Going down an Instagram rabbit hole, I came across an Airbnb that looked adorable. Little Lake Barn was a unique cabin with mid-century decor and a fire pit. Done and done. Nothing against doilies, teddy bear decorations, and grandma's spoon collection, but it was great to find a cabin that felt fresh and stylish. Not to mention, I'm obsessed with those mod cone shaped fireplaces, and this place had one! Looking forward to also checking out a few of small towns in the area (Honesdale, Hawley, and Narrowsburg) and an art exhibit I'd heard about called Paper Caves, I immediately booked it for the first available weekend.
When we got there, the house did not disappoint. The main bedroom is large and comfortable with sliding glass doors out to the back. Upstairs there is a small hang out zone and a room with 3 sets of bunk beds (6 beds if you don't want to do the math). Super cute camp/bunk vibes (in fact, the bunkbeds and much of the furniture seemed to be handmade to fit each nook of the house and it was all extremely well thought out). The house has tons of board games and cacti (believe me, you will want to start a tiny cactus collection after your stay). There is a fire pit out back that we sat around while Sally had her first go at making S'mores! Caitlin was an wonderful host and provided a TON of information about local hikes, waterfalls, art, shops, restaurants, bars, etc. We went up with another couple (who didn't have a kid) and the house was perfect for the five of us, but I will say that if you filled up all the beds in the house with people, it would probably be a tight fit around the kitchen table and living room. This house is perfect though for a family or a small group of friends.
Another reason I was drawn to the area was an art installation I had heard about called, Paper Caves, in Honesdale, PA (something else I had come across during a late night Instagram rabbit hole that I just HAD to see). It was even more magical than expected! The "caves" (which is actually the inside of a storefront on the town's mainstream) consist of 1,000,000 pieces of paper rolled up and meticulously places to create beautiful wavy walls. The pages (made of old romance novels) have browned over time to varying degrees and the colors work perfectly to sweep you away in the beauty of it all. One of my favorite parts of the paper caves was that the father of the artist was managing the installation. He was there with his buddy sitting in folding chairs greeting and chatting with whoever entered. These guys were amazing – friendly, fascinating, and just plain fun to chat with. I'm not sure how long the paper caves will be up, but be sure look into it if you are in the area!
Both Honesdale and Hawley (the town where the house is) are cute towns to walk around. They both have quaint main streets that are full of cute businesses that have been there for ages. Honesdale must have the most barber shops per block of any town in the country. We counted 5 literally within a block. There was a strange indoor flea market there in what clearly used to be a bowling alley based on the carpeting (blowing pins and pizzazz). I'd say you can skip it, but if you want some local color, you can pop in. Overall the town is a delightful throwback but there are a few new hip-looking spots there as well. One is Milkweed, which has great home goods and gifts. It's cute and worth checking out. For food and drink, check out Here & Now Brewery and Dyberry Forks, which has farm to table food and a fancier/hip vibe.
In Hawley, make sure to go to the antique stores, especially the Antique Exchange. I haven't gone myself, but our airbnb host recommended Glass Wine Bar Kitchen in the Ledges Hotel. It looks stunning and has views that overlook the river gorge falls. Lastly, another recommendation that I DEFINITELY want to go next time is the Wallenpaupack Bowling Alley in Hawley. It's BYOB! While antiquing and wine bars don't scream toddler-friendly, one place in the area that Alan and I stumbled across years ago is Costa's Family Fun Park. It has the charm of a small family-run theme park and packs it all in: water slides, go-karts, mini golf, bumper boats, laser tag, etc. A great thing about it is that there is not general admission, so if you have friends/family that want to watch the kids play, you don't need to pay. You have the option to pay per activity, or if you do want to do it all, you can get a wristband and play all day without thinking about the itemized cost.
Finally, not too far from the northern Poconos in the upper Delaware Water Gap is one of my favorite towns, Narrowsburg, NY. We've been there a bunch and it's an easy place to like. A tiny town that is packed tight with hip shops and restaurants. Narrowsburg is right on the Delaware River and this trip we had a lovely meal at The Launderette, which overlooks the river. They have beautiful outdoor seating and brick oven pizza. What's not to love? The inside is adorable with a cool bar and the beautiful views continue. After eating, walk around and SHOP! My favorite stores are: Nest, Sunny's Pop, and Maison Bergogne.
Sunny's Pop is owned by Mark Ruffalo's wife and she also has another store in nearby Callicoon. (Callicoon will be a whole other post some day because I LOVE it there too!). Sunny's Pop is pricey, but has lots of nice design-y stuff. Sally got a cute little purse/pouch to put treasures in. (Sunrise Ruffalo (Mark's wife) is super nice and beautiful, btw!).
Maison Bergogne (and the ladies who own it) are completely swoon-worthy. The shop is filled with taxidermy, oddities, rusted out beautiful hardware, and everything else under the sun (but at the same time, perfectly curated). A few years ago, I got a floor length nurses cape from the 1940s there that I ended up getting hemmed shorter with the extra fabric had a matching cape made for Sally! The woman who owns the store, Juliette Hermant, makes me weak in the knees. She's French, beautiful, and has a unique style that she's fully committed to. She and her partner own a couple of Airbnbs that we've stayed at before in the area, Smokey Belles and Le Petite Cabine. Check those out if you're ever looking for a place to stay in the Narrowsburg area!