Summer in the Poconos: A Traveler’s Guide

young enjoying caucasian family floating on kayak

Welcome to the Poconos! Tucked away in northeastern Pennsylvania, the region is best known for its abundance of natural beauty, outdoor activities, and year-round mountain adventures. With its vast mountains and mirror lakes, the Poconos are a veritable paradise for anyone looking to enjoy a refreshing summer getaway.

We’ll take you through the basics of visiting the Poconos in the summer, from weather conditions to what to pack, things to do, festivals and events, and more. Ready for the perfect summer of epic adventure combined with leisurely relaxation? Book your Red Maple vacation home, and let’s get packing!

Why Visit the Poconos in the Summer?

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Photo Credit: Ground Picture

While the Poconos are a good idea no matter the time of year, summer brings something extra special. With warm days and cool nights, the weather is absolutely perfect for exploring the region’s lakes, hiking trails, and outdoor activities.

Visitors wanting to soak up the local culture can attend one of the many festivals in the area featuring music, food, and good vibes. The whole family will find plenty of things to do with water and adventure parks, boasting everything from ziplining to mini golf.

And if all of that weren’t enough, the natural beauty of the Poconos is at its peak in the summer, with blooming flowers, lush greenery, and stunning vistas at every turn.

Summer Weather in the Poconos

The summer months in the Poconos are filled with mild and pleasant temperatures. You can expect average daytime highs to be around 75°F, perfect for outdoor activities. Occasionally, temperatures can peak at 85°F on the warmer days, especially in July, which is typically the warmest month. Evening temperatures are cooler, usually around 55°F, so be sure to pack layers!

Rain showers are most frequent in July, but they can come and go quickly throughout the season. You can also expect plenty of sunny days, with late sunsets, perfect for making the most of your days. Humidity generally isn’t an issue, except perhaps after a rainstorm.

Ultimately, the daily weather can change quite a bit, so it’s smart to check the forecast regularly. A sunny morning might unexpectedly turn into a rainy afternoon. Stay updated so that you can adjust your plans to suit the weather if need be!

What to Pack

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Photo Credit: Alliance Images

Packing for summer in the Poconos means preparing for a combination of outdoor activities and leisurely relaxation. You’ll want to bring layers and comfortable, practical clothes, especially if you plan on spending a lot of time outdoors.

Suggested items include:

  • Lightweight, breathable clothing
  • Something warm for the cooler evenings, such as a light jacket or sweater
  • Swimwear for the lakes and waterparks
  • Comfy hiking shoes for hitting the trails
  • A light rain jacket or poncho for the intermittent showers
  • Biodegradable sunscreen and insect repellent
  • Sunglasses and hat

Top Summer Activities in the Poconos

Hit the Hiking Trails

The Poconos has no shortage of hiking trails to suit all levels. Beginners will appreciate the gentle paths at Bushkill Falls, whereas more seasoned hikers can tackle the challenging routes along the Appalachian Trail. Regardless of your skill set, you’ll be rewarded with breathtaking views of treetops, waterfalls, mountain ranges, and ample opportunity to connect with nature. Keep your eyes peeled for local wildlife!

Spend the Day on Lake Wallenpaupack

young enjoying caucasian family floating on kayak
Photo Credit: BAZA Production

Lake Wallenpaupack, a man-made lake covering 5,700 acres, is the perfect spot to discover if you’re looking to partake in some water activities. Whether you’re into canoeing, fishing, swimming, or just lounging by the water, Lake Wallenpaupack is a must when visiting the Poconos in summer. Rent a kayak or a paddleboard to explore the water at your own pace, or pack a leisurely picnic to enjoy by the shore.

Head to a Waterpark

The Poconos are home to quite a few thrilling waterparks, including Camelbeach Mountain Waterpark and Kalahari Resort, which features one of America’s largest indoor waterparks. These parks offer a fun escape from the summer heat with slides, lazy rivers, and pools suitable for all ages.

Another great option, particularly popular with families from all over the area, is Great Wolf Lodge. Any of the indoor waterparks are perfect in the event of a rainy summer day!

