The Poconos is a natural wonderland, an outdoor playground where travelers spend hours hiking the mountain trails, fishing in Arrowhead Lake, and admiring the breathtaking scenery. But there’s more to this Pennsylvania region than outdoor adventures. For a different kind of Poconos vacation, try these unique ways to have fun.
Spend Time in the Borough of Jim Thorpe
Image via Flickr by Dougtone
Jim Thorpe is a charming borough nestled in the Poconos. Known as the Switzerland of America for its picturesque mountain surrounds and European-inspired architecture, Jim Thorpe has been voted one of America’s coolest small towns. It’s home to several historic homes, including the Asa Packer Mansion, now a museum, and the Harry Packer Mansion, whose grand design inspired Walt Disney World’s Haunted Mansion. It comes alive during the colder months, when ice sculptures, horse and carriage rides, and the famous Mug Walk are part of the borough’s Winterfest celebrations.
Shop for Antiques in a BYOB Restaurant
Antiques and alcohol isn’t a natural marriage, but they go hand-in-hand at Der Jaeger, a unique antiques store and BYOB restaurant. This unusual family business is the brainchild of Sylvana and Janusz, European immigrants whose business celebrates their unique passions. Sylvana honed her cooking skills in East Germany. She delights in sharing the dishes of her homeland, including sauerbraten, bouletten, and Jaeger schnitzel with diners. Polish-born Janusz shares his knowledge of World War II history and arts in the antiques side of the business. It’s a quirky mix, but somehow it works!
Taste the Local Wines
It might not have the reputation of Sonoma or Napa, but the Poconos’ wine region loves flying underneath the radar. There are nine wineries on the Poconos Wine Trail, including Mountain View Vineyard and Distillery, which pairs wine tasting with cheese and chocolate samples, and RAW, which serves wines and the only hard cider made in the Poconos. With its brick pizza oven and alfresco dining area, Sorrenti Cherry Valley Vineyards makes the perfect pit stop for lunch, wine, and fresh sangria.
For a stress-free wine tasting experience, book with PA Wines Tours. Your driver will pick you up from anywhere you like, including your hotel. Check out Pocono hotels for all tastes and budgets here.
Try Your Luck at the Casino
Who needs Atlantic City when the Poconos is home to Mount Airy Casino? See whether fortune smiles on you at the slot machines and table games, which all stay open 24/7. If you don’t enjoy gambling, there’s still plenty of things that you’ll enjoy. There are nine different restaurants and cafes, including the acclaimed Guy Fieri’s Mt. Pocono Kitchen and Bistecca by Il Mulino. Musicians, comedians, and other entertainers regularly perform on Mount Airy Casino’s stages. With outdoor fire pits and a swimming pool, the casino’s Wet Nightclub is the coolest place to spend a night in the Poconos.
Whether you’re a regular visitor who wants to try something new or a traveler who revels in getting off the well-worn tourist path, you’ll appreciate all the unique experiences on offer in the Poconos.