One city, three price points: A weekend in the Pocono Mountains

Getting there

The Poconos are a 75-mile drive from New York City/Newark, N.J., but rental car rates can be prohibitive. Instead, start the 85 mile drive from Philadelphia. One-way airfares start at $64 during frequent sale periods; nonsale rates start at $124 with 21-day advance; nonstop AirTran, Delta, US Airways.

Stay

Trés elegant Hotel Fauchère features 16 posh guest rooms with original hardwood floors, Carrera marble and Pennsylvania blue stone baths with floor heat, towel warmers, Frette linens; starting at $200 weekdays; $275 weekends. Included is full breakfast, concierge services, Wi-Fi; hotelfauchere.com; 401 Broad St., Milford, Pa.

Eat

Watch a working 24-foot water wheel through the glass walls at the WaterWheel Cafe. Menu selections run from cowboy steak to Vietnamese cuisine, with dinner entrees starting at $18.95. Open breakfast, lunch, dinner; waterwheelcafe.com, 50 Water St., Milford, Pa.

Experience

Watch and listen to packs of tundra, timber and Arctic wolves at the Lakota Wolf Preserve. Educational tours to the areas where four packs play make for great photo ops. Closed Mondays; adults $15; $7 under age 12 (no credit cards). Be a friend and sponsor a wolf ($25, $45 or $100); lakotawolf.com; Columbia, N.J.

MODERATE

Getting there

Walk-up, round-trip economy rates on US Airways (via Charlotte) to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, Pa., starting at $258 during frequent sales; starting at $252 to Allentown, Pa.; both about 50 miles west of Poconos region.

Stay

Santosha (meaning "contentment") on the Ridge isn't a froufrou Victorian B&B. This chic, modern and tranquil oasis is close to golf, outdoor adventures and local theater. Room rates start at $145 (Woodland Vale room) and include a full organic breakfast. Two-night minimum stay during summer; santoshaontheridge.com, East Stroudsburg, Pa.

Eat

After a round of golf, head to Sam Snead's Tavern, open from lunch to late at night with bites from $5 to $14; samsneads-pa.com, adjacent to the Shawnee Inn and Tillinghast Golf Academy (shawneeinn.com).

Experience

Spend time exploring the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area, 70,000 natural acres along the Pennsylvania/New Jersey state line. The Middle Delaware, the longest undammed river east of the Mississippi, cuts through a mountain ridge forming Water Gap. Hike a few of the 100 miles of trails, including 27 miles of the Appalachian Trail. Waterfalls, wildlife and historical villages dot 200 miles of scenic roads. Hike challenging Mount Tammany (1,527 feet) for sweeping views; nps.gov/dewa.

SPLURGE

Getting there

Walk-up, one-way business class rates to Newark start at $428 (AirTran, Continental, Delta); Philadelphia, start at $398 each way (AirTran, Delta, US Airways).

Stay

Where else but in the honeymoon capital of the world can you play in a 7-foot champagne glass whirlpool? The finest suite at Caesar's Paradise Stream Resort also has a round king-size bed, fireplace, heart-shaped pool, dry sauna and shower/steam bath for two. Indoor/outdoor activities, breakfast and dinner daily, nightly entertainment and privileges at the other three Caesars Pocono resorts included at $525 per night, double; caesarspoconoresorts.com, Mount Pocono, Pa.

Eat

Scallops come from the Pacific, meats from the West, and the duck from nearby Lancaster at the Stone Bar Inn; entrees to $35. Or come simply for the divine desserts; stonebar.com, Stroudsburg, Pa.

Experience

Elderhostel offers exploration of the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area on a five-night program with field trips and lectures with a naturalist and retired ranger. Activities range from hiking and studying wildlife to an evening concert or playhouse production. Included are all meals and lodging at the Shawnee Inn, on the river's only inhabited island, with indoor pool and spa; $737 per person, double; elderhostel.org.

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