Morgan Christopher Summer 2020
As you drive along Pennsylvania’s Historic Route 6, this scenic road will take you directly into the heart of one of the state’s most historic and eclectic towns – Honesdale in the Pocono Mountains. Upon arriving, visitors readily see architecturally detailed houses and storefronts. Many are retail and gift shops, as well as popular restaurants, bistros, and cafes. Surrounded by a wide variety of parks and recreational areas, Honesdale is an inviting destination for a family getaway!
Honesdale’s history goes back to the early 19th Century when it was known as Dyberry Forks. The town earned a reputation as a major railroad center in the late 1820s. Dyberry Falls was renamed Honesdale, to honor Phillip Hone, a former New York City mayor, and the first president of the Delaware & Hudson Canal Company. D & H Canal Company began using steam engines on its gravity railroad to haul coal from mines to the town and then by canal to New York City. Honesdale’s significance as a railroad center was cemented in 1829 when a steam locomotive, the Stourbridge Lion, was brought to the United States from England. This locomotive (the first steam locomotive to run on commercial tracks in the United States) became a vital part of coal transportation history in our country. Today visitors will discover a full-scale replica of the famous Stourbridge Lion housed in the Wayne County Historical Society’s Museum and Research Center, located at 810 Main Street – a popular stop for history buffs and train fans from across the country.
Today, visitors to the area can enjoy a more relaxing experience on this same rail line. The Stourbridge Line, a passenger train attraction offering riders a chance to experience the lush landscapes of Wayne County along the Lackawaxen River, has scheduled runs departing from the heart of town in season. The restored railcars offer visitors a chance to step back in time to the heyday of rail travel on one of the area’s most popular attractions for all age groups.
Designated as a Pennsylvania Heritage Community by the Route 6 Tourist Association, Honesdale offers visitors access to parks, trails, and waterways. Outdoors enthusiasts will want to spend time exploring the trails at Prompton Park, a popular hiking and recreation spot. Another recreation area for visitors is Irving Cliff, named for author Washington Irving. This 50-acre public park offers spectacular views of nightly sunsets as well as striking views of downtown Honesdale, the Residential Historic District, and the wind turbines atop the Moosic Mountains. Anglers and kayakers will want to spend time on the beautiful Lackawaxen River, which runs through this part of the Poconos.
No visit to Honesdale is complete without exploring the vibrant arts and artisan community! The Great Wall of Honesdale at 4th and Main Streets offers visitors an impressive public art project featuring photographic reproductions of original work. As home to many members of the Route 6 Artisan Trail, visitors can spend a day visiting different galleries, museums, and workshops to sample the creative spirit of Honesdale. Nearby Dorflinger Museum of Glass features over 1,000 pieces of exquisitely engraved, etched, and enameled crystal—all on display in the family home of the cut lead crystal founder, Christian Dorflinger.
In recent years, local restaurants have earned a reputation for offering guests award-winning fare as well as a wide variety of dining experiences. Whether heading out for breakfast to Black & Brass Coffee Roasting Company or enjoying craft beverages and popular American fare at Here & Now Brewing Company, Honesdale is home to a range of culinary options. Diners and culinary fans will want to check out Alpine House, known for its German market filled with popular European products and fresh meats and foods. Alpine House’s restaurant is a “must visit” for the finest German cuisine.
The Wayne Hotel has been a landmark in Honesdale since 1827. Rebuilt in 1892, the Wayne Hotel has been maintained since then as an elegant, small-town hotel. The ground floor features a popular lounge, two dining rooms, and an impressive entrance known for its classical staircase.
The hotel’s Bistro 1202 offers creative spins on popular dishes as well as classic entrees.
Old and new come together seamlessly when you plan a visit to Honesdale. Warm hospitality, fun-filled events, outdoor activities await visitors to this charming getaway in the scenic northern tier of the Pocono Mountains!
Photos courtesy of Visit Honesdale Partnership