Throwback Family-Friendly Lodge with Communal Meals and Games
Noel Daniels, the current owner of Chestnut Grove Lodge, has been leading this family-oriented resort for the past 17 summers. But her connection to the resort dates back much further than that: her father-in-law was the social director back in the '50s, and through him, she fell in love with the property's groves of flowering dogwoods, magnolias, and weeping cherries set amid the Poconos.
Life at the lodge still has a distinctly old-fashioned feel; there's a full roster of daily activities, and guests gather for hearty communal meals. "It's like summer camp for the whole family," says Noel, whose own three kids often help out with the daily arts and crafts projects. Although schedules vary, there's always karaoke before dinner and rounds of bingo afterward, as well as a live DJ on Friday and Saturday nights who leads the crowd in classic dances such as the Y.M.C.A., the Macarena, and the Heimlich maneuver. During downtime, check out the private lake, which features a scenic footbridge, a fishing dock, and flocks of resident ducks.
Breakfasts (8 a.m.–10 a.m.) include eggs, bacon, and home fries, and dinners (5 p.m.–7 p.m.) might feature barbecue ribs or chicken scampi. The included dining credit covers anything at the snack bar, from a bacon cheeseburger ($3.25) at lunchtime to a cocktail in the evening. Among the guest rooms, Main Lodge and Poolside units stand closest to the dining hall and activity centers, and Lakeview rooms and standalone Vista cottages overlook the water.
The Poconos, Pennsylvania: Alpine Waterfalls and Autumn Leaves
With its dry, cool mountain air, the Poconos have been a popular vacation spot for New Yorkers since the late 19th century. By now, many of the families staying here have been coming for generations and have carved out their own traditions amid the landscape.
Many visitors make a pilgrimage to Bushkill Falls, about 45 minutes east of the resort. It has eight tiers of waterfalls, and it's affectionately called "the Niagara of Pennsylvania."
A popular way to see the forest—especially during the brilliant fall foliage season—is by riding on horseback. Less than a mile from the resort, staff members at Mountain Creek Riding Stable lead trail rides and horse-drawn wagons through the woods.
Read the Fine Print for important info on travel dates and other restrictions.