Summer Staycations

Summer Staycations

VA-cations can be a hassle: packing, planning, countless miles on the road, uncertain accommodations… But close-to-home STAY-cations commit none of those sins. Consider visiting some of the many attractions right under our noses.


Lehigh Valley Wine Trail

It’s an oenophile’s delight – nine different family-owned vineyards under the non-profit LVWT’s umbrella. There are no formal itineraries – start and stop wherever and whenever you wish. Depending on the operation, you might visit the actual vineyards or tour the production areas. Some host special events, others feature live music from time to time. Most offer tasting/sampling arrangements, as well as a retail shop. Each vineyard has specific rules and policies, so be sure to check in advance.

Photos privided by Lehigh Valley Wine Trail.
click on the “our wineries” tab, and proceed.

Kalahari Resorts & Convention Center

Scheduled to open in July, this will be Pennsylvania’s largest indoor water park. Located in Pocono Manor, just 50 minutes from Allentown, the 150-acre African-themed complex devotes 100,000 square-feet to year-‘round aquatic fun – under a retractable roof! Bodyboarding, surfing, and watery thrill rides are just part of the experience. There’s also a 30,000-square-foot family entertainment center, restaurants, and outdoor water activities. Overnight accommodations are available too.

Photos privided by Kalahari Resorts.



Dorney Park  & Wildwater Kingdom

The twin parks offer an unrivaled experience. Dorney is packed with excitement – eight scream-tastic roller coasters, 10 thrill rides that will turn you head-over-heels (and then some!) Want something a bit, umm, calmer? More than 10 classic family rides – including the Ferris wheel, tilt-a-whirl and brand-new Cedar Creek Flyers await you. And the little ones can hang out with their favorite canine companion at Planet Snoopy, with kid-friendly rides, live character shows and Joe Cool’s Soda Pop Shop.

Defeat the summer’s heat with Wildwater Kingdom’s three-dozen-plus slides, pools and rivers and water play areas. Chutes and tubes… s-curves and 360-degree loops…drops and banks… it’s all there for wet’n’wild summer fun.

Photos privided by Dorney Park.

Lehigh Valley Sporting Clays

Actual hunting requires lots of dedication and prep, and ordinary target shooting can get boring fast. LVSC in Coplay offers 27 stations over three courses (with varying degrees of difficulty) where you can pit your marksmanship against a variety of clay targets. They zip over water, through trees, across open fields and from old quarry buildings at various angles and speeds. Bring your own shotgun, or rent one on-site. Lessons are available, and extensive rules are in place to promote safety.

Photo provided by Lehigh Valley Sporting Clays



Lehigh Valley Zoo & Trexler Game Preserve

You can find animals from “A” (alpaca) to “Z” (zebra), at this 29-acre zoo, located in the heart of the Trexler Nature Preserve. Lehigh Valley Zoo is home to more than 325 animal ambassadors representing over 125 species. The Zoo’s animal collection includes 23 species classified as endangered, threatened, or species of concern. The 1,100-acre Trexler Nature Preserve is home to free-roaming bison, elk and palomino horses and features trails for hiking, dog-walking and horse riding.

Photos privided by Lehigh Valley Zoo.

Dutch Springs

Looking for adventure on land, water and in the air? Then head over to Dutch Springs for adventurous scuba diving (imagine exploring a submerged school bus, fire truck or helicopter at depths to 100 feet!), snorkeling, watercraft rental and a fun-filled water park. The Sky Challenge combines a rock-climbing wall and thrilling high-ropes course. Some diving equipment is available for rental.

Photo privided by Dutch Springs.


America on Wheels

America on Wheels celebrates every imaginable type of land transportation – from scooters to trucks, and more. The main entrance features “concept cars” that often influenced actual production models. The lobby houses a collection of distinctive, highly personal vehicles. One gallery is dedicated to 68 years of Mack Trucks, in addition to motorized and self-propelled bikes. Another is home to automotive firsts – including an 1889 “horseless carriage” produced in Allentown by Henry Nadig. The museum includes several interactive exhibits – “drive” your own Mack truck…test your knowledge of automotive tools… even design your own vehicle!

Wildlands Conservancy

This non-profit land trust controls nine nature preserves covering more than 2,600 acres. People-friendly sites include the Pool Wildlife Sanctuary, and South Mountain Preserve (both Emmaus) and the Reimert Memorial Bird Haven in Macungie. The Conservancy’s all-equipment-provided “Bike and Boat Adventures” combine rugged cycling with canoeing on the Lehigh River.

New Hope

If you’re weary of cookie-cutter megamalls, a trip to the borough of New Hope might be just what you need. Dozens of distinctive shops dot the streets, offering Victorian angels, customized soaps, original artwork, various upcycled and handmade items, leather goods, artisanal foods and much, much more. When you’ve tired of shopping, catch a show at the Bucks County Playhouse, unwind at Buckingham Valley Vineyards & Winery, or test your nerve with a lantern-lit one-mile “ghost tour” of New Hope’s shadowy streets and dark alleys.

Lost River Caverns

Discovered in 1883, the five-chambered limestone cavern began forming about 250,000 years ago. You’ll be awed by stalactites, stalagmites, and other formations during your 45-minute guided tour. Although the 1200 feet of paths are paved and well-lit, they are often wet, so wear good walking shoes. And bring a sweater or jacket – the caverns are naturally “air-conditioned” to a cool 52°F.

You can also visit the Gilman museum, home to fossils, unique minerals, antique weapons and other curiosities, and hike along a rugged and steep 1800-foot nature trail. Don’t forget to visit the gem mill – where you can use a reconstructed 19th-century mining operation to discover actual gemstones.

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