PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — If you were raised in and around Philadelphia, there were two prime destinations for weekend family getaways and vacations. Unfortunately, they were summer only treats. But both the Jersey shore and the nearby Pocono Mountains have learned to defy the seasons and the weather. So, what’s on tap this fall for these traditional destinations?
NEW JERSEY SHORE
There are two distinct shore locations that have become all season destinations – Cape May and Atlantic City. To begin, hotel prices take a noticeable dip. Many hotels change rates from day-to-day, but some provide a clear, year-round picture of what you’ll pay as each season blends into the next. Among them, the Victorian Motel in Cape May at the southern end of the mall has permanent pricing posted on its website. We’ve been staying there for 37 years. So, what’s to do when Fall rolls into a town that once rolled up the sidewalks after Labor Day. The town is booming. Local eateries and bars ramp up the music – from jazz to pop. There’s a brewfest, restaurant days and street food at a music filled Oktoberfest. Birders flock to the nearby Cape May Point State Park to view the mass migration. The weather will likely be pleasant enough for boat rides and trolley or carriage rides. Check the calendar and pick what piques your interest.
A.C. has come a long way from a “Boardwalk Empire” bawdy past that co-existed with Philadelphia family vacations in near-seaside boarding houses. Now the blazing lights of legal casinos flare from towering hotels overlooking the beach. Atlantic City has become a year-round destination for gaming, celebrity chef eateries and headline acts in casino lounges. Food, fights and festivals mark the Fall season as Atlantic City tries to position itself as more than just a gambling oasis. . Room rates take an Autumn dive. At the tony Borgata Hotel and Casino, September rooms can be had for $165 a night. By October is goes to $100. And who knows? You might even go home with a bonus?
Until the late 1950’s the Pocono Mountains were a summer magnet for Philadelphians who took their 1 week annual vacation to stay at the growing number of “all-inclusive” hotels and guest houses. In September, the doors closed. Then came something called, “snowmaking” and the portals reopened in winter for skiers. But summer and winter wasn’t quite enough. Today resorts have created indoor water parks, casino gambling was launched, fall foliage was discovered and festivals from blues to brews pepper the landscape. Blazing Fall colors, seen from a chairlift, soaring to a mountain summit or a zip line flying high over the trees have opened a third season. Where can you find the action? Indoor Water Parks have spouted at Grey Wolf Lodge, Camelback Mountain Lodge and Kalihari Lodge, all near Tannersville, and Split Rock Lodge on Lake Harmony. Look for Casinos at the Mt. Airy Lodge at Mt. Pocono and the Mohegan Sun outside of Wilkes-Barre. Festivals and leaf peeping are staples at a trio of ski resorts.
Catch the Oktoberfest at Blue Mountain and see the colors from a chairlift. Then catch the Timber Festival at Shawnee while riding the lifts to view the foliage. Camelback Mountain provides the zip line action.