Packed with beautiful mountains, babbling streams, and verdant forests, the Pocono Mountains and Endless Mountains are a stunning area of natural beauty in Pennsylvania. A popular hiking destination with families in the summer, it’s also a great spot for skiers during the winter months. This versatility makes it one of the leading staycation destinations in the Northeast United States.

Most towns in the region are quite small, so it can be hard to gather information about them in advance. Nevertheless, it’s quite a diverse region, so you’ll have to get an idea of what’s on offer to truly maximise your itinerary. This takes a lot of time and research but is absolutely worth it.

Well, it would be if we hadn’t already done a lot of it for you! Combining our personal experience with hints and tips from locals and travel experts, we have figured out the four best places to stay in the Poconos. Whether you want a family destination, endless adventures, or simply somewhere affordable, we’ve got you covered.

So let’s dive right in!

Where to Stay in the Poconos

In a rush to find a place to stay in the Pocono Mountains? We’ve listed our three absolute favorite accommodations below to make it a bit easier for you. If you’re looking for a specific neighborhood, just keep scrolling!

Luxurious Mountain Cabin in Stroudsburg – Mountain Retreat

This cozy cabin nestled deep in the woods is a great opportunity to find some peace and reconnect with nature. Offering a firepit for an evening beside the fire, and is located just a 20-minute drive from the center of Stroudsburg.

Historic Charm in Bangor – Beautiful apartment on massive land

Beautiful apartment on massive land

Suited for a small family, this apartment is the ideal stay in Bangor if you’re looking for a true home away from home. Soak up the modern, tasteful and homey apartment surrounded by a beautiful and private 3 acres yard. It’s a short 5min walk from the Bangor center where you can find charming cafes, vineries, beer breweries, restaurants, and country stores. If you’re feeling stiff from all the exploring, loosen up your muscles in the in-house sauna or grab a cup of tea and enjoy the sunshine in the massive garden.

Popular Hotel in the Poconos – The Inn at Jim Thorpe

The Inn at Jim Thorpe

Sometimes you just need the added convenience of a hotel, and the Inn at Jim Thorpe is our absolute favorite in the Pocono Mountains. Its three-star rating keeps it affordable, but that doesn’t stop it from having comfortable interiors and luxurious details. The on-site spa facility is the perfect spot to unwind after a long day spent on the hiking trails, and the on-site pub serves hearty cuisine to help you recover.

The Pocono Mountains Neighborhood Guide

FIRST TIME IN POCONOS
Stroudsburg Poconos
FIRST TIME IN POCONOS

Stroudsburg

Stroudsburg (and neighbouring East Stroudsburg) is the main gateway to the Poconos for visitors arriving from the East Coast. This makes it a vibrant area that is full of life throughout the year.

ON A BUDGET
Scranton Poconos
ON A BUDGET

Scranton

Forget everything you learned from Dunder Mifflin Paper Company, Scranton has a lot more to offer than you might think! Once an important mining and railway destination, it offers a fascinating insight into America’s industrial past.

FOR FAMILIES
Bangor Poconos
FOR FAMILIES

Bangor

Breathe in…and out! Bangor is known as a major spiritual retreat in the region. Throughout the year, you will find yoga groups, tai chi sessions and meditation events across the town.

COOLEST PLACE TO STAY
Jim Thorpe Poconos
COOLEST PLACE TO STAY

Jim Thorpe

Visiting in the winter? Stay in Jim Thorpe! This town is close to major ski resorts, with regular connections to the slopes for those that don’t want to bring their own car.

Top 4 Places to Stay in the Poconos

The Poconos and Endless Mountains are a vibrant destination and an outstanding USA travel destination. Whether you’re staying longer or passing through on an East Coast road trip, we recommend visiting a few of the areas. All the recommendations mentioned in this guide are easy to get to, and great bases for those hoping to take day trips. You’ll probably need a car for most of them.

That being said, Stroudsburg has great connections with the rest of the region. This is the main gateway for those visiting from New York and Philadelphia, so you’ll find plenty to do here. For first-time visitors, Stroudsburg is a great place to gather your bearings before exploring further. It’s also our only pick for those without a car, as there are plenty of great tourism companies in the area.

Jim Thorpe is another popular area with visitors. Dubbed the “Switzerland of Pennsylvania,” this is our top pick for skiers heading to the region. It’s one of the southernmost ski resorts in the United States, so you’ll find it gets quite busy with visitors from the East Coast. This makes it another excellent choice for first-timers, and we believe the coolest destination in the state.

