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Vintage vacation photos from the Poconos

At one point in time, the Poconos were the honeymoon capital of the world, a rival to Niagra Falls tucked away in the mountains north of Philadelphia. The first heart-shaped hot-tub was installed in 1963 and newlyweds flocked to frolick on lakefront beaches and ski the slopes. Jacuzzis shaped like champagne glasses followed. Yet the first resorts in the area were started by the Quakers, at the turn of the century. For decades, familes — and those looking to start a family — booked hotels in small towns like Mount Pocono, Delaware Water Gap and Paradise Valley. Today, the Poconos Mountains are no longer America's vacation hotspot. Fortunately, we can relive the glory days of indoor pools, shuffleboard and banquet halls through postcards and brochures.

Poconos resorts in the past

Fernwood

With its Mondrian-like stained glass, the indoor pool at Fernwood was midcentury mod.



Photo via William Bird.

Onawa Lodge

Loading up at the lunch buffet by the pool in Mountainhome, PA.



Photo via William Bird.

Sterling Inn

Alas, that is a color palette just not used today.



Photo via William Bird.

White Beauty View Resort

Just because Pennsylvania is landlocked, doesn't mean it can't have beaches. See this sandy shore in Greentown.



Photo via William Bird.

Mount Airy Lodge

Bright colors ruled at the Mount Airy Lodge.



Photo via William Bird.

Harry Thorp's Town House

Olive green, grey stone and blonde wood make this a quintessential retro cocktail lounge.



Photo via William Bird.

Mount Airy Lodge

Mount Airy looks like the gem of the Poconos, with year-round luxuries. Just chillin' — er, warmin' — by the fireplace with skis and skates at the ready.

Photo via William Bird.

Glenwood Hotel

A tiered lawn led to the pool in the gorgeous Delaware Water Gap getaway.



Photo via William Bird.

Strickland's Mountain Inn

How great would it be to take a dip after hitting the slopes in winter?



Photo via William Bird.

Mount Airy Lodge

Aqua and coral tones gave this indoor pool a touch of the tropics.



Photo via William Bird.

Mount Airy Lodge

Orange carpet and green walls welcomed guests at this Mount Pocono resort.



Photo via William Bird.

Fernwood Lake

Going for a row in ketchup and mustard colored boats in Bushkill, PA.



Photo via William Bird.

Paradise Valley Lodge

Nothing brings a couple together like a little archery.



Photo via William Bird.

Unity House Dining Hall

Small towns, big crowds.



Photo via William Bird.

Tourist Village Motel

The tile roof on this Milford, PA, spot gave it a Lincoln Log look.



Photo via William Bird.

Strickland's Mountain Inn

Like Picasso, the Poconos were going through their blue period.



Photo via William Bird.

Fernwood

A colorful tiled bar in Bushkill, PA.



Photo via William Bird.

The Pocahontas

We dig the folding lounge chairs and bunting surrounding this clear pool.

The Pocahontas

Wood panelling was abundant at the Pocahontas in Bartonsville.

Postcard

No trip is complete without a little tourist memento.
  • Fernwood
  • Onawa Lodge
  • Sterling Inn
  • White Beauty View Resort
  • Mount Airy Lodge
  • Harry Thorp's Town House
  • Mount Airy Lodge
  • Glenwood Hotel
  • Strickland's Mountain Inn
  • Mount Airy Lodge
  • Mount Airy Lodge
  • Fernwood Lake
  • Paradise Valley Lodge
  • Unity House Dining Hall
  • Tourist Village Motel
  • Strickland's Mountain Inn
  • Fernwood
  • The Pocahontas
  • The Pocahontas
  • Postcard
  • Fernwood
  • Onawa Lodge
  • Sterling Inn
  • White Beauty View Resort
  • Mount Airy Lodge
  • Harry Thorp's Town House
  • Mount Airy Lodge
  • Glenwood Hotel
  • Strickland's Mountain Inn
  • Mount Airy Lodge
  • Mount Airy Lodge
  • Fernwood Lake
  • Paradise Valley Lodge
  • Unity House Dining Hall
  • Tourist Village Motel
  • Strickland's Mountain Inn
  • Fernwood
  • The Pocahontas
  • The Pocahontas
  • Postcard
For more great pictures, check out the Vintage Poconos Resorts Postcards group on Flickr.
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