Pennsylvania has over 20 ski areas scattered across the state, and several ski towns primarily located in the Pocono Mountains. The year-round resorts in these communities offer the lodging, shopping, and dining possibilities that every iconic vacation destination requires.
They each make picturesque places to live and visit in northeastern PA. From downhill skiing to horseback riding, visitors can find a wide range of activities in every season in these ski towns. They are also ideal for exploring what makes the Keystone State special, from its cranberry bogs to Native American history. Have an epic time exploring PA’s ski areas and the communities that make them special.
Here are the top ski towns in Pennsylvania to live and visit, in no particular order:
At first glance, Tannersville may not seem like anything other than an exit along Pennsylvania’s I-80, but there’s more to it than a stop for weary travelers. The ski town is just a short distance from Camelback Mountain Resort in the winter and has indoor and outdoor waterparks for enjoying the outdoors in the summer.
Tannersville’s location was once the site of Native American trails, which became stagecoach routes and eventually highways. Today, situated in the Poconos, it’s a popular tourist destination with year-round activities and a population of around 3,000.
In the summertime, zip lines and aerial ropes adventures keep visitors connected with the outdoors. For something a little more unusual, take a guided tour at the Nature Conservancy’s Tannersville Cranberry Bog.
Experience the world’s second-largest snow tubing park in the winter and the state’s largest outdoor waterpark in the summer at one of Tannersville’s resorts. While the small community only has a handful of dining options, they are varied enough to meet every taste bud.
East Stroudsburg, PA
The darling community of East Stroudsburg is situated near the New Jersey border in the Poconos. The borough has all of the elements a ski town needs, with year-round activities and the charm and atmosphere that make visitors feel like locals. It borders (to the east) the city of Stroudsburg.
East Stroudsburg’s history is centered around the railroad, which came to the community in the 1850s. Today the area around the old depot is surrounded by dining and shopping with historic buildings mingling with new construction designed to blend in.
The local university town had a population that was nearing 10,000 at the 2020 census, while its neighboring Stroudsburg had a population of 5,925 in 2020.
The Pocono Snake and Animal Farm, the Pocono Indian Museum, and the Frazetta Art Museum can be enjoyed at any time of the year. In the summer, golf, aerial adventures, disc golf, and horseback riding are perfect outdoor experiences.
Just a few miles away, Shawnee Mountain Ski Area has 23 slopes and two terrain parks for skiers and snowboarders. Cross-country skiing and ice skating are also near the slopes for winter enjoyment.
With 18th and 19th-century homes and buildings lining Fairfield’s Main Street, this Pennsylvania ski town is steeped in history. It’s along these streets that Confederate troops retreated from Gettysburg about ten miles away.
In the other direction just a few miles from Fairfield lies Liberty Mountain Resort, with golf and swimming in the summer and skiing, snowboarding, and snow tubing in the winter. While the ski area is small, it’s among only a handful of options in southern Pennsylvania.
Around Fairfield, animal lovers will enjoy time at the exotic animal rescue or the local goat farm. In late September, the town’s Pippinfest is an annual fall festival with music, crafts, rides, a car show, and apples.
The borough of Fairfield was founded in 1784. It became more populated in the years leading up to the Civil War and continued to grow for decades afterward. In 2020 this sleepy town had a population of 526.
The ski towns in Pennsylvania may not sit directly next to their ski resorts, but they’re all within a very short drive. They each have their own benefits, charm, and plenty to do.
While many local ski areas are day destinations, there are also several ski towns in Pennsylvania for experiencing what each season showcases. The Appalachian Mountains across much of the state provide beautiful scenery alongside outdoor activities enhancing each of these communities.