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Poconos to be popular vacation spot this summer

Tobyhanna State Park will open its camping season on Friday, and plenty of people are planning to spend the weekend in the great outdoors.

TOBYHANNA, Pa. — The campsites are clear, and, in the morning, people will start pulling in to spend the weekend at Tobyhanna State Park.

Lee Dillon, the park manager, says if this year is anything like last year, camping will be busy because of the pandemic.

"We have no indications that we are going to slow down any from last year, and we were setting record-breaking numbers last year," said Dillon.

Chris Barrett, the president and CEO of the Pocono Mountains Visitors Bureau, says this will be a banner year for the Poconos. Between camping at state parks and renting out homes, this area will be busy with visitors.

"All the indications we are seeing now is that we are projecting that the summer will be incredibly strong going into the fall. We continue to see strong growth and demand, and we have no reason to think that is going to change," said Barrett.

People already spending time in the Poconos are not surprised that many other people will choose to vacation here this summer instead of going to places like an amusement park or the beach.

"I feel like with COVID still the way that it is, this feels like an escape that you don't need to go on an airplane for, and it's pretty affordable. There are lots to do here, and it's different than the beach," said Amy Merola, New Jersey.

This family from New Jersey is spending time in Monroe County for spring break. Amy Merola says it's a nice getaway, not too far from home.

"We are like about a two-hour drive, but it feels like a whole other world out there. It's much quieter than New Jersey and much more open, so that is nice," said Merola.

If you're planning a camping trip to the Poconos, DCNR officials encourage you to plan early.