Whether you are a fan of winter sports and ski, a hiking fanatic, lover of the fall foliage, or just enjoy beautiful pristine nature, the Poconos has something for you. Due its location, close to many international hubs, finding a flight that can take you closer to this travel destination is not a hussle. Getting there is possible by bus from $19, private driver from $139, or just driving there. Its local bus network makes visiting the area simple with tickets from $1.50, taxis from $17, on-demand rides from $14.
The Poconos Key Information
The Pocono Mountains also known as "The Poconos" are located in the state of Pennsylvania in the north-east coast of the United States. This popular region includes the cities of Stroudsburg, Delaware Water Gap, Jim Thorpe, Honesdale, Hawley, Lake Wallenpaupack, Milford,and Tannersville. Considered one of the best summer vacation spots in the United States due to its beautiful landscape which includes hills, valleys, and lakes.
Language can be an issue for non-English native speakers, it is very rare to find people who speak other languages across the US but mainly in this area.
The high season of the Poconos starts with Spring in March and peaks in August as the weather gets warmer raising the cost of accommodations and services. Summer months are the best to enjoy hiking, horse riding, and water parks. During October, outdoor activities come to an end but visitors can still enjoy wine festivals and other activities that take place during this month.
The ski season starts in December and extends through January.
The tricky part
Given the warmer weather in spring, the area becomes increasingly more crowded with visitors with August being the peak of the high season for the Poconos making accommodation costs rise. Summer is the optimal time to visit if you enjoy hiking, horse riding, and water parks. Outdoor activities come to an end in October but wine festivals and other popular activities are still available for visitors to enjoy. The ski season starts in December extending through January.
The main roads that connect The Poconos are Downtown Stroudsburg, Route 611, or Interstate 80. These are better maintained and usually well plowed and salted during the winter. On the contrary, you will also find back roads available, but these tend to be either not paved, poorly paved, or are just extremely windy and dangerous making them a less desirable option to take when the weather can cause damage to them. Traffic increases during the holidays (Thanksgiving, Christmas, Labor's Day, Spring Break) and most of winter.
Even when traveling to some of the best known ski locations, like Shawnee Mountain and Camelback Mountain, the roads in the winter can be very treacherous unless you have a vehicle with 4x4 wheel drive that handles well in winter weather conditions.
Getting to The Poconos
The Poconos is a classic vacation spot for Americans and visitors from across the globe alike due to the fact that it provides quiet moments enjoying the mountains at luxurious hotels as well as exciting experiences at water parks and adventure tours. Around 24 million visitors per year travel to this area, arriving mostly from New York and Philadelphia.
Within Pennsylvania state, the Poconos area counts with several privately-owned airports of public use. Some of these are Cherry Ridge Airport in Honesdale, Beltzville Airport and Jake Arner Memorial Airport-22n in Lehighton, Flying Dollar Airport in Canadensis, Pocono Mountains Municipal Airport in Tobyhanna, and Stroudsburg–Pocono Airport in East Stroudsburg. Nevertheless, commercial flights do not operate to these smaller airports.
The main airport servicing the Poconos area is Lehigh Valley Airport (ABE) reciving traffic from several International airports such as JFK Airport (JFK) and Philadelphia International Airport (PHL).
Renting a car at Lehigh Valley International Airport can be a comfortable option if willing to drive to Stroudsburg and start exploring the Poconos from there.
Prebooking a private chauffeur through Mozio is a comfortable option with rides from $139 for a private sedan for up to three passengers, a private van for up to 5 passengers from $241, larger groups of up to 14 passenger can pick a private bus from $650.
When driving to the Poconos coming from New York City on the East the fastest route is highway I-80 West which takes almost two hours (107 miles). If coming from Philadelphia on the South, take I-476 North for a two-hour drive (102 miles). From the West, if coming from Pittsburgh take US-22 East and then switch to I-80 East in Williamsport.
The Frugal Options
From New York City's Port Authority Bus Terminal, offers daily bus services to Stroudsburg, Delaware Water Gap, Mount Pocono, and the Water Parks. Daily services run from 8:15am to 11:30pm and tickets start at $46 per passenger when bought online.
From Philadelphia's Amtrak 30th Street Station, offers two daily services at 11:30am and at 6:30pm to Scranton where you need to board a different bus to Mount Poconos. From Philadephia to Scranton, the ticket is $47 per passenger and then $19 to Mount Pocono.
From Scranton's Martz Bus Terminal, daily services to Pocono area run from 4:30am to 3:25pm, tickets start at $19 per passenger.
Private Transfer Options
For those who do not feel like driving or getting there by bus, a private chauffeur may turn out to be the most suitable choice.
The Mozio Recommendation
The best option to arrive to the Poconos would be to rent a car from Lehigh Valley International Airport because of the freedom to move around without a schedule.
Several well known companies offer a wide range of cars and promotions.
- Alamo offers an economy car for 4 passengers for $24 or a minivan for 7 passengers for $90.
- Avis and Budget offer sedan cars for 5 passengers at $40 and SUVs for 7 to 8 passengers at $80 to $110.
- Hertz offers an economy car for 4 passengers for $82 and an SUV for 5 passengers at $101.
All the mentioned companies include unlimited mileage.
Moving AROUND The Poconos
A number of accessible alternatives allows you to easily explore the area surrounding the Poconos and the towns around Stroudsburg.
