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7 Towns In The Poconos With Thriving Local Businesses

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7 Towns In The Poconos With Thriving Local Businesses


The Poconos is a spectacular subrange of the Appalachian Mountains. It is located in the northeastern United States between the Coal Region of Pennsylvania and the borders of New York and New Jersey. Although known for its nature, the Poconos contains communities with countless commercial attractions. From a curiosity shop to a candy cottage to an NYC-style street grill to a winsome winery to an award-winning brewery, the Poconos’ settlements have something to offer every type of tourist. Here are seven to visit sooner rather than later.

Jim Thorpe, Pennsylvania

The historic downtown of Jim Thorpe, Pennsylvania. Editorial credit: zimmytws / Shutterstock.com.

Named after the legendary multi-sport athlete, Jim Thorpe is a versatile community in the Pennsylvania Poconos. In addition to natural wonders like Lehigh Gorge State Park, which can be explored via the Lehigh Gorge Scenic Railway, this 4,500ish-person borough offers access to amazing shops, bars, restaurants, and architecture. The Emporium Of Curious Goods sells curious goods to curious residents and curious tourists; the Stone Row Pub & Eatery is a progressive space peddling craft cocktails and boutique dishes; Tommy’s Subs is a shop serving diverse and delicious sandwiches; and Molly Maguire’s Pub & Steakhouse is a vibrant bar, restaurant, and historic landmark, since it operates in the Hotel Switzerland, which is the oldest commercial building in town. Tours of such attractions are provided by the Jim Thorpe Trolley Co.

Honesdale, Pennsylvania

Local businesses on Main Street, Honesdale, Pennsylvania
Local businesses on Main Street, Honesdale, Pennsylvania. Editorial credit: Nina Alizada / Shutterstock.com.

Like Jim Thorpe, Honesdale is a Pennsylvania borough with roughly 4,500 residents. It provides peregrinations into Poconos preserves such as Prompton State Park, plus dozens of booming businesses. They range from a bar and grill called the Twisted Rail Tavern to a hip hot dog joint called Paulie’s Hot Dogs to an eclectic bakery called Camp Umpy’s Bagels & Stuff to a brewery and eatery called Here & Now Brewing Company to a herbal gift shop called Mount Pleasant Herbary. Honestly, Honesdale’s best business might be Native, an upscale yet rustic restaurant on Main Street. Venison tartare, smoked duck rueben, Spanish octopus, seared noble road, and ricotta cavatelli are just some of the dishes served with local ingredients in a low-key space. Go native in Honesdale.

Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania

Downtown Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania
Downtown Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania. Image credit: Doug Kerr from Albany, NY, United States via Wikimedia Commons.

Stroudsburg is a southern Poconos settlement of around 6,000 people. Its population is nearly matched by its attractions, which include the Olde Engine Works, Cure Cafe, Teddy’s University 1984, Café Duet, Grandpa Joe’s Candy Shop, NYC Street Grill, Sherman Theater, Compton’s Pancake House, Carroll & Carroll Booksellers, Quench Cafe and Juice Bar, Sarah Street Grill, Benvenuto Pizza & Italian Restaurant, and Fitzpatrick’s Irish and Celtic Store. Also, if you never pegged the Poconos as a winederland, let Stroudsburg change your mind and stimulate your senses with Tolino Vineyards, The Renegade Winery, and RAW Urban Winery & Hard Cidery.

Milford, Pennsylvania

Downtown Milford, Pennsylvania.
Downtown Milford, Pennsylvania. Image credit: DenSmith via Flickr.com.

Consistently ranked one of the coolest towns in America, Milford is actually a borough in the northeastern Pennsylvania Poconos. Over 1,000 residents and many thousands of tourists enjoy natural attractions like Raymondskill Falls, historic landmarks like the Grey Towers National Historic Site, and numerous highly-rated businesses. Among them are the Waterwheel Cafe, Bakery & Bar, which is a triple threat of tastiness; Spoonful Soups & Eats, whose made-from-scratch meals include food bowls, paninis, soups, and pastries; Earthly Treasures, a “metaphysical shop” that sells everything from crystals to incense to jewelry to statues; and the Candy and Gift Cottage of Milford, which peddles bottle caps, Beemans gum, and Abba-Zaba, among many other gifts/sweets. One can stay at The Historic Dimmick Inn while marveling at Milford’s marvels.

Narrowsburg, New York

View of the Main Street in Narrowsburg, New York.
View of the Main Street in Narrowsburg, New York. Editorial credit: Alizada Studios / Shutterstock.com.

