Camelback Lodge and Aquatopia Indoor Waterpark: Review and Tips for Visiting

Monday, August 14, 2023
It's time to start traveling again! Yes it is! And I have some great ideas for you if you are looking for a fun family weekend, staycation, or just a plain old good time. How have I lived in New Jersey my whole life and never visited Camelback Lodge & Aquatopia Indoor Waterpark? Just a stone's throw away in the Pocono Mountains, Camelback is both beautiful and easy to get to. Not only that, but they offer a ton of indoor and outdoor activities for families with kids of all ages. Aquatopia, their indoor water park, was so much fun! But there's more to do at Camelback Resort, so read on.

Disclosure I won a two-night stay to Camelback Lodge & Aquatopia Indoor Waterpark courtesy of The Travel Mom. But we had such a great time and the staff was so nice that I thought I'd write up a little blog post about our experience. I was not compensated for this post and no one at Camelback asked me for a review. Anything we received as part of the prize package is noted in the post.

This post is chock full o' information but it's designed for easy reading. Scroll to find bold headings and the exact info you're looking for. My handy quick tips section is at the bottom of the post. You can also Pin this image for future reference!

Where is Camelback Lodge and Aquatopia Indoor Waterpark and What Does it Offer?

Camelback Lodge & Aquatopia Indoor Waterpark is located not far off of Route 78. It was easy to get to and didn't take us long from our central New Jersey location- I would say about an hour with no traffic.  And just for reference, we arrived on a Thursday in June around noon and left on a Saturday. Camelback is open year-round. They change their activities seasonally and become a pretty cool Ski Lodge in the winter time, offering tubing, skiing, and so much more.

  • 453 rooms (from single room suites up to 3 ­bedroom suites)
  • Aquatopia, a 125,000 sq ft indoor waterpark (with 7 pools, 13 slides, a FlowRider, adventure river, etc.)
  • 30,000 sq ft indoor, dry adventure center (with ropes course, mini­golf, laser tag, over 100 arcade games and more!)
  • 22,000 sq ft of meeting and event space
  • Multiple dining options
  • Adult & kid spa

Parking at Camelback Lodge and Aquatopia Indoor Waterpark

We did not have to pay to park at Camelback as part of our prize package. But be aware that Camelback does charge a parking fee per vehicle, per night. You can find out more about the parking fee here. This is a bit of a bummer to me and I wish that resorts wouldn’t charge their guests for parking, or if they feel it’s necessary, why not make it a one time fee instead of nightly?  Good to note, though,  that season pass holders of Camelback Lodge receive free parking. 

What is Aquatopia?

Aquatopia is Camelback Lodge’s indoor waterpark. Open year round, it boasts 13 different water slides with tube slides, body slides, mat slides, bowl slides and every-other-kind-of-slide including kiddie slides for the youngest thrill seekers. For a separate fee you can also try your hand (or foot?) at Flow Rider. The Flow Rider experience allows you to learn to surf from an expert or on your own with a private session (these FlowRider sessions are available after Aquatopia Indoor Waterpark closes). Regular sessions are available daily. 

If you're staying overnight at Camelback Lodge, Aquatopia is available to you the day of your check-in, throughout your stay, and the entire day after you check-out. Day passes are also available if you're not staying overnight.

I have to be honest (when am I not??)  I am not usually a fan of indoor waterparks. That doesn't mean we won't visit them, but I am sometimes nervous about the slides (I’m a scaredy-cat!) and sometimes the crowds bother me. That's just how I am- I don't like crowds, even pre-covid, and I don't like scary water rides! But I was pleasantly surprised by Aquatopia, Camelback’s indoor water park. It was just the right size, clean, and had a variety of water activities for all levels- even scaredy cats like me! My favorites were The Venus Fly Trap (which your whole family can ride on a big disc-like tube), and The Constrictor (a two-person tubing ride, so I put the kid in front!). The wave pool wasn't overly wavy and I really enjoyed the little Lazy River. You can read all about Aquatopia's slides and indoor water fun here. They even have a swim-up bar area for ages 21 and over!

