The Pocono Mountains in Pennsylvania is a beautiful area to visit almost anytime of year! The region consists of multiple little towns which are spread out throughout the mountains, peaks, valleys, and rivers in the area. Here, you’ll find a variety of options for recreation and activities. Especially outdoor activities, the Pocono Mountains has no shortage of things to see and do in the outdoors!
However, if you’re looking for just a quiet little weekend away from the city or hustle and bustle of life, then this region is perfect! Plus, if you wanted to do some leisurely hiking, exploring, or wandering around, you have your pick of options from the region.
Those are the two primary reasons why I wanted to take a little weekend trip or weekend getaway to the Pocono Mountains. I wanted to stay in an area that was quiet with a few options in terms of hiking and exploring. I’ve heard so many wonderful things about the area throughout the years and I’ve always wanted to hike on just some of the many beautiful trails in the are. And, I also wanted to visit the cute little town of Jim Thorpe and just take in the beauty of the area.
So, it was decided that I’d take a little solo weekend trip to the Poconos. At the last minute, my boyfriend decided he wanted to come along. In the end, it turned into a little couples weekend getaway to the mountains!
Day 1: Arrival and Dinner
After driving for 2 hours, we finally arrived in the Pocono Mountains! Specifically, in Barrett Township where our little cabin Airbnb was. Canadensis is the actual name of the area we stayed in, which is a very small town. It was a very tiny cabin with all the earthy, wood vibes. We checked-in and chilled in the room for a little bit before looking for dinner.
One of the restaurants recommended to me by the Airbnb host, who is a local in the area, was Basso Italiana. It's an Italian restaurant and wasn't too far of a drive from our accommodation. It was about a 5 minute drive, pretty close by. However, when we arrived to the restaurant, the small parking lot was full. We went inside and asked about seating, to which the host said that you needed a reservation to get a seat and we couldn't just wait for a seat like a typical restaurant. My boyfriend and I were disappointment. It looked like more of an upscale type of restaurant and neither of us were dressed for it. But we were mainly disappointed that we couldn't eat here and the Airbnb host didn't mention to me that you needed a reservation.
With that, we went back to the car and googled other options near by. We found this place, which we passed on our way to Basso, that we thought would be a decent place to go. The Pour House Neighborhood Bar & Grille is where we ended up going for dinner. This place was all about pub/bar food in a cabin like setting, with live country music playing. I typically don't go to places like this or listen to country music but I got out of my comfort zone and enjoyed it for the most part. The live music was good, though neither myself or my boyfriend are big country music fans, we still enjoyed it.
After having our dinner, which was good but not great, we drove back to our cabin to get some sleep. Day one wasn't too eventful, just driving to the mountains and trying to get some dinner. It was too late in the evening to do any hiking or exploring, since we checked in around 6pm. We didn't mind, because the next day was going to be centered on hiking and exploring!
Day 2: Hiking and Exploring
Now, this was the day where we would hike for a bit and explore. You can't go to the Poconos and NOT do at least some hiking or exploring around a cute little town. For my boyfriend and I, hiking and exploration was on our agenda for the day.
To start the day off right, we went to get breakfast at the Mountainhome Diner. While we were eating our breakfast, I went over the tentative agenda for the day and narrowed down what was actually doable in one day. After some discussion and contemplation, we decided on hiking on a trail along the Delaware Water Gap and exploring the town of Jim Thorpe.
We paid for our breakfast, set our GPS to the Delaware Water Gap Recreation Area, and we were off!
Delaware Water Gap Recreation Area
There's so many state parks in the Poconos Mountains and surrounding area. It was so hard to chose which one to go to, because at some point I'd love to visit all of them! However, since we were only in the Poconos for such a short amount of time, I had to be realistic about which area we could visit and the trail we could do.
The trail my boyfriend and I decided upon was the Council Rock and Lookout Rock in the Delaware Water Gap Recreation Area. We went with this specific trail because the time AllTrails said it'd take to complete it is about an hour and 7 minutes. Though it's rated as a moderately challenging trail, it's linear with gradual elevation gain. We figured this would be a good trail to do because it's short, fairly easy to complete, and would lead us to a pretty sweet view!
