Hawley PA: Big Lake, Small Town Charms

If you’re searching for the perfect backdrop for a romantic escape, look no further than Hawley, Pennsylvania. Situated in the breathtaking Pocono Mountains, this charming small town offers couples an ideal setting to reconnect, unwind, and experience love in a whole new light.

From luxurious spa resorts and intimate dining experiences to scenic outdoor adventures, Hawley is a destination that specializes in creating unforgettable moments for two. Here’s your guide to the most romantic things to do in Hawley, PA, that will make your getaway as special as your love story.

A tiny town, a big lake, an Ice-Carving Factory, and the largest hand-carved bluestone building in the world, Hawley PA is a magnet for visitors in the summer who recreate in one of the largest bodies of water in Pennsylvania- Lake Wallenpaupak.

Come offseason, though, for greater pleasures. Hawley harbors three upscale lodgings – one a Craftsman Style beauty, the second a contemporary wonder set inside a whitewater gorge, and a third right on the lakefront– plus a premier destination spa. Great locally sourced dining, entertainment, and shops, complete the perfect weekend getaway.

Hawley PA joins this roster of Top Romantic Getaways in Pennsylvania. You might just get some more romantic getaway ideas.

Where Is Hawley PA?

Hawley is a charming small town located in the Pocono Mountains of Northeastern Pennsylvania, next to the Lackawaxen River. It’s near the eastern shores of Lake Wallenpaupack, one of the largest man-made lakes in the state, with 52 miles of shoreline.

The town is approximately 35 miles east of Scranton PA and about 125 miles northwest of New York City, making it accessible yet secluded enough for those seeking a retreat from city life. Known for its natural beauty, outdoor activities, and proximity to resorts like The Lodge at Woodloch, Hawley offers a blend of recreational and relaxation opportunities.

Things to Do in Hawley PA

VISIT: Hawley Silk Mill

Built in 1880 of hand-carved bluestone, the building was the largest employer in the area when it was an operating Silk Mill. It remains the largest bluestone building in the world. It was restored by the high-profile architectural firm, Bohlin, Cywinski, Jackson (BCJ) – the group that designed Apple Stores worldwide and specializes in notable “adaptive reuse” projects.

The newly streamlined building is a destination lifestyle center with plenty of shops and amenities.

artist Juan Espino at Looking Glass Gallery
Artist Juan Espino, Looking Glass Gallery, Hawley Silk Mill

Looking Glass Gallery features the work of gallery owner and artist Juan Espino, known locally as Hawley’s own Grandma Moses.

You’ll also find Art on the Edge offering hip fashions and gifts, Shelter Interiors, owned by “staging pro” Ethel Schmitt, Lackawanna College, and Lake Region Fitness with great Yoga and Spin Studios.

Cocoon Coffee House at Hawley Silk Mill
Cocoon Coffee House at Hawley Silk Mill

The small outbuilding where silk worms were once housed is now a funky coffee and local-organic sandwich shop called, appropriately enough, Cocoon Coffee House – one of the best gathering spots in town!

TOUR: Sculpted Ice Works Factory Tour and Ice Harvest Museum

    Drive eight miles from Hawley to deep freeze, even in the summer. Why wait for Winter Festivals, weddings, or Bar Mitzvahs to see the work of great ice-carvers? One of the quirkiest, most popular attractions near Lake Wallenpaupak, Sculpted Ice Works is actually an ongoing manufacturing facility.

    Ice Works, Sculpting
    Carving Ice at Sculpted Ice Works, Lakeville PA

    Owner/President Mark Crouthamel freezes about 20,000 three-hundred-pound blocks of triple-filtered crystal clear ice per year. He sculpts a portion of them mostly for weddings, holidays, and corporate events.  More blocks of ice are “manufactured” here than any other ice factory in the country.

    Crouthamel started sculpting just as a side business. As you can imagine, Crouthamel, who earned a degree in Culinary Arts from Johnson & Whales, does a lot of vodka luges. He was even asked to carve a Sherman tank for one peculiar wedding. His designs end up mostly in the New York area but have shown up as far away as Wisconsin.

    Poke around a modest museum where you’ll see old black-and-white movies about ice harvesting in the early 20th century. Then, take a self-guided tour and watch three videos about this modern operation. Finally, you end up in a vast room, peering into a windowed freezer at carvers in full winter dress, chain-sawing away.

    Note- Advance reservations are required for tours, no walk-ins.

    Lake Wallenpaupack in Mist
    Lake Wallenpaupack in Mist

    TOUR: Wallenpaupack Scenic Boat Tours

    Scenic Boat Tours leave from Gresham’s Landing on Lake Wallenpaupack. Also, a great spot to sit on a bench and view the lake. Or walk the two-mile trail that begins at that location.