Narrowsburg is narrow in population but thick in attractions. This 380ish-person community straddles the border between Pennsylvania and New York and thus sits between the Pocono Mountains and the Catskill Mountains. Both ranges offer hiking, climbing, biking, camping, skiing, snowboarding, swimming, boating, paddling, birding, fishing, hunting, and all-around sightseeing. Let Narrowsburg be your launch pad for outdoor recreation and also a refuge for rest and libation. The Heron Restaurant provides great cocktails, The Tusten Cup provides great coffee, The Laundrette provides great pizza, the Narrowsburg Farmers’ Market provides great produce, and One Grand Books provides great reads. Lastly, the Fort Delaware Museum can make you feel like a pioneer with its recreated 18th-century settlement. Demonstrations are offered of gardening, smithing, baking, weaving, candle making, cannon firing, and other staples of colonial life.

Hawley, Pennsylvania

Local businesses in Hawley, Pennsylvania
Local businesses in Hawley, Pennsylvania. Image credit: Doug Kerr from Albany, NY, United States via Wikimedia Commons.

Located southeast of Honesdale and southwest of Narrowsburg, Hawley is a hub of Poconos activity. This borough sits on the Lackawaxen River, which runs into the 13-mile-long Lake Wallenpaupack and its 52 miles of shoreline for swimming, sunbathing, and sightseeing. After diving into the water and exploring the surrounding greenery, a tourist can unwind with a hoagie from the family-owned Lake Wally Cafe, a burger from casual Pat’s Bar, a “lousy” steak from the eccentric Crazy Country Club, and a beer from the award-winning Wallenpaupack Brewing Company. But you can get almost all those things at The Settlers Inn, a luxurious Main Avenue bed & breakfast in an authentic 1927-built Arts and Crafts-style lodge. It is the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel of Hawley-wood.

East Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania

East Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania
East Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania. Image credit: Doug Kerr from Albany, NY, United States, via Wikimedia Commons.

A growth on the eastern flank of Stroudsburg, East Stroudsburg is actually larger—and arguably livelier—than its host. Nearly 10,000 people call this borough home, while thousands of others call it a fantastic weekend, week, or even a months-long retreat. Weekenders can hit up the Trackside Station Grill & Bar and then crash at the Cherry Valley Manor just south of town; over weekers can set up camp at the Delaware Water Gap-Pocono Mountain KOA and then explore the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area; and those months-long mainstayers can enroll at East Stroudsburg University, which is a public institution with about 5,500 students. Regardless of the length of stay, you would be wise to see the Silverback Distillery and the Pocono Indian Museum. The former is the “only mother-daughter distilling duo in the nation crafting high quality, award-winning spirits” and the latter is the “only museum in northeastern Pennsylvania dedicated to showing the history of the Delaware Indian.”

Although the Poconos is famous for its nature, this region in the northeastern United States is full of life in a different way. Its low-key communities have lively, independent businesses like shops, restaurants, bars, breweries, wineries, markets, cafes, and hotels. The best of these can be found in Jim Thorpe, Honesdale, Stroudsburg, Milford, Narrowsburg, Hawley, and East Stroudsburg. Go poking around the Poconos for commercial wonders.

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Pennsylvania

Elections 101: Everything you need to know about election recounts in Pennsylvania

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Elections 101: Everything you need to know about election recounts in Pennsylvania


How does Pennsylvania recount votes?

Counties must submit their unofficial results to the Pennsylvania Department of State by the first Tuesday following the election, which is Nov. 12 this year. If unofficial results show the margin lies within half a percent for a statewide race like those for president or U.S. Senate, the secretary of the commonwealth will order a recount by Nov. 14, according to a Department of State directive. A losing candidate has until Nov. 13 to request a recount not take place.

Counties will then recount all ballots either by hand or using different tabulation machines than the election was initially conducted with.

The recount must begin by the third Wednesday following the election, which this fall will be Nov. 20, and results must be submitted to the secretary by the following Wednesday, Nov. 27.

In the case of precinct-level recount petitions, requesters must file their petition with the local Court of Common Pleas. A judge will then determine if it meets the legal requirements to take place.

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Can a recount change election results?

Recounts that change the outcome of a race are extremely rare, according to a study of statewide recounts by Fair Vote, a nonprofit focused on ranked-choice voting.

The group analyzed nearly 7,000 statewide races between 2000 and 2023, and found only 36 recounts in that time, only three of which resulted in a change of outcome.

“All three reversals occurred when the initial margin was less than 0.06% of all votes cast for the top two candidates,” according to the report.

According to the Pennsylvania Department of State, there have been seven statewide recounts since the 0.5% rule went into effect in 2004, and none of them changed the outcome of the race.

The most recent was in the 2022 Republican primary for U.S. Senate.

