Travel: Back to the Poconos

You already know they’re a-changing. But here’s our favorite little corner of former kitsch

As the proud owners of a set of “Poconos Love Potion” glasses, my husband and I have always fondly recalled the old heart-shaped-bed heyday of the Poconos, with all the associated kitsch. So we weren’t surprised to learn


As the proud owners of a set of “Poconos Love Potion” glasses, my husband and I have always fondly recalled the old heart-shaped-bed heyday of the Poconos, with all the associated kitsch. So we weren’t surprised to learn that the Poconos are hip again, including our current new/old favorite: the riverfront town of Milford, on the northern tip of the Delaware Water Gap. A summer playground of Manhattan society in the mid-1800s, the small town has recently worked to recapture its history and restore its buildings (new period lampposts and architectural tours included). High-end eats and stays have followed, giving Milford a mix that makes a perfect weekend: Hike the nearby Appalachian trail or to a Gap waterfall, dine haute, find the perfect faux-fox-trimmed tapestry coat (like the one I got at Forest Hall Antiques, 214 Broad Street), and then sink into bed at one of the town’s revamped inns. Who needs camp after all?

Stay and Eat: Cliff Park Inn, a romantic, remote hotel a few miles out of town on 500 acres of scenic countryside, has seven miles of hiking trails and a nine-hole golf course. Cypress, the on-site restaurant, has a woodsy decor but surprisingly sophisticated food, at about $100 for a two-person dinner. Rooms, with deep claw-foot bathtubs and four-poster beds, are $129 to $249 (155 Cliff Park Road, 800-225-6535; cliffparkinn.com). The Hotel Fauchère, a sophisticated, full-service hotel originally opened in 1852, has been meticulously restored to its original magnificence, with modern luxuries like radiant-heated bathroom floors. Its Delmonico Room, named for the famed New York steakhouse, is a white-tableclothed, sports-coat-formal restaurant with a $50 weekend prix fixe that might include beef carpaccio, a rich porcini mushroom-accompanied rack of lamb, and a delectable chocolate pâté. Or try the hotel’s more casual Bar Louis, with its experimental comfort menu that includes a sushi “pizza”; entrées run $12 to $15. Rooms are $275 to $350 (401 Broad Street, 570-409-1212; hotelfauchere.com).

Do: Between hiking and other outdoorsy pursuits, visit Grey Towers, the stately mansion and grounds once owned by Gifford Pinchot, former Pennsylvania governor and first U.S. Forest Service director (fs.fed.us/na/gt). At The Columns, the county historical museum, see the bloody flag placed under Abe Lincoln’s head after his assassination (608 Broad Street, 570-296-8126; pikehistory.org). Attend the Milford Music Festival in June (milfordmusic.org) or the Black Bear Film Festival in October (blackbearfilm.com).