Packed with beautiful mountains, babbling streams, and verdant forests, the Poconos and Endless Mountains is 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 Poconos? 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!

Stylish Hideaway in the Poconos – Romantic Cottage

Romantic Cottage

Airbnb Plus properties are hand-selected for their stunning interiors, next-level guest service, and unbeatable locations. This cute little cottage is deep in the heart of the Poconos, so you’ll get to start each day with the rejuvenating sounds of nature. Alongside the local wildlife, you can also bring along your own pet. What’s not to love?

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 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 favourite in the Poconos. 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 of hiking, and the on-site pub serves hearty cuisine to help you recover.

The Poconos 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.

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Top 4 Places to Stay in the Poconos

The Poconos and Endless Mountains is a vibrant 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 Poconos is 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 Poconos 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.
source: GWolfe (shutterstock)

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. 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 Cottage near Stroudsburg – Romantic Cottage

Romantic Cottage

This one is about a 15-minute drive from Stroudsburg, but the gorgeous scenery and sleek interiors make it totally worth the journey. This is the place to stay if you want to be based deep in the Poconos. There isn’t much to do in the surrounding area, but this is part of the charm for those looking for a peaceful getaway. It’s also only a short drive to some of the most popular attractions.

Couples Retreat in Stroudsburg – Danish Inspired

Danish Inspired

On a budget? This quaint little hideaway is a great option for you. In particular, it receives great reviews from couples heading to the region. The Danish-inspired interiors have a minimalist and cool edge. It’s in a peaceful neighbourhood, but the shops and bars of the town centre are within walking distance. We also love the quiet outdoor space where you can soak up the calm vibes.

Comfortable Hotel in Stroudsburg – Staybridge Suites

Staybridge Suites

Staybridge Suites are known across the country for their affordable comfort, and their Stroudsburg offering is one of the best-rated hotels in the area. They’re located on the outskirts of East Stroudsburg, meaning you’ll stay close to the stunning nature of the region. They offer a complimentary breakfast every morning and barbecue facilities during the summer. The rooms are also pretty spacious.

Things to See and Do in Stroudsburg

Stroudsburg Poconos
source: GWolfe (shutterstock)
  • 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 for 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.

#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 neighbourhoods mentioned in this guide. It’s also considerably cheaper, making it a fantastic choice for budget travellers. 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.
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#3 Bangor – Best Area in the Poconos for Families

Bangor Poconos
Relax in Bangor’s laid-back atmosphere.
source: Cynthia Farmer (shutterstock)

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 easy-going 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 retreat. 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 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. It’s also right in the heart of Bangor, making it a super convenient choice for getting to nearby attractions.

Charming Bed and Breakfast near Bangor – Chelsea Sun Inn

Chelsea Sun Inn

It might only have a two-star rating, but this bed and breakfast comes with outstanding guest reviews thanks to the luxury extras that are included. The rooms boast traditional furnishings, taking you back in time to Pennsylvania’s past. It’s a short drive from Bangor in secluded Mount Bethel. This makes it 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.

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

Jim Thorpe Poconos
Enjoy the hustle and bustle of this historic town.
source: Desha Utsick (shutterstock)

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 centre 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 retreat is an idyllic destination for couples planning a trip to the Poconos. Thanks to Jim Thorpe’s relatively small size, you’ll still be within walking distance of the town centre. 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.
source: Desha Utsick (shutterstock)
  • 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.

Final Thoughts on Where To Stay in the Poconos

The Poconos is an outstanding USA travel destination that 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 favourite 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 neighbourhoods for this guide; the Poconos is 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.

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

And don’t forget to take out Travel Insurance for your trip! I have been using World Nomads for some time now and made a few claims over the years. They’re easy to use, professional and relatively affordable. They may also let you buy or extend a policy once you’ve started your trip and are already abroad which is super handy.

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