Today we’re going to look at the top things to do in the Poconos!
What are the Poconos? The Poconos or Pocono Mountains are in Northeastern Pennsylvania.
Geographically, they are a mountainous region on the upland Allegheny Plateau, which runs along the Delaware River and Delaware Water Gap.
The Poconos are 2,400 square miles of outdoor recreation space filled with skiing, boating, and sports activities. Numerous hotels, restaurants, and things to do will welcome you.
What Is There To Do In The Poconos?
Whether you want to know what to do in the Poconos in the summer or what to do in the Poconos in the winter, my guide will help you find activities for romantic couples, families with kids, and anyone else who wants to enjoy the outdoors. I’ll even share pet-friendly places to visit.
Let’s Explore 15 Fun Things To Do With Poconos
The Poconos offer many fun things to do, but maybe you need to know what to do in the Poconos with kids?
Here are my top favorites:
1. Great Wolf Lodge
A perfect place for families, located between Tannersville and Mount Pocono. Great Wolf Lodge offers PJ parties, story-time, character shows, and plenty of swimming and slides in a hotel with a water park inside.
The lodge is perfect for both summer and winter activities. The Great Wolf Lodge chain is a pet-free facility unless you have a service animal.
Address: 1 Great Wolf Drive, Scotrun, PA 18355
2. Schisler Museum and McMunn Planetarium
Kids love to see the dioramas at the museum and they love seeing animals from all over the world. It is the perfect attraction for families on cold or rainy days.
The museum is a science center with a planetarium located in East Stroudsburg University.
Address: Hoeffner Sci-Tech Center, ESU, Normal Street and Ransberry Avenue, East Stroudsburg, PA 18301
3. The Ranch at Pocono Manor
The Ranch is a horse ranch with a stable for going horseback riding. It allows beginners or advanced riders to enjoy horses. You can gallop, trot, or canter around the 3,000 acres.
In winter, the Ranch also offers pony rides, a petting zoo, wagon rides, and sleigh rides. On the other hand it is also a great romantic getaway for couples too.
Address: 391 Manor Drive, Pocono Manor, PA 18349
4. Blue Lightning
Next on my list of what to do in the Poconos is Blue Lightning, an all-season tubing park. It has a Magic Carpet lift that takes you up to the top of 300ft tubing lanes. There are two of them! The runs are exceptional, and it does not require water or snow to be open.
Address: 124 Golf Drive, East Stroudsburg, PA 18302
5. Pocono Go-Karts
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Who doesn’t love go-karts no matter your age? This is the only track that offers both kiddie and adult karting. The Pocono Go-Karts is the perfect location if you need an adrenaline rush! Here is where you can really race!
There are two tracks:
The Kids Track – this track is not as fierce as the adult track and mum and dad can race with them.
The Adult Track – this track is a super 8 that is more than 1400ft long. There’s a tunnel that runs underneath a full-size track bridge.
There’s so much family fun to be had Pocono Go-Karts! Not only do you get Kiddie Kart and Go-Karts, but you get Paintball and Miniature Golf too! You and your family will be kept busy for ages.
Address: 5056 Milford Road, East Stroudsburg, PA 18302
6. Pocono Snake and Animal Farm
Do you want to see a rescued bear? Perhaps even feed it ? The Snake and Animal farm is a rehabilitation center where some animals can find a forever home without the dangers of death in nature.
You can feed a bear, goats, pigs and see a 14-foot cobra at this farm. They also have a 100-year-old, 150-pound alligator and snapping turtle.
Many animals have been rescued from people who owned them but realized exotic animals are not pets. They cannot be released back into the wild since they are used to being fed. Others can come through and be nursed back to health.
Address: 424 Seven Bridge Road, East Stroudsburg, PA
Whether you need something for an upcoming visit or you want to know what to do in the Poconos this weekend, you have six things for a family with kids.
Now let’s take a look at other options that can fit adults.
7. Billy Frank Jr. Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge
The Delaware Water Gap is an area of the Poconos where the river flows through the mountain range. It is this border between Pennsylvania and New Jersey that makes a beautiful place to visit.
You are also going to see the largest ridge in the Appalachian Mountains. The gap is 40 miles of river, with 67,000 acres and more than 100 hiking trails.
The wildlife refuge is part of this area, where you can hike, swim, or go boating while enjoying nature. Are you a birder? Perhaps, you love to see animals in their natural habitat? Just beware that black bears are found in these mountains.
Address: 100 Brown Farm Rd NE, Olympia, WA 98516
8. Lake Harmony
If you are up for camping, swimming, skiing, and more, then Lake Harmony is a great place to visit. The area has a couple of NASCAR races throughout the year, plus a movie theater, bowling alley, arcade, and indoor water park.