Cabanas at Aquatopia and Camelbeach- Are They Worth It?

Camelback was kind enough to provide us with a cabana as part of my prize package. We were super excited about that! If you can swing it, this is worth the cost especially if you are splitting it with other family members or if you have small children or a baby that you need to take care of. The Cabanas were clean, quiet, and we even had our very own server to get us food and drinks. The Cabanas had a table and chairs, futon-like sofas, a television, a refrigerator with water, and a place to put our bags. The outdoor cabana at Camelbeach provided us with a bowl of fruit and had a ceiling fan, as well as table/chairs, sofas, fridge, television and private server. The outdoor cabana at Camelbeach was especially helpful because Camelbeach is so big and there are so many areas to explore. It was nice to have a spot to come back to after wandering around to explore. 

Aquatopia cabanas

Camelbeach cabana near the wave pool - private seating area with attendants!

Our Room at Camelback Lodge

Camelback Lodge is truly beautiful to look at! It is situated at the base of the Pocono Mountains and has that warm, “lodgy” feel to it.  If you're coming from the city you will definitely appreciate the crisp mountain air! We stayed in a double queen suite but Camelback offers family suites and deluxe rooms with balconies. Our room was absolutely immaculate and clean. Because of the pandemic, cleaning services did not come in our room during our stay. If there was anything we needed we could have called the front desk but we really were provided with everything and didn't need to make any requests during our two night visit. Our room was sealed with a special sticker upon our arrival to let us know that the room had been cleaned and no one else had entered it before our arrival. Camelback Lodge was recently renovated and this shows! Everything in the room was nice and new and I truly appreciated that. Our first night there I remarked to my husband that it was one of the quietest, nicest nights sleeps I've ever had at a resort. But to be honest, once the hotel got a little busier the noise level changed.  Friday night was a bit noisier with many families around us. But that is pretty typical of any family resort. Camelback does have a designated "quiet time" but some guests just didn't adhere to that.

Where to Eat at Camelback Resort

The food at Camelback was absolutely outstanding. I can’t say that about too many places these days but every sit-down meal we had a Camelback was excellent. We had a delicious breakfast at Hemispheres. We had an amazing dinner at Trails End Grill and Pub. The frozen drinks I had were excellent. I highly recommend the Frose and if you can get the frozen blackberry sangria at Trails End, do it! I wasn’t crazy about the pizza at Graffiti Pizza, but I am a Jersey girl, and we all know it’s very hard to top New York and New Jersey pizza, am I right? See the entire list of places to eat at Camelback Resort here.

What Else Can I Do at Camelback Lodge & Aquatopia Indoor Water Park?

There are a lot of things to do inside the lodge itself if you are not going to the water park. They have a huge arcade and a big prize center to cash in all of your tickets. There is a mini bowling alley (not exactly regular bowling, more like miniature bowling lanes). They have an indoor ropes course that my son loved. They have laser tag and a rock climbing wall. Read more about Camelback's indoor fun offerings here

All About Camelbeach

Because the weather was not cooperative when we visited we really did not get to experience all that Camelbeach had to offer. We took a shuttle from the lodge up to Camelbeach (the shuttles run constantlyso they're easy to catch from the lodge. You can technically walk there but it's uphill and I don't recommend it). The shuttle is a truck with a little passenger car attached to it. The drivers were  very friendly and happy even though they were driving us in the rain! At Camelbeach we met Phil and the rest of the team at guest services, They were so incredibly nice! Phil brought us around Camelbeach and told us a little bit about it. There were so many different things you could do at Camelbeach - you can easily spend the entire day just being there if you have nicer weather than we did. There was a beautiful wave pool, a kiddie splash fountain area, regular pools, slides, a lazy river, and too many more areas to name (explore all of Camelbeach offerings here)! They were also food trucks scattered throughout, seated dining areas, a souvenir shop, a 'boardwalk smokehouse,' ice cream stands, snack bars- you name it! Everything was right at your fingertips. And I’ll tell you something, even though it was raining when I visited, there were lifeguards and staff members everywhere. And once again, everyone greeted us with a smile. 

