lgbTravel: A summer weekend at Rainbow Mountain

By Mark McNease

We just got back from our third long weekend at Rainbow Mountain Resort in East Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania. I have to say this quickly became a favorite vacation spot after our first visit there in the spring of last year. We returned for a fun-filled, packed Halloween, and now we’ve had our first taste of summer by the pool with an interesting group of lgbt fellow travelers.

There are several things I like about this longstanding (since 1981) lgbt-owned-and-operated getaway. One, it’s an older crowd. That may have something to do with the age of the resort itself, or that we often have more disposable income, or simply that we have this lovely place in the Pocono mountains where being lgbt and over 50 is a beautiful thing – just what we contend here at lgbtSr!

I also enjoy spending time in an environment where everyone is lgbt, with a few exceptions. This is not about being exclusionary – some of my very best friends are straight. But let’s face it, a long weekend with mature, come-as-you-are gay men and lesbians who are comfortable in our bodies and minds is a refreshing, re-energizing thing to do now and then.

We stopped for lunch at the Landmark Cafe, where the staff is friendly and the eats are good (and it is the sort of place you’d say ‘eats’). Then on to Rainbow Mountain, which recently had a change of owners, but the flavor hasn’t been altered. The two men who bought it from long-time owner Angelo and his partner were both regulars there, working the karaoke events, and are keeping things familiar while making upgrades. Frank and I stayed once again in deluxe room 102 – private bathroom, TV, mini-fridge, and a painting on the wall that I’ve only seen in my late mother’s piano teaching room (a woman in a red dress at a black grand piano). A little spooky but it adds to the experience.

We went for a drive the first day and stopped at a mountain road ice cream stand, where there on the window was a rainbow decal. We had dinner that night at the lodge, where dinner and breakfast come with the package. They offer a third night (either Thursday or Sunday) on summer weekends, in case you want to get there earl y or head back Monday, but food’s not included with the extra day.

The Pocono Mountains have plenty of attractions. We went back to Mount Airy Casino on Saturday for a couple hours of penny slots. There’s The Candle Shoppe of the Poconos, that has the added attraction of being haunted. You can arrange for a Segway tour if that’s to your liking ( or just hang out by the pool with the other guests, enjoy some cocktails at the cabana (or not, some of us tea-total, they have something for eveyryone).

The area is spectacularly beautiful and this is truly at the top of my list as a twice-a-year (I could do three) escape to peace and serenity. I can’t say enough about Rainbow Mountain Resort and if you’re anywhere near the area or can plan a nice relaxing stay there, I think you’ll love it as much as we do.