What To Do In The Poconos In Summer
Next on my list of what to do in the Poconos, is hiking.
In summer, hiking is one of the main attractions for people who visit Pennsylvania. The best way to get a true idea of the wonders of nature is to walk.
With more than 16,000 acres of land to explore with more than 40 miles of trails, you want to enjoy the various splendors. Some trails lead you to the Boulder Field, while others are part of the National Natural Landmark.
Lehigh Gorge State Park has some of the best routes, with waterfalls, like the Bushkill Falls. The falls trail is one of several that is dog-friendly. You will need to keep your animal on a leash.
You do want to stay on the trails and never go off the paths. It is dangerous. Make sure you choose hikes that fit your level of experience. Changing elevations when you are not prepared is never a good idea.
Address: S Lehigh Gorge Dr, Weatherly, PA 18255
If you love to ride bikes, pedaling through some of the trails might be more up your alley. Some off-road tracks allow horses and bicycles. For example, the Lehigh Gorge Trail allows bikes.
There is a gentle slope downhill, and the entire trail is 36 miles, with links to the Diamond Trail. If you cycle, it takes 3 to 5 hours. You also have the Blue Mountain Trail, which is 22 miles.
If you go on the longer hikes, make sure you take your camping gear and plenty of water.
11. Water Attractions
Recreation on the lakes includes more than boating. Consider renting canoes, kayaks, pontoon boats, boats, or go white water rafting for summer activities. Of course, you also have plenty of fishing to do on the lakes and rivers.
In addition, the Poconos are filled with lakes, rivers, and streams that allow you to get out by yourself or with another person. *Romantic couples’ option.
12. ATV Adventures
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Anyone who loves off-road adventures will be happy to note you can rent or bring ATVs to certain areas of the Poconos and enjoy nature your way.
You will need to stick to the trails marked for ATVs. Do not go on a route that does not allow motorized vehicles. Furthermore, do not go off the path.
The parkland is protected, and to keep nature around for everyone, you must respect it. While you are out on the trails, consider picnicking; especially, if you are a couple looking for some romance in nature.
13. No. 9 Coal Mine and Museum
Best visited in the summer, fall, or spring because it’s warmer. The Coal Mine offers an educational experience about the history of mining in the Poconos. The mine was first used in 1955 by the Lehigh Coal and Navigation Company.
You can go back in time to see what life was really like back then, plus buy some commemorative items to remember your trip.
Address: 9 Dock Street, Lansford, PA 18232
Lastly, zipline adventures in the Poconos are excellent for a summer activity. The sun will be shining, and you get to see the woodlands from a different perspective. If you have never seen a river and gorges from above, you will want to participate in the experience.
What To Do In The Poconos In Winter
What to do in the Poconos in the winter might seem a silly question. Can you really get out in nature when it is cold and snowing? Of course, you can! But you will want to take precautions.
Make sure you are appropriately dressed, with suitable coats, shoes, hats, and gloves. But, with proper caution and watching the weather, you can definitely enjoy winter activities.
Cross country and downhill skiing are available in the Poconos. Shawnee Mountain and Jack Frost Big Boulder are two of the best places to ski on fresh powder during winter. The slopes are modest in size, with short lines and fast lifts.
If you don’t ski but snowboard or snow tube, you can also do that during winter. There are places to rent equipment if you do not have your own.
Snowshoeing to hike through the mountains is also another way for you to see the landscape in all its wintery glory. There is nothing wrong with taking a bit of food, hiking a trail with snowshoes, and witnessing the wonderland.
Where To Stay In The Poconos
With the list of top 15 attractions discussed, you know what you can do with family, friends, or as a couple. Let’s look at accommodation.
Whether you need a honeymoon destination, romantic getaway, or just a nice place to stay, there are plenty of resorts and campgrounds in the area.
Lodge at Woodloch
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Lodge at Woodloch is a favorite destination for couples and honeymooners because of the spa and wellness center. Here, you can eat delicious food, hike around the land, and simply enjoy the relaxing atmosphere.
Address: 109 River Birch Lane, Hawley, PA 18428
This is another romantic couple’s getaway location. The French Manor is an inn and spa with a restaurant. With fine dining in an intimate location, you have plenty of comforts to explore or hide out in a luxury inn.
Address: 53 Huntingdon Drive, Newfoundland, PA 18445
Shawnee Inn and Golf Resort
The Shawnee Inn and Golf Resort is perfect for anyone who loves to play golf. The best part is that you’ll be golfing on a history course.
