Reporting Jay Lloyd
How did a sleepy little Pocono Mountain town become Shangri-La on the Delaware? In the case of Milford, Pennsylvania, location helped. Then there was the history, an influx of artists, artisans, chefs and theatrical talent, as well as a first class boutique hotel and people who just wanted to keep the town pristine.
What’s that? You’ve never heard of Shangri-La? Well, it’s a legendary spot in the Himalayan Mountains where everything remains as it was and no one ages – as long as they don’t leave! Let’s have a look at this Shangri-La on the Delaware. – Jay Lloyd
Milford anchors the northern end of a scenic Pennsylvania wonder, the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area. Located on the Delaware River, Milford is at the junction of Pennsylvania, New York and New Jersey, close enough to Philadelphia and New York City to make it an ideal weekend getaway.
Milford is a haven for singles and couples who enjoy Pocono Mountain activities yet want an adult environment with romantic and sophisticated dining, an adult pub scene, unique shops, art, theater, and on rainy days, an amazing array of historic sites and artifacts.
This stately boutique hotel in the center of town combines 19th century elegance and modern amenities. Walls are hung with unique Hudson Valley art. Large light and airy bathrooms feature couples’ showers and heated towel racks. Rooms with spacious verandas overlook the garden. Two restaurants blend culinary artistry in the Delmonico Room, while the Bar Louis offers a menu of familiar dishes in a comfortable lounge setting. The bar is a magnet for local artists and visiting couples, while serving up linger-inducing Manhattans and martinis. Mary and I lingered longer over bar nibbles of chicken liver toasties and a dozen well chilled Cape May Salt oysters. By the way, the hotel was established in the mid-19th century by Louis Fauchere, the master chef from the storied Delmonico’s restaurant in New York. The culinary tradition continues to this day.
CHOMPS AND SIPS
101E. Hartford Street
Want a sports bar, casual dining and relaxing spot to hang out at happy hour or late night? Try the Dimmick Inn, right in the center of in-town activity. It’s a cool place to stop for lunch and a cold beer.
223 Broad Street
From Brooklyn to Milford – what could be more Italian? A smorgasbord of imported meats and cheeses, locally baked breads and spreads makes Fretta’s the go-to spot for filling the picnic basket on the way to a day in the nearby Delaware Water Gap Recreation Area. If you can’t wait to chomp on your sandwich, a few outdoor tables here provide the dining platform.
301 Broad Street
Every Pocono town has to have a diner, and Milford is no exception. This is a great stop for breakfast and to catch up on local gossip and events unfolding in and around town.
608 Broad Street
The museum of the Pike County Historical Society unveils the rich history of Milford and the surrounding area. Displays and artifacts cover the town’s role in the Underground Railroad, the dawn of Pennsylvania’s conservation movement and even a bit of witchcraft lore. But the single item that leaves visitors awestruck is the blood-stained flag that cushioned the head of a dying Abraham Lincoln. It was donated to the museum by descendents of the Ford Theater Stage Manager who had settled in Milford.
More than half-dozen spectacular waterfalls can be found in the Delaware Water Gap Park. Don’t-miss spots include Silverthread Falls and Bushkill Falls.
The waterfalls throughout the park are reachable by marked hiking trails that range in difficulty. Bushkill, just on the park edge, is a commercial enterprise but has been fascinating visitors for generations. I made my first visit nearly 70 years ago, and my parents before that.
Canoeing and kayaking on the Delaware River is one of the most popular activities here. Rentals can be found at Milford and Dingman’s Ferry.
If golf is your game, you’ll find a true challenge at the nearby Fernwood Resort and Golf Course.
You’ll also find zip-line action at Kittatinny and Fernwood, horseback riding and summer tubing at Fernwood.
Finally, retreat to your truly adult environment by night!