But what about families? The Pocono Mountains are a great destination in general so you don’t need to worry too much about specifics – but Bangor is a great choice if you have younger children. Famed for its spiritual retreats and huge green spaces, it maintains a peaceful vibe perfect for families looking for a relaxing getaway.

Unfortunately, the popularity of the Pocono Mountains with East Coasters means it can get quite pricey. So what should you do if you’re on a budget? Scranton, a city probably best known as the dreary backdrop of the Office, might not be your first choice for a staycation. But, it’s a surprisingly interesting destination. It’s also super affordable and a ten to twenty-minute drive from everywhere else mentioned in this guide.

Still not quite decided? Don’t worry; we’ve got you. Keep reading for more in-depth guides to each neighborhood, as well as our top accommodation and activity picks in each.

#1 Stroudsburg – Best Place to Stay in the Poconos for your First Time

Stroudsburg Poconos
Stroudsburg has some great hikes to explore.

Stroudsburg (and neighboring East Stroudsburg) is the main gateway to the Pocono Mountains for visitors arriving from the East Coast. This makes it a vibrant area that is full of life throughout the year. For first-time visitors, Stroudsburg is the perfect base for exploring further afield in the region – especially if you don’t have a car.

The restaurants and boutiques are mostly locally owned, giving you a fascinating insight into the culture of the area. The friendly locals make this one of the most inviting destinations in this part of the country and will be more than happy to help you with recommendations of the best places to visit.

Luxurious Mountain Cabin in Stroudsburg – Mountain Retreat

This cozy cabin nestled deep in the woods is a great opportunity to find some peace and reconnect with nature. Offering a firepit for an evening beside the fire, and is located just a 20-minute drive from the center of Stroudsburg.

Couples Retreat in Stroudsburg – Excellent Location

On a budget? This apartment has everything you need to offer you a great experience. Located on Main Street, and only a 5-minute drive from the intersection, you couldn’t be in a better position to enjoy the wonders that Stroudsburg has to offer. It’s worth noting that despite the location of the apartment, it’s still a quiet place to stay.

Comfortable Hotel in Stroudsburg – Stroudsmoor Country Inn

Stroudsmoor Country Inn is a gorgeous boutique inn atop its own 200-acre mountain overlooking Pennsylvania and Cherry Valley, meaning you’ll stay close to the stunning nature of this region. They offer accommodation with a restaurant, free parking, a fitness center, and a bar, and it is one of the more luxury accommodations on our list.

Things to See and Do in Stroudsburg

Stroudsburg Poconos
  • Otter Lake Campground offers outdoor activities – including hiking and rafting – for visitors regardless of whether they stay there or not.
  • The Crossings Premium Outlets offer over 100 designer outfits at highly discounted prices – a must-visit for retail addicts.
  • Keen on a quick drink? Flood’s is an excellent bar offering almost 30 different beers on tap and an endless selection of bottles.
  • East Stroudsburg is a fantastic destination for dining – we recommend Sarah Street Bar and Grille for affordable grub, but there’s something for everyone in the area.
  • A visit to the Mountain View Vineyard is one not to be missed! Guests can enjoy live entertainment, a selection of their distilled spirits and wine, and brewery tours.
  • If antiques and collectibles are your thing, The Olde Engine Works is a must-visit. The antique market is open seven days a week and encompasses twenty-two thousand square feet!
Is This the Best Travel Pack EVER???

We’ve tested countless packs over the years, and now we’ve found our absolute favourite: the nomad-approved Nomatic Travel Bag.

Want more deetz on why we love it so damn much? Then read our comprehensive review for the inside scoop!

Learn More Now!

#2 Scranton – Where to Stay near the Poconos on a Budget

Scranton Poconos
Scranton is the perfect budget-friendly destination.

Forget everything you learned from Dunder Mifflin Paper Company; Scranton has a lot more to offer than you might think! Once an important mining and railway destination, it offers a fascinating insight into America’s industrial past. These days, it’s back on an up-and-coming trajectory, with some fantastic breweries and restaurants in the area.

Scranton isn’t actually in the Poconos, but it’s only a short drive from the three other neighborhoods mentioned in this guide. It’s also considerably cheaper, making it a fantastic choice for budget travelers. Get in quick though, before it becomes the next hipster hotspot.

Artsy Pad in Scranton – Creative Retreat

Creative Retreat

Just because you’re travelling on a budget doesn’t mean you don’t get to enjoy some style. This cute little apartment is perfect for creatives looking for an affordable retreat. Nestled in the East Mountain area of Scranton, you’ll be far from the busy centre and right next to nature. This also means you’re only a short drive from all of the other destinations mentioned in this guide.

