Nostalgia Ballooning puts heads in the clouds, accompanied by licensed pilots soaring giant, kaleidoscopically colored hot air balloons. Packages include private and group voyages over mountainous landscapes and include memorable touches such as champagne toasts. For those left enthralled with the skies, Nostalgia Ballooning also offers introductory piloting lessons, prepping the airborne for a life amid the birds.
Housed in a historic coal-fired power plant on the banks of the Animas River, the Durango Discovery Museum sparks scientific curiosity with a cavalcade of interactive and educational exhibits. A family day pass activates the inner Einsteins of groups including toddlers, cousins, grandparents, or imaginary uncles. Visitors examine the intricacies of Durango Discovery Museum’s heliostat-fueled solar mirrors, craft movie magic at the Animation Station, or introduce wee ones to scientific principles in the Discovery Kids Zone. With new exhibits such as the Mensch Spark Shop coming soon and a rotating roster of journeymen scientists showcasing robotics, photosynthesis, and in-depth examinations of brain freeze, Durango Discovery Museum blends childlike wonderment with grown-up learning better than bedtime stories about the periodic table.
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 more) with a licensed Utah river guide for a 14-mile adventure along Onion Creek, Professor Creek, Cloudburst, and Ida Gulch. Before provoking the Class III wrath of Poseidon, the guides will review safety procedures and outfit swashbucklers with U.S. Coast Guard–approved lifejackets. 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.
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.
D'Vine Wine strives to make the winemaking process approachable. Rather than creating highbrow vintages in a vineyard far from civilization, they import wine-quality grapes to their local wine shops and craft their wines in full view of customers. There, visitors can sip a creation in-house, buy a bottle, or join the wine club for a bounty of discounts, new releases, and photo ops with famous varietals. But D'Vine Wine doesn't stop there. The wine experts also let customers in on the process, leading them through the steps of blending, fermenting, and bottling their own wines, whether they prefer reds such as Rojo Grande, a dry Spanish table wine with notes of cloves and pepper, or crisp white pinot grigio. Custom wine labels put a finishing touch on the personalized process, resulting in a unique creation that's ideal for gift giving or enjoying at home.