By Patricia Canole
Ah yes, winter, the perfect time to get away and get warm. But what if your schedule isn’t fit for a flight from JFK to the Caribbean? Not to mention passports, the hassle of checked baggage and, oh, did I say the endless lines at TSA. Instead, you (and your family) can pack up and enjoy a little bit of that “summer feel” we all crave, at Camelback Aquatopia Indoor Water Park.
Aquatopia, located at Camelback Resort, is the type of destination that makes for a perfect weekend escape. Conveniently located in the Poconos, Aquatopia is an easy commute from anywhere in the Northeast. This water park boasts a swim-up bar, outdoor hot tub, and some pretty serious water slides. There’s enough for the whole family to stay well entertained for the entire weekend.
Aquatopia Indoor Waterpark spans 125,000 square-feet, boasts 13 waterslides and a multitude of other thrilling water attractions. Designed to be unlike any other indoor waterpark in the U.S., Aquatopia is home to the famous Storm Chaser, the longest gravity-defying uphill water coaster to exist in any indoor waterpark in the U.S. That’s just the beginning! There’s Venus SlydeTrap, a world-premiere attraction that combines three exhilarating waterslide experiences in one; The Lost River, an immersive, theatrical and dark adventure river experience featuring amusement park level theming; and Kartrite’s Quest, the world’s first Next Generation fully themed and immersive multi-level exploration AquaPlay structure. Other waterpark favorites also abound, including The Great Ka-Na-Gawa Wavepool, Bombora FlowRider surfing simulator, Mystic Springs indoor/outdoor family hot tub and several waterslides that appeal to everyone from brave thrill seekers to timid toddlers.
Situated under 1.5 acres of Texlon® transparent roof—the largest in North America—Aquatopia’s innovative design allows guests to soak up the sun indoors at a comfortable 84-degrees—year-round. More than 120 trained and certified lifeguards oversee the safety operations and regulations for Aquatopia Indoor Waterpark. Coastguard lifejackets are available for use and lockers are available for rental.
Incredibly, there’s plenty to do out of the water too. The 45,000 square-foot Arcadia Family Adventure Center offers two levels of themed activities including more than 100 video games. There’s The Ascent, a vertical rock climbing wall and K2 Klimb overhead ropes courses for adults and kids; Meh-Tah’s (Not So) Mini Golf; and Lazer Runner, black light laser tag. The kids will enjoy Polka Dot Pots arts and crafts; and Kartrite’s Kids Quest, a themed soft play area for the littlest of adventurers.
If the amount of activity becomes anxiety provoking, be sure to include a visit to Serenity Spa (for adults) where there are nine treatment rooms ready to pamper you. Give the young ones a treat (in the form of manis, pedis or facials), too, with the Oasis Kids Spa for ages four and up. Or why not have a mommy/daughter treatment time together.
THE BEST ACCOMMODATIONS
Camelback Lodge’s mountain-modern architecture and design extends throughout all guest rooms and suites. The lodge provides comfort and great service with accommodations that include loft fireplace suites, family suites with bunk beds, and one- and two-bedroom suites, some with full kitchens. All guest suites feature TVs, microwaves, mini-refrigerators, and more modern amenities.
THE BEST RESTAURANTS
There’s a mix of culinary fare for all tastes and ages. No matter the season, Trails End Pub & Grille provides a fireplace to warm up. On the menu are burgers, cast iron mac and cheese, and steaks prepared to perfection. Be sure to check out Hemispheres, with its buffet-style family atmosphere and includes cooking stations and a choice menu for both adults and children. At Neptunes, you’ll find a more intimate venue with a sushi bar, small plates, seafood selections, craft beer and wine. The glass panel provides panoramic views of Aquatopia Indoor Waterpark. For those on the go or a quick snack, World Bazaar & Coffee Shop, serves up specialty coffee drinks, pastries, and snacks. Within the heart of the action of the waterpark, guests can refuel with burgers, pizza and more at Hungry Camel and Colonial Columns, and indulge in dessert at Sweet Discovery with treats including candies, fudge cookies and lots more. Adult beverages are available in and out of the pool at Moroccan Nights and Flyboys, the adults-only swim-up bar.
Whether you’re looking for that quick overnight trip or just a weekend away with the family, Camelback’s Aquatopia is a natural choice. So next time you feel like you’ve had enough of winter, pack up the car and escape the elements at Camelback.
For more information on Camelback Resort and Aquatopia, visit camelbackresort.com/waterparks/aquatopia.
SKIING AT CAMELBACK
Camelback is renowned as a top ski resort in Pennsylvania with the biggest skiing and snowboarding terrain in the area. A significant advantage is that it’s 100 percent lit for night skiing. The skiing and snowboarding facility of Camelback Resort is known for being a great place to learn the sports and a challenge for experienced participants. With a history dating back to 1946 when the mountains welcomed the first commercial ski area in Pennsylvania and perfected the art of snowmaking, the Poconos have become a bona fide ski destination. Today, the Poconos have it all—beginner slopes to the double black diamonds and terrain parks to test your skills. Get out and experience the exhilaration when your skis start sliding down a Pocono slope.
For more information on the Pocono Mountains, visit poconomountains.com.
If you ski just one place in Pennsylvania, Camelback must be it. The ski day at Camelback is long—starting as early as 7:30 AM (for pass holders) and going as late as 10 PM, with every trail capable of being lit. The resort’s base lodge is a great place to get your après ski started. Friday through Sunday live bands play for the happy masses downing the brews on tap.
For non-skiers, the sizeable snow-tubing park is a pleasing alternative. Already the largest snowtubing park in the USA, it now includes an after dark Galactic LED Light Show. With up to 42 lightning fast snow tubing lanes. The Light Show launches daily after dark.