After a revelatory trip to Grand Teton, Yellowstone, and Glacier National Parks in 2006, outdoor enthusiasts Laura and Alan Falk cast off the shackles of software careers to begin new lives as tour guides and planners. The pair created standard tours to introduce travelers to the area's local wineries, gorges, waterfalls, and historic towns, as well as custom tours that let natives and visitors design their own experiences based on personal preferences and hunches about the location of buried treasure. Past custom tours have included birthday scavenger hunts, bachelorette weekends, and private birthday celebrations with wine tastings. Experience! The Finger Lakes draws on more than 30 years of intimate local knowledge to create lasting memories in a thriving area replete with natural beauty, rich culture, and a captivating history.
Swamp Road Walk of Terror rings in the Halloween season with its spooky trail, inhabited by ghoulish characters such as Killjoy the Clown, Ripsaw the Lumberjack, and Swamp Creature. As visitors traverse the boggy landscape, frightening apparitions spring from the darkening path, eliciting squeals, jumps, and silent vows to join a running group. Of the bevy of characters at the annual spookfest, the Dollmaker seems to quicken the most pulses; famed local toymaker Herbert Merkins, wanted for kidnapping and murder in connection with crafting his seemingly innocent dolls out of human skin, is on the loose. The fact that the tale is made up doesn’t stop swampgoers from fleeing the actor’s clammy grasp as he and his cohorts frighten visitors with backstories of terrifying experiences and trips to the DMV.
Clasped between Saguaro National Park and the Ironwood Preserve, Double R Ranch appears as though it were plucked straight from the frames of an old Western movie. The windswept grounds stand as a gateway to the thousands of untouched acres that quietly stitch together the Northwest side of Tucson. The ranch gives visitors a chance to explore that land with horseback rides and birthday parties. It also offers weekend getaways and RV hookups to city-dwellers in need of an escape from the crowds and door-to-door minivan salesmen that come with urban living. Double R also accommodates guests who have their own horses with overnight stabling services.
Lakeland Winery's winemaking parties bridge the gap between independent home brewers and off-the-shelf wine buyers with engaging and informative viticultural classes. Experts trained in conversational French oversee groups of up to 15 at the winery, where they can choose to sample the store’s award-winning wines for a small fee before deciding which variety to make. After the wine has fermented, groups can cork each bottle and design a label, choosing from designs that include elegant fonts or scenes depicting the messy breakup of the California Raisins.
At Adams Eden, summer camp isn't just for youngsters. The family-owned establishment welcomes adventurers of all ages to its 328 acres of undulating greenery where activities on land and air abound. Anyone with day passes can partake in hiking, boating, and volleyball, or explore the mountain meadow maze. Overnight guests have their pick of lodgings that include a sprawling lodge, a cozy cabin, a rustic platform tent, or camp sites equipped with fire pits and picnic tables.