Destination Backcountry Adventures’ licensed guides help civilians explore the wilderness, providing remedies to nature deficit disorder with beginner-appropriate expeditions into the Catskill and Adirondack Mountain preserves. The guides lead adventurers through landscapes and waterfalls legally protected for more than a century, and along the way, they enlighten hikers with facts about the area’s natural history and ecology, and in some cases, the opportunity to pick wild berries. Tours are dog-friendly. All levels of nature enthusiasts from novice to expert, can challenge themselves with activity options such as hiking, backpacking, back country yoga, and many more activities for both single- and multi-day adventures in the authentic, challenging wilderness. Visitors can opt for single-day excursions, on which they summit a Catskills peak, or multi-night trips, during which they trek to higher peaks and spend the nights sleeping amid a tranquil forest. On all outings, hikers nosh on gourmet fare such as cheese and sausage plates and upscale trail mix, rather than the original trail mix, assorted gravel. The center also hosts in-store classes, workshops, and more to provide its future adventurers with all the tools necessary for an exciting expedition.
Established in 1998, Cornucopia Cruise Line's three ships transport guests along the New York City harbor or the inland waterways along the New Jersey and Staten Island shorelines. Each ship is appointed with uplit ceilings, brass railings, hardwood dance floors, and glittering lights. During evening cruises, wait staff serve a sit-down dinner of surf-and-turf entrees as the DJ's tunes coax diners onto the dance floor. Excursions on Saturday and Sunday sate guests with buffet-style lunch or brunch, respectively. The ships range in size from the Cornucopia Majesty's vast 1,200-person capacity to the Cornucopia Destiny's intimate 250-person quarters, where guests should wear business-casual attire, eschewing gym shoes on their feet and flip-flops on their hands.:m]]
At Staten Island Winery, wine enthusiasts transform into bona fide winemakers. They do so under the guidance of Bob Rando, who holds rank as the winery's owner and as an accredited winemaster. Bob and his team walk aspiring vintners through the process, starting with the crushing of grapes and ending with the bottling of finished products. Participants can even choose what kind of wine they make, either by selecting from the facility's list or coming up with their own blend.
At Grape Beginnings, passionate wine aficionado Frank D’Aponte splits his time between producing his own high-quality vintages and instructing others on how to do the same. Frank has a decade of winemaking experience under his belt; as a third-generation winemaker, grape juice runs through his veins. Frank has deepened his knowledge with extensive travel throughout the Napa and Sonoma valleys, studying under master winemakers such as James Allen of Sequoia Grove Vineyards. Novice vintners delve into every aspect of the process, including pressing fresh grapes from California, Chile, Italy, and Argentina, racking in oak barrels, and bottling with custom-made labels.
Whether they're native New Yorkers looking for a new perspective on their city or tourists from the cloudlands in search of a little slice of home, passengers at Pegasus Flight take in a jaw-dropping view of some of the Big Apple's most famous landmarks. An experienced captain pilots tours that fly past such must-sees as Ellis Island, Chinatown, the Chrysler Building, and the UN. On romantic tours, Pegasus Flight offers dinner at the Chart House Restaurant in Weehawken, and flies a candlelit copter to give a popped question maximum impact.
Core Helicopters launches students skyward during hands-on helicopter lessons with certified, experienced staff on high-performance R22 helicopters with heated or open cockpits at Linden Airport, only 14 miles from New York City. Fledgling flyers begin their sojourns on the ground, with 30 minutes of in-depth training in flight controls and safety. Next, the pilot and pupil air-kiss the tarmac adieu before they climb into the cockpit, where strapped-in students get hands-on chopper experience for 15 airborne minutes. Soaring past the atmosphere's cloud-shaped sheep, pupils take over the flight controls themselves, or sit back as the instructor pilot takes the helm. Each trainee leaves the lesson holding an FAA-authorized, bird-notarized certificate for proof of their flight training. The flight time also counts toward a future pilot's license, should the student choose to pursue it.
Additional options including extended flight times, flight instructors demonstrating high-performing, advanced maneuvers, and flight-of-two flights where two helicopters will fly side-by-side together, which allow air-to-air photos with friends, are available for an additional fee.