The ember of Nick Coppola's fervor for fishing began years ago. While Nick studied biology in college, this passion bloomed into a full-blown vocation as he spent summers scouring the rivers of Southwest Montana. Since those early moments wading in the tides, Nick has become a New York State–licensed guide, continuing to catch trophy salmon, steelhead trout, brown trout, and runaway goldfish as the head of Slickwater Adventures.
Throughout two seasons each year, Coppola and his staff lead anglers of all levels into some of the East Coast's most picturesque habitats, including the Ausable River during summer months and the eastern Lake Ontario tributaries during winter. No matter the location, Coppola encourages participants to customize each adventure to their specific goals, whether they are honing existing skills, learning basic techniques, or luring in trophy catches with tricks and well-timed eyewinks.
Among numerous other accolades, Smugglers' Notch was named one of the 10 Best East Coast Resorts by SKI Magazine for its impressive thousand-acres of terrain and its tremendous family-friendly resort village. Three mountains providing a vertical drