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The Mountains vs The Beach: Should You Vacation in the Poconos or Jersey Shore?


With limited vacation time in our busy lives, we want to pick the RIGHT vacation once we have the time off. Whether it's a trip with your loved one, the whole family, or a ladies weekend out, we want to know that we are picking the best option for our taste.

In this neck of the woods, we often get asked about visiting the Poconos or Jersey Shore. Both locations make for amazing getaways, and both locations are incredibly different from one another.

Let's take a look at some of the pros and cons of both areas and see which is most important to you!


Why People Love the Jersey Shore

Between the restaurants, the fun boardwalk, the beautiful beach, and the largely picturesque summer weather, the Jersey Shore is a very famous vacation spot. In fact, people travel the world to experience a Jersey Shore vacation!

Some of the most common things people say they love about the Jersey Shore include the beach itself and the atmosphere it brings.

Some aspects of the Jersey Shore, such as Ocean Springs and its boardwalk, were made famous by the notorious hit reality TV show on MTV, The Jersey Shore. While most vacation goers are not looking for this kind of experience, there are plenty of other areas and options near the Shore!

jersey-shore-boardwalk-beachside.jpgPart of the beach atmosphere is the heat and humidity. While this is not an aspect of mountain vacations, it is a pro to some and a con to others. Oceanside humidity can often make temperatures feel 10 degrees hotter and can feel sticky - but for those who love the beach, this is a plus!

The Jersey Shore is extremely well-known for its ice cream, restaurants, boardwalks, shorelines, and night life, but another great aspect is that its in a city. This provides all of the amenities of a city - like the shopping and restaurants being in walking distance, the ability to connect to wifi (and order an Uber if you would like to try a new beach), and access to AirBnB and hotels all over the area! While the Poconos mountains are beloved for being off the grid, some prefer the comforts of remaining in a city.


Common Complaints of the Jersey Shore

Remote beach vacations often feel like an escape. The Jersey Shore, however, is neither remote nor an escape. Centrally located near many large, populous cities, it is a destination for thousands of tourists a day. The beaches are crowded, the restaurants often have long waits, and the ice cream and arcade games on the boardwalks can seem over-priced.

On top of the already humid climate, being in close proximity to so many other crowds of people can make the beach and the boardwalks feel even hotter. If you prefer the calm, cool, quiet relaxation of a remote getaway, then the Jersey Shore may not be for you.

While there are tucked away cabins near the shore, these typically are rented out a year or two in advance and are much more expensive than a rental or hotel closer to the city.

The Jersey Shore is an excellent beachside vacation for many, but it is not the ideal vacation for all.


Why People Love the Poconos

The Poconos have been a mountain destination vacation favorite for decades. Between the mountain towns and exciting adventures along the way, it has become a vacationing hotspot for generations of families as well as for those escaping their big city lives nearby.

The gorgeous views and fresh mountain air may be the first two aspects of the Poconos that you will notice. With cities like Jim Thorpe and other neighboring areas, tourists and locals alike love the remote charm that the mountains offer.

mountain-biking-in-the-poconos.jpgWith nearby adventures like whitewater rafting, zip lining, rock climbing, hiking, biking, and more, the Poconos are filled with excitement! There are also smaller, inland lakes that offer boating, swimming, sailing, fishing, and more!

While the restaurants and adventures can be a drive between, the space between each destination in the Poconos adds to the remote feel of the vacation. The space, however, allows for each pocket of mountain towns to feel unique and charming rather than all tourist-centric and the same.

The addition of the Kalahari Water Park has also been a huge success in the Poconos! With a water park, hotel, and restaurants available onsite, this water park has become an escape destination to many who live and/or work in New York City or other nearby large cities.

Another huge benefit to vacationing in the Poconos is that its available year round! In the winter, the mountains are perfect for skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing and more!


Common Complaints of Visiting the Poconos

While hiking the mountains are the perfect vacation for some, others prefer the proximity and amenities of a larger city. Rather than renting a beach bicycle, walking, or ordering an Uber, you may have to get around between sites and cities the old-fashioned way - your car.

While AirBnB and hotels are more affordable in the Poconos than in the Jersey Shore, the homes are likely not to be as modern and high end as what you may find elsewhere.

Regional transportation is not as readily accessible as that in the Jersey Shore. Wifi also may be a little bit harder to find in certain areas in the Poconos - but this is a major benefit to many! Sometimes it's healthy to just leave your cell phone or tablet behind for an entire day while you explore the Poconos.

local-tavern-poconos.jpgThe nightlife and entertainment of the Poconos does not quite compare with that of the Jersey Shore - they're like apples and oranges. While the Poconos are known for the daytime adventures, there are taverns and local bars that are available for a beer after a day of adventuring with the family. The Jersey Shore is better known for its nightclubs and party atmosphere than for its Mom and Pop Shops.

Whether you are looking for an adrenline fueled zip line through the mountains or a quiet afternoon on a rowboat fishing off the side, the Poconos has so much to offer! We hope you will be willing to make the drive and set down your phone for a vacation to visit us!


Two Different Vacations, Two Wonderful Options!

Beaches and mountains... Two very different vacations that you will probably love! If you have any more questions about the two, feel free to contact us. While we may be a bit more biased towards the fresh mountain air of the Poconos, we will help you learn more your dream vacation either way!



If you find yourself spending all your time in the Poconos or if you have fallen in love with the area and would like to be here more often, consider building a vacation home in the Poconos! You can check out our Design Library to learn more about what your Poconos home could look like, or if you are ready to talk to someone about building a home, contact us today!