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 bathtub, 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) 15 miles northeast of Stroudsburg off US-209. 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” Poconos resort—the rightly named Skytop Lodge (855/345-7759)—is about 20 miles northwest of Stroudsburg via Hwy-447. This grand yet family-friendly 1920s hotel, with just 124 rooms and suites but full resort facilities, sits on 5,500 acres of mountaintop forest, with its own golf course, hiking trails, and shooting range.
At the southern edge of the Delaware Water Gap park, Stroudsburg has the Poconos’ most extensive tourist facilities, clustered along the I-80 freeway.