The Mountain Coaster & Outdoor Fun

We were really looking forward to trying out the mountain coaster. Okay, so I was a little nervous, I’ll admit it. But it looked like fun and once again the rain decided to ruin our plans because the mountain coaster can’t run in the rain. I did see a family start to go up the mountain but once they realized it was beginning to rain, staff members radioed to each other to bring the family back down the mountain so that they were safe. We hope if we visit again that we get the chance to go down the mountain coaster and try it out! It really looks like fun.

Other outdoor activities at Camelback include zip lining, zip flyer, Segway tours, treetop adventures, sunbowl tubing (coming soon), and so many more. You can find the complete list of their activities available here

Kudos to Camelback Staff

One thing I have to point out is that the majority of staff members that we encountered at Camelback were extremely nice, friendly, and seemed to enjoy what they were doing. I've been to so many theme parks, hotels, and other venues, and the people working there just seemed angry. Even some of the college kids working summer shifts at other theme parks sometimes seemed like they didn't want to be there. That was not the case at Camelback! Kindness is always welcome in my world. The food servers, front desk workers, gift shop employees, and waterpark attendants- everyone was smiling, happy and polite. And I promised an extra special shout-out to the staff at Guest Services at Camelbeach. Phil was the absolute best, along with everyone we met there. Even the friendly staff at The Loft were wonderful, telling us all about the resort and how it transforms in the winter time. 

We definitely hope to return to Camelback, hopefully this summer season. If you have a guest say they want to go back and visit again, well then that is the best compliment of all now, isn't it? 

Jersey Momma Quick Tips for Visiting Camelback Lodge & Aquatopia Indoor Water Park
  • Towels are provided at both waterparks, so you can leave your bulky beach towels at home.
  • Aquatopia is included with the price of your stay at Camelback Lodge. Other activities and outdoor adventures are an extra cost (not included with the price of your stay) so keep that in mind when budgeting your trip.
  • It's advised to wear sunscreen in Aquatopia on very sunny days because the roof is designed to mimic the outdoor sky and does allow UV rays through.
  • Check height requirements for waterslides and play areas before you visit so you know what your child can ride. Remember that they will be barefoot when measuring height for waterslides, too!
  • There is a Camelback Lodge app but it wasn't always 100% accurate for us. It's worth downloading while you're there because they didn't have any park info available in the room for us otherwise, though.
  • Bathrooms and changing rooms were readily available at Aquatopia.
  • If you have issues with your feet, keep in mind that Aquatopia is mostly concrete walking in bare feet, and sometimes you walk up stairs to the top of the waterslides. If this is an issue for you, consider an old pair of flip flops that you don't mind leaving at the base of the slide or wear water shoes. 
  • If you have a chance drive up to see Big Pocono State Park. The views from the top of the mountain are awesome! There is also another Camelback restaurant up there that was closed when we visited, but it’s called Summit House. I would love to go back and try that place if we get a chance.
  • If you want to avoid crowds or busier times, definitely visit during the week. We preferred our Thursday stay more than our Friday night/Saturday just because there were less people and the lodge itself was quieter and calmer. There were NO lines for waterslides or food while we were there on Thursday (that's not always guaranteed for a weekday but it was good to note!).
  • Day passes can be purchased for both Aquatopia and Camelbeach, so you do not need to be an overnight guest at the lodge in order to take advantage of their awesome facilities.
  • The Crossing Premium Outlets in Tannersville are not far from Camelback. When we visited, many of the stores still required us to wear masks even if we were vaccinated so be sure to bring along a mask just in case. I'll admit that the inconsistency was a little frustrating- you'd visit one store that did not require masks and then the next one required them. 
  • Just a short drive from Camelback is a brewery called Barley Creek Brewing Company. They actually advertised breakfast, lunch and dinner options, so if you’re looking for someplace outside of the Lodge area to eat, give that place a try or at least look at the menu online. We didn’t get a chance to try it but that would be on our list for our next visit!

Stay Connected

Camelback Lodge & Aquatopia Indoor Waterpark Website:

No comments

Powered by Blogger.