Winter Getaways: Jim Thorpe

Located in the southern Poconos, this getaway is perfect place if you're still picking up holiday gifts.
Downtown Winter Holiday Jim Thorpe 1 Poconomtns


Pennsylvania has a number of charming small towns, but only one little Switzerland.

Often dubbed the “Little Switzerland of America,” Jim Thorpe, Pennsylvania is known for its remarkable natural beauty — which collides with relaxation and quick-getaway amenities. The town, once called Mauch Chunk before a PR-minded renaming in honor of the sports hero, is a great place to visit during any season, but the snow-capped peaks and warmly lit storefronts make the town a storybook destination in the colder months.

Particularly if you’re still picking up some holiday gifts. You can choose a one-of-a-kind present (that’ll blow every gift card out of the water) with an oddity from The Emporium of Curious Goods or find book lovers a rare gem at Sellers Books. If you’re more into treating yourself than shopping, plan a dinner at Stone Row Pub and Eatery — or drinks and pub grub at Molly Maguire’s Pub & Steakhouse.

Downtown Winter View Jim Thorpe 21 Poconomtns

Speaking of history, there’s plenty of it to be found. A visit to the Asa Packer Mansion is a must — and you can stay right on the property if you make a reservation at Harry Packer Mansion Inn, where an evening wine service awaits. (If the facade looks familiar, it inspired the Haunted Mansion at Walt Disney World.) The Asa Packer Mansion doesn’t operate regularly in cold weather but opens for two “Olde Time Christmas Weekends” each December. History buffs should also pay a visit to the Old Jail Museum.

If the winter is warm and dry enough to get outdoors, bundle up and rent a bicycle from the Pocono Biking outpost just across Lehigh Avenue from the beautiful Lehigh Gorge Trail. Tucked past the Scenic Railway, the path quickly crosses the Lehigh River and winds along a picturesque hillside.


Downtown Winter View Jim Thorpe 8 Poconomtns

Whether you’re working out or just shopping, you’ll want to warm up with a hot drink. Take in some local history over your brew at Curiosities Coffee and Ice House — or, if you’re a fan of the Harry Potter franchise, head to Muggles’ Mug for caffeine in the style of your Hogwarts house and plenty of sweet treats.

Since 1881, the Mauch Chunk Opera House has been the town’s top destination. One hundred and forty years ago, it was a stop for rising vaudeville stars; today, you’ll find comedy, holiday entertainment and much more on its historical stage.

As you stroll back to the Inn at Jim Thorpe, the Kelly Suites on Broadway or the Dolon House B&B, you’ll be enchanted by the site of this snowy, beautiful town on a chilly winter’s night. There’s a reason why Jim Thorpe is a bustling vacation destination: Anyone who visits tends to come back again and again.

Drive Time
4 Hours, 45 Minutes

275, East

Where To
1 Broadway, Jim Thorpe, Pennsylvania 18229


Good to Know
The lovely Lehigh Gorge Scenic Railway operates year-round — and, if you’re traveling with family, December journeys feature Santa Claus or other winter characters. From January through Easter weekend, trips take place on weekends only.

Categories: Winter Getaways