It's official: Milford's the coolest

Budget Travel Magazine gives borough a nod among 10 top locales that will 'inspire and inform you to see more for less'

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  • Grey Towers National Historic Site is one of the many local treasures that make Milford a great destination for travelers (Photo by Anya Tikka)

  • The natural beauty of the river valley is a lovely backdrop to Milford's cultural offerings (Photo by Anya Tikka)

  • The Community House is Milford is one of myriad examples of splendid 19th-century architecture in Milford (Photo by Anya Tikka)

By Anya Tikka

— Milford made Budget Travel Magazine’s list of Coolest Small Towns in America 2017, coming in at number 8.

"That’s a great thing for the area," said Pike County Commissioner Steve Guccini. “I think the town has done a good job of marketing itself as a destination for people, and it’s obviously good for Milford. If they stay more than one day, they may go to other places too in the county that would bring more business to other areas. So it’s a great thing.”

Commissioners Chair Matt Osterberg agreed.

“Milford is a beautiful little town, and I’m glad so many people are in agreement with the people who live here, like we did when we moved here," he said. "Now the rest of the world will know. That’s why I moved here when I was six,” he added jokingly.

Keith Williams, who heads the Pocono Mountain Visitors Bureau in Hawley, noted that Milford is one of the gateways from New York and New Jersey.

"It’s got a lot of natural beauty, mountains, river, lakes, hiking, the beautiful downtown which has Grey Towers, the birthplace of conservation in America," he said. "It’s a real hidden jewel. And then there’s the Columns Museum. We have a lot of ideas for both indoor activities as well as outdoor, so all the family can come and enjoy.”

Williams came to the Commissioners meeting to talk about the Pocono Mountain Visitor’s Bureau, and to showcase its new publication Pocono Mountains that comes out once a year. It will be available at area businesses, the Pike County Chamber of Commerce, and that the Bureau.

Williams said the magazine has a center spread highlighting Milford, with photos of Grey Towers, the Hotel Fauchere, Upper Mill/Old Lumberyard, Columns Museum, restaurants, 19th century architecture, specialty food, furnishing and gift stores and galleries, and the 70,000-acre Delaware Water Gap National Park for outdoor activities.

The new magazine also includes an area map, and street maps of Milford, Honesdale, and Hawley.

Behind the cool“What makes Milford "cool" is that a community that values civic engagement and cares deeply about protecting our pristine environment and quality of life," Milford Mayor Sean Strub wrote via email. "For more than 200 years, Milford has been a community that thinks about and plans for the future.

"From when the borough was thoughtfully designed in the late 18th century, as one of the first communities in the country, to the earliest days of the conservation movement in the mid 19th century, to the Village Improvement Association in the early 1900s and the organizations and efforts today (including the Milford Enhancement Committee, Historic Preservation Trust of Pike County and the Delaware Highlands Conservancy, among others) we have always valued protecting and improving our community for the benefit of future generations.

"That is a vision we treasure and of which we are rightfully proud. Getting named on the 10 Coolest Small Towns is great; understanding the substance of what makes Milford cool is even greater."

Budget Travel magazine did not respond to queries in time for this story, but its website states the criteria for making the Coolest Small Town list is that a place "inspire and inform you to see more for less. For avid travelers, that means road trips, national and state parks, great beaches, great cuisine that won’t break the bank, and lodgings for under $200/night. It means discovering lesser-known destinations that are just waiting around the next turn in the road. And it means being open to the cultural and ethnic diversity, the creative energy, and unparalleled natural beauty that have defined America for more than two centuries.”

Milford will be featured in the Budget Travel Magazine. The number one winner this year was Asbury Park, N.J.

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