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In that race, Mehmet Oz beat Dave McCormick by 902 votes — a margin of 0.07% — triggering the recount. McCormick conceded before the recount was complete, but the count ultimately shifted the margin by only 49 votes, in Oz’s favor.

Voter-initiated precinct-level recounts are even less likely to affect the outcome of a race than those ordered by the secretary.

In 2022, when supporters of Republican gubernatorial candidate Doug Mastriano requested recounts around the state, they did not substantially shift the margin in areas where the requests were granted.

Recounts in four Westmoreland County precincts resulted in only a three-vote difference from the original tally. Columbia County also recounted votes in some precincts, and results changed by only one or two votes, officials said at the time.

Could there be a recount this year?

Whether there is an automatic recount of a statewide race this year depends on the margins of victory this November. Current polling indicates the presidential race may be close in Pennsylvania.

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If the margin is within half a percent, Secretary of the Commonwealth Al Schmidt must order a recount by Nov. 14, according to a calendar of this year’s election. Counties would need to submit the results of that recount to the secretary by Nov. 27.

It’s likely at least some voters will request precinct-level recounts, which could negatively affect the state’s certification process. This year, there is a hard deadline for Pennsylvania to provide its certified slate of presidential electors to Congress.

If precinct-level recount petitions delay certification as they did in 2022, the state could run up against that deadline and the courts may be forced to intervene.



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Leaked clip reveals vulnerable Pennsylvania Dem’s thoughts on Trump supporters: ‘Horde of budding blood-and-soil fascists’

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Leaked clip reveals vulnerable Pennsylvania Dem’s thoughts on Trump supporters: ‘Horde of budding blood-and-soil fascists’


PITTSBURGH — An explosive unearthed podcast clip exposes swing-district Rep. Chris Deluzio (D-Pa.) slamming former President Donald Trump’s supporters as a “horde of budding blood-and-soil fascists.”

The attorney, then a University of Pittsburgh legal and policy scholar, made the comments in a 2020 appearance on “Save Us From The Johns” — a politics podcast that’s since been renamed “Save Us From The Op-Eds.”

“Day-job work right now is very focused on election protection,” Deluzio said of his work at Pitt. “And that’s, broadly speaking, making sure this maniac in the White House and his, you know, horde of budding blood-and-soil fascists don’t suppress the vote. And that is basically keeping me and everyone else who’s doing that work very busy, in Pennsylvania and everywhere else.”

Rep. Chris Deluzio said in 2020 he was “very busy” working against “this maniac in the White House.” Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Deluzio, 39, represents Pennsylvania’s 17th Congressional District, which covers Beaver County and part of Allegheny County in suburban Pittsburgh. He was first elected there — one of seven House districts the Cook Partisan Voting Index rates “even” — in 2022, winning 53.4% of the vote against Republican challenger Jeremy Shaffer.

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This year, Deluzio faces GOP state representative and Iraq War veteran Rob Mercuri in the general election. Representing Allegheny County in the Pennsylvania statehouse since 2021, Mercuri serves on the body’s Education, Finance and Government Oversight committees.

Deluzio is not the only vulnerable Pennsylvania House Democrat to have disparaged constituents.

Last week, The Post reported that Rep. Susan Wild locked her Facebook account after being called out for a bizarre comment she made on the platform calling a veteran she encountered at a Memorial Day parade homophobic.


Rep. Susan Wild locked her Facebook page after calling a veteran homophobic.
Rep. Susan Wild locked her Facebook page after calling a veteran homophobic. Shutterstock

Wild — who is seeking her fourth term in Pennsylvania’s 7th Congressional District — has also expressed dismay about the redistricting of rural, red-leaning Carbon County into her territory.

Back in January, Wild said Carbon County voters had “drank the Trump Kool-Aid” by overwhelmingly supporting Republican candidates.

And during a virtual meet-and-greet in July 2022, Wild said she needed to “school” these voters on their strong support for Trump.

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Pennsylvania Lawmakers Step Up Push For Marijuana Legalization, With Emphasis On Social Equity

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Pennsylvania Lawmakers Step Up Push For Marijuana Legalization, With Emphasis On Social Equity


Pennsylvania lawmakers are stepping up their push to pass a marijuana legalization bill, emphasizing the need for bipartisan and bicameral collaboration to enact the reform with a focus on social justice.

At a “Cannabis Day at the Capitol” rally hosted by DACO and Black Cannabis Week on Tuesday, several legislators underscored their commitment to advancing legalization in the Keystone State.

Rep. Chris Rabb (D) gave an impassioned speech, stating that lawmakers “don’t talk about the history that put prohibition on this place—and if we don’t acknowledge the context in which this policy was radically changed in the 1930s, then we don’t do justice to the fight today. And that policy change was born out of racism.”

