Smooth, rhythmic, and confident. That's one way witnesses described Mozart's snoring, but it also describes the Paso Fino—a unique horse breed admired for its cadenced gait. Using all four legs in harmony, the paso fino's hooves each strike the ground independently in a flawless sequence of movement. The result is a fluent performance in which the rider appears virtually motionless in the saddle.
Stretched across 56 acres of pastureland in Waymart, RO-NO Ranch lets visitors experience the paso fino's prized march. Nola Haupert-Keill heads the facility's expert staff of equestrians and boasts an equine career that spans more than a quarter-century. At RO-NO, Nola and her team offer lessons to all levels of riders. Most lessons take place in the facility's outdoor riding area, but in cases of bad weather, groups find shelter beneath the roof of RO-NO's spacious indoor riding arena.
Founded on Christmas Eve in 1741 by a small group of Moravian settlers and christened “Christmas City, USA” in 1937, Bethlehem turns its gaze toward the past year-round guided tours and museum exhibits. The 10.9-mile Heritage Trail snakes through 80 historic stops, including two National Historic Landmarks, Victorian-era homes, and the nation’s oldest gift shop. On historic walks, guides lead tour groups through the now-defunct site of Bethlehem Steel, the city’s oldest cemeteries, and the 1762 Waterworks, known as the first municipally pumped water system in the country. The Kemerer Museum Of Decorative Arts is one of only 15 of its kind in the country. Located inside the 1741 Gemeinhaus, the Moravian Museum of Bethlehem curates a collection of exhibits about the town’s settlers, including their missionary work, education system, and medical techniques.
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.
David Schmeltzle's first attempt at home winemaking resulted in a foaming 55-gallon barrel of grape juice, a basement that smelled strongly of acrid fermentation, and a polite request from his wife that he find somewhere else to make wine. Instead of giving up, David decided to transform his passion for fermentation into a business concept, founding Vintners Circle as a way to teach the public to understand and appreciate wine and even craft their own.
The dedicated oenophiles at Vintners Circle commit themselves to teaching the public how to taste and assess wines with confidence. Introductory classes explain how to approach a glass of wine from swirl to sip, and the staff usually keeps a few bottles open at the stores, allowing visitors to try small samples.
Beginning with pre-pressed grapes from one of 15 international vineyards—including sites in France, Australia, and the Stags Leap District of Napa Valley—staff members can also show customers how to transform 6 gallons of juice into 28 bottles of wine in just seven to eight weeks. The process involves four major steps over that time, allowing patrons to stop by periodically and control the development of their wine through primary fermentation, secondary fermentation, clearing and stabilizing, bottling, and designing a custom label. At the end of the two months, customers leave with more than two cases of ripe, effervescent zinfandel, floral viognier, or another varietal from the 50 available winemaking kits.
The Adventure Center at Skytop Lodge sits high in the forests of the Pocono Mountains, spanning nearly 6,000 acres that include zipline courses, Old West–themed paintball fields, and a rock-climbing wall more than 30 feet tall. There's also an onsite golf course, where golfers can practice their swings on 18 holes arranged to resemble Arnold Palmer's face. In addition to these land-based adventures, customers can kayak or cast out for rainbow trout or bass on one of the pine-fringed lakes.
After a day of recreation, visitors can head to the lodge. The comfy accommodations let customers recharge, and offer access to a swimming pool and full-service spa, where therapists soothe muscles with aromatherapy massages and shiatsu or lavender-infused reflexology treatments.