    WALK/HIKE: Lake Wallenpaupack Trail

    So beautiful at any time of year, but particularly stunning in the fall.

    GO: The Ritz Company Playhouse

    The Ritz Company Playhouse is a cultural cornerstone that has been entertaining locals and visitors alike since 1973. This historic venue, originally a movie house, now serves as a performing arts center hosting a variety of live performances ranging from musicals to dramas. With its intimate setting and a calendar packed with quality productions, the Ritz Company Playhouse offers a taste of Broadway in the heart of the Pocono Mountains.

    GO: River Walk Trail

    Hawley’s River Walk Trail starts out in the centrally located Bingham Park and meanders alongside the Lackawaxen River, offering splendid views and opportunities for bird-watching or simply enjoying a leisurely stroll.

    GO: To The Promised Land State Park

    Just a short drive from Hawley, Promised Land State Park offers abundant opportunities for hiking, camping, and wildlife viewing. With its beautiful landscapes, it’s a paradise for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts.

    GO: Stourbridge Line Train Excursions

    The Stourbridge Line offers scenic train rides that give you a unique view of the Pocono Mountains and Lackawaxen River Valley. It’s not only a relaxing way to travel but also a journey back in time.

    ANNUAL EVENT: Hawley Harvest Hoedown

    This quintessential autumn event transforms the town into a festive celebration of the season. From pumpkin decorating and hayrides to live music and artisanal craft fairs, the Harvest Hoedown is a fun-filled day for couples, families, and anyone looking to experience the local culture.

    As the leaves turn into vibrant hues of orange and red, the event also features a range of food vendors offering seasonal treats like hot apple cider, pumpkin pie, and much more. The highlight of the event is often the bluegrass, folk, and country music performances that keep everyone’s toes tapping.

    ANNUAL EVENT: Hawley Winterfest

    If you happen to visit during the winter, don’t miss the Hawley Winterfest. This annual event features holiday markets, horse-drawn carriage rides, and live performances, making it a festive experience for the whole family.

    Hawley PA Restaurants

    Settlers Inn Restaurant Hawley PA

    EAT: Settlers Inn Restaurant

    Produce and meat comes from organic farmers nearby. You can’t go wrong with the succulent signature applewood local trout —smoked right on site -along with Chicken Roulade and a nice glass of merlot. Settler’s is considered one of the best (if not THE best) restaurants in town. For good reason.

    Cascading waterfall off the deck of Ledges Hotel Hawley PA

    EAT: Glass At Ledges

    Glass is an intimate, atmospheric, votive-lit cellar room where small-plate menu items and accompanying wines are more than reasonably priced. Order the signature French Onion Soup Bites, the essence of this piquant sweet/salty soup shrunk to spoon size, and better-than-beef Turkey Club Sliders.

    Hawley PA Hotels

    STAY: The Lodge at Woodloch

    The Lodge at Woodloch in Hawley, Pennsylvania, is an adults-only oasis offering more than just a getaway—it promises a full revitalization of body and spirit. This award-winning spa resort envelops you in luxury from the moment you arrive, from its elegantly designed guest rooms overlooking a tranquil private lake to its world-class spa services.

    Offering a holistic approach to wellness, the resort features an array of stress-relieving activities and treatments designed to benefit you long after your stay is over. Whether you’re indulging in gourmet meals at the TREE Restaurant or taking part in one of the many wellness programs, The Lodge at Woodloch provides a transformative experience that will stay with you long after you leave.

    Settlers Inn, Hawley, PA
    Settlers Inn, Hawley, PA

    STAY: Settler’s Inn

    If you are a fan of the English Arts and Crafts movement, this is your place. Common areas, rooms, and the excellent in-house restaurant are all dressed in Stickney-like finery – an unusual design for a full-service boutique inn.

    First built in the late 1920s with funds from townspeople as a “Community Motel,” what is now Settler’s Inn went bankrupt in 1929, then through several owners before being purchased and lovingly restored by Jeannie and Grant Genzlinger in 1980. (Thirty very successful years later, they opened up a second Hawley property – Ledges.) Rooms and baths in tawny shades are up-to-date with flat-screen TVs, handsome duvets, and dreamy high-count linens. Some have gas fireplaces.

    Settlers Inn Restaurant Breakfast
    Settlers Inn Restaurant Breakfast

    The Settler’s Inn Restaurant is the finest place to eat in Hawley – a destination in its own right and considered the best in town. Room rates include a hot, made-to-order breakfast. I am still dreaming about the Smoked Salmon on Potato Gallet – a colorful amalgam of orange lox, white cream cheese, crispy potatoes, and red caviar.

