With gas prices still high and our current recession showing little sign of ending anytime soon, many people are opting for staycations this summer. As you probably already know, staycation is the recently-coined word to describe vacation time spent at home enjoying day trips to area attractions, investigating and visiting the places “in your own backyard,” exploring the local culture, etc.
Lucky for us, our “backyard” is the beautiful Pocono Mountains! Spreading across 2,400 square miles of northeast Pennsylvania – encompassing Carbon, Monroe, Pike and Wayne counties – we have impressively scenic mountains, forests, rivers, lakes and waterfalls. Not only are there 9 state parks, 2 national parks, 261 miles of hiking trails, and 35 golf courses nestled within this beautiful backyard of ours, but there is also a rich culture and over 350 years of history waiting to be discovered through our area’s plethora of historic and cultural attractions. Here are 7 of my favorites (in no particular order):
- Quiet Valley Living Historical Farm (Monroe County): Visit a working historical farm set on over 100-acres of pasture, woods, and fields. Did you know Quiet Valley is listed on the National Register of Historic Places?
- Upper Delaware River Region (Pike and Wayne Counties) : Be sure to visit the oldest existing wire suspension bridge in the United States and The Zane Grey Museum.
- Pocono Indian Museum (Monroe County): Learn about the history of the Delaware Indian at this museum – it’s housed in one of the oldest frame buildings in the Poconos, built in 1840
- Water Gap Trolley (Monroe County): Take a guided historical tour of the Delaware Water Gap and surrounding area.
- No. 9 Coal Mine and Museum (Carbon County): Go 1600-feet into the mountain to tour a real coal mine!
These staycation-day ideas are just a few of the many hidden historical treasures available for our discovery and exploration right here, close to home. Perhaps there is a little something positive to be said for the current state of our economy…from day-to-day we sometimes fail to appreciate the beauty and culture we have in our own backyard – opting for a staycation this summer may give us the opportunity to step back and take better notice of these beautiful Pocono Mountains of ours and all they have to offer!
PS – I’ve yet to tell you about my favorite natural treasures, including those wonderful state parks and scenic golf courses that I mentioned earlier…but let’s save those for another blog!