Since the first hotel was built in the Delaware Water Gap area in 1829, the Pocono Mountains in Pennsylvania have grown steadily as a travel and vacation destination over nearly two centuries. Located only a couple of hours by car from both New York City and Philadelphia, the area has given generations of city-dwellers a serene place where they can escape from city life and enjoy the natural surroundings. Throughout the year, visitors to the Pocono Mountains can enjoy a wide range of activities, from a relaxing hike through the woods to high-adrenaline ziplining excursions. And when the weather turns cold and snow starts accumulating on the slopes, the ski resorts open and attract skiers and snowboarders by the thousands. Winter in The Poconos While the Poconos may not have the tallest peaks – the highest elevation is just over 2,200 feet – there are steep slopes and moguls that will challenge experienced skiers. There are also more moderate trails and terrain parks that are fine for beginners, as well as slopes that are great for snowboarders and snow tubing. And because The Poconos is mostly wooded and rural, it's a great destination for people who love to experience nature in the winter, whether you're on cross-country skis or on horseback. You can also rent a snowmobile and explore the snowy countryside that stretches for miles and miles. And if you're feeling truly adventurous, there are opportunities to go ice fishing, depending on weather conditions. Bushkill Riding StablesEvery year starting in November, the area is transformed into a holiday wonderland. It's one of the top reasons The Pocono Mountains are such a desirable destination around this time of year. With a soft blanket of snow covering the rolling hills that surround you, most visitors can't help but get into the holiday spirit. The holiday festivities start with the Downtown Stroudsburg tree lighting ceremony on December 29, the day after Thanksgiving. This event is just a short drive from Pocono Mountain Villas By Exploria Resorts and it's a great way to celebrate the start of the Christmas season with a candlelight ceremony, horse-drawn carriage rides through town, caroling, refreshments, and, of course, the lighting of the Christmas tree. Holiday shopping If you're in The Poconos between Thanksgiving and Christmas, it's a lot of fun to get some or all of your holiday shopping done while you're there. One of the most popular destinations in the area is, naturally, is the town of Bethlehem, located about 35 miles from Stroudsburg. Nicknamed “Christmas City,” Bethlehem hosts its Christkindlmarket from November 22 to December 22 this year, offering a holiday-shopping paradise with more than 100 vendors and artisans from across the country. Christmas is also a time when everybody's sweet tooth wants to get their fill of candies, cookies, and other sweet treats – especially if there's chocolate involved! Pennsylvania jams and jellies are also a popular treat to enjoy and give as gifts to friends and family. At this time of year, taffy, fudge, and baked goods can be found around every corner to tempt you. Many of the shops that sell these delicious treats are happy to ship them nationwide. Spring and Summer in The Poconos Once the winter snow melts and the scenery turns green again, a whole new set of outdoor activities become popular for visitors to the Pocono Mountains.Pocono Hills Golf CourseThe northern climate and higher elevations tend to keep the area a little cooler and more pleasant throughout the summer, which is why so many people go there to escape! Some of the more popular activities this time of year include: With acres and acres of pristine, natural scenery throughout The Poconos, avid golfers can find an extensive variety of courses to play. Depending on when you're visiting, you can enjoy a warm sunny day surrounded by lush trees and foliage, or play when there's a nip in the air and you're surrounded by fall colors. With so much natural beauty in the area, what better way to enjoy it than from above? Throughout The Poconos, there are several ziplining venues that range in length up to several thousand feet. Some will even reach speeds of up to 60 mph as you sail above hardwood forests and raging rivers! Did you know our local Pocono resort has ziplining on-site? Check out Pocono Tree Ventures and unleash your inner Tarzan on one of our rope courses. With the Appalachian trail lining the southern border of the Pocono Mountains, there are numerous hiking trails that criss-cross through the state parks and recreation areas in the region. While that includes many trails that are easy to walk, there are also quite a few for the more ambitious hikers who want to test their abilities and stamina. Horseback Riding. There is simply no better way to experience the natural setting of the Pocono Mountains then from the saddle of a horse. Horseback riding through The Poconos is a relaxing experience that offers close-up views of the birds, plants, and other wildlife in the area. If you're planning to visit the beautiful Pocono Mountains in eastern Pennsylvania, it would be our privilege to welcome you to Pocono Mountain Villas By Exploria Resorts. Throughout the year, we offer comfortable, spacious suites where you can relax in front of your fireplace with a cup of hot chocolate in the winter, or lounge by the pool during warmer weather.