    Ledges, Hawley PA
    Deck of Ledges Hotel, Hawley PA

    STAY: Ledges Hotel

    New guests gasp audibly when they first see the tumbling waterfall through the lobby’s picture windows. Many chose not to leave the premises, preferring to take a book and glass of wine to one of several tiered decks overlooking the flowing water to indulge, peacefully, in its splendor.

    This glass-cutting factory was gutted and its interior was redesigned by Bohlin, Cywinski, and Jackson (BCJ).On the National Register of Historic Places, it’s one of the most gorgeously set hotels I’ve ever seen.

    Ledges Lobby
    Ledges Lobby

    At night, the whisper of water spilling over rocks lulls you to sleep. Rooms are comfy-contemporary; pale grey walls punched up by vibrantly colored local art, plump white duvets accented with soft-colored quilts, and sparking bathrooms with grey ceramic floor, subway tile, glass showers and molded green glass sinks.

    Each room, from fingertip-to-fingertip-wide small to expansive double-decker, serves as a mini art gallery for local artists; all paintings are for sale.

    Lakeside at Silver Birches Resort, Hawley PA

    STAY: Silver Birches 

    The owners of the Arts and Crafts Settler’s Inn and trendy, modern Ledges Hotel in Hawley PA have done it again, with a complete overhaul of an archaic family cottage resort right on the banks of Lake Wallenpaupack.

    The Settlers Hospitality Group has successfully imbued the former 1929 Ehrhardt’s Waterfront Resort with new life as The Silver Birches Resort, a small but very appealing collection of cottages, houses, suites, and rooms right on the water.

    First Impressions of Silver Birches

    This is no sprawling resort. You don’t need a bellboy in a golf cart to squire you around the grounds. Park near the main building, one of a few on the property that backs up to the lake, and check in. You can walk easily to all the rooms and cottages, which cluster closely around the Reception/Inn Building.

    The welcome is friendly and very casual. You’ll get the lay of the land, a map of the property and an invitation to a “Sunset Champaign Toast,” that’s complimentary with your room.

    Sunroom, Silver Birches, Hawley PA

    Common areas are thoughtfully and pleasingly composed – with the lake, of course, getting top billing right outside the sunroom’s picture windows.

    If it’s chilly, a fireplace warms the common area stocked with books and games, a perfect place in season, too, to hang out when it’s raining.

    But on fine days, you’ll want to be out on Lake Wallenpaupack or in the Silver Birches Pool.

    Rooms at Silver Birches Resort

    Bathtub, Silver Birches Resort, Hawley PA

    OMG – the bathtub! I want it. That was my first thought when I scouted out the King Deluxe Suite in the Inn building – Room #14. A curvaceous sea foam-green glass-ceramic silver claw foot tub; it’s momma-and daddy-don’t-wanna-bring-their-kids-here sexy.

    But that’s not the half of it. Any fan of hotel bathrooms will love this one –  roomy with hardwood floors and a sundrenched glass shower as well.

    Sitting Room in Suite, Silver Birches Resort, Hawley PA

    The Tartan carpeting in the otherwise country-fied sitting room is a nice touch.

    View of Lake Wallenpaupak from room, Silver Birches Resort, Hawley PA

    But you won’t be sitting much on those couches with a view like that out of the windows.

    Bedroom, Silver Birches Resort, Hawley PA

    Bedding in the bright nautical bedroom is as comfy as it gets. Each room category is furnished differently, but all are newly updated, eye-catching, and country-contemporary.

    Dining and Amenities at Silver Birches

    The Dock has the best view of the lake and is great for a drink. But for the most outstanding dining – best to go to the Settler’s Inn for farm-to-table cuisine, or Ledges (Glass Wine Bar and Kitchen) for small bites.

    Champaign Sunset, Silver Birches Resort, Hawley PA

    Extras include a Daily Sunset Champagne Toast, Lakefront pool, Campfires with Adirondack Chairs for evening wine and conversation, and The Recreation Center – for kayak, SUP, canoe, and power boat rentals.

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    • Malerie Yolen-Cohen

      Malerie Yolen-Cohen is the Author of the cross-country travel guide, Stay On Route 6; Your Guide to All 3562 Miles of Transcontinental Route 6. She contributes frequently to Newsday, with credits in National Geographic Traveler, Ladies Home Journal, Yankee Magazine, Shape.com, Sierra Magazine, Porthole, Paddler, New England Boating, Huffington Post, and dozens of other publications. Malerie’s focus and specialty is Northeastern US, and she is constantly amazed by the caliber of restaurants and lodging in the unlikeliest places.

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