Castle Creek Winery rests on the Red Cliffs Adventure Lodge ranch, tucked between the rolling rapids of the Colorado River and high-rising red rock cliffs. The winery’s lush vineyards cut stark green rows through the rugged Western landscape that surrounds them. With the fruits of these vines, Castle Creek produces more than 30 wines—approximately 8,000 cases each year—all of which are filled, labeled, and kissed goodbye at the winery. Tour guides usher visitors throughout the production facility, elucidating the process by which grapes travel from vine to bottle. At the tasting room, wine experts pour complimentary sips while enlightening visitors on the notes, pairings, and complexities of each varietal. The facility opens up to a 4,000-square-foot hospitality area that adjoins a deck with views of the river.
The professional guides at Red River Adventures expose adventurous individuals to the rugged and untamed splendor of Utah's rocks, rivers, and canyons with trips designed for all skill levels. The Fisher Towers whitewater-rafting trips pair smaller, intimate groups of four to six paddlers (40 lbs. or heavier) with a licensed Utah river guide for a 21-mile adventure along Onion Creek, Professor Creek, Cloudburst, and Ida Gulch. Before provoking the Class II wrath of Poseidon (Class III with the spring runoff, though it drops in late summer), the guides will review safety procedures and outfit swashbucklers with U.S. Coast Guard–approved life jackets. From the safety of the river-faring craft, paddlers absorb a soaring view of the Fisher Towers, as well as canyon walls that line the waterway and enable time-bending communication with ancient yodelers. After a fierce day of paddling the surf, adventurers will stretch sea arms on white sands while enjoying a communal dinner and settling into a starlit slumber within provided sleeping bags. Before cruising the tides back to home turf, refuel arm engines with a riverside breakfast.
The largest and most populous of the Greek islands, Crete is composed of mountains, valleys, rivers, and lakes adrift in the Aegean Sea, 100 miles south of the mainland. The island was once as the seat of the Minoan civilization, and traditional Cretan cuisine reflects their rich, proud heritage. Here, the locals dine on fresh seafood, smoked eggplant, free-range lamb tsigariasto, homemade grape-peel raki, and much more. Master the art of crafting these dishes while exploring the island on a seven-day cooking and cultural tour of Crete from CookingVacations.com.Click here to see a full trip itinerary.An English-speaking guide will greet you upon arrival at Nikos Kazantzakis International Airport (HER) in Crete’s administrative capital, Heraklion. Indulge in a Greek coffee—which is brewed stronger than American coffee—and a traditional Cretan meal before heading west to the Aoritis Villas in the tiny village of Lampini, which has a population of about 200. Aortitis’s five villas combine stone, marble, and antique furniture for a traditional Greek feel, enhanced by kitchenettes, WiFi, and televisions. Take in breathtaking views of the surrounding countryside. Each day, you’ll explore Crete’s history and present culture. One trip ventures to Phaestos, the first Minoan palace, which overlooks the island from the top of a hill. Nearby, the manmade caves of Matala were likely carved by Romans or early Christians about 2,000 years ago. Hippies most recently inhabited them in the 1960s. At the fishing village of Kokkinos Pyrgos, you’ll dine on just-caught seafood for lunch. Tours also hit the Palace of Knossos, the largest Bronze Age archaeological site on Crete, with a post-palace stop at a natural bee pasture to sample honey straight from the honeycomb. Each night, you’ll learn to cook up to 10 classic Cretan dishes during a hands-on lesson. Lessons range from beginner’s course in stuffed tomatoes, peppers, and vine-leaf wrapped dolmadakia to an evening spent making kakavia, a hearty provincial fish soup. Ingredients for lessons are picked up at local markets throughout the day, with less than 12 hours having passed between the food’s harvest and its place on the table. You’ll also visit the region of Chania, where more than 65 stores sell everything from fruits cultivated on the island to fresh bread. To end the tour in style, groups enjoy a farewell dinner of Cretan specialties prepared by the lady of the house and her mother. Consult CookingVacations.com’s FAQ page for additional information.Read the Fine Print for important info on travel dates and other restrictions.
The licensed trailblazers at Adrift Adventures have safely guided adventurers on boat, horseback, and jeep tours of Canyonlands National Park and the surrounding areas for 33 years. The half-day river excursion draws paddlers down the Colorado River through an august landscape along rapids suitable for rookies and swashbucklers alike. Two daily departure times afford rafters different takes on the area's natural beauty. Birds and fish rub sleep from their eyes and amid river and canyon panoramas as morning excursionists cast off at 8:30 a.m., returning about four hours later. The afternoon ride provides rays for sun-fueled eye feasting and lunch for carb-fueled mouth feasting, embarking at 11:15 a.m. and returning about five hours later to a planet of sentient apes.
Before taking lessons in a one-room schoolhouse, a visitor hops aboard a stagecoach, interviews a worker at a uranium mine, examines authentic adobe pottery, and heads inside a saloon. Such is the scene at Museum of the West, one of the three campuses of the Museum of Western Colorado where curators eschew the notion of “look, but don’t touch.” From the interactive labs at the Dinosaur Journey Museum to the live demonstrations of early 20th-century life at the Cross Orchards Historic Site—whose buildings are listed on the National Register of Historic Places—the staff encourages its guests to get up close and personal with the region’s past.
Your excursion begins at the Moab Adventure Center, from whence the fearless adventure-teers will transport you to a calm stretch of the Colorado River. You'll get all the necessary rafting gear before you hit the rapids on the rafting adventure of a lifetime. Over the two-day journey, you'll drift over 100 miles of the river, tucked 2,000 feet within breathtaking sandstone formations, canyon mazes, and natural rock arches carved from lingering long-melted glaciers. You'll come across ancient Native American ghost-towns and camp overnight on the banks of the Colorado, where guides will prepare a freshly cooked dinner complete with delectable dessert before you retire for the night (roomy tents and cozy, elevated cots are included). At the end of the second day, a Cessna 5–7-seater aircraft will take you on a scenic hour-long flight over Canyonlands National Park and back to the adventure center in Moab.