In reality, we took a little over 2 hours to complete this trail. My boyfriend loves to go off trail a bit to explore or find things, so much of that time was spent exploring things that were off the trail. Plus, after talking to some people who knew of yet another lookout spot, we decided to go and find this other lookout point. The lookout point mentioned by other hikers was a bit of a disappointment, and so was Council Rock, but that second to last one (Lookout Rock) was amazing!
With our hike complete, I set my GPS for the small town of Jim Thorpe!
If you've ever heard of the Pocono Mountains, then you've probably heard of Jim Thorpe and the awesome train ride you can take which shows you the beauty of the area. This was our next destination after our hike and both myself and my boyfriend were excited to visit this town for the first time!
I will say, if you're going to visit Jim Thorpe, try to get here early in the day to find parking. At the time of day we went (mid afternoon), it was already a bit packed with very little to no parking. Along the few main streets in town, there's no free parking. It's either paid parking or permit parking for residents. If you can't find paid parking on the streets, you'll have to find a parking lot, which is what we did. The parking lot we went to typically charges $15 but that day, we paid $10 in cash. Always have some cash on hand for situations like this, because not all places accept credit cards.
My boyfriend and I spent the next few hours walking around Jim Thorpe. We basically walked up and down the main town streets and stopped in a few stores off the main street. Ice cream was involved after doing some walking and we enjoyed every spoonful! We also walked a ways away from the busy center towards where the resident houses were. My boyfriend found a WWII memorial and a little stream. It's always cool to discover something new when you venture away from the busy, touristy area. Though we didn't visit any museums or go on the 70 minute train ride, we did have dinner at the Marion House Bar before calling it quits for the day.
I have to say, in pictures and from the way people describe it, you'd think it was a bit bigger. In person, Jim Thorpe is so tiny. You can literally walk around the main town center and the outward portions in about an hour tops. Though, if you take your time and explore the many cute stores, cafes, boutiques, bars, restaurants, museums and more, you'll be here for a few hours. It's worth a visit to explore at least once, because it radiates that small town in the mountains vibe.
Day 3: Departure
Alas, all good things must come to and end and our trip was no different. We woke up early, packed our bags, and checked-out of our little cabin. It was such a cute place to stay for the weekend and my boyfriend absolutely loved it. I'm sure he still misses that cabin.
For breakfast, we went to the Mountainhome Diner once again. It serves your average, American breakfast items plus things like wraps, paninis, salads, and a few other food items as well. The food was good, just your average diner type of taste. The important thing was how it filled us up for our 2 hour drive back home.
With breakfast done, all of our bags in the car, we then drove 2 hours back to our home. Just like that, our trip was over. It went by in the blink of an eye. Although it was a very short weekend trip, we still managed to do some hiking and a bit of exploring. And you know what? That's quite alright with me! This was meant to be a little break and getaway from work. I didn't need to have a jammed packed schedule or itinerary. I did try to do one or two things off my Pocono Mountains bucket list, which I'm happy I was able to do. Beyond that, I just wanted to chill and spend time with my boyfriend.
I'm always very thankful for the trips we take together and I cannot wait for the next one!
Future Plans to Return?
Would we return to the Pocono Mountains in the future? The answer is YES! Even though our time in this lovely mountain range was short, we had a splendid time and would like to come back during the fall. We didn't go on the Jim Thorpe train ride and we'd love to take that train through the mountains with the beautiful fall foliage on full display. Plus, we'd love to do some more hiking in different state parks, explore some more little towns, and do some outdoor activities.
Surprisingly, there's a lot to see and do in the Poconos. You certainly cannot see and do it all in a short weekend trip but that just gives you all the more reason to return! Which we will, for sure! And don't think you have to go with a partner either. Originally, I wanted to go solo and you can absolutely visit this area solo! Depending on the activity, trail, area, or town you're in, you won't ever be completely alone. I'd recommend anyone and everyone visiting, because solo travelers to families can visit the Pocono Mountains.