The scenic Pocono Mountains in Pennsylvania may no longer be known as the "Honeymoon Capital of the World," but the region's dated hotels with heart-shaped bathtubs have given way to a clutch of more nature-minded properties.
Today, the ski resorts and cozy lodges of the Poconos are popular with East Coast riders and skiers, as well as travelers looking to escape the urban sprawl of nearby New York City and Philadelphia (the mountains are just two hours from either location).
While the Poconos may be more modest than mountain ranges in nearby Vermont and New Hampshire, the area is an accessible alternative for those looking to experience the forested peaks of the Northeast. Whether you're looking to ski or sip hot chocolate by the campfire, these are five of the top resorts in the Poconos.
Camelback is one of the more popular resorts for skiers and riders in the area. All of the 160 acres of skiable terrain receive snowmaking coverage and are open for night use. After a full day on the mountain, travelers can bed down in one of the lodge's 453 rooms, many of which boast balconies, fireplaces, and full kitchens.
Bear Creek maintains three parks each season (Cascade Park, Black Bear Park, and Family Park) with impressive features that will suit skiers and riders of all ability levels. Come spring, the trails are ideal for hiking and mountain biking. Many of the resort's 116-rooms are outfitted with fireplaces.
The Lodge at Woodloch
You don't need to be a seriously into skiing to enjoy a long weekend. Guests interested in serious R&R — yoga, meditation, and breathing classes — should head to the adults-only Lodge at Woodloch in Hawley. The spa resort is set on 150 acres and will help you get in touch with nature with horseback riding, forest strolls, and serious hydromassage pools.
Blue Mountain Ski Resort
At 1,082 feet, Blue Mountain boasts the largest vertical drop of any ski area in the state, and an impressive number of double-black-diamond rated trails — though the diverse terrain can accommodate skiers and boarders of all levels. Half-day and night-skiing passes are great for those who want to sneak out of work early to enjoy mid-week turns.
Jack Frost and Big Boulder
Separated into two smaller ski areas accessed by a short drive, the Jack Frost and Big Boulder Ski Area is a local favorite among Pennsylvanians. Those patient enough to catch a powder day at Jack Frost will be rewarded with great terrain, while more advanced skiers and riders will enjoy the creative park features at Big Boulder. While Jack Frost and Big Boulder are only open during the winter season, the nearby Split Rock Resort is open year-round, whether you're in the area for the slopes or the white water rafting.