, glass work and more. Local galleries will also be putting on the First Saturday Art Walk between 6th and 7th Street.
Afternoon: A great way to get outside in Monroe County and experience the beautiful forests and hills in our region – with some extra action and challenge thrown in – is to plan an outing to an adventure park! Test your skills on a treetop ropes course, zip line or rock-climbing wall. Adventure Center at Skytop Lodge, Camelback Mountain Adventures , Gorilla Grove Treetop Adventures and Pocono TreeVentures all offer fantastic thrills.
Evening: After all that fresh air, you’re sure to have worked up an appetite. Feast on authentic ethnic favorites at diverse local restaurants. Taste the flavors of India at Spice Route or take a culinary journey to Mexico at Los Tres Amigos . Latin flair and Portuguese BBQ are on the menu at Churrasqueria La Morena, while seafood takes center stage at Coco’s Fresh Fish Market.
Time for a good night’s rest! Whether you’d like to sleep under the stars at a local campground like Mountain Vista Campground or check into a historic hotel like The Penn Stroud, you’ll find lots of welcoming lodgings in the area.
Sunday: Experience Lake Wallenpaupack and Wayne County
Morning: Ever tried paddleboarding? Lake Wallenpaupack is the perfect place to find your balance. Pocono Action Sports at Lighthouse Harbor Marina and Pine Crest Marina both offer paddleboard rentals. If you’re looking for a little more action out on the water, enjoy water skiing and jet skiing with The Boat Shop or Rubber Duckie Boat Rentals. Don’t forget to make reservations by phone or online ahead of time to confirm your rentals.
Afternoon: No matter what your idea of a fun afternoon out, you’ll find options to please all ages in Wayne County. Head to the Greene Dreher Sterling Fair in Newfoundland for rides, games, festival food and more. The Stourbridge Line offers classic train rides between the small towns of Hawley and Honesdale. For something a little more out of the ordinary, try cycling on the railroad (when the trains aren’t running!) with Soarin’ Eagle Rail Tours.
Evening: Don’t leave the Pocono Mountains without indulging in our farm-to-table dining! Whether growing their own herbs or partnering with nearby farms, local farm-to-table restaurants are committed to sustainability and serve up meals featuring fresh, regional flavors. Handcrafted, signature dishes make for the perfect Sunday evening meal at Native, The Settlers Inn, TREE Restaurant and Bar , or The French Manor Inn & Spa . Be sure to call ahead to make a reservation.
Book a cozy cottage at Equestrian House or stay in a trendy downtown vacation rental like Wonder Honesdale. Browse comfortable accommodations in the area around Honesdale.
Monday: Get Outdoors in Pike County
Morning: Discover peace and refreshment as you soak in the natural beauty of the Upper Delaware Scenic & Recreational River during a canoe or kayak trip. Book a rental or guided trip with Kittatinny Canoes, Lander’s River Trips or Northeast Wilderness Experience . Keep an eye out for local wildlife along the shores of this pristine waterway.