Pocono Mountains appeal transforms visitors into residents
The Pocono Mountains region offers a long checklist of reasons for its appeal as a place to live, with its revitalized and preserved downtowns, cultural attractions, boundless outdoor adventure, lively annual events and proximity to major metropolitan areas.
The region is known for its hospitable and inviting atmosphere, making it a perfect place for those in search of a fun vacation – or a new place to put down roots. After all, once you visit, chances are you won’t want to leave.
“The Pocono Mountains region is a very livable, beautiful place with a lot to offer from gorgeous scenery with tons of opportunity for outdoor activity and adventure to a wide variety of hotels, resorts and tourist attractions catering to every taste,” says Erica Bloch, marketing and public relations manager for the Woodloch Resort, an all-inclusive family resort in Hawley. “In terms of being a great place to live, the region is full of excellent schools, safe communities and affordable real estate.”
Signature Destinations & Attractions
The region is well known for its hospitality industry, thanks to its array of luxurious resorts that draw visitors from across the U.S. and beyond.
For example, the French Manor Inn & Spa in South Sterling is a top spot for those in search of a romantic getaway, as it offers beautiful views of the Northern Pocono Mountains and amenities such as on-site restaurants, an indoor saltwater pool and a broad selection of spa treatments. Also catering to couples is Cove Haven Entertainment Resorts, which showcases concerts, comedy shows and other events at each of its three locations across the region.
The Lodge at Woodloch is another of the region’s signature destinations, located in Hawley and offering a relaxing experience for adults complete with spa treatments, fitness and wellness classes, cooking demonstrations, wine tastings and more.
Hawley is also home to the Ritz Company Playhouse, which has been one of the region’s top attractions since it was established in 1973. The Shawnee Playhouse in Shawnee on Delaware is a cultural gem in the area, too, providing affordable entertainment year-round with plays, musicals and other live performances.
History buffs will want to check out Grey Towers National Historic Site, also known as Gifford Pinchot House or The Pinchot Institute. Located in Milford, the site was the home of Gifford Pinchot, first chief of the U.S. Forest Service and Pennsylvania governor for two terms, and its grounds are now open for guided tours.
Distinctive Downtowns & Communities
Stroudsburg is one of the Pocono Mountains region’s most charming communities, home to a vibrant downtown with an eclectic mix of art galleries, shops, restaurants and entertainment venues. Along with a thriving nightlife scene, downtown Stroudsburg lays claim to the Sherman Theater, a concert hall that draws performers from around the globe.
Honesdale – described by Gail Bradley, executive director of the Greater Honesdale Partnership, as having a “unique combination of old and new” – is also a favorite community in the Pocono Mountains region. It includes historic sites like the Old Stone Jail, completed in 1859, as well as newer offerings like The Cooperage Project, a downtown destination offering all-ages entertainment and interactive events throughout the year.
Another thriving community is Jim Thorpe, a quaint town that’s often called the “Switzerland of America.” Located between steep mountain ranges that resemble the Swiss Alps, Jim Thorpe is home to Historic Stone Row, a beautiful collection of 16 townhomes built in 1848 with stone quarried from the mountain behind it, as well as the Mauch Chunk Opera House and a host of unique shops and dining spots.
“Jim Thorpe is a hip, Victorian town where you are surrounded by beauty in both the architecture and the scenery, where you feel as if you’ve gone far away without having to travel far,” says Diane Prokop, member of the Jim Thorpe Tourism Agency Board of Directors and innkeeper at the Times House Bed & Breakfast. “Once you park your car, you can walk to just about everything – shops, restaurants, pubs, wine tastings, train rides, bike trails, hiking trails, the Lehigh River, live entertainment and highly rated accommodations.”