For the past five years we have been going to Skytop, PA every Thanksgiving break. We’ve always spent Thanksgiving with my in-laws, and ever since they relocated down to the deep south, they settled on Skytop Lodge as a convenient place for their children and families to meet up. Nestled atop the Poconos, it is just what it implies – a lodge and retreat that sits on top of a big hill amidst the wide-open sky. With 5,500 acres of fields, lawns, woods, trails, lakes and more, it is the ultimate nature and adventure escape. If you love the outdoors, this is the place for you.
Upon entering the property you know you are in for a treat, for as you drive along the winding road leading up the hill to the hotel, you pass over a beautiful lake on your right, and continue through the descending lawns all the way up to the grand hotel – so big in scale I thought it looked like the Shining our first time going (not to deter anyone!). But it is a beautiful façade in a quite majestic setting, and you can’t help but feel that you’ve been taken away.
This is the main lodge and where we stay, but the property has a smaller lodge down the road, as well as an array of cottages, if that’s more your style. My kids love the main lodge because it has a big game room on the bottom floor, complete with ping pong tables, a billiards room, mini golf, arcades, air hockey and more. It is also home to the Tea Room, which has to die for milkshakes and old -fashioned desserts. Upstairs, on the main floor, is comfy seating with a big old fireplace to warm up by after a cold winter day outside.
The indoors, however, is not the real draw to Skytop. It’s the outdoors. With every imaginable activity offered – from biking to trail hiking to skiing to boating and fishing to swimming (in both a lake with beach and an outdoor pool), to golf and tennis, and much, much more, it has it all, any season of the year. Not to mention the Adventure Center, which has treetop zipline, rock climbing, paintball and off-road adventures.
We have been during both seasons – winter and summer – and spend most of our time outside. The hotel has a complete list of activities, too many to count. My kids love the nature walks, where they look for animal traps and other natural wonders with the hotel’s resident naturalist. They also love the bike rides around the lake to the hotel’s weekend picnics, where they serve up bbq and brownies. This past November, we took a guided winter hike up to the most gorgeous overlook, with views out of a magazine. And every year we take our annual walk to one of Skytop’s scenic waterfalls.
If the weather is not cooperating, there is an indoor ice skating rink as well as an indoor pool and hot tub. My girls love the pool after a long day outside, and we love it too because they are completely exhausted by then end of the day and pass out early and sleep in late. There is also a spa on the upper level of the main lodge if you’re wanting some r & r – I’ve had some very good massages there, and some ok ones, but still a nice break from all the activity.
One thing I want to note is that while Skytop is an amazing place for families to adventure and be outside in a beautiful setting, the rooms are ok. The bathrooms are small, and the furnishings a little dated. It’s not a luxurious hotel if that’s what you’re looking for.
We have been taking the kids since my oldest was two years old. If you’re looking for a place that the whole family can enjoy – at any age – and love the outdoors, you should check out Skytop Lodge.
Skytop Lodge, One Skytop, Skytop, PA 18357. (855) 345-7759