Planning a trip on a budget? There are lots of free things to do and see in the Pocono Mountains. We’ve lined up six no-cost activities to start experiencing today.
From exploring our beautiful downtowns to experiencing the great outdoors, there are plenty of ways to enjoy a Poconos vacation without breaking the bank. Add these free activities to your summer must-do list.
1. Take a Downtown Stroll
Whether you're just passing through for an afternoon or staying in accommodations nearby, our region's picture-perfect small towns are well worth the visit. Discover beautiful photo-ops as well as quaint, local eateries and shops. Wander through the charming streets and admire the historic architecture in Jim Thorpe, Stroudsburg, Milford, Honesdale and Hawley. Don't forget to check out seasonal festivals and events that offer free fun and entertainment.
2. Visit a National Landmark
Learn about the history of the United States with a visit to the National Historic Landmarks in our region. Located along the Upper Delaware River, the Roebling Aqueduct Bridge is the oldest existing wire suspension bridge and is designated as both a National Historic Landmark and a National Civil Engineering Landmark. It was designed in 1847 by engineer John A. Roebling, who went on to create the Brooklyn Bridge.
To dive into the ancient past, head to Boulder Field at Hickory Run State Park. Formed from glacier melt, this unique landscape is a National Natural Landmark and has remained relatively unchanged for more than 20,000 years.
3. BYOB (Bring Your Own Bike)
Bring your own set of wheels and fly through lush, historic biking paths in the Pocono Mountains. The Delaware & Lehigh National Heritage Corridor, Switchback Railroad Trail and McDade Recreational Trail are some of the most notable trails, tracing the routes of old railroads. Cycle along the river or past idyllic forests and fields, the perfect way to soak in the scenery.
4. Watch for Wildlife
Meet the "locals" during your time in the Poconos: catch a glimpse of our indigenous wildlife. Dedicated to the preservation of woodlands and open spaces, the Dorflinger-Suydam Wildlife Sanctuary has miles of nature trails winding through diverse habitats, an ideal home for birds, waterfowl and many types of animals. They're open to the public all year from dawn until dusk. Don’t forget your binoculars!
5. Meet Local Farmers
As you drive through the Poconos, you'll pass many pastoral fields belonging to local farms and markets. Why not make a stop to see their produce and learn more about their work? The Cooperage Project is hosting "At the Farm" events this summer, allowing visitors to tour local agricultural facilities and greenhouses and discover firsthand where the fresh food comes from! For an even wider array of locally-grown products, head to the Monroe Farmer's Market to browse the colorful stalls that fill Stroudsburg's Courthouse Square every Saturday, May through October.
5. Plan a Picnic and Hike
Open sunrise to sunset, our national, state and local parks are accessible year-round. Pack some snacks or a picnic lunch and head to Lehigh Gorge State Park, Prompton State Park, Promised Land State Park or Tobyhanna State Park. Enjoy your meal al fresco against the rolling hills, pristine lakes and beautiful scenery of the region. Remember to take any trash with you and leave no trace.
Don't forget to refuel while visiting. Local restaurants offer indoor and outdoor seating as well as takeout and delivery, so you can enjoy delicious food during your trip. From campsites to hotels, check out places to stay for every price point and plan an overnight visit so you can experience as much as possible. You can even save with special offers on accommodations. See you in the Poconos!