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The winter months bring out the ruggedness of your soul. This isn’t the time to take it easy. This is no time to lounge on a beach, soaking up rays. Mother Nature sprays the Northeast in a bountiful playground of snow—so let’s not waste it?!

This Travel Diary will take you out of the New York region into Pennsylvania. The Pocono Mountains are a short drive away, but are a world unto themselves, adorned in majestic beauty.

We suggest you hop in a car and meander over to the historic Victorian township called Jim Thorpe, located in the Lehigh River Gorge region, known to ski aficionados as the “Switzerland of America.” Jim Thorpe, named for the Native American Hero of the 1912 Olympics in Stockholm, is a town replete with seasoned history, outstanding views, and tons of activities for the avid adventurer—from hiking and skiing to antiquing and dining, this destination is a ticket to winter splendor.

Yet, in traveling eastward to explore the inns and outs of this beautifully restored township, the cozy bed and breakfasts and the restaurants that are housed in this 19th century downtown, there should be nothing that says “roughing it” about your ride.

NY Auto Giant Toyota Camry
A brand new 2015 Toyota Camry from NY Auto Giant is just what the doctor ordered for this amazing adventure!

Drive up in the classically redesigned 2015 Toyota Camry. This vehicle is the pinnacle of quiet luxury, with brand new upgrades bringing it right up to the future, such as XSE and Hybrid options, new multimedia features and a new, sporty design. When you step into a 2015 Camry, the adventure starts as soon as your foot hits the gas, and continues onto the highway, increasing with every mile.

In this way, the car is an essential part of your experience. It’s not just a means to get you there, but takes the wanderlust that burns in your soul along for the ride.

Once you arrive at the Lehigh River Gorge, you can explore the Old Jail Museum to listen to the lore of the notorious Maggie Maguires, head to the Mauch Chunk Museum and Cultural Center, check out a working model of the famed Switchback Railroad, or take in the sights from the Lehigh Gorge Scenic Railway. The Bear Mountain Butterfly Sanctuary is a must-visit, too (they’ve got exotic frogs, bats and other “secret critters” there sure to dazzle the whole family)!

NY Auto Giant Poconos
Magical butterflies and exotic amphibians await all those who venture to Thorpe, Pa. on their NY Auto Giant-equipped trip! (Photos: Bear Mountain Butterfly Sanctuary Facebook Page)

For some outdoor adventure, you can mountain bike along the Lehigh Gorge Scenic Railway trail, hike, or horseback ride. Are you up for some serious adventure? This bucket list-type of adventure that seems tailor-made to top every single person on your friends lists when you post the pictures to Facebook?

At the Skytop Lodge in the Pocono Mountains, you can drive a team of Siberian Huskies through the snow-packed trails on a dog sledding adventure. Is paintball your thing? Head on down to Skirmish, the world’s largest paintball facility, where late in the winter they host their annual, epic Stalingrad battle.

Thirsty? Every Friday between 4-6 p.m., Franklin Hill Vineyards‘ wine shop hosts a truly indulgent happy hour. Try a creative cocktail concocted with the local wines or simply sample whatever tastes suit you. http://www.franklinhillvineyards.com/event/friday-free-happy-hour/

Hungry? Head on down to Alice’s Pantry for a charmingly kitchy and downright delicious experience. Cozy up to the roaring fireplace with a freshly brewed espresso and sample some of the fresh baked breads and hearty soups. Got a sweet tooth? I have five words for you: Banana Peanut Butter ice cream.

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For some Italian fare, head over to Tony Stella’s Encore where you’ll find superior service, a lively atmosphere, complete with lounge singer and pianist, and fantastically imaginative food and drink, like the absinthe cocktails and tomato basil soup. Come for the food, stay for the entertainment, the attentive waiting on your hand-and-foot service, and delectable entrees.

Are you still reading? You haven’t packed up the car yet?! In that case, why don’t you give Thabita Lee at Huntington Toyota, Peter Zorzy or Atlantic Toyota, Michael Rizzuto at Millennium Toyota, or Anthony Tocante of Advantage Toyota a call? Ask them to get you into a 2015 Toyota Camry, and let your adventure begin.

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