Monroe County's popularity as a vacation destination dates back to 1820. By 1900, the high altitudes were attracting thousands of visitors from Philadelphia and New York City. Today, tourism is the largest single industry in Monroe County. Considered the eastern 'gateway to the Poconos' through the Delaware Water Gap, Monroe County is the most populated of the four Pocono Mountains counties. Similar to the other three, there is a wide variety of year-round activities to choose from.
Visitors to Monroe County often search out "Sullivan's Trail," the portion of the route of General John Sullivan's famous march of 1778 from Easton to New York that reaches from Tannersville to Pocono Pines. This trail leads visitors to the road that scales Big Pocono Mountain, one of the highest points in the Pocono Mountains that offers magnificent vistas.
Monroe County is home to Pocono Raceway another popular attraction near Blakeslee in the western Pocono Mountains. It hosts two NASCAR Nextel Cup Series races in the summer. Those interested in driving on the famous tri-oval can go to the Stockcar racing experience to take on the 2 1/2 mile track. Blakeslee offers close proximity to such attractions as Hickory Run State Park, Lehigh Gorge State Park, and the Lehigh River. Ski areas nearby include Big Boulder and Jack Frost Mountain. Big Boulder and Jack Frost, along with Split Rock Resort are also desirable places for year-round accommodations and entertainment close to Blakeslee.
The Pennsylvania portion of the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area lies in Monroe and Pike Counties, straddling the Delaware River. Hiking, cross-country skiing and equestrian trails, fishing, interpretive programs, and 25 miles of the infamous Appalachian Trail are found in or around the recreation area.
A visit to Monroe County isn't complete without a stop in Stroudsburg, the county seat. An old- fashioned Main Street community, Stroudsburg's quaint streets lined with art galleries, restaurants, churches and shops, invite visitors to sit a while and feel right at home. Be sure to visit the Stroud Mansion, home of the Monroe County Historical Association Museum.
East Stroudsburg, adjacent to Stroudsburg is home to many great spots for shopping and dining. Along Crystal Street, the town's main street, is Dansbury Park and Dansbury Depot. Once a train station, Dansbury Depot is now a popular restaurant. East Stroudsburg University, a member of Pennsylvania's state system of higher education, is located in the heart of town. The town hosts several seasonal community events, including Fourth of July and Christmas festivals.
Antiquing is quite popular here as well. Throughout the county, dealers are numerous and range from large cooperative venues to independent vendors along a quiet country roadway.