In 2006, friends Mike and Courtney—independent researcher for the historical society and ghost tour guide, respectively—drew up a unique business plan to spook Providence locals and tourists alike with fact-based ghost tours. Their combined interests in the paranormal and knack for research led them to pillage the minds of staff members and records at the Providence Historical Society, the public library, and the Rhode Island State Archives for accounts of abnormal and violent events. They dug through old files and microforms of oft-forgotten morbid events—including murders, suicides, and fires—gathering facts to present objective stories about real people. Once they’d crammed their skeptical minds with grim and gloomy facts, the tours were ready to begin. Today, these truthful and skeptical accounts of paranormal activity chill the spines of tourists and terrified library books as guides lead walking tours, lit by lantern, through centuries-old Providence streets. Since its inception, Providence Ghost Tour has been counted among TripAdvisor's top 10 ghost tours in America, and was featured on an overnight paranormal investigation with Syfy's Ghost Hunters frontmen, Brian Harnois and Keith Johnson.
At Fini’s Plant Farm, children and families can enjoy a Halloween-themed daytime party and more adventuresome souls can undertake a nighttime haunted hayride. Beginning at 7 p.m., explorers embark on a 20–30 minute covered hayride through the expanses of Deadman Woods, then wander through a haunted house that some say still echoes with the mournful cries of frozen wontons forgotten in the oven.
Set on 400 acres of boreal forest along the Williams Fork River, Aspen Canyon Ranch cultivates a laid-back atmosphere centered on outdoor activities. Hiking, horseback riding, and fishing are popular in the warmer months, and winters at Aspen Canyon are met with snowmobile tours. One-room cabins are attached to private bathrooms and come with wraparound decks topped with a pair of hot tubs overlooking the river. A short walk away, the fully wood-furnished main lodge is decorated with hanging gas lamps, horse saddles, and a stuffed elk head. After (optional) communal chuck-wagon meals of pulled pork, elk, baked beans, and corn on the cob, guests can curl up by the massive stone fireplace. Much of western Colorado is composed of protected national forest, making the region a mecca for coyotes on the run from the law and all kinds of high-altitude outdoor activities. The ranch lies within easy driving distance of a handful of top-tier ski resorts, including Winter Park, Breckenridge, and Arapahoe Basin. To the north, US Route 34 wends through Rocky Mountain National Park, filled with vistas overlooking pine-covered valleys, and occasionally, herds of elk and bighorn sheep.
After loading up groups into their cabins, Sports Travel and Tours’ coaches set a course for Fenway Park for an evening of AL East baseball as the Red Sox look to trounce the formidable Tampa Bay Rays and regain their crimson footing in one of the majors' most competitive divisions. Powerhouse designated hitter David Ortiz leads the BoSox’s offensive charge with more than 20 RBIs and a batting average well above .300 so far this season. Likewise, shortstop Mike Aviles has racked up more than 20 runs, making so many trips around the diamond that he always stops to water his redwood growing on the third-base line.
Those who follow Deerfield River westward from the Catamount State Forest to the Mohawk Trail State Forest travel through the hilly terrain of historic Charlemont. There, in 1989, the Berkshire Mountains and other geographical spoils caught the eyes of Bruce Lessels and Karen Blom—a medaling member of the US whitewater team and a public health nutritionist looking to make the outdoors more accessible. They built Zoar Outdoor on the river, establishing an 80-acre facility to be a base for ziplining, rock climbing, camping, and solar-powered lodging. Today, a staff of adventurers keeps that base running. They not only sell an arsenal of outdoor gear and continue those establishing activities, but also lead whitewater rafting and kayaking trips down their home river, slicing through the waves and rearranging a slew of fishes' living rooms along the way.
One of the largest conservation organizations in New England, Mass Audubon cares for 34,000 acres of natural land in a network of more than 50 wildlife sanctuaries across the state. Its members receive free admission to these pacific preserves, where, alongside more than 150 endangered or threatened native species, they can breathe in Mother Nature’s perfume or have a good cry on her mossy bosom. During bird-migration season, alert gazes can capture some 300 species of sky surfer at Allens Pond on the South Coast, and visitors to Lincoln’s Drumlin Farm can re-enact Charlotte's Web with a motley band of sheep, cows, goats, and pigs.