by Senior Reviewer Maytal Wichman —
Think the Poconos is nothing but a cheesy honeymoon destination? Think again. Those days are long-gone; the Poconos region is now a thriving destination for families who want a little edge to their getaway, all at a quick 90-minute drive from NYC! This past weekend I went zip lining, had top-notch sushi, went to a water park and stayed at a hotel with stunning mountain views. My family and I had an unforgettable weekend at the Poconos and we can’t wait to go back!
Our weekend started at Camelbeach Mountan Waterpark, the largest waterpark in Pennsylvania. We stayed in a cabana near Pharoa’s Phortress, a water play structure that’s perfect for young kids. It has a zero depth lounge lagoon so even infants can enjoy it.
Staying at the cabana was a real treat. We had an attendant who came to check up on us every now and then, brought us a basket of fresh fruit in the morning, lunch and later a basket of cookies and brownies (the fruits and desserts are included in the price of a cabana). It was nice to have a shaded place to relax.
Camelbeach boasts no less than 37 rides, slides and water attractions and has received the TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence for 2013 and 2014. It’s really cool to be at a waterpark which is at the base of a mountain; everywhere you look you see trees and beautiful scenery.
In the wintertime, Camelbeach is closed and everyone goes skiing at Camelback Mountain Resort — but for those who would like something a little warmer here’s some great news: an indoor waterpark is scheduled to open next May! The 8-story hotel will feature the largest indoor family entertainment center and indoor waterpark in the Northeast! An innovative Texlon transparent roof with natural daylight year-round is among many innovative features in this one-of-a-kind facility.
Click here to learn more. Here’s what the indoor waterpark is going to look like:
After a long day outdoors we were more than glad to get to our hotel – Chateau Resort – and once we got into our immaculate room and opened the blinds we saw the most breathtaking view of a lake with ducks and swans and Camelback Mountain in the back, where you can see patches of grass that become ski slopes in the wintertime. There’s nothing more relaxing than siting in your terrace and just looking at the magnificent panorama of lush, green vegetation. Peaceful doesn’t even begin to describe the atmosphere. Chateau Resort is a wonderful, affordable family-friendly hotel and what I liked about it best, other than the view, was the tranquility; I could just sit back and get some rest until dinnertime. The cleanliness of the facilities and the courteous staff were a big plus.
In the early evening hours we headed out to Deskai, a local family-owned and run hibachi restaurant that’s perfect for families with children of all ages. From the rickshaw at the front that takes kids on rides, to playstations inside and the attentive care of the staff, everything is done to keep kids happy. Award-winning chefs at the hibachi tables put on a show for the entire family and let me tell you, these guys are hysterical! We were all laughing for almost the entire time the chefs cooked our meal, which, by the way, was outstanding.
I started with sushi: eel with mango along with tuna, salmon and avocado, all of which was delicious. My family had the vegetable hibachi, while I tried the scallops, which were huge and done exactly as they should be. The portions are very generous and almost everyone at our table ended up taking leftovers. While the price is a little high, you do get great food at large quantities and entertainment as well. As you can see in the picture below, the chef “forgot” to put out the fire in his hat, much to the delight of my children.
We woke up the next morning excited to go on the mountain coaster and do zip lining at CBK Mountain Adventure but before, we stopped at the Mountainview restaurant at Chateau Resort for a hearty breakfast buffet. There was a large selection of popular breakfast items such as french toast, hash browns, eggs, bacon, sausage, yogurt and granola and oatmeal. The view from our window at the restaurant was just what we needed to start off our morning right.
After breakfast we headed out to CBK Mountain Adventure for zip lining and the Mountain Coaster. Both my husband and I tried the zip lining. I enjoyed, more than anything, the mental challenge it took to go through something like this. It was really scary for me but I did get over my fears and I’m glad my kids got to see me muster my strength.
Later my husband and 7-year-old daughter went on the Mountain Coaster (the only one in Pennsylvania) and had a blast! It seats either one person alone or two people together – the adult in the back gets the speed controls. The Mountain Coaster went really fast, so it was great to be able to control the speed. My daughter ended up telling my husband to make it go faster as her confidence got stronger. There’s a lot of other activities at CBK, such as a 4,000 feet zip flyer (the longest twin zip flyer in North America), mountain segways, a Treetops Adventure course (with a modified course for kids ages 6 and up). You can spend an entire day here, challenging your physical and mental strength. We had a lovely weekend and look forward to coming back to this wonderful region. At less than two hours from NYC you can count on it.
I was not compensated for this post. I received a complimentary one-night stay, dinner, entrance to CamelBeach and activities at Camelback.
Senior Reviewer Maytal Wichman is the owner of Mama’s Bites and has also written for The Huffington Post. She has been living in New York City for thirteen years and holds a Bachelor’s Degree in English Literature as well as a Law Degree, but blogging is her true passion. Maytal is a stay-at-home mom to three kids (ages 7, 5 and 1) and loves finding great products that make her family’s life easier.