5:11 min December 04, 2023

2023 Recap: Celebrities Who Visited the Pocono Mountains

From Food Network's Chef Robert Irvine to HGTV's Nate Berkus to Shark Tank's Daymond John, check out what these celebrities did during their visits to the Pocono Mountains this year.

Shark Tank’s Daymond John recently showed his 1.4 million Instagram followers around Kalahari Resorts & Conventions. That’s where he met with a crowd of business professionals and aspiring entrepreneurs to share his success story and strategies. After the speaking engagement, he even took time to connect with East Stroudsburg University students.

“The local every day heroes mentored me, and I hope I can do for them what these amazing people did for me,” Daymond John said.

In a one-on-one interview with the Pocono Television Network, Daymond told us his earliest memories of the Poconos include the now iconic commercials from the Honeymoon Era.

“I have fished in this area and stayed here. I love Pennsylvania,” he added.

Melissa Gilbert, who starred as Laura Ingalls in Little House on the Prairie, also spoke at Kalahari in 2023 about women’s empowerment, a topic close to her heart.

“I think I have eight different careers, one of them as a motivational speaker, particularly dealing with women’s issues. I have spoken all over the country in one capacity or another. It’s great to be here because it’s close to home also,” Melissa Gilbert explained.

She left Los Angeles for a quiet life in the Catskills and had this to say about the Poconos. “There is a big city feel available, but everyone’s heart seems more smalltown, and that’s where I feel most comfortable.”

Over at Great Wolf Lodge, renowned interior designer and HGTV star Nate Berkus was there as the resort unveiled its $125 million expansion. He created the outdoor living areas for the new Woodland Villas. The project was special for Nate since his grandparents met at an overnight summer camp in the Poconos.

“I have a lot of local family, a lot of history in this region. I never thought I’d be back doing design, but here I am,” smiled Nate Berkus.

Broadway standout Sutton Foster was part of the celebration, too. She helped Great Wolf Lodge light up the night sky with a dazzling drone show.

Like Daymond John and Nate Berkus, Sutton also lives in New York City and says the Pocono Mountains is a great getaway. She added, “and you’re like, this is only an hour and change outside the city? It’s pretty cool.”

Celebrity chef and Food Network host Robert Irvine also spoke candidly with PTN during the opening of Vault 240 in Hawley, a members-only club from Settlers Hospitality Group.

“For me the Poconos is like home. Most of my businesses are in Pennsylvania, our distillery and protein bar company. I’ve done many shows here. For me, it’s almost like a relaxing break,” Robert Irvine said.

In Stroudsburg, Hollywood actor Keanu Reeves was spotted exploring the downtown and posing for pictures before his band’s performance at the Sherman Theater. He even sported a shirt from one of the local shops.

From the stage, to the sky! Members of the U.S. Navy Blue Angels had a lot to say about the area ahead of their headlining performance in The Great Pocono Raceway Airshow, Memorial Day Weekend 2023.

“I grew up just north in Baltimore, Maryland, so this is not too far away. I’ve come here to go skiing at the various mountains and just get away,” said LCDR Thomas Zimmerman, Blue Angel #7.

Speaking of the Pocono Raceway, NASCAR’s biggest names were once again there for race weekend. Driver Brennan Poole and country music artist Ben Gallaher were in on the action.

“I’ve been to quite a few tracks before but there’s something special about here. As soon as you come in with the waterfalls coming down and go underneath the tunnel, it’s just a special place,” Ben Gallaher noted about the Pocono Raceway.

Brennan Poole added about the Poconos, “there’s a lot of great food up here, cool mom and pop restaurants and bars. I’m a big cyclist, so we’ll leave from the track and ride through the mountains. It’s so beautiful and peaceful and quiet.”

There’s a look at notable guests and famous faces who visited some of our favorite Pocono Places in 2023.