Peaceful Home in Scranton – City Center

City Center

Peaceful? In the city centre? Yes, really! This apartment is nestled in one of the calmer parts of Downtown, meaning you get to enjoy a central location without compromising on peaceful nights. The Mexican restaurant underneath the apartment comes with fantastic reviews, so you’ll never be too far from some of the best cuisine in the city.

Affordable Hotel in Scranton – Radisson Lackawanna Station

Radisson Lackawanna Station

The Radisson are a well-known hotel chain across the world, and their Scranton offering is super affordable. Built in the former Lackawanna Train Station, the hotel is a little slice of Scranton history in its own right. The university is nearby, so you’re close to some great budget-friendly eateries. That being said, the breakfast is also free!

Things to See and Do in Scranton

Scranton Poconos
Straight Outta Scranton
  • Get your creative juices flowing with this unique poster printing experience that uses a vintage letterpress – a quirky little souvenir of your trip.
  • The Electric Trolley Museum is a monument to the city’s industrial past, and they offer trolley rides throughout the day.
  • Speaking about the city’s industrial past, head on the Lackawanna Coal Mine Tour to learn about the founding of the city and check out some quirky artefacts.
  • Budget travellers rejoice – you can take a round the world trip with the multicultural cuisine on offer in central Scranton.
  • Get outdoors and head to Scranton’s Nay Aug Park and check out one of Pennsylvania’s best urban waterfalls; Nay Aug Falls. With a drop of over 20ft through an impressive gorge, this is a great hike to do while visiting Scranton.

#3 Bangor – Best Area in the Pocono Mountains for Families

Bangor Poconos
Relax in Bangor’s laid-back atmosphere.

Breathe in…and out! Bangor is known as a major spiritual retreat in the region. Throughout the year, you will find yoga groups, tai chi sessions, and meditation events across the town. This gives it a super peaceful atmosphere that is ideal for families. Even if you don’t want to take part in the more holistic activities, you can still benefit from the easygoing vibe.

It isn’t often that our top family destination is also our top recommendation for couples, but Bangor would be a great destination for a romantic getaway. There are plenty of lavish spa facilities across the town, as well as a number of romantic restaurants.

Historic Charm in Bangor – Beautiful apartment on massive land

Beautiful apartment on massive land

Suited for a small family, this apartment is the ideal stay in Bangor if you’re looking for a true home away from home. Soak up the modern, tasteful and homey apartment surrounded by a beautiful and private 3 acres yard. It’s a short 5min walk from the Bangor center where you can find charming cafes, vineries, beer breweries, restaurants, and country stores. If you’re feeling stiff from all the exploring, loosen up your muscles in the in-house sauna or grab a cup of tea and enjoy the sunshine in the massive garden.

Cozy House in Bangor – Central Home

Central Home

This house is a little basic, but it’s a fantastic choice for families on a budget that would rather book a holiday home. With three bedrooms, it can sleep up to 11 people. The interiors were recently renovated, so the furnishings are quite new and sturdy and offers modern amenities. It’s also right in the heart of Bangor, making it a super convenient choice for getting to nearby attractions.

Charming Hotel near Bangor – Hotel Belvidere

This delightful hotel comes with superb guest reviews thanks to the exquisite decor and old-world feel of this restored 1800s building. The large rooms boast comfortable beds and stunning antiques that transport you back in time. A great choice for some peace and quiet away from the main tourist areas.

Things to See and Do in Bangor

Bangor Poconos
  • Smith KREKK Alpacas is a unique experience for the whole family where you can get up close and personal with the South American mammal.
  • Columcille Megalith Park features recreations of ancient megaliths and is home to an annual Celtic festival.
  • Fill up with hearty pub grub at the Broadway Pub; it really compliments the old British vibes of the town.
  • Get your drink on at the family-owned vineyard and winery Tolino Vineyards. Offering stunning mountain views and estate-grown wine to be enjoyed with local cheese on the patio, it’s one not to miss in the summer months.
The Future of the SIM Card is HERE!

A new country, a new contract, a new piece of plastic – booooring. Instead, buy an eSIM!

An eSIM works just like an app: you buy it, you download it, and BOOM! You’re connected. It’s just that easy.

Is your phone eSIM ready? Read about how e-Sims work or click below to see one of the top eSIM providers on the market and ditch the plastic.

Buy an eSIM!

#4 Jim Thorpe – Coolest Place to Stay in the Poconos

Jim Thorpe Poconos
Enjoy the hustle and bustle of this historic town.

