Throwback Family-Friendly Lodge with Communal Meals and Games
Noel Daniels, the current owner of Chestnut Grove Resort, has been leading this family-oriented lodge for more than 15 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 YMCA, 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. to 10 a.m.) include eggs, bacon, and home fries, and dinners (5 p.m. to 7 p.m.) might feature barbecue ribs or chicken scampi. Among the guest rooms, main-lodge and poolside units stand closest to the dining hall and activity centers, and lake-view rooms and standalone Vista cottages overlook the water.
Pennsylvania’s Pocono Mountains: Hiking, Trout Fishing, and Quaint, Historical Towns
The Poconos region of northeastern Pennsylvania accounts for some 2,400 square miles of mountains, lakes, waterfalls, and forests. The area has been a popular vacation destination ever since Pennsylvania Quakers opened a hotel here on the Delaware River in 1829. Today, the Poconos draw nearly 24 million annual visitors, thanks to year-round recreational opportunities and spectacular natural scenery.
The warmer months are a great time to explore the region’s lakes and wooded hills. For spectacular hikes, check out Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area, where you can trek to dramatic waterfalls or follow a 27-mile section of the historic Appalachian Trail. Throughout the region are dozens of lakes and streams filled with bass and trout. Lake Wallenpaupack, located 30 miles east of Scranton, is one of the best fishing spots in the state.
There are diversions outside of hiking and fishing, too. A handful of quaint little towns full of antique shops and galleries nestle in the mountains. You'll find boutique wine galleries and historical mansions tucked away on country roads, including the late 19th-century Asa Packer Mansion, which is open for tours, in the borough of Jim Thorpe.
Read the Fine Print for important info on travel dates and other restrictions.