While we focus on the Jersey Shore, as winter approaches we’d like to talk about nearby destinations that are better fitted for this season’s activities.
As far as winter sports go, the Pocono Mountains are your best bet, being within a 2-hour drive from most Central Jersey locations. There are a few resorts and motels in the Poconos, but most people prefer renting a mountain cabin for their weekend getaway. If traveling as a big family or group of friends, nothing beats the convenience of getting a vacation rental home where you can stay together after a full day of activities.
Skiing and snowboarding are among the top activities in the Poconos. Here are the main ski areas that are closest to New Jersey:
- Camelback – The region’s largest ski area! Camelback features 33 slopes and trails, 100% night skiing, 100% snowmaking and 13 lifts. You can enjoy more time on the snow with two high speed quad lifts, introduce your kids to skiing at the Children’s Learning Center, grab your snowboard and hit the half pipe and two terrain parks, or take the family snowtubing at the 9 chute, 4 tow tubing park.
- Jack Frost / Big Boulder – The sister resorts (about 10 minutes from each other) are just a short drive from Philadelphia and New York City. There’s a lot more than just skiing there with snowboarding, terrain park and snow skiing at Big Boulder, snow tubing at Jack Frost and 100% snowmaking. They’re a personal favorite because even on the busiest weekends they’re never too crowded, due to the wide horizontal setting. You can also buy discounted tickets online exclusively through our website!
- Blue Mountain – Has skiing, boarding and snow tubing, on Pennsylvania’s highest vertical terrain at 1,082 feet. 39 trails, 6 terrain parks, 13 ski lifts including a hi-speed detachable quad and 3 tubing lifts, 21 tubing slides and Big Air Bag. Free childcare on weekdays (non-holidays) and 4 school hills to make learning more enjoyable.
- Shawnee Mountain – The resort closest to the NJ border. It’s not just the spectacular skiing on the 23 slopes, or the tremendous lift capacity featuring a High Speed Detachable Quad Lift, it’s their people who make Shawnee so special. Service and hospitality are top priority! Shawnee is very family friendly and their children’s Ski Wee program is ranked nationally!
- Montage Mountain – Located in the Northeastern Poconos, Montage was voted Best Ski Resort by several magazines in 2013. The terrain ranges from beginner to double black diamonds with both the steepest pitch in the Pocono northeast and longest intermediate cruising trails, more than a mile long. The 100% snowmaking and 100% night skiing ensures excellent skiing conditions both day and night.
There’s a lot more to do in the Poconos, after skiing, or for group members that are not into winter sports. Whether you’re looking for shopping, dining or recreational activities, there’s something for everyone. Here are just a few personal choices:
Amusement parks – H2OOOOh Indoor Water Park. Located at the Split Rock Resort in Lake Harmony, this complete indoor water park features attractions for all ages, including the Komodo Dragon – Pennsylvania’s First Indoor Flow Rider. Daredevils will want to try the Viper, Piranha and Amazon Blast slides that drop an incredible four stories. Those looking for refreshing relaxation will enjoy the Lava Springs hot tubs, while the little ones will have a great time at the Jungle Falls & Leapin’ Lizards play areas.
Shopping – The Crossing Outlets. Features an impressive collection of the finest brands. Surrounded by the beauty of the Poconos in Tannersville (close to Camelback Ski), you’ll find impressive savings all year round.
- Terra Cottage. For many years, this has been our family’s favorite restaurant in the Poconos. It’s located in Lake Harmony, in between Big Boulder and Jack Frost, and it’s the perfect place for an awesome breakfast before heading out to the slopes. The family-owned restaurant is open for breakfast and lunch with a very antique decor.
- After you’re done skiing, especially if you’re by Camelback, don’t miss a visit to Barley Creek Brewing. The food is great (they even have breakfast if you’re there early), and the variety of craft beers is amazing. It’s a very family-friendly place!
When planning your trip to the Poconos, don’t forget to check www.RentalsInThePoconos.com, the largest local website for Pocono vacation rentals, where you can search over 500 cabins, chalets or condos near your favorite winter attraction.