Explore a State Park

State parks like Promised Land State Park and Big Pocono State Park on Camelback Mountain are full of activities ranging from bird watching and picnicking to mountain biking and fishing.

These parks provide a peaceful environment to enjoy the natural beauty of the Poconos and are great spots for family outings, romantic walks, or a leisurely stroll. You can easily spend a few hours wandering around and taking in the serene ambiance.

Go Whitewater Rafting

competition master class koksu
Photo Credit: Maxim Petrichuk

For adventure enthusiasts, whitewater rafting on the Lehigh River should definitely be at the top of your Poconos bucket list. Feel the thrill of an exhilarating rush as you navigate through rapids. Never been? No problem.

There are guided tours available to suit all skill levels. It’s a great way to experience the Poconos’ wild side, especially during the summer when the river and weather conditions are optimal.

The experts over at Pocono Whitewater Rafting are ready to guide you through this adrenaline-filled experience.

Channel Your Inner NASCAR Driver

Pocono Raceway, affectionately known as the ‘Tricky Triangle,’ allows you to experience the thrill of racing with a NASCAR-style driving experience. This is a truly unique experience where you can learn the basics of race car driving and put your pedal to the metal on a professional race track.

Lehigh Gorge Scenic Railway

Not into hiking? Take a relaxing ride on the Lehigh Gorge Scenic Train, which offers a picturesque journey through the historic Lehigh Gorge State Park. This train ride offers sweeping views of the natural scenery, wildlife, and the Lehigh River, making it a perfect leisurely activity for visitors who want to appreciate the natural beauty of the area from the comfort of their seats.

Get a Taste of the Local Culinary Scene

Exploring the local dining scene in the Poconos can, of course, be enjoyed year-round. But the summer months open up the opportunity for al fresco dining. From cozy mountain bistros serving rustic, comfort food to upscale restaurants with sophisticated menus, you’ve got plenty of options from which to choose. Some of our favorite restaurant, like Garlic Restaurant + Bar and the Stone Bar Inn are sure hits.

Visit the Small Towns of the Poconos

To truly experience local life, spend some time visiting the charming small towns of the Poconos. Each has its own unique personality and things to do. Towns like Jim Thorpe, best known for its beautiful Victorian architecture and vibrant arts scene, and Stroudsburg, with its lively Main Street filled with shops, galleries, and restaurants, are perfect for exploring.

Also worth a mention are Milford, a gateway to the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area, Honesdale, the birthplace of the American Railroad, and Hawley, ideal for water enthusiasts and visitors looking to relax by the lake.

Summer Festivals & Events

Pocono Mountains Music Festival

summer music festival
Photo Credit: Melinda Nagy

When: Mid July

This vibrant festival is a real highlight of the summer in the Poconos, offering an eclectic mix of performances that span classical, jazz, opera, and pop music. Held in various venues around the region, the festival features rising stars from the local and national arena as well as professional musicians. It’s a must for music lovers looking to enjoy high-quality, live performances in a picture-perfect setting.

Wally Lake Fest

When: Late August

Set on the shores of its namesake Lake Wallenpaupack, Wally Lake Fest celebrates lake life and all things summer. The festival weekend is filled with activities like boat parades, music performances, artisan markets, and watersports galore.

Pocono Garlic & Harvest Festival

When: Labor Day Weekend

What better way to wrap up the summer? Every year, over the course of Labor Day weekend, the agricultural bounty is celebrated in Shawnee at the Pocono Garlic and Harvest Festival.

Your taste buds will delight in the variety of garlic-infused foods, from classic savory dishes to innovative creations like garlic ice cream. You’ll also get to enjoy cooking demonstrations, live music, craft vendors, and more.

Are You Ready For Summertime in the Poconos?

From serene lake days and thrilling water parks to charming town explorations and scenic train rides, the Poconos offer plenty to do for the perfect summer vacation. Whether you’re seeking adventure in the great outdoors or a peaceful retreat into nature, this swoon-worthy region promises a memorable vacation experience.

With luxurious accommodations conveniently located in numerous towns throughout the Poconos, Red Maple provides the perfect base for your summer exploration. Don’t wait to start planning your escape. Book your Poconos getaway with Red Maple today and experience the ultimate summer vacation!

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