The Pocono Mountains, located in Northeastern Pennsylvania, right across the Delaware River from New Jersey, and North of Philadelphia, has been a hotspot for well over a hundred years now. It is at a very convenient distance from New York City, and the Tri-State area in general, making it affordable, too, to the point that many frequent visitors own a vacation home in the area, or a timeshare.

The summer months are a particularly good time to visit, especially if you are looking for fun for the whole family. The Poconos boasts several amazing water parks, such as Camelbeach, Great Wolf Lodge and Split Rock. Dorney Park & Wildwater Kingdom, while not precisely in the Poconos, is less than an hour away to the South, in the Bethlehem/Allentown area of the Lehigh Valley. Any of these water parks will fascinate young and old, and let you escape from the heat at a bargain price. Daily and season tickets can be had at all of them.

When even the most avid kid tires of the water, some venues such as Great Wolf Lodge and Dorney Park, have other activities to offer. Dorney is one of the largest amusement parks in the area, with ever changing rides that go from mild to full blown cardiac arrest. Great Wolf has a Quest geared towards mostly younger children, though older kids will probably enjoy it, too. Participants will be given a magic wand that will unlock puzzles and allow kids to all but perform magic, for hours of entertainment. Meanwhile mom and dad can enjoy other activities in the same venue, or nearby.

Of course, the Poconos has a wealth of fine restaurants and bars, and you’ll find every type of cuisine you’ve ever heard of, and then some. Don’t forget to try out the local fare, though, which is somewhat influenced by the Pennsylvania Dutch population. And if that’s something you enjoy, though it is a few hours away, Pennsylvania Dutch country will fascinate those who yearn for simpler times.

Lots of hiking opportunities abound, at any of our State Parks. We highly recommend Tobyhanna State Park, but you may want to sample some of the others, too. There really are no bad ones. For more serious hikers, the Appalachian Trail goes through the Delaware Water Gap, which is your first exit (310) in Pennsylvania off of Interstate 80. Bring sturdy footwear, and a walking stick. Lots of wildlife, such as deer, raccoon, possum, bald eagles and other birds of prey, and even bear. Don’t bother them, and they won’t bother you.

As you walk along the trails, during late summer, feel free to gorge on wild strawberries and raspberries. Cool off barefoot in one of the many streams that cross the trail, and enjoy astounding views of the landscape below, once you’ve made your climb to the top of the ridge.

When you come down, don’t forget to swing by one of the many antique shops, where you will find great bargains. If old stuff isn’t your thing, Tannersville is home to The Crossings, a major outlets complex featuring world renowned brands at bargain prices. You can easily spend a day there and not notice the time go by.

If all that put a dent in your pocket, the Mohegan Sun Casino is nearby, offering slot machines, table games and several restaurants inside their facility. They also regularly have concerts and stand up comedy, and with their own hotel you may not even want to leave, once you’ve checked in.

And that’s just a sampling of summer in the Poconos. Stay tuned for more seasons soon.

Source by Andres Pedraza