Scenic mountains, romantic small towns, thrilling adventures, and more await in the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania! With scenic outdoor adventures, winter sports, and breathtaking fall foliage, there is always an adventure – regardless of the season. We embarked on a retreat with two other couples to unplug, reset, and get away for the weekend. Here’s our guide to a weekend getaway in the Poconos!
If you’re looking for more getaways on the east coast, checkout this guide for 8 Amazing Weekend Getaways.
Where to Stay
Many visitors opt to stay at the resorts in the Poconos, but we found it more beneficial as a group of six to rent a home. Although staying at a resort has its benefits such as easy access to activities and guest-only perks, we loved having our own private oasis to escape to. Plus, having all the amenities of a house rental made us feel at home during our weekend getaway. There are SO many beautiful cabins and houses in the Poconos to rent, many of them reasonably priced. For us, we didn’t realize that our couple’s retreat was scheduled over the spring break period for families so we were a bit limited in our choices. Try to book ahead if possible! However, we got lucky with a cute little home rental from VRBO in Albrightsville, which was only about 30 minutes – 45 minutes from the main resorts and activities.
– 3 Bedrooms
– 1.5 Baths
– Full Kitchen
– Hot Tub
– Fire pit
– WiFi / TV / Entertainment
Although our unassuming little home served us well, I definitely recommend looking for accommodations early to get one of the more “luxury” homes or cabins from VRBO or AirBnb.
Things to Do
Embark on a UTV Adventure
Time to get dirty! Get off the beaten path, and set out on an exhilarating tour through muddy trails, and challenge courses on a fast-paced UTV ride with Poconos Outdoor Adventures. This journey isn’t for the faint of heart! Fast turns, muddy puddles, and the wind hitting your face – it’s all about the thrills over here. The UTV tour was the highlight of our trip, alongside the halfway stop at the Pocono Raceway where you can walk on the speedway where NASCAR races take place.
Take a Vintage Train Ride on Lehigh Gorge Scenic Railway
All aboard the Lehigh Gorge Scenic Railway for the ride of a lifetime! Board a vintage passenger train built as early as 1917, and embark on a scenic ride through the beautiful Pocono Mountains. Cruise over the Lehigh River, through Glen Onoko, and into the mountainous landscapes of Lehigh Gorge State Park. The ride is also narrated so you can learn history and spot scenic landmarks. Each of the train cars are equipped with comfy seats, working windows, and clean restrooms. Plus, everything is aesthetically adorable!
Explore the Charming Town of Jim Thorpe
I’m a sucker for tiny towns, and Jim Thorpe is no exception. Named after Native American super-athlete and Olympic gold medalist Jim Thorpe, the town has been named Top 10 Coolest Small Towns in America and even snagged the title of fourth most beautiful US town in 2012. Victorian-style buildings and truly sweet residents were the icing on the cake of this hidden Pennsylvania gem. Be sure to spend some time strolling the streets and discovering the shops that line Broadway, the main thoroughfare. Afterwards, grab a bite to eat and a (pretty strong) Black Barrel Old Fashioned on the patio of Marion Hose Bar, a historic firehouse turned bar and restaurant. The patio is the perfect place to have lunch and people watch!
Take a Scenic Hike at Bushkill Falls
Nature lovers will swoon over the cascading falls, tall trees, and scenic views of the “Niagara of Pennsylvania.” Bushkill Falls is a series of eight waterfalls in the Poconos with an excellent network of hiking trails and bridges. Whether you’re an expert trekker or a newbie hiker, there are multiple trails with varying length and difficulty for all levels. Talk about a photo op!
Slip & Slide at an Indoor or Outdoor Waterpark
Photos Courtesy of Kalahari Resorts
Thrill-seekers will find no shortage of splishing, splashing, twisting and turning all year round in the Pocono Mountains! Between Great Wolf Lodge, Kalahari Resort, Camelback Resort, and more – there are plenty of waterparks to experience, both indoors and outdoors. So much so, that it can be difficult to choose which one to visit. For those who may be traveling with little ones, Great Wolf Lodge and Kalahari have the most variety when it comes to slides and activities for children under 42″. Budget travelers can still get the waterpark experience by visiting Camelback Resort, which tends to be cheaper than the other options and has the largest uphill indoor watercoaster in America. For those looking for more adult vibes, Kalahari Resort has both the all-ages waterpark and a separate area with a swim-up bar, jacuzzi spas, and cabanas for rent.
Seasonal: Enjoy Snow Sports
During the winter, the Pocono Mountains are a wonderland for snow tubing, skiing, snowmobiling, and practically every winter sport you can imagine! Most of us are naturally inclined to hunker down and hibernate when it’s cold, but you’ll DEFINITELY want to be outdoors while visiting here. Visit the snow tubing mecca at Camelback Resort, the biggest snow tubing park in the United States with a whopping 42 tubing lanes and 2 lifts. Hit the slopes at one of the many skiing resorts in the area. Even sit back and enjoy the fresh air and spectacular winter scenery on a sleigh ride during the holiday season!
Ready to embark on your weekend road trip to the Poconos? Be sure to check out my Safecation Planning Guide for a few tips for traveling safely during the pandemic.