Scenic views and breathtaking landscapes offer the perfect backdrop for residents and tourists
From spectacular natural attractions to action-packed resorts and lodges, historic communities with vibrant downtowns and a slate of innovative companies, the Pocono Mountains region offers high appeal as a place to live.
The Pocono Mountains region, which includes Carbon, Monroe, Pike and Wayne counties, is centrally located between the New York and Philadelphia metro areas. Home to more than 330,000 residents, the region has long been a hub of hospitality and tourism. Its affordability, roster of charming communities with vibrant downtowns and wealth of entertainment, arts and recreation options are drawing talent and new businesses alike. Here is a snapshot of just a few of the region’s standout communities.
A borough that was originally known as Dansbury, East Stroudsburg in Monroe County offers residents an outstanding quality of life. The community of over 10,000 includes ready access to two major hospitals – Lehigh Valley Hospital-Pocono and St. Luke’s Monroe Campus in nearby Bartonsville. Hikers and bikers will enjoy the community’s bevy of parks and trails. Excellent academic options include the award-winning East Stroudsburg Area School District. East Stroudsburg University of Pennsylvania offers 55 undergraduate, 22 master’s and two doctoral programs and is home to a highly regarded business accelerator program and the Entrepreneurial Leadership Center.
Goofus and Gallant hail from Honesdale, a community of around 4,500 in Wayne County and home to the famed magazine Highlights for Children. Honesdale is a cultural hub that includes The Cooperage Project, which stages music performances among its many programs and activities to engage, challenge and enlighten the community. Residents are served by the 114-bed Wayne Memorial Hospital. A signature feature of the community is the Stourbridge Line, a 25-mile historic railroad that runs from Honesdale to the Delaware River along the Lackawaxen River Valley. Honesdale is The Birthplace of the American Railroad and houses the nation’s first-ever commercial steam locomotive that ran on train tracks.
Hawley is home to a number of recreational facilities that make it a leisure destination, especially in summer. One of the most visited attractions is the 5,700-acre Lake Wallenpaupack, which offers 52 miles of shoreline. The annual Wally Lake Fest includes bands on the lake, sailboat rides, a boat parade, open market fair, a sailboat regatta and the Tour de Towpath bike ride. Hawley is an outdoor enthusiast’s dream, with opportunities for biking and hiking at Delaware State Forest, Shuman Point Natural Area, Ledgedale Recreation Area, Lacawac Sanctuary and Promised Land State Park. The Ritz Company Playhouse has been staging plays and concerts for residents and visitors to enjoy year-round since the early 1970s. Hawley is home to the Woodloch Resort, recognized as one of the top family resorts in the U.S.
Nicknamed the Switzerland of America because of its mountainous location and spectacular scenery, the community of Jim Thorpe, which takes its name from the fabled Native American athlete of the early 1900s, offers a historic downtown that features unique shops and impressive architecture. The historic Mauch Chunk Opera House, one of the oldest theaters from the vaudeville circuit, hosts year-round entertainment and special events. Outdoor adventure opportunities include whitewater rafting and hiking in Lehigh Gorge State Park. The Lehigh Gorge Scenic Railway runs through the gorge from May through December from downtown Jim Thorpe. The Carbon County community also hosts the annual Olympic-distance Anthracite Triathlon.
Located on the upper Delaware River is Milford, a community proud of its highly regarded Delaware Valley School District. The charming Pike County borough hosts a half-dozen highly attended festivals each year. One of the largest is the renowned Milford Music Festival, held each June. The three-day Black Bear Film Festival takes place each October. Milford Beach is the start of the McDade Recreational Trail, which provides views of the river, forests and historic landscapes. Residents enjoy proximity to Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area and its array of hiking, boating, fishing and camping opportunities. Milford’s historical attractions include the 22-room Columns Museum, a mansion built for a New Jersey business mogul that includes a number of exhibits, such as the famous “bloody Lincoln flagâ€ upon which the slain president’s head was believed to have rested after his assassination.