Visiting in the winter? Stay in Jim Thorpe! This town is close to major ski resorts, with regular connections to the slopes for those that don’t want to bring their own car. Arguably, Jim Thorpe is even busier than Stroudsburg in the colder months. For this reason, we think it’s also a great destination for first-time visitors.

But what about those visiting during the summer? Jim Thorpe is an adventure lover’s paradise. Hiking and rafting are offered nearby, and the town center is home to some interesting historical attractions.

Rustic Cabin in Jim Thorpe – Historic Forest

Historic Forest

Nestled in the forests on the outskirts of Jim Thorpe, this romantic cabin in Pennsylvania is an idyllic destination for couples planning a trip to the Pocono Mountains. Thanks to Jim Thorpe’s relatively small size, you’ll still be within walking distance of the town center. There is a shared yard where you can make use of the communal barbecue and outdoor dining area.

Vintage Apartment in Jim Thorpe – Historic Jim Thorpe

Historic Jim Thorpe

Jim Thorpe really is a fantastic destination for historic accommodation! This renovated apartment has retained some of its traditional features, delivering a stylish blend of old and new. Lehigh Gorge State Park is within walking distance, as is the centre of Jim Thorpe. With only one bedroom, this is a fantastic choice for couples looking for a bit of an upgrade.

Cute Inn in Jim Thorpe – The Inn at Jim Thorpe

The Inn at Jim Thorpe

Right in the heart of Jim Thorpe, this quaint little hotel takes you back to Pennsylvania’s colonial past. The stunning architecture is surrounded by greenery, creating a countryside vibe. The on-site restaurant serves the kind of food you’d expect in an old English pub. It’s within driving distance of some great hiking and skiing trails. And as for the rooms? They’re so cosy you’ll barely want to leave.

Things to See and Do in Jim Thorpe

Jim Thorpe Poconos
Jim Thorpe has something for everybody.
  • Bringing the family pet? This two and a half hour boulder summiting experience just outside Jim Thorpe is both kid and dog friendly!
  • Blue Ski Mountain Area is the largest ski resort in the area – with slopes to suit all levels.
  • Pocono Whitewater Rafting operates out of Jim Thorpe, providing adrenaline-pumping excursions during the spring and summer.
  • Through the Looking Glass is one of our favourite restaurants in the Poconos, with laid-back vibes and live music in the evenings.
  • Step back in time at The Old Jail Museum and see for yourself the inside of the jail cells that held Jim Thorpe in the 1800s. Great fun for all the family!

FAQ about Finding a Place to Stay in Pocono Mountains

Here’s what people usually ask us about the areas of Poconos and where to stay.

Don’t Forget Travel Insurance for Poconos

A banner creative for World Nomads travel insurance

It’s good to get lost sometimes, but it’s also good not to get too lost. There are people that want you home in one piece.

There’s one travel insurance provider The Broke Backpacker trusts for all his wildest shenanigans… World Nomads!

Click the button below to get a quote on your insurance or read our in-depth review of World Nomads’ coverage. And then… let the shenanigans begin. 😉

Final Thoughts on Where To Stay in the Pocono Mountains

The Pocono Mountains should be on your staycation radar this coming year. Whether you’re looking for winter ski slopes or peaceful summer hikes, there’s something to suit all itineraries. The small towns also offer a unique insight into local culture in rural Pennsylvania, especially for those that are willing to venture off the beaten path.

If we had to pick our favorite place to stay, we’d have to go with Jim Thorpe. The town bursts with life during the winter, housing guests from across the East Coast. Even in the summer, it’s a worthy destination with sunny hikes and stunning nature trails, so get those hiking boots ready!

That being said, it was tough for us to pick the best neighborhoods for this guide; the Pocono Mountains are an incredible destination with so much to offer. Our top tip? If you can, you should take a day to explore the smaller villages dotted around the region.

Are you looking for a more personal touch to your vacations? Consider booking a bed and breakfast in Pennsylvania for more homely comforts.

Did we miss anything? Let us know in the comments.

Do you own an awesome hostel, hotel, or apartment? Want to be featured in our list? Email [email protected] to find out how.

Updated November 2022 by Megan Christopher


Bye for now, but not forever!

If you want MORE top-tier Broke Backpacker content like this, then sign up for our weekly newsletter below to get the latest and greatest!










    And for transparency’s sake, please know that some of the links in our content are affiliate links. That means that if you book your accommodation, buy your gear, or sort your insurance through our link, we earn a small commission (at no extra cost to you). That said, we only link to the gear we trust and never recommend services we don’t believe are up to scratch. Again, thank you!