The shores of the Juniata River abound with lofty trees and verdant plants, creating a scenic backdrop for Juanita River Adventures's aquatic excursions. The family-owned-and-operated company saddles guests into quality and clean tubes, canoes, and kayaks while pointing them toward scenic routes, plentiful fishing holes, and cozy campsites. Staff at their headquarters lease fishing rods and tackle, while their campgrounds speckle with picnic tables, horseshoe pits, and a beach-volleyball court. Throughout the trip, guests have the chance to witness diverse wildlife? such as bald eagles, smallmouth bass, and tech-startup employees on wilderness team-building retreats?in its natural habitat.
Though it looks old-timey, The Pride of the Susquehanna Riverboat is actually a late 20th-century creation, built and launched in 1988. Yet it still harks back to simpler times such as the 1800s or last Thursday, with mahogany woodwork lining the interior, punctuated by stained-glass ceilings and a front bar covered in copper and brass tacks. As guests enjoy cruising the Susquehanna River, they might enjoy a tasty dinner or just see the sights along the shore. On the boat, Susquehanna River School teaches students of all ages about the history and natural wonders of the mighty river, and what's being done to preserve them.
Blue Mountain Vineyards owners, Joe and Vickie, are pinot pioneers. Beginning with a 5-acre experiment in 1986, they discovered that the soil of the Lehigh Valley does a fine impression of French terrain, making it suitable for growing the grapes of cabernet sauvignon, chardonnay, and other European varietals. Since then, they've expanded to a 50-acre plot, where they now produce wines that have won awards from the Fingerlake International Wine Competition and Appellation America.
Panoramic views of the Blue Mountains overlook scenic terraces at the vineyards, where grapes spring from soil that soldiers roamed during the Revolutionary War. Tastings, concerts, and other events fill the winery's glass-flanked deck, spilling onto an outdoor patio surrounded by ponds as tranquil as a silent lullaby. Visitors admire the vines during tours, and they can also adopt their favorites to preserve the vines' flavorful histories.
Touring groups, clued in by a cast of live actors and cryptic puzzles, gallivant about the streets of downtown Gettysburg in an interactive quest for Lincoln's Lost Treasure. The escapade begins before the scavenger hunt-style romp, when a phone call reveals the hunt's secret starting point. Groups of up to 10 are commissioned by a wealthy, offbeat entrepreneur to locate a lost trove of treasury gold that Abraham Lincoln hinted at with his final breath. Set in modern-day Gettysburg, the plot then unfolds as teams sleuth through the historic downtown, traveling by foot or hoofing it via hover-chariot. Groups gather clues from an eccentric cast of characters, and dodge FBI agents out to foil the mission and ratchet up jaywalking arrests. During stops along the way, appetizers and two beverages refresh minds, enabling them to keep puzzling out clues throughout the 2-3 hour experience. The staff prefers that kids aged 10-15 be accompanied by adults, though youths as young as five have been known to join in the live action fun.
Even before Richard Naylor and his wife, Audrey, founded their winery in 1978, the Naylor family had been fascinated by the winemaking process. What began as a backyard vine-growing experiment first transitioned into an barrel-producing operation in a potato cellar. It then blossomed into today's idyllic Pennsylvania winery, full of vineyards, rows of wooden barrels, and a staff of friendly wine experts. Richard and his family lead groups through tours of the picturesque estate, imparting their wisdom about the fine varietals grown there, such as cabernet franc or chambourcin. Guests can sip fine vino during regular festivals and front-porch tastings, or they can experience live bands, competitive wine-tasting events, and even weddings in the welcoming, rustic setting of the Pavilion.
Though it's usually cars and ghost-horse-drawn carriages that roam the monument-studded fields of Gettysburg, the intrepid individuals at SegTours devised another means of wandering America's past. The two-wheeled vehicles allow groups a more intimate look at the Civil War battlefield.