There are always plenty of reasons to plan a getaway to the Pocono Mountains–especially during the winter. The region is a snow-glazed wonderland for winter sports enthusiasts of all sorts. It’s home to some of the best skiing destinations on the East Coast, nine state parks, and 81,958 acres of state forest land to explore for snow activities.
Beyond the open-air adventures, the region’s idyllic, snow-dusted towns offer cozy hideaways and places to linger over a seasonally-inspired meal. When you’re ready to call it a day, the Pocono Mountains region offers a wide array of accommodations, from serenity-inspiring spas to boutique hotels and historic bed and breakfasts.
Here are just a few tips for spending a rejuvenating winter weekend in Pennsylvania’s spectacular Pocono Mountains.
A pristine playground for winter sports, skiers have been drawn to the Pocono Mountains for more than a half-century. These days, the region is still home to some of the best skiing and snowboarding spots on the East Coast, whether you want to make tracks on a snowy woodland trail or bomb down a black diamond. Spend a bluebird winter day exploring 166 skiable acres at Camelback Mountain or tackle the challenging and exhilarating terrain park at Big Boulder Ski Area.
Rather soak up some of the region’s snowy serenity instead? Explore more than 50 miles of trails for cross-country skiing at Promised Land State Park, tackle the McDade Recreational Trail at the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area, or head for the panoramic Lehigh Gorge Trail. If you want to glide over an ice glazed mountain pond, lace up the skates and head for Hickory Run State Park or Gouldsboro State Park, just two of the four state parks offering ice skating in the Poconos.
Where to Get Pampered
After a day spent making tracks on the slopes, snowshoeing woodland trails, or strolling through one of the region’s charming towns, there are plenty of places to schedule a little pampering. The adult-only spa at the Lodge at Woodloch provides a range of services, including specialty offerings like a hydro-massage.
For outdoor lovers, Skytop Lodge also provides the best of both worlds. Along with hiking trails, scenic ski slopes, and outdoor ice skating on Skytop Lake, the lodge’s dry spa provides a variety of massage and treatment options. For a crowd-pleasing escape, the region’s family-friendly waterpark resorts also offer onsite spas, including the Serenity Spa at Camelback Lodge and the full-service treatments at Spa Kalahari.
Where to Unwind
Whether you’re craving a local craft beer, a farm-to-table dinner, or a glass of wine fireside, there’s a spot in the Poconos. Recount adventures on the slopes over libations at the Pocono Brewery Company in Swiftwater, the Mountain View Brewing Company in Stroudsburg, or at Glass - Wine.Bar.Kitchen, the trendy wine bar at the Ledges Hotel in Hawley.
When you’re ready for dinner, grab a burger and a craft brew at Barley Creek Brewing Company in Tannersville, sip an artful cocktail with your meal at the historic Marion Hose Bar in Jim Thorpe, or tuck into a savory seasonal spread at The Settler’s Inn in Hawley, an award-winning culinary destination.
If you are just craving a quick dose of caffeine, or a place to warm up between snowy adventures, fuel up with artfully brewed coffee or decadent hot cocoa at the Black & Brass Coffee Roasting Company in Honesdale or Cocoon Coffeehouse & Bakery in Hawley.
Where to Get a Good Night’s Rest
The Poconos region offers a variety of options for accommodations and you can find cozy mountain cottages, serene bed and breakfasts, or adventure hubs teeming with on-site activities. Take advantage of the extensive range of amenities offered at Pocono Mountain Villas. The 400-acre resort offers comfortably-appointed villas, a crowd-pleasing restaurant, and plenty of activities on-site, including snow-tubing and horseback riding. Another option for a cozy winter stay is the Crescent Lodge and Country Inn. Spread over 28 acres, the scenic retreat features 19 cottages along with rooms in the inn. It also has an onsite restaurant and tranquil trails for walking.
If you are looking to spend a snow-swirled weekend soaking up some of the region’s rich history, book a cozy room at one of the area’s historic bed and breakfasts. Located in Jim Thorpe’s oldest unaltered home, The Dolon House, built in 1844, features four unique rooms, and once served as the home of Reverend Richard Webster. Also in historic Jim Thorpe, the storied Harry Packer Mansion, which provided the inspiration for Walt Disney World’s Haunted Mansion, offers adult-only guest accommodations teeming with Victorian charm.
For a scenic riverside escape, spend a weekend looking for wintering bald eagles on the grounds of the 1870 Roebing Inn on the Delaware. The historic property dates back to 1870 and features five rooms for guests and a cozy cottage offering views of the stunning Delaware River.
Regardless of whether you are a history buff or avid outdoor adventurer, the Poconos has the perfect spot to stay, place to eat, and things to do to meet your personal preferences. As you consider where to take your next winter vacation, be sure to remember that in the Poconos you can enjoy endless amounts of snow, relaxing spa treatments, and the region’s rich history.
Written by Malee Baker Oot for Matcha.