So you’re visiting the Poconos and looking for a place to spend a romantic date night with your partner. Considering we used to be one of the honeymoon capitals of the world, you’d think there would be a plethora of options.
You’re sort of right. Most of the old honeymooner favorites are long gone, wasting away on the side of the road, a sad relic of what used to be. On the brighter side, there are plenty of new (or newly remodeled) places that are just right for a romantic date night in the Poconos!
Places to Go for a Romantic Date Night in the Poconos
First, let’s talk overnight visits, for those of you who live in cities close by and want to hop up (down or over) here for a weekend getaway with your honey. Or maybe those of you who are visiting with the fam but managed to score a sitter for a little extra escape of your own. While many of the decadent resorts of yesteryear are gone (Penn Hills, anyone?), we do have quite a few decent places still standing.
Overnight date nights
Paradise Stream: My personal favorite, ever since Sal and I reviewed their resort back in 2012. Check into their deals because you can often find loads of special offers, like 30% off during the spring and summer, weekend package deals and “room only” deals. Aside from the “room only” deal, the packages include a decadent dinner, access to all their entertainment and absolutely amazing romantic rooms, like this:
Cove Haven: Owned by the same company that runs Paradise Stream (and Pocono Palace), I’ve never stayed at this one but my aunt worked there a very long time ago. They’ve changed quite a bit since then. I remember we used to have to drive over a little wooden bridge to get there. Totally freaked me out when I’d go with her! This one is located right on the shores on Lake Wallenpaupack, PA’s largest man-made lake. It’s ideal for those who want to add a little more outdoor recreation to their romantic date night in the Poconos. All of the Cove resorts are couples-only, no kids allowed.
Lodge at Woodloch: I have heard some amazing things about Woodloch in Lackawaxen, PA, although I’ve never been there. If you’re looking for the ultimate relaxing experience, though, definitely check it out. They offer 27 spa treatment rooms and gourmet restaurants featuring organic foods. The packages are all-inclusive and they have a ton of great classes that you can take together.
Settlers Inn (Hawley, PA): I’ve never been here, but I hear it is absolutely gorgeous. Hawley itself is a neat little town full of charm. I really want to get up that way again soon (it’s about an hour from my house, maybe a little less). The rooms are very B&B style, but they do have private baths and some even have whirlpool tubs. I love the combination of the more personal touch of a B&B mixed with the privacy of a hotel. You can even get in-room massages or champagne and cheese trays delivered.
Romantic Dinners for Two
Can’t get away for a whole weekend or overnight? Opt for a romantic dinner instead! Of course, you can have a romantic dinner at a fast food joint if you’re madly in love, but if you want something with a little more class, try one of these great places:
Stroudsmoor Country Inn: The entire property of the Stroudsmoor is absolutely beautiful. We often have family lunches there for holidays. They have a hotel on property, but it’s the food that draws a crowd in my opinion. The Grand Buffet on Saturday evenings is pretty spectacular. It’s pricey at $32+ a person, but if you enjoy food, you can definitely get your fill.
Big A Italian & American Grillehouse & Tavern: A Grillehouse doesn’t exactly sound like a romantic atmosphere, but ever since Big A moved to a new location a few years ago, they’ve become one of the most gorgeous restaurants in my area. It’s located right next to the Marshall’s Creek flea market and on the side of Route 209. You’ll know it because it’s the classiest thing on the strip. Inside, it’s mostly candlelit, with fireplaces and mood lighting galore. Expensive, yes, but so worth it.
Peppe’s Bistro: Back when I was in high school, Peppe’s was THE place to go before semi-formal night at school. They recently remodeled and I haven’t been there since, but the menu has many of the same delicious entrees, like the Chicken Francese that I just love. They are right next door to a bowling alley, so you can eat, then work it off!
Siamsa Irish Pub: Looking for something a little more laid-back? Siamsa is a bar, yes, but they also have a nice dining area upstairs for a more intimate dining experience. I’ve never eaten there, but I’ve been inside. It was on St. Patrick’s Day a couple years ago with Sal, and the night is a little, um, fuzzy. Although Sal won a trip to Atlantic City that night, so it was pretty awesome! The place is stunning. I heard they had the wood for the bar important from Ireland. They also have live music on the weekends.
Barley Creek Brewing Company: Not really looking for upscale dining that puts a big dent in your date night budget? Barley Creek is a pretty cool place if you just want some good food at normal prices. It’s an actual microbrewery too, so you can take a tour after you finish eating! If you like beer, this is a great opportunity to sample some really tasty brews.
