At about two hours away by car, the Poconos offer a great, local-ish getaway for folks looking to take a break from city life with some time in the great outdoors. From hiking and swimming to great restaurants and places to stay, there’s a little bit of everything to help you reset.
But what if you’re a city dweller, and you don’t have a car, or don’t (or can’t) rent one? Does that mean the Poconos — located about 100 miles from Philadelphia — are out of reach?
Well, not exactly. Lucky for Philly folks, there are a few ways to get up to the mountains. And once you’re up there, you don’t necessarily have to be stuck in one spot, either — unless you want to be.
Here are some options to consider.
Traveling from Philly to Poconos by bus
Cost: $40-$80 round trip
The easiest (and cheapest) way to get up to the Poconos is by bus. Greyhound will get you to popular spots like Stroudsburg (just a few miles from the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area) and Mount Pocono (near several resorts, nature preserves, and state parks). Other Poconos destinations, like Jim Thorpe and Lehighton, have buses, too, but service is less frequent.
Buses leave from the Philly Greyhound station at 10th and Filbert, with multiple buses a day to Mount Pocono and Stroudsburg. Generally, the trip takes anywhere from three to six hours, depending on the destination and the number of stops.
Fares vary, but economy tickets start at about $40 each way to Mount Pocono, and $20 to $30 to Stroudsburg — so expect to spend about $40 to $80 round trip.
Fares include one carry-on bag up to 25 pounds, plus one under-the-bus bag up to 50 pounds without any extra fees. If you want to bring something like a bike to ride while you’re up in the Poconos, it will need to be packed in a wood, canvas, or “other substantial container,” and you’ll be charged an oversize item fee of about $42-$52 per piece. (Strollers and car seats, meanwhile, ride free.)
Getting to the Poconos by Uber or Lyft
Cost: About $400 round trip
The trip from Philly to the Poconos isn’t exactly cheap. The rate can vary depending on where you live and where you’re going, but from Center City to Mount Pocono, you’re looking at about $200 each way for a standard Uber or Lyft (other options like Uber Black or Lyft Lux are about double that amount).
That may sound a little pricey, but if you’re heading to the mountains with some friends who can split the fare with you, it might not be so bad. Uber actually offers a way to split fares right in the app, while Lyft recommends using Venmo to share the cost of a ride.
And you can use rideshare to get around once you’re there, too. Yes, Uber and Lyft do operate in the Poconos.
Getting around in the Poconos
Once you’ve made it to your hotel, resort, or rental home (or campground if you’re roughing it), you don’t have to stay in the same place the whole time just because you don’t have a car.
Rideshare in the Poconos
Rideshare services like Uber and Lyft can get you to many places, especially if you’re in a touristy area like Mount Pocono or Jim Thorpe. So, places like Camelback Mountain, Kalahari Resorts Indoor Water Park, Great Wolf Lodge, and even state parks and local lakes shouldn’t be out of reach. But if you’re out in the boonies, that might be a little more difficult.
Public transportation in the Poconos
If public transportation is more your thing, that’s available too — at least if you’re in or around Monroe County. Known as the Pocono Pony, the MCTA’s bus lines run throughout the area, including places such as Stroudsburg, East Stroudsburg, Tannersville, and Mount Pocono.
The Pocono Pony runs several lines, stopping at resorts, malls, supermarkets, and other tourist destinations.
Fares for the Pocono Pony, run $1.50 each way for adults, plus a $1 activation fee for the system’s MoGo Transit Card (think of it as the Poconos version of s SEPTA Key card). And if you’re committed to public transportation during your trip, you can also buy a MoGo Daily Pass ($3), or a MoGo 7 Day Pass ($15). Cards can be purchased on the bus, online, or at several locations in the Poconos (and folks over 65 ride free).