7 Places for Summer Fun!

1. Big Brown Fish & Pay Lakes and Paradise Fishing Preserve, Effort and Cresco, PA
Visit the place where the fish are always biting! Big Brown Fish and Pay Lakes features two trout ponds and one bass pond. Paradise Fishing Preserve offers one trout lake and one bass lake. All are stocked with fish raised right on the property. No license or previous experience is required to spend the day beside the water.

Both preserves stock everything needed for a day on the lake, including rental poles and a tackle shop. All ages and experience levels are welcome, and staff members are happy to give fishing demonstrations. When guests need to take a break from the lake or the pond, they can grab a tasty treat from the snack bar and rest at one of the picnic tables around the ponds. At the end of the day, visitors to either preserve can take their prized catches to the Fish Cleaning Station. Here, someone will fillet or gut the fish so they are ready to eat! Most notably, all fish are raised from the preserve’s own hatchery, always healthy and well-stocked.

Paradise Brook Trout Co. began in 1901, and it is currently the oldest privately licensed hatchery in Pennsylvania. Big Brown Fish Hatchery began as a hobby in 1971, and it has since expanded to produce 260,000 pounds of Brown, Brook, Rainbow, Tiger and Golden Trout and approximately 20,000 pounds of Largemouth Bass annually. The preserve gets its name came from one of the owner’s original pets– a fish named Big Brown. www.paradisetrout.com and www.bigbrownfish.com

2. Penn’s Cave and Wildlife Park, Centre Hall, PA
Travel by bus and by boat to explore this unique corner of Northeast PA! Penn’s Cave and Wildlife Park is the only all-water cavern and farm-nature-wildlife park in America. Featuring two unique tours, educational activities and delicious cuisine, this attraction has something for all ages.

Climb aboard a flat-bottom motorboat to tour historic Penn’s Cave. The completely water-bound tour winds its way through a maze of glittering stalactites and stalagmites, and visitors may even spot formations that resemble “The Statue of Liberty” and “The Garden of the Gods.” The 50-minute tour also includes a ride on Lake Nitanee, weather-permitting. Guests are advised to wear jackets and comfortable walking shoes. Cameras are welcome, and flash-photography is encouraged in order to take the best pictures inside the cave. The natural limestone formations of Penn’s Cave are listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the only cave from Pennsylvania on the list.

Along with exploring the cave, visitors can enjoy a 90-minute bus tour of the natural wildlife park. Located on 1,600 acres, Penn’s Cave is still a working farming operation. It supports North American animals such as elk, deer, bobcats and mountain lions. The tours are both entertaining and educational, fostering a deeper appreciation for the region’s wildlife. Tour times vary; call for information.
Additional activities include the 4,800-square foot Miner’s Maze, gemstone panning and a large gift shop. Visitors can also dine on farm-raised bison and Texas Longhorn burgers at the Cave Cafe. www.pennscave.com

3. Bethel Woods Center for the Arts, Bethel, NY
Since opening its doors in 2006, Bethel Woods Center for the Arts has delivered a diverse selection of performances and community programming. The center is located at the site of the 1969 Woodstock festival. Its 800-acre campus includes a Pavilion Stage amphitheater, indoor event gallery, museum and conservatory.

In its 2017 season, the Pavilion will showcase some of music’s greatest legends, including Neil Diamond and Rod Stewart. Rocktopia appeals to both classical and classic rock audiences, blending together the works of Mozart and Beethoven with the stylings of U2, Journey and more. With the launch of The Green Room, visitors can enjoy a 90-minute pre-concert experience when they upgrade their tickets. This special lounge in the Market Shed allows guests to skip the lines at the general entry gates. The venue also includes a full-service bar and pub-style games and activities.
Don’t forget to visit the Bethel Woods Museum! Its award-winning permanent exhibition, “Woodstock in the ‘60s,” captures the spirit of the era through its multimedia galleries. This year’s special exhibit is called, “Love for Sale: The Commercialization of the Counterculture.” The exhibit will use the backdrop of a 1970 suburban home to explore the impacts of counterculture in the second half of the 20th century. Visit bethelwoodscenter.org.

4. Pocono Adventures, The Villas and Fernwood Resort, Bushkill, PA
Pocono Adventures features a variety of exciting outdoor activities, and The Villas and Fernwood Resort provide all the amenities you need for a peaceful Poconos getaway.

