10 Best Mountain Towns in Pennsylvania for Your Next Getaway

I’m all for vacations to big cities and bucket-list destinations, but sometimes you need something that’s a little off the beaten path. Nothing beats a quiet getaway where you can really relax and enjoy some beautiful scenery and local shops.

Luckily, the Keystone State has tons of hidden gems just waiting to be discovered. Let’s take a look at 10 of the best mountain towns in Pennsylvania. 

1. Jim Thorpe

Jim Thorpe, Pennsylvania

When it comes to mountain ranges in Pennsylvania, the Poconos are king. This area in the northeastern part of the state is famous for enjoyable hikes, pristine lakes, and plenty of quaint towns. A local favorite would have to be Jim Thorpe.

With a population of more than a quarter million people, it doesn’t quite qualify as a small town. But it still has that small-town vibe. 

Named after the famous Olympian, this Pennsylvania mountain town is known for elegant architecture and year-round activities. You can go rafting in the summer, enjoy the foliage in the fall, check out a Christmas fair in the winter, or try your hand at mountain biking in the spring.

No matter what time of year you choose to visit, you’ll find a way to enjoy the beauty of Jim Thorpe.

2. Tannersville

View of the Aquatopia indoor waterpark at the Camelback Mountain Resort, a large ski resort in the Poconos mountains in Pennsylvania, United States.
Editorial credit: EQRoy / Shutterstock.com

For adventure lovers, Tannersville is an ideal Pocono mountain town. It features the popular Camelback Resort, which includes a ski mountain, indoor and outdoor waterparks, a zipline, and a ropes course. The outdoor adventure park is the biggest in the state, so I doubt you’ll run out of exciting things to do here. 

If you’re looking to shop ‘til you drop, there’s also the Crossings Premium Outlets. It features over 100 designer and name brand outlet stores that offer quality products at a bargain. Tannersville is a great getaway for those who want a wide range of different activities right at their fingertips.

3. Milford

Milford, Pennsylvania. USA: Grey Towers (1886), the former home of Gifford Pinchot, the first Chief of the US Forestry Service and two-time Governor of Pennsylvania, is a National Historic site.

Another great Pocono mountain town to explore is Milford. This little destination is both scenic and historic, so it makes for a great getaway.

The Grey Towers National Historic Site is an impressive mansion that’s definitely worth a visit. After your visit there, you can walk around the downtown area and enjoy local restaurants and boutiques, or embark on one of the many outdoor adventure opportunities.

Milford is the northern gateway to the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area, a famously beautiful region. You can choose to canoe, kayak, or raft down the river. If you’re more interested in gaining elevation, there are tons of wonderful hikes with views of stunning waterfalls. 

4. Delaware Water Gap

A scenic view of the Delaware Water Gap between Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

The Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area encompasses 70,000 acres of some of the most beautiful scenery in the state. It includes Pennsylvania’s two tallest waterfalls, as well as part of the Appalachian Trail. But in addition to the National Recreation Area, there’s the quaint small town of Delaware Water Gap.

This cozy village is known for hosting through-hikers and tourists alike. There are plenty of mom-and-pop shops, delicious restaurants, and charming accommodations to enjoy here. If you’re a jazz lover, there’s even a historic venue called The Deerhead Inn.

Delaware Water Gap is the perfect mix of exciting adventure and small-town charm. 

5. Stroudsburg

Main Street Stroudsburg

Just west of Delaware Water Gap is the mountain town of Stroudsburg. Its location allows visitors to enjoy many different outdoor activities in the surrounding areas, including plenty of hiking trails to enjoy the local scenery. Kittatinny Mountain is a local favorite, as it offers stunning views and a relatively flat route.

Stroudsburg also offers a robust downtown area with mural-lined streets and tons of local shops. Dunkelberger’s Sports Outfitters is a favorite for stocking up on any outdoor gear, while The Olde Engine Works is the go-to spot for antiques. 

6. Honesdale

Vintage coaches of the Stourbridge Line train in Honesdale, PA.
Editorial credit: Alizada Studios / Shutterstock.com

There are always more Pocono mountain towns to discover, so here’s one more: Honesdale. This tiny town is known as the “birthplace of the American railroad,” as it was the first place in the country to welcome a steam locomotive in 1829. Train lovers will feel right at home in this historic village.

Besides its interesting history, Honesdale is also known for having plenty of recreation opportunities and a wide variety of eateries and accommodations. You can grab a quick bite at Paulie’s Hot Dogs, or enjoy a nice sit-down meal at Native. No matter the occasion or the season, there’s always something exciting to explore here.

7. Hawley

Lake Wallenpaupack is a reservoir in the US state of Pennsylvania. It is the third largest lake in the state. It is located near the town of Hawley and is part of the Pike and Wayne districts.

The Pocono region is obviously known for its mountains, but there are some stunning local lakes to explore, too. Lake Wallenpaupack, the second-largest lake in Pennsylvania, is a popular getaway destination. Located right near the lake is the small town of Hawley.

Hawley is known for its beautiful fall foliage and plethora of bike trails. If you’re looking for some adventure on land and lakes, this is the place. Once you’re done biking and enjoying the stunning scenery, you can enjoy a five-star meal at The Settlers Inn or a fine drink at Glass – Wine. Bar. Kitchen.  

8. Lakeville

Sunset at frozen Lake Wallenpaupack in Pennsylvania

Aptly named, Lakeville is another village on the shores of Lake Wallenpaupack. Its convenient location makes it a great place to stay if you’re looking for lots of aquatic adventures. Just rent a boat and enjoy all that Lake Wallenpaupack has to offer.

Whether you choose to camp or stay at a resort, there are options in Lakeville. One well-known local resort is Cove Haven. This couples-only getaway is famous for its romantic decor and heart-shaped tubs. It’s the perfect spot for couples looking to have a romantic escape with a touch of adventure.  

9. Bedford

Serene creek scene in the fall. Trees have lost their leaves and the water flows past a vibrant mossy bank. Taken in Bedford Springs, Pennsylvania.

The Poconos aren’t the only mountains to explore in Pennsylvania. Head to the southwestern part of the state and you’ll find the Allegheny Mountain Ridge. There are lots of little towns sprinkled around this area, but Bedford is one you definitely won’t want to miss.

The town has some historical significance, as it was once the headquarters of George Washington during the Whiskey Rebellion of 1794. But what the town is really known for is its mineral springs. One resort in particular, the Omni Bedford Springs Resort, is a stunning property with plenty of relaxing mineral springs to enjoy. 

10. Meyersdale

A Scene From a Small Town in Western Pennsylvania on a Saturday Afternoon
Editorial credit: Corvul / Shutterstock.com

Not too far down the road from Bedford, you’ll find the quaint town of Meyersdale. This “trail town” is located along the 150-mile Great Allegheny Passage, which serves as a hiking and biking trail through Maryland and Pennsylvania.

Meyersdale is also known for the scenic Salisbury Viaduct, a picturesque bridge that spans the Casselman River valley. If you happen to be in the area in early spring, you’ll be treated to the local Pennsylvania Maple Festival. There are few things better than beautiful views and fresh maple syrup.

Overlooking small town Milford, PA, from scenic overlook on a sunny fall day

While all these towns offer something just a little different, they all have one thing in common: character.

Going on a mountain getaway in Pennsylvania pretty much guarantees you’ll find a new, exciting trail or adorable little restaurant. Each of these towns has its own personality and culture that’s just waiting to be discovered.

I’m sure there are even more hidden gems out there that I just haven’t heard about yet. If you know of any, feel free to let us know in the comments!

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