It is affordable for families, plus you have the backdrop of the river. Most consider Shawnee “glamping” because of its luxury camping areas and the resort attached to the space.
Often in October, they hold a Murder Mystery Camp-Out for those who enjoy a fantastic sleuthing game.
Address: 100 Shawnee Inn Drive, Shawnee on Delaware, PA 18356
There are a ton of other amazing places to stay – the whole Poconos area is a gem for cool and unique hotels, resorts and private homes.
So if the above listed options aren’t exactly what you’re looking for, take a look at these 3 holiday booking websites:
- HolidayKeepers.com – website dedicated to the accommodation specifically around the Poconos and in other parts of Pennsylvania
- Booking.com/Poconos – this is the link to their section dedicated to the Poconos
- PoconoMountains.com/places-to-stay/ – this is the official website of the Pocono Mountains Visitors Bureau (PMVB)
Where To Eat In The Poconos
As you are on vacation, my guess is that you are unlikely to want to cook. So, I’ve put together a list of the top ten rated restaurants around the Poconos.
There’s bound to be somewhere you’d love to go to:
1. Mi Casa Offers Spanish Cuisine – It is authentic Mexican and South American food found at the Mount Pocono Motel.
2. Jubilee Restaurant – an American cuisine located in Pocono Pines.
This family restaurant offers a rustic, homey atmosphere with plenty of traditional items, including breakfast.
The restaurant opened in 1968.
3. Moyer’s Country Kitchen – another American, old-fashioned restaurant is this chain of eateries that serves breakfast all day, plus a lot of American comfort foods.
4. Frogtown Chophouse – need a romantic setting?
The Chophouse is excellent with a stone fireplace, American meat, and seafood. It’s the perfect location for a romantic dinner and offers that cozy location with a bar you desire.
5. Summit House – this restaurant is in Tannersville, in Big Pocono State Park.
As with most restaurants, it serves American items. They also have a variety of local whiskeys. As a romantic or couple destination, you will want to visit this restaurant. It has the most jaw-dropping scenic views being the highest restaurant in the Poconos.
6. Kimchi and Wasabi – definitely based on Asian cuisine from Korea.
Kimchi and Wasabi offer steak, seafood, and some American options.
7. Hickory Valley Farm Restaurant offers an “old school outlet” with country-style dinners and barbeque.
In this rustic restaurant, you will feel like you stepped back in time into someone’s home kitchen with top-grade food.
8. All Caribbean Restaurant – Caribbean food is done correctly.
If you like this style fare, then the All Caribbean Restaurant will ensure you are well fed with traditional dishes of oxtail, jerk chicken and curry goat while you are on vacation.
9. Fork Street Bistro and Bakery – with top stars, this cafe and bakery offer fresh baked goods any time of the day. But, you might need to go early if you’re feeling like cinnamon rolls.
10. Lake Naomi Clubhouse – last on the list of restaurants is another place for an upscale romantic meal.
Lake Naomi Clubhouse provides a relaxed grill, bar, and deck area for club enthusiasts, plus the romantic dining experience you might want for a proposal. The food is American with plenty of choices.
These are just ten of the food options around the Poconos you can enjoy while exploring what to do in the Poconos for fun.
Other Ideas of What To Do In The Poconos
Whether you have children or want a romantic time away, the Poconos has plenty of attractions. Families and friends can gather to enjoy local museums, such as the Pocono Indian Museum or Bear Mountain Butterfly Sanctuary.
You also have Kalahari Indoor Waterpark, Asa Packer Mansion Museum, and Frazetta Art Museum. There is the Claws ‘N Paws Wild Animal Park for kids, which offers a petting zoo with giraffe feeding.
In addition, the Poconos provides Quiet Valley Living Historical Farm, George W. Childs Park, and much more.
So, What To Do In The Poconos?
This is a great question! The answer is long and extensive because just about anything you could want is available in the area.
Note that some of the hotels are pet-friendly, and there are a few select trails. You just need to check with the park and your hotel when making your reservation to make sure animals are welcome.
Summer is, of course, the warmest time of year, with plenty of sun and fun. Make sure you plan for the season, book in advance, and bring the correct gear for the activities you want to do.
Hiking at any time of the year can be dangerous with the wrong equipment. Don’t wait to book your trip to the Poconos and explore the area.
To End Off
As you can see, the list goes on with great ideas of what to do in the Poconos. Your next vacation will definitely be filled with so many exciting choices to keep you busy!
If you’ve been to any of these spots, do share in the comments below. If you are planning a trip or getaway be sure to check out our site TravelCroc.com.