“I’ll say it again, because these are words that a lot of my colleagues don’t want to use—because it may seem impolite or controversial or problematic—but you know what’s more problematic? Racism itself,” he said. “We are here today because there was a time when this plant was associated with people who were marginalized and victimized to benefit other industries who are afraid of cannabis.”

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Rabb also seemed to draw a line in the sand on the need to incorporate social equity provisions into any legalization bill that advances, saying it’s going to be “really hard to get 102 votes in the House” if the legislation primarily favors “wealthy people” who “play around the margins.”

“If this legislation that ultimately is enacted into law is not centered on social equity—and when I say social equity, I don’t just mean Black and brown folks. I mean rural folks, folks with disabilities, the law enforcement community, farmers, all kinds of folks—this doesn’t just happen,” he said.

Sen. Sharif Street (D), who has championed legalization legislation over recent sessions, also participated in the rally, echoed Rabb’s points, saying “an essential part of passing adult-use is it’s gotta be making sure that they seal and expunge the records of all those folks who are convicted of cannabis crimes.”

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“We gotta make sure that Black and brown business folks have a have an opportunity to participate in the recreational adult-use,” he said.

Rep. Napoleon Nelson (D) said that while Pennsylvania might not be one of the first states to legalize, “we’re going to be the first to do it right.”

Brittany Crampsie, spokesperson for ResponsiblePA, told Marijuana Moment that, as lawmakers “consider adult-use legalization in this year’s budget, voters and reform advocates across the state are urging the legislature to pass adult-use cannabis legalization now.”

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“It is essential that our state no longer trails its neighbors in implementing equitable laws around cannabis,” she said, adding that the organization commends legislators who participated in Tuesday’s event “for calling on their peers in both chambers for leadership and consensus-building at this critical time.”

While the rally only featured Democratic lawmakers, ResponsiblePA organized a separate event last month where Sens. Dan Laughlin (R), who is sponsoring cannabis legislation with Street, said the state is “getting close” to legalizing marijuana, but the job will only get done if House and Senate leaders sit down with the governor and “work it out.”

“We need to work it out, and that doesn’t happen in a vacuum,” Laughlin said, adding that while he understands Gov. Josh Shapiro (D) has again included legalization in his budget proposal this year, “you need to sit down with House and Senate leadership and try and work out a package where we can get this done.”

Warren County, Pennsylvania District Attorney Robert Greene, a registered medical cannabis patient in the state,  also spoke at that rally. In January, Greene filed a lawsuit in federal court seeking to overturn a ban preventing medical marijuana patients from buying and possessing firearms.

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Meanwhile, last month the governor’s office said that the Biden administration’s move to federally reschedule marijuana “adds support” for an effort to legalize cannabis in Pennsylvania.

Two Pennsylvania House panels held a joint hearing to discuss marijuana legalization in April, with multiple lawmakers asking the state’s top liquor regulator about the prospect of having that agency run cannabis shops.


Marijuana Moment is tracking more than 1,500 cannabis, psychedelics and drug policy bills in state legislatures and Congress this year. Patreon supporters pledging at least $25/month get access to our interactive maps, charts and hearing calendar so they don’t miss any developments.

Learn more about our marijuana bill tracker and become a supporter on Patreon to get access.

Also in April, members of the House Health Committee had a conversation centered on social justice and equity considerations for reform.

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That took place days after Rep. Amen Brown (D) filed a marijuana legalization bill that he described as “grounded in safety and social equity.”

“I’m here to get this done,” Brown said at this week’s rally, noting that he and other people he knows have a “personal experience” with current marijuana policy.

At a prior meeting in March, members focused on criminal justice implications of prohibition and the potential benefits of reform.

At another hearing in February, members looked at the industry perspective, with multiple stakeholders from cannabis growing, dispensing and testing businesses, as well as clinical registrants, testifying.

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At the subcommittee’s previous cannabis meeting in December, members heard testimony and asked questions about various elements of marijuana oversight, including promoting social equity and business opportunities, laboratory testing and public versus private operation of a state-legal cannabis industry.

And during the panel’s first meeting late last year, Frankel said that state-run stores are “certainly an option” he’s considering for Pennsylvania, similar to what New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu (R) recommended for that state last year, though a state commission later shied away from that plan.

The cannabis proposal the Brown filed in the House in April is an identical companion to a bipartisan Senate cannabis legalization measure that was introduced last year.

Doctor’s Lawsuit Over Psilocybin For Cancer Patients Will Be Argued This Summer, With Separate Rescheduling Case Headed To Mediation

Photo courtesy of Mike Latimer.

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