The Pocono Mountains, which rise to the west of the Delaware River, hold a number of traditional summer resort hotels spread among the golf courses and ski areas. Like the Catskills’ “Borscht Belt” of southern New York, the Poconos had their glory days in the 1950s, but some resorts still thrive thanks to the invention here in the 1960s of the couple-friendly, heart- or champagne glass-shaped bath tub, which has turned many a Pocono hotel into a pseudo-Roman honeymoon destination (the Baltimore Sun called one a “mini Playboy Mansion”). Many of these passion pits tend to feature all-inclusive package deals (free archery lessons, so you and your beloved can play Cupid with real arrows, etc). If you’re interested, try Pocono Palace (866/500-5508) off US-209 five miles northeast of Stroudsburg. To get a feel for the Poconos’ working-class charms, head downstream along the Pequest River to Hot Dog Johnny’s (333 Route 46, 908/453-2882) in Butzville for classic dogs, crunchy fries, frosty mugs of root beer, and all the 1940s old road nostalgia you can want.
By contrast, a classic “old-school” Pocono resort—the rightly named Skytop Lodge (855/345-7759)—is about 20 miles northwest of Stroudsburg, via Hwy-447. This very grand yet family-friendly 1920s hotel, with just 125 rooms and suites but full resort facilities, sits on 5,500 acres of mountaintop forest, with its own golf course, hiking trails, and hunting preserve.
At the southern edge of the Delaware Water Gap park, Stroudsburg has the Poconos’ most extensive tourist facilities, clustered along the I-80 freeway corridor.
Pocono Palace (5222 Milford Rd.)
Hot Dog Johnny’s (333 Route 46)
Skytop Lodge (1 Skytop)