For 2.5 hours, tourists can thrive on historical, architectural, and edible tidbits courtesy of Saratoga Springs Food Tours in Saratoga Springs. The walking tour begins at the Saratoga Farmers Market, where locally grown legumes flaunt their healthy stuff to the tune of live music as tasters sample various dishes such as Greek–style yogurt, jams, tapenade, and goat cheese. After visiting the Olde Bryan Inn, a historic restaurant named for a Revolutionary War hero, carefully crafted olive oils and vinegars lube tongues at the Saratoga Olive Oil Company, and spicy concoctions highlight the region's diversity at Saratoga Salsa. Tours end on a sugary note at Bettie's Cupcakes with toothsome drinks and tiny treats that hold rampaging sweet teeth at bay.
Whitewater Challengers' certified guides steer paddlers as young as 5 across the skipping surf of the Poconos’ Lehigh River Gorge, the Black River Canyon, and the Adirondacks’ Hudson, Moose, and Salmon rivers. In the rafting industry since 1975, the guides have collectively traveled more than 16 million miles of rapids. They chart courses that satisfy a range of experience levels, from beginning jaunts down gentle rapids to advanced battles through coursing foam and wicked currents.
The crew’s ultimate goal is to make rafting a fun adventure, which means that they take care of the business end, providing all safety equipment, transportation to launch points, and lessons for novices. When not on the water, the outdoors-loving crew also organizes mountain-biking and camping trips in New York, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey.
The story of the United States Navy begins on Lake Champlain. The year was 1776, and the fledgling American Revolution seemed doomed to failure almost before it began after a naval retreat to the town known today as Whitehall, New York. Then the Continental Congress issued a command on June 17 of 1776 "to build, with all expedition, as many galleys and armed vessels as ... shall be sufficient to make us indisputably masters of the lakes Champlain and George." By August, eight new gunboats were afloat on the lake—just in time to face the British in the Battle of Valcour.
That story and hundreds more come to life in the Lake Champlain Maritime Museum's collection of more than 15,000 artifacts, images, and documents. Visitors can marvel at the massive 10' x 8' rudder of the steamboat Champlain II, and explore her shipwreck in real time using a remote-operated vehicle. In the Hazelett Watercraft Center, the 111-year-old ice yacht Storm King towers over 90 dugouts, bark canoes, kayaks, rowing skiffs, and sailboats. But the core of the museum is the Key to Liberty exhibit, where visitors can read eyewitness accounts of the Battle of Valcour and marvel at a 9-foot scale model of a gunboat. On fair days, the full-size gunboat replica Philadelphia II sets sail, giving passengers a glimpse of a distant era without the bother of going though a time machine broker first.
On an airplane, there are windows, roaring engines, and strangers trying to make small talk. But imagine if all that was gone. Imagine if it was just you, the wind, and the miracle of flight. That's the experience afforded by Green Mountain Ballooning, which floats passengers high above Vermont's rolling hillsides, sparkling rivers, and sleepy towns. Some days, when conditions are right, rides soar to thousands of feet in the air. They also dip low enough for passengers to converse with people on the ground, or snag a package from their mailman. Eventually, flights drift back to earth, where a celebratory champagne toast awaits.
The nonprofit Wild Center is dedicated to educating visitors about the delicate balance between humans and their natural surroundings, particularly in the context of the unique Adirondacks ecosystem. With more speakers than a speed-metal concert, the Build a Greener Adirondacks symposium aims to introduce eco-conscious community members to the country’s foremost green-building experts. Keynote speaker Tedd Benson will address the topic of off-site home fabrication and how building plans can be adapted to individual lifestyles and secret superhero requirements. Orators on subjects such as eco-friendly insulation, energy-saving appliances, and designing and building with reclaimed wood will also unfurl their leafy verbiage throughout the day.