— Pocono Mountains, Pennsylvania —
The Poconos are known for their outdoor activities, such as hunting, fishing and skiing. But when the sun goes down, entertainment options take center stage.
The Poconos have the longest continuously running jazz club in the United States. The Deer Head Inn is a bed-and-breakfast that has been offering some of the best jazz in the region for more than 60 years.
For more diverse musical opportunities, the Sherman Theatre hosts some of the biggest touring music and entertainment year-round. Penn’s Peak, the largest venue in the region, offers dinner shows and other entertainment, as well as a large deck where groups can see miles of scenery. The Shawnee Playhouse is a smaller, historic venue that offers local plays and showings.
For an elegant evening, Hotel Fauchere is a restored historic hotel and restaurant.
“The Bar Louis in the hotel has wonderful food and a high-end wine list,” said Alicia Quinn, director of public relations at the Pocono Mountains Convention and Visitors Bureau. “It is a really nice scene, and they occasionally have a fire pit where guests can enjoy cocktails and roast marshmallows.”
For great food and an excellent view, check out the Ledges Hotel. The hotel was built on the campus of a historic silk mill, and the dining room overlooks a waterfall. Mount Airy Casino Resort has a nightclub with live music, comedy and entertainment; four restaurants; and 62,000 square feet of gaming, with 2,000 slot machines and 72 table games.
— Catskills, New York —
New York’s Catskill Mountains are a wonder of natural beauty, and groups can also taste the fruit of the area. The Catskill Distillery and Saloon, which offers group dining and tours, is one place to start. The area is also a historic winemaking region, and during the summer, many of the local wineries have evening and weekend entertainment in addition to tastings.
“There are several restaurants right along White Lake and the Delaware River where groups can have dinner overlooking the water,” said Herb Clark of the Sullivan County Catskills Visitor Association. “The food is fantastic, and the views are sublime.”
Blessed with lush soil and abundant agriculture, the area also boasts several farm-to-fork events, including Dinner Over the River, when around 100 people dine on the Denniston Hill Truss Bridge, a 190-foot decommissioned bridge that spans the Neversink River. Chefs from New York City come on Columbus Day weekend and cook with seasonal produce and local ingredients in this unique setting.
For entertainment, the Forestburgh Playhouse offers Broadway plays, and the Delaware Valley Arts Alliance hosts operas, movie showings and other local arts events. High-stakes fun can be had at Monticello Raceway and Casino, with 40,000 square feet of entertainment, restaurants and more than 1,000 slot machines.
— Kalispell, Montana —
About 30 miles from Glacier National Park, Kalispell, Montana, is the gateway to true natural wonder and often a starting point for travelers visiting the park. However, when the sun goes down and hiking has to wait, you can head into town for plenty of things to do.
Flathead Lake, a huge glacial lake, is the largest freshwater lake west of the Mississippi. Groups can view the landscape on an evening small-boat cruise with Far West Cruises. During the summer, daylight lasts until about 10 p.m. When the sun sets on the lake and the surrounding Mission Mountains to the east and the Salish Range to the west, the colors are sublime.
Summer also brings many evening events, such as live theater and free outdoor concerts. Picnic in the Park features live rock, blues and bluegrass acts all through the summer. The Festival Amadeus is a free open-air Mozart festival that the Glacier Symphony and Chorale puts on every summer. The organization also holds annual Summer Symphony Pops concerts.
“One of the favorite things guests like to do is the Glacier Symphony and Chorale, the annual Summer Symphony Pops outdoor concert at Rebecca Farm. It’s an amazing experience because you are sitting outside, so not only is the music beautiful but so is the setting,” said Vonnie Day of the Kalispell Chamber of Commerce. “You get a 360-degree view of Flathead Valley, Glacier Park and high mountain peaks. It’s stunning.”