17 Best Things to Do in the Poconos

Group,Of,Happy,People,With,Guide,Whitewater,Rafting,And,Rowing

Under two hours from Philadelphia and New York City, the Poconos provides amazing accessibility to some of the best nature on the East Coast.

Tucked in Northern Pennsylvania, the region provides a prismatic mix of outdoor thrills and the chance to slow down and smell the roses. The year-round destination brings beautiful summer vibes and gorgeous fall foliage, and the winter’s snowfall allows you to experience the mountains differently.

Whether you’re looking to slow down or chase thrills when you stay at a Red Maple vacation home, we’ve compiled the best things to do in the Poconos so you can begin building your itinerary.

Let’s dive right in!

1. Explore the Delaware Water Gap

Aerial,View,Of,Delaware,Water,Gap,On,A,Sunny,Autumn
Photo Credit: Mihai_Andritoiu

One of the highlights of the Poconos is this cozy, adorable town with incredible history. You can explore the Delaware Water Gap on the Pocono Historic Trolley Tour, which provides an authentic take on the region as you wander down memory lane.

Once you’ve discovered the legacy of the Delaware Water Gap, fuel up at Village Farmer and Bakery. Now that you’re ready to explore once more, head into the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area to uncover 70,000 acres of resplendent beauty. Trails lead to epic views of the Delaware River, hidden waterfalls, and a taste of the famous Appalachian Trail.

2. Strap on Your Skis

Folks, it’s time to Ski the East. One of the biggest draws of the Poconos is its wintry beauty and the thrills of the ski slopes. Once the snow has fallen, resorts throughout the Pocono Mountains welcome skiers and snowboarders from all along the East Coast.

Resorts on such peaks as Big Boulder, Shawnee, and Camelback Mountain bring thrills and family-friendly fun. All have a range of trails that are great for beginners and challenging enough for experts. You’ll also find lessons and rental shops.

Away from the slopes, you can enjoy some apres ski at mountain bars and restaurants. If you prefer to leave the skiing to others, come and enjoy some exciting snow tubing.

3. Wander the Poconos Farmers Markets

Fresh,Produce,On,Sale,At,The,Local,Farmers,Market.
Photo Credit: Arina P Habich

Any time spent outside of the big smoke is the perfect chance to reconnect with charming community culture and small-town vibes. Farmer’s markets in the Pocono Mountains achieve exactly that.

In Blakeslee, the Poconos Farmers Market is one of our favorites. The Amish market produces locally grown and organic products that make for a delicious family meal back at your Red Maple getaway home.

Another market beloved by locals and visitors alike is Heckman Orchards. Come and try their incredible apple cider, made from homegrown apples plus their winter Christmas tree!

4. Take a Hike in Lehigh Gorge State Park

The Poconos has no shortage of impressive nature and Lehigh Gorge State Park is a great place to start. Across 6,000 acres, the park features a stunning gorge that rises above the Lehigh River like a proud parent.

165 miles of protected natural corridor runs through the park, providing exceptional hiking and mountain biking. The Lehigh Gorge Rail Trail runs for 26 miles alongside the gorge. This abandoned railway path provides a relaxing and graded stroll. Keep an eye out for wildlife while enjoying immaculate views from the canyon’s edge.

5. Go Whitewater Rafting

Group,Of,Happy,People,With,Guide,Whitewater,Rafting,And,Rowing
Photo Credit: VILevi

As you wander the canyon’s edge, you may spot groups of rafts busting their way through hair-raising rapids. If you prefer something more rip-roaring than another hike, it’s time to experience the Poconos on the river.

Pocono Whitewater is waiting to provide a riveting experience and welcome relief from the hot Pennsylvanian sun. Take your pick between family-friendly rafting or something more dramatic when the dam releases tons of rushing water creating 17 rapids.

6. Discover Poconos’ History at Asa Packer Mansion Museum

The whole family will need a moment to let their pulse simmer after whitewater rafting. So come and discover local history at the Asa Packer Mansion.

The mansion and former home of Asa Packer has been transformed into an insightful museum. It explores the life of Packer who founded Lehigh University and was a successful railroad magnate. Now over 150 years old the three-storied home remains much as it was, with impressive decor and eye-catching architecture across 18 rooms.

Guided tours take place between April and November.

7. Take a Splash at Poconos’ Water Parks

Water,Slides,In,Aqua,Park
Photo Credit: Bulent Ozdemir

The mountains may be calling you from afar, but once you’re in the Poconos, you’ll find a slew of thrilling water parks. Each has its own unique personality, and with such a spread, you’ll never be far from a stomach-turning water slide.

At Camelback Mountain lies Pennsylvania’s biggest outdoor water park. Camelbeach brings the fun of the water into the mountains with racing water slides, lazy rivers, and sun-soaked lounges.

Great Wolf Lodge is an ideal option for younger families. The year-round indoor water park remains a balmy 84 degrees. Here, you can experience their River Canyon Run, the heart-in-mouth Alberta Falls, and the kid-friendly wave pool.

8. Sightsee in Downtown Stroudsburg

In Monroe County, Stroudsburg is a town that immediately captures your attention through its old-time facades and the warmth of the local community. In downtown Stroudsburg, you can balance your time among nature with eclectic shops, art galleries, great food, and live music.

The Gamut Art Gallery is a great place to start. Under a 190-year-old roof, you can enjoy artwork dating back to the 19th century alongside ornate sculptures and antiques. Follow that up with a little thrift shopping and a meal at Sarah Street Bar & Grill.

To top it off, enjoy a night at the Sherman Theater home to listen to live music, enjoy entertainment, and enjoy festivals.