The most popular public transport option, is available for as low as $1.50 with the ticket being valid for a duration of 2 hours during which you can board another bus as long as it is going on the same direction.
Uber is available for those who prefer to ask for a ride on-demand without needing to rely on schedules. Rides starting at $14 (approximately $7.85 per mile).
Popular areas like Jim Thorpe, Honesdale, Hawley, Lake Wallenpaupack, and Milford do not have direct buses connecting to them so it results better to rent a vehicle if you wish to visit them. You can rent an economy sedan at Stroudsburg with Enterprise Rent-A-Car starting at $50 for 4 passengers, or a mini van for up to 7 passengers at $110.
The Frugal Option
The best alternative to move around Stroudsburg, Mount Pocono, Delaware Water Gap, and Tannersville is , the public transportation service within Monroe County. A local bus service that costs $1.50 per passenger and is paid with the that can be purchased with cash directly on the bus.
While there is a $1 charge for the initial card activation, it can be loaded with credit after that. Different make this a suitable alternative if you are thinking about taking the bus to move around.
- One way ticket costs $1.50 or $1 for students.
- TobyEXPRESS3 (a premium service) $2.50 per passenger per way.
- MoGo Daily Pass $3 or $2 for students.
- MoGo 7 Day Pass $15 or $10 for students.
MoGo 30 Day Pass $50 or $35 for students.
Bear in mind a valid student ID must be presented when purchasing and using fares or passes.
- Red Route 101 provides service between Stroudsburg and East Stroudsburg, including some points of interest like Bartonsville Giant, St. Luke's Hospital, the Stroud Mall, downtown Stroudsburg, downtown East Stroudsburg, ESU, LV Hospital at Pocono, and Eagles Glen Mall. Bus runs from 6:15am to 7:30pm Monday to Saturday. Transfer points at St. Luke's and Eagles Glen Mall / Big Lots.
- Blue Route 100 provides service from the Bartonsville Giant to Mt. Pocono and Coolbaugh Township, it does not operate on Sundays. Bus schedule is 7:10am to 8:30pm.
Are Rideshare & TaxiApps Readily Available In The Poconos?
Car Rental Options
Car rental is available mainly at Stroudsburg to start your aventure at the Poconos. Several well known car rental companies like Avis, Budget, Enterprise, and Hertz are present at The Poconos offering their services.
Alamo offers an economy car for 4 passengers for $24 or a minivan for 7 passengers for $90.
Avis and Budget offer sedan cars for 5 passengers at $40 and SUVs for 7 to 8 passengers with prices between $80 and $110.
Hertz offers an economy car for 4 passengers for $82 and an SUV for 5 passengers at $101.
All the mentioned companies include unlimited mileage with the rental of one of their vehicles.
Renting a car will let you visit every spot in the Poconos without having to depend on a bus schedule.
Day Trips Around The Poconos
Scranton, the sixth-largest city in the state of Pennsylvania located at the center of the Lackawanna River Valley houses the Steamtown National Historic Site, The Electric City Trolley Station and Museum, Nay Aug Park among other icons of the city.
From Stroudsburg you can take Martz Group bus to Scranton, ticket costs $23. Service is available from 10am to 8pm.
Prebooked through Mozio, a private ride on a sedan car for 3 passengers starts at $182 and $612 on a private van for 10 passengers.
Uber rides start at $70.
While at Tannersville, you can visit Camelbeach Mountain Waterpark, which is considered the state largest outdoor waterpark. Ticket fees range from $34 to $44. During winter season you can enjoy a day at Camelback Mountain Ski Resort, where you can take ski lessons or have fun at the snowtubing park. You can also spend time shopping at The Crossings Premium Outlets, there are more than 100 designer and name brand outlet stores offering great discounts of 25% to 65% every day.
From Stroudsburg you can take Martz Group bus to Tannersville, the ticket costs $17. Service is available from 9:45am to 6:10pm.
Prebooked through Mozio, a private ride on a sedan car for 3 passengers starts at $102 and $352 on a private van for 10 passengers.
Uber rides start at $19.
Wilkes-Barre is located in the center of the Wyoming Valley. You can enjoy a hike through the forest with some great scenic streams and rock waterfalls at Seven Tubs Natural Area. This beautiful area is perfect for kids and adults to walk around, dogs are also allowed.
From Stroudsburg you can take Martz Group bus to Wilkes-Barre, ticket costs $23. Service is available from 9:45am to 8pm.
Prebooked through Mozio, a private ride on a sedan car for 3 passengers starts at $189 and $653 on a private van for 10 passengers.
Uber rides start at $73.
Allentown located in eastern Pennsylvania state it is part of Lehigh Valley. The city was famous for being the hiding place of the Liberty Bell during the Revolutionary War and it has a museum with a full-size replica of the bell and murals about its history. If traveling with the entire family, you can visit Dorney Park & Wildwater Kingdom. The park has seven roller coasters and a waterpark, a unique combo of fun for kids and adults.
From Stroudsburg you can take a bus from the Martz Group to Allentown, the ticket costs $15. Service is available from 9:45am to 6:10pm.
Prebooked through Mozio, a private ride on a sedan for 3 passengers starts at $153 and $527 on a private van for 10 passengers.
Uber rides start at $62.