As the newest addition to the venue, Pocono Zip Quest consists of ladders, bridges and nine zip lines. Zip Quest is located in the adventure park, which also includes two aerial ropes courses, Pocono Tree Ventures and Pocono KidVentures. Guests can race through the trees on the Pocono Zip Racer, a pair of 1,000-foot dual racing zip lines. Other popular attractions include Blue Lighting Tubing—the only all-season tubing in the Poconos—and the Sky Bounce Bungee Trampoline.

The Villas and Fernwood Resort are fun and affordable summer places to stay. Guests can play 18 holes on the par 71 Fernwood Golf Course, or enjoy on-site activities such as bumper boats, mini-golfing and horseback riding. During July and August, the resort hosts theme nights at Wintergreens Patio Grill and live entertainment throughout the week. The resort also hosts a carnival from June 28 through July 9!
www.FernwoodResortPoconos.com and at PoconoMountainAdventures.com.

5. Claws ‘n’ Paws, Hamlin, PA
Nestled in the woods of Lake Ariel, Claws ‘n’ Paws Wild Animal Park is home to over 120 rare and exotic species. This year the park celebrates its 44th year in its role as a “zoo in the woods.”

This year, the park is excited to welcome its newest animal—Jethro the baby giraffe! Because Jethro is still getting used to his new home, he may not always be on display. However, as he grows more accustomed to his surroundings he will venture outside more and more to greet guests! Other recent additions include three baby snow leopards, who were born last year and have their own home in a rocky Asian landscape. The Lory Feeding Exhibit has been popular with guests for over 25 years. The Australian birds swoop down to eat apples from the hands of visitors, their beautiful plumage on full display.
In order to learn more about the animals, visitors can attend two different talks. Along with educational information, these chats give visitors a chance to get “nose-to-whisker” with some of the friendlier creatures. Keeper chats at different exhibits also highlight the unique qualities of each animals.
From the beginning, the staff at Claws ‘n’ Paws envisioned the park as a walk through the woods. The pens are arranged on a pathway that winds through the forest, creating the image that guests are truly in the wild. Visit www.clawsnpaws.com.

6. Lukan’s Farm Resort, Hawley
Since 1951, the resort has delivered comfortable rooms, home-cooked meals and a variety of activities for all ages. The resort opens daily through Labor Day.
This year, visitors may notice a few new furry friends at the farm! Baby goats Peter and Paul will greet resort guests, along with Lilly the new baby lamb. Children will love interacting with the animals and exploring the brand new outdoor playground.

Don’t miss the large heated outdoor pool, one of the resort’s most popular attractions! Those looking to stay active should visit the lighted recreation area, which includes a basketball court, fenced tennis court and sand volleyball court. Visitors of all ages will enjoy games such as horseshoes and mini golf. Fishing and hiking provide guests with a chance to further immerse themselves in nature.

Lukan’s dining prides itself on using all-natural ingredients, including seasonal vegetables that are harvested from the on-property garden. The public is welcome to dine in the restaurant, but reservations are required. The resort’s personal attention to guests, homey atmosphere and seemingly endless activities have made Lukan’s a staple of Pocono vacations for over half a century. Visit www.lukans.com.

7. Buck Hill Falls, Buck Hill Falls, PA
Buck Hill Falls takes pride in being a multi-generational community, whether visitors are searching for a year-round home or a weekend getaway. It offers first-class amenities, a multitude of activities and a beautiful natural setting.

New this year, the Fairway Grille was renovated and expanded to include an enlarged bar and seating area. The menu also features enticing new dishes created by the award-winning “Chef Ed.” Visitors can dine on the patio, at the bar or in the dining room overlooking the golf course. Buck Hill Falls also hosts two popular summer events. The Annual Art Show July 21-22 features everything from fine art and handmade jewelry to exquisite crafts and snacks. The Pocono Mountains Music Festival brings Broadway stars and world-class performers to the region when it is hosted July 28 to August 6.

Buck Hill Falls was founded by Philadelphia Quakers in 1901. For over a century, the resort has been an integral part of the Pocono region. Featuring over 300 homes, a 27-hole golf course and an Olympic-size pool, every guest will find an activity to enjoy during their stay. Other features include lawn bowling rinks, platform tennis courts, 34 miles of hiking trails and breathtaking streams and waterfalls. Owners, renters and guests can take part in all activities and amenities. The tennis club, day camp and swim club accept outside members. The public is welcome to enjoy the Golf Club and Fairway. Visit www.buckhillfalls.com -Megan Kane