9. Ride the Lehigh Gorge Scenic Railway

Jim,Thorpe,,Pa/usa oct.,26,,2019:,Tourists,Travel,The,Lehigh,Gorge
Photo Credit: Dee Dalasio

So you’ve hiked the canyon top and gotten soaked in the river below, but there remains one more way to enjoy Lehigh Gorge. The Scenic Railway continues a way of life that began in the early years of the 1800s.

The 70-minute train ride begins in Jim Thorpe. Following the spectacular Lehigh River, the old-school train climbs to the edge of high-rising cliffs as it saunters through Glen Onoko and forest scenery on its merry way to Old Penn Haven.

In the summer, enjoy its open-air car which provides unobstructed views. In winter we suggest the heated Crown Class with its own plush seating. For the best of both worlds, the Vista-Class Dome opens up the world so you won’t miss a moment of the scenery.

10. Take the Kids Ziplining

Ziplining is one of the best family-friendly, fun things to do in the Poconos. There are endless outdoor adventures in the region. However, ziplining is a place to not only have a blast but be challenged and enjoy a great sense of achievement.

There are a handful of inspiring ziplining experiences around the Poconos. These include Blue Mountain’s Summit Adventure ParkCamelback Mountain Adventures, and the Pocono Zip Racer.

All provide a range of beginner-friendly and adventurous courses that will help create amazing memories in the treetops.

11. Have a Night at Mount Airy Casino

There is no shortage of adventures for the whole crew in the Poconos. But what about just for us older folks? Well, the Mount Airy Casino is a great place for couples and friend groups to roll the dice.

It’s got all you need for a classic casino night, with 70 table games from poker to blackjack and some hot slot machines. But like any good casino, it’s more than just a little splash of gambling. You’ll find live entertainment and music from traveling acts, not to mention some exceptional dining.

12. Chase Waterfalls

Shohola,Falls,Panorama,In,The,Poconos,,Pennsylvania.,Shohola,Creek,Is
Photo Credit: Mihai_Andritoiu

It’s just adventure math: water + mountains = epic waterfalls.

Whether it’s among beautiful summer colors or fall foliage, waterfalls in the Poconos always capture your imagination.

At the top of the list is Bushkill Falls, aka the Niagara of Pennsylvania. It’s a big call, but it features eight gorgeous falls. Next to tick off is the three-tiered Raymondskill Falls, the tallest in the state. Finish with the beautiful Shohola Falls, which provides unique vignettes from every spot along the enveloping nature trail.

If you’re just looking to get wet, head to Milford Beach for some summer fun with a kayak launch, BBQ areas, and nearby hiking trails.

13. Go Horseback Riding

Whether you’re in the Poconos as a romantic getaway or traveling with family, horseback riding is one outdoor activity that works for both. There are several options, however, the trail rides with Mountain Creek Riding Stable take the cake.

Great for beginners and fun for experienced riders, come saddle up and explore the surrounding beauty. Guided horseback trail rides venture into the forests, crossing creeks and stunning scenery along the way. Both public and private tours are available.

14. Experience Lake Wallenpaupack

Nice,Day,For,Kayaking.,Beautiful,Young,Couple,Kayaking,On,Lake
Photo Credit: G-Stock Studio

As one of the largest reservoirs in Pennsylvania, Lake Wallenpaupack boasts 52 miles of majestic shoreline. Here, you can enjoy six public recreation areas perfect for boating, water skiing, kayaking, and a refreshing dip.

Along the water’s edge is the Wallenpaupack Lake Trail, a relaxing 3-mile stroll with memorable vistas. Further inland lies Claws ‘n’ Paws, a literal zoo in the woods with over 100 species and a place for the little ones to dig for dinosaur bones.

15. See NASCAR at the Pocono Raceway

Annually, NASCAR makes its way into the Pocono Mountains. Often held in days in the heady days of July at the Pocono Raceway, the event is a great place to continue your summer celebrations.

Across the three-day event, the crowds flood into the racetrack to begin festivities, the tailgate, and live music. Soon, the race cars and even trucks take to the Tricky Triangle to push their vehicles to their limits.

Do you want to get in on the action? Pocono Raceway has its own racing experience, so you too can take the wheel!

16. Book a Tee Time

Golfer,Putting,Golf,Ball,On,The,Green,Golf,,Lens,Flare
Photo Credit: sattahipbeach

There are some dozen golf courses in the Poconos region. Surrounded by beautiful scenery, those who love to golf will be salivating at the thought of their upcoming tee time.

Some of the best golf courses in the Poconos include Woodloch Springs, home to the 14th hole, and Hell’s Gate Gorge, which features rushing water 200 feet below.

Have you ever wanted to experience Pebble Beach and Augusta on the same day? Well, Mount Airy Golf Club was designed to mimic the best of both courses, providing a memorable but testing day of golf.

17. Turn Back the Clock at Quiet Valley Historical Farm

After all of your outdoor adventures, end your time in the Poconos with a different experience. Quiet Valley Historical Farm takes you back to 19th-century Pennsylvania to explore the region’s German heritage.

Period actors help to immerse you in the experience as they go about life on the farm. As you explore, you’ll discover an 1850s bank barn, old cabins, and smokehouse while horses, cows, goats, and ducks wander about.

Discover Your Favorite Poconos Attractions

Mount Pocono stands as a beacon atop this stunning region. As the mountains turn to valleys, you can uncover an impressive range of outdoor fun, adorable towns, and immersive history.

A stay at Red Maple helps you experience the best that the Poconos has to offer whether that be family-friendly water parks and hikes or romantic lakeside strolls and downtown date nights.

Book your stay with Red Maple today!

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