Daytime Dates with Nature
While you can visit some of these places at night as well, most are best enjoyed during the day.
Lake Wallenpaupack: As the largest manmade lake in the Poconos, there’s plenty of secluded shoreline that’s just perfect for romantic walks and deep conversation. If seclusion isn’t your thing, rent a boat and take a moonlight paddle (with life jackets and what not, because drowning is so not sexy).
Delaware Water Gap: Delaware Water Gap offers plenty of options for couples, from a romantic hike along one of their milder trails to a moonlight picnic looking out over the mountain.
Bushkill Falls: Okay, so it’s not the Niagara Falls, but it’s our own little version of it! Bushkill Falls is a beautiful place to hike and take in the view. If you happen to live in the area, it’s free for residents in the 183– zipcodes (they used to have a slogan, 183 get in free). You just need to show proof that you live here. If you’re from out of town, there is a charge to stroll the hiking trails. Check out my totally unbiased, non-sponsored review of Bushkill Falls.
Pocono Environmental Education Center (PEEC)– While PEEC often sponsors different educational outings for kids, don’t discount its appeal to the romantic hiker! There are no fees to hike any of the six trails, each with its own difficulty level. They also offer guided hikes for a small fee. The park is only open until 5PM, so plan to go on a day date if you want to check this one out.
Promised Land State Park: If you’re willing to drive a bit further, head up to Promised Land State Park for everything from stunning nature trails to a day at the beach (it’s a lake beach, but still a pretty decent beach). I grew up just miles down the road from this park and went back to visit many years later. I was surprised to see that it looks just the same as it did when I was little! It’s really one of the last untouched areas in the Poconos.
Other places to go and things to see on a date in the Poconos
If you’re not up for a secluded stroll in nature or a dinner for two, there are other places to go and things to see on a date night in the Poconos.
Clubs and Bars: East Stroudsburg is a college town, so we have more than our share of bars. You pretty much have to like crowds though, as just about all the good ones are packed every weekend. I honestly don’t know which are “in” anymore because I left the bar scene a long time ago. Floods used to be my favorite spot, but it’s kind of small so it gets super packed. Sara Street Grill is another favorite. Both have excellent wings, and Sara Street often has live music too. If you want to do the club/bar scene, just go to Main Street in Stroudsburg, park, and walk up and down the street until you find one you like. You can’t walk two steps without hitting one.
Movie Theaters: Want to see a movie? We have three theaters in the area. For the best viewing experience, you’ll need to go to the Stroud Mall to the Cinemark theater. It’s relatively new and has the prettiest screens with the comfiest seats. HOWEVER, if you don’t want to end up squished next to obnoxious strangers throughout the entire movie (happens every single time we go), the Poconos Movieplex in Foxmoore Village isn’t so bad. It’s not as nice and the screens are a bit smaller, but you’re almost guaranteed to have a row to yourself on most nights.
If you like indie films or a very small selection of bigger hits, Pocono Community Theater is a good choice. It’s pretty small with just three screens, but it has a terrific cafe and an “artistic” vibe. The theater itself is pretty passionate about supporting the arts.
Cove Haven Resorts Nightclubs: If your budget doesn’t allow you to actually stay at one of Cove Haven’s resorts, you can still visit the nightclubs on the properties. They always have some sort of entertainment, from live music to “couples-only” game shows and more. Be warned, though, some of the entertainment can get a little, um, risque.
Live Music: While a lot of the nightclubs and bars have live music on a smaller scale, if your tastes lean towards bigger shows, you have a few options. The Sherman Theater in Stroudsburg has become quite the hot spot for huge names in music. Sal and I saw the Dropkick Murphys there a couple of years ago. I’ve seen them in 3 other locations and this one was by far my favorite. If you’re into country music or classic rock, Penn’s Peak is a good spot from what I hear. Sorry, I don’t really listen to that type of music, so I can’t give you more details.
Between all these ideas, I’m sure you can come up with the perfect date night in the Poconos! The most important thing, of course, is spending time together. Then again, I’ve spent hours in a freezing car with my boyfriend when I got a flat tire, so that phrase is over-rated. We all want to spend our rare date nights doing something a bit more fun than waiting for AAA!
Do you live in Northeast PA? Where are your favorite spots to go for a romantic date night in the Poconos? Tell me in the comments!