The Poconos region in Pennsylvania covers four counties — Carbon, Monroe, Pike and Wayne — across the central and eastern portions of the state. While many travelers associate the Poconos with skiing and snow sports, the region offers families much more beyond stellar wintertime getaways.
You can easily see the majority of the Poconos region over the course of a long weekend or week-long stay, but you’ll want to choose a place to stay with a lot to do within walking distance. There are several towns within the region that provide convenient access to some of the region’s best attractions, while also offering a more small-town, friendly and local vibe.
Jim Thorpe is a good choice, with its charming downtown and wealth of historic and natural attractions. The town offers plenteous opportunities to learn about its mining roots, as well as its namesake, a Native American athlete.
Another great spot to book a stay is Stroudsburg, called the Heart of the Poconos. Stroudsburg, likewise, has a wonderful downtown filled with local shopping and eateries.
For fun regardless of the season, families might choose to stay at one of the region’s several resorts with indoor waterparks, including Camelback Lodge & Aquatopia Indoor Waterpark, Great Wolf Lodge, Kalahari Resorts and Conventions or Split Rock Resort & Golf Club.
Once the weather outdoors does heat up, it’s prime time to explore the lush mountain scenery from your own UTV. Pocono Outdoor Adventure Tours offers off-roading adventures across more than 1,000 acres of trails.
The Poconos region is filled with interesting museums and educational stops the entire family will enjoy. The Mauch Chunk Museum and Cultural Center in Jim Thorpe tells travelers the story of the area, from some of its earliest inhabitants, the Lenape Indians, to early European settlers to the mining boom. The town, Jim Thorpe, was originally named Mauch Chunk and it experienced somewhat of a golden age during the Victorian era.
The exploration of the region’s mining heritage continues at the nearby No. 9 Mine and Museum, set in an anthracite coal mine that dates to the 1800s.
In Milford, the Grey Towers National Historic Site offers guided tours of the historic mansion and grounds, once home to the first director of the United States Forest Service and a twice-elected governor of Pennsylvania.
The Columns Museum, also in Milford, presents one of the most interesting exhibits you’ll find in the area. While the neoclassical mansion houses an array of artifacts, its most notable treasure is The Lincoln Flag. The flag was said to be decoration at Ford Theatre during the president’s assassination. A performer grabbed the flag during the chaos following the shooting and created a makeshift pillow for the president while waiting for help to arrive.
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