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  • Writer's pictureRicky Cortez

Path to the Poconos

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Often dreaming of a vacation home and where to retire we discussed if we want to be secluded in the quiet mountains of VT, NH or Maine or do we want to be closer to our NY, NJ, MD, D.C. and PA family and friends? Having family in the Poconos we did not at first have it on our list. Then we had kids and travel became a bit more local. Ultimately, we chose Poconos to part time raise our family in since we could make it here in just over an hour and see our extended family. My family and our 5 extended family members wanted a location that we could all congregate and or use have the ability to use separately. I grew up on welfare adopted by my grandmother and never went on vacations growing up as we did not have a car. Needless to say, I feel like a kid with all the activities the Poconos has to offer. It and has provided amazing core memories for my family, extended family and our own kids' birth families that have vacationed with us.

We researched the history of the Poconos and found the Native American, Munsee Tribe (sometimes called Wolf Tribe of the Lenape) and original inhabitants named it from the word "Pokawachne", which means "Creek Between Two Hills". They resided in the area until 1669 during the Esopus Wars when they were forced to leave by German, Dutch and English colonization.

It started off, after a large Dutch colonization, as a destination vacation holiday location and was built in and around those vacationers. It is one of the reasons we come seasonally and tourism is a driving force of the Poconos. Over the past 50 years or so it has become more residential because of those that moved from metropolitan work areas and transportation. Some turning their vacation homes into full time residence for some. The history is intertwined and has alway had a symbiotic nature of travelers, vacation / home owners.

Anthony Dutot built the first hotel, then shortly following was the Pennsylvania Power company that dammed up Lake Wallenpaupack, which led to a flourishing tourism community and some industry. Still mostly tourist, which enjoyed the new ski resorts which we frequent. By the 1940s it was one of the vacation destination spots in the US. That gave way to the Honeymoon Capital of the world. The 21st Century gave way indoor and outdoor waterparks, which my family does use as we have been season members of Camel beach for the past three years.

We can come up at least once a month and we are able to rent responsibly when not up. We also checked out many rental agencies that only do rentals such as; Lake Naomi Real Estate, ReMax, Lake Naomi Property Group,, Keller Williams, rentalsinthepoconos, Century 21 and Poconomountainrentals to name a few. Ultimately, we wanted more control over who we allowed into our home and community. Hundreds of years of history enmeshed with tourism, family activities and residential options are the reasons we chose the Poconos. It gives me the ability to be a primary care giver to my two kids and gives us an amazing place to vacation all 4 seasons. Over the past few years, I was able to provide our first family reunion, a college get together for my friends, their kids, bring together my kids' birth families and many memories with local friends as well. It is the place we ultimately want to retire and hopefully have grandkids come and visit.

As the Poconos rises again in popularity, we implore you to educate yourself on the ethos of our community whether you are passing through, vacationing or looking to purchase a home. We have provided resources to see which community may appeal the best. Please keep in mind we are a series of residential communities with working families so please act accordingly if you are staying in or visiting our area!

See our RENT RESPONSIBLY page for more info on Rental Ordinances, HOA Rules & Regulations!

All the best, Ricky Cortez Volunteer Moderator


Previous NGO work: I have worked in non-profit or with non-profits most of the past 20 years. From Technology Manager and Media / Outreach coordinator at a Charter school to Director of IT at, as a parent on our school PTA, fought for LGBT rights and started a family planning advocacy group making masks for ALL members of the Poconos community at POCONOS SEWING VOLUNTEERS:




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