Seeking a thrill? With its abundant natural terrain, the Poconos is the perfect place to get your adrenaline pumping. Everyone in the family will love racing through the forest at one of the numerous adventure parks. From 3,000 feet of obstacles and 16 different ziplines at Skytop Lodge, to kid-friendly ropes courses at Gorilla GroveTreetop Adventures, there’s aerial fun even the smallest member of your crew can enjoy.
Known as America’s “Little Switzerland,” the mountain town of Jim Thorpe is an idyllic destination perfect for families who want a mix of culture, history and great food. Tour the mansion of railroad magnate Asa Packer, step underground and back in time at No. 9 Coal & Mine Museum, then grab some farm-to-table fare at Stone Row Pub & Eatery. Kids finish their meals? Treat them to old fashioned confections at Rainbow’s End Candy Store. Whether it’s Soundcheck Records or The Treasure Shop, the town’s many stores and galleries offer something for everyone, while its cozy B&Bs and location in the Lehigh Gorge make it the perfect starting point for hiking, biking and whitewater rafting adventures.
Pocono Mountains’ many resorts provide so much more than a comfy bed to sleep on. For the ultimate golf experience, visit the Shawnee Inn and Golf Resort, which features two world-class golf courses. Or try the Pocono Manor Resort and Spa, which has been welcoming guests to its beautiful 3,500-acre estate for over a century (except now it comes replete with an 18-hole championship golf course and state-of-the-art spa). Families love the all-inclusive Woodloch Resort, ranked #1 Family Resort in America by Trip Advisor. And for those who favor grand, historic hotels, there’s Skytop Lodge, a stately and scenic oasis of 5,500-acres, countless amenities, and luxurious cottages.
With close to a dozen state and national parks, the Poconos Mountains offer endless hiking and biking trails, secluded campsites and stunning vistas. Explore the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area by foot or canoe, home to 70,000 protected acres of waterfalls, woods and other extraordinary scenery, or scramble across Boulder Field, a geological wonder and National Natural Landmark in Hickory Run State Park. Tobyhanna State Park extends across 5,440 acres of land, supplying amazing camping ground and peaceful relaxation along the crystal clear lake. Pocono Mountain contains Big Pocono State Park, Promised Land State Park, Gouldsboro State Park -- and so many more parks to choose from -- each one is guaranteed to take your breath away.
It’s more than just swimming at Lake Wallenpaupack. Through companies like Pocono Action Sports, anyone can take on the 5,700-lake with canoes, kayaks, jet-skis and wakeboards. Boating with family or parasailing with friends are perfect opportunities to take in the natural beauty surrounding the water. Charming rental homes, delicious restaurants and six recreation areas neighbor the lake for visitors to enjoy. There’s so much to do, but guests should still be sure to take a refreshing dip in the water because there’s no better place for a swim!
Rapids abound in the Poconos thanks to the Lehigh and Delaware Rivers, and luckily there are a variety of whitewater rafting companies to guide visitors on a thrilling and unforgettable journey. Rafting adventures give visitors the opportunity to discover the wilderness and wildlife in the area, and to experience some of nature’s natural gems in the form of dazzling waterfalls and swimming holes. Cool off with the family by booking a whitewater-rafting trip with Pocono Mountains outfitters like Jim Thorpe River Adventures, Kittatinny Canoes, Inc. or Lander’s River Trips.
The Poconos is undoubtedly the waterpark capital of the northeast. Checkout Camelback Resort & Spa, home to the indoor Aquatopia as well as the 37-slide behemoth known as Camelbeach Mountain Waterpark, Pennsylvania’s largest outdoor waterpark. Not one to be outdone, Kalahari Resorts and Conventions boasts Kalahari, the biggest indoor waterpark in America. There’s also H2Oooohh Indoor Waterpark at Split Rock Resort, whose four-story slides are sure to thrill the entire family, and Great Wolf Lodge, where the heated, indoor Hydro Plunge water coaster is the cure to any rainy day. So come scream and shout and splish and splash in the Pocono Mountains.