Ah, the Pocono’s. A haven for Northeasterners looking for a cheap ski trip. But oh, it’s more than that. I didn’t think so at first, but it is. I’ve now experienced all four seasons there, and they all provide a very different experience, so I think that’s how I’ll break it down here. Tannersville is home to Camelback Resort. You don’t have to stay there to enjoy the town, but it is centrally located in terms of activities around Tannersville and the Poconos.
- Camelbeach Mountain Waterpark – This place very unique in that it’s literally a ski resort transformed into waterpark in the summer months. They exchange Hot Chocolate for waffles with ice cream, ski lifts for zip lines, and they break out some really fun water slides and pools. It’s surprisingly big for a seasonal park. One of my concerns going in was that it was going to involve a lot of uphill walking, given that it’s built on a mountain, but it really wasn’t bad. The only hills I had to climb were to wait on a few lines (which weren’t long at all, by the way). It’s a great way to spend a day, and there are rides for everyone! You’re even able to ride one of the lifts up to the top and check out the view (Summer).
- Camelback Ski Resort hosts the biggest snowtubing park in the USA! Highly recommend. The mountain itself is on the smaller side, so if you’re an avid and accomplished skier, it may not be for you. You might enjoy it, but it probably won’t be a challenge. The ride down from the top isn’t very long, either, but that makes it especially great for beginners (Winter).
- Outlet Center – Tax free shopping! Woooooo! There’s about a 99% chance that your favorite brand exists in this shopping paradise. It’s all outdoors, so it’s probably most enjoyable on a nice day (All Seasons).
- Camelback Adventures – Fan of the outdoors? Like getting a little crazy? Camelback’s warmer months include zip lines of varying heights and lengths, obstacle courses, and even a mountain coaster. The obstacle courses might be a bit challenging, but the smaller of the two zip lines is for anyone who’s up for it. All you do is let go and glide; you are fully harnessed in (Spring, Summer, Fall).
- Circle Drive-In Theater – This one’s an hour away but it’s well worth it for a drive-in experience. I guess it makes sense that they aren’t as popular as they once were. Why sit in your car for a movie when you can sit in your bed? It’s a cool experience though, especially for the young ones like me who hadn’t experienced it before. Plus, it’s in SCRANTON, PA. Any fans of The Office out there? I’d love to see how Michael Scott could make this weird.
- Claws ‘N’ Paws – The local zoo! I haven’t actually been here yet, so I’ll hold off on talking about it because I’m planning on it soon. I just wanted to throw it in here for good measure/to prove that there’s actually a lot to do in the Poconos(Spring/Summer).
- Jim Thorpe – An adorable small town just an hour’s drive from Camelback/Tannersville, you can spend an entire day exploring Jim Thorpe. Take a scenic train ride, walk through the historic town, and dine at an old fashioned tavern (All, Especially Fall and Spring).
And I can’t leave out the food…
- Barley Creek Brewing Company – My family goes to Tannersville a lot, and we eat here almost every time. Be forewarned, there is almost always a wait for dinner (especially on weekends). It’s located right off the road on the way up to or down from the mountain, so it’s packed with skiiers in the winter and park goers in the summer. They brew their own beer and the bar is big, so that’s always an option if you don’t want to wait for a table. The burgers are all great and the Gormet Mac-n-cheese is incredible. I recommend adding pulled pork to it. It’s the most adult mac I’ve ever had.
- Mountain Pizzeria – A great place to eat in, but it’s also on the road leading to and from the mountain (hence the name), so it’s very convenient after a long day up at the mountain. It’s great if you want to place an order while you’re up there and pick it up on the way back to wherever you’re staying. It’s a cute little local place!
- Desaki – While a little pricer than other establishments in the area, Desaki includes what is by far my favorite Hibachi experience. You can also sit in the regular restaurant half and enjoy some sushi, if that’s what you prefer. No matter what you choose for your Hibachi, you are guaranteed to go home with leftovers (and it heats up well, I would know).
- Pocono Farm Stand & Nursery – Stop by here for the best locally grown seasonal fruits, vegetables, and flowers. Enjoy fresh baked breads and pies or pick up some chocolate treats! There pies are some of the best I’ve had!
- Deer Head Inn – I actually almost dropped this place into the activities section because it’s more of an experience than I restaurant. It’s in the town of Delaware Water Gap and it’s 20-30 minutes from Camelback resort. It’s an adorable place to stay the night, but also well worth a trip if you’re staying somewhere else. They pride themselves on being the “oldest continuously running jazz club in the country” and they will not disappoint you. Some of the finest musicians play there. If you plan on going, check to see if reservations are required for the night that you choose, and then probably go ahead and make them anyway.
- Kitchen Chemistry – Their website advertises big cakes, but head over to Stroudsburg, PA (20-25 minute drive from Camelback) and pick up some of the best CUPCAKES of your life. Choose from every flavor imaginable and don’t regret the extra calories. It has a great mom-and-pop atmosphere, and has existed under the same family since 1916.
- Tony Stella’s Encore – If you choose to head over to Jim Thorpe, this is where you should dine. They call themselves the #1 restaurant in Jim Thorpe and in the Poconos, and they do so with good reason. I had lunch there, but I’m sure there dinner is just as enjoyable. If you’re going for dinner, you should dress a little nicer, but we were fairly casual when we went for lunch. I ordered a “veggie delight” and was not disappointed. The portions were large and the atmosphere was divine. Their lunch, dinner, and drink menus are posted online. 10/10
- Annie’s Ice Cream – also in the Jim Thorpe area, this place has some incredible flavors and sundaes. The portions are huge and the selections are unique; this is a must. I’ve only been there once, but from what I’ve heard they do change up their flavors occasionally, so they might not always have the same options.