Take Me Downtown
Walkable and picturesque, downtown
Jim Thorpe is home to pubs, wine bars,
restaurants, and shops.
More than a million years ago, glaciers
carved out scenic geological features
such as Split Rock.
sk any fan what they love about this charmingly unpretentious part of the world,
and you’ll likely hear some version of the same thing: breathtaking, underrated beauty;
countless outdoor activities; and delightful little communities that seem to spring up from
nowhere as you’re driving along eastern Pennsylvania’s byways.
But if the word “Poconos” (rebranded as the Pocono Mountains nearly a decade
ago) still brings to mind the image of kitschy heart-shaped tubs and Champagne-
glass bubble baths, you’re not alone. Thanks to those unique amenities and some
clever marketing, the Poconos came to be known as the “Honeymoon Capital of the
World” in the early 1960s. While a few of those properties do remain, today’s Pocono
Mountains appeal to vacationers of all ages.
Nicole Pensiero; andykazie/Deposit Photos
Issue 1, 2017
Issue 1, 2017
are packed with activities,
but the next time you visit, spend some time
getting to know the actual communities.
For good reason. There’s zip lining and white-water rafting,
hiking and canoeing, community fairs, casino gambling, NASCAR
racing, golf, and indoor water parks.
And then there are the pleasant towns. In many ways, they’re
similar — they all have shops and restaurants. Spend some
time walking the sidewalks, though, and you’ll discover different
details, small (or sometimes big) things that give each their own
character — and make them all worthy of your vacation itinerary.
Begin with the burgs listed here, but understand that along the
way, you’ll almost certainly discover some of your own favorites.
Fronting the lake that bears its name, Lake Harmony offers something
for every type of traveler. Families shouldn’t miss the first-run movie
theater at Split Rock Resort, or the vast (53,326 square feet)
H2Oooohh! indoor water park. It has a wave and activity pool, a
FlowRider, tiki bar, and four-story-high Amazon Blast slides.
To see the actual ice age–era stone formation for which the
resort is named, drive up nearby Split Rock Road to where it dead
ends. You’ll have to walk a few yards, but you can’t miss it. Just look
for the massive rock that’s, well, split down the middle. There’s also
an observation deck that provides a sweeping view of the region
from above.
Part of the green and gold and auburn landscape you see from
that lookout is Hickory Run State Park. With 44 miles of walking
trails, along with fishing and swimming areas, this is an ideal day-
trip for nature lovers. Its star attraction is Boulder Field, a National
Natural Landmark that (like Split Rock) is exactly what the name
says: a jaw-dropping, walkable field of boulders that haven’t budged
for approximately 20,000 years.
If speed is more to your liking, Pocono Raceway in Long Pond
is an action-packed diversion throughout the summer months
when it hosts NASCAR and IndyCar races on its uniquely shaped
“Tricky Triangle” track.
Finally, Terra-Cottage Cafe and Gifts is an especially charming
breakfast and lunch spot, and you can get in a little souvenir shop-
ping, too, as many of the gift store items are on display throughout
the dining areas.
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