Gay Milford: Poconos Perfection

Milford is a tiny vacation town in the Poconos, located on the Delaware River where Pennsylvania meets New York and New Jersey. Milford has long been a popular getaway for urbanites from NYC and Philadelphia looking to get some fresh air and a taste of the great outdoors.

It's not hard to see why New Yorkers come to Milford to stretch their legs: the area surrounding Milford is a nature lover's dream. Milford is located between the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area and the protected forests of the Poconos, and visitors will find gorgeous waterfalls and serene hiking trails at their fingertips. The Delaware River is the country's longest free-flowing river, and offers plenty of spots for swimming, fishing and boating.

Milford has been influenced by imported New York culture since Louis Fauchere left his job as head chef at NYC's Delmonico's to open the original Hotel Fauchere. Walking around downtown, one can see how the influx of urban style has melded with Milford's homey small town feel. The main streets, Hartford and Broad, are lined with antique stores, art galleries, historic buildings and restaurants. Milford is home to a thriving art scene, and gallery hopping on the weekends is a must.

In 2007 Frommer's Budget Travel named Milford one of the 10 Coolest Small Towns. Not surprisingly, gay men and women have been behind Milford's recent ascension to hip country getaway. A dramatic restoration of Milford's downtown was instigated when gay activist Sean Strub bought the Hotel Fauchere and restored it with style and elegance. According to Strub, Milford's Pike County has the second largest population of gays and lesbians in the state, after Philadelphia. There's no gay clubs, but gays are an integral part of Milford's community, and can be found at all the major events, from dance parties to the Black Bear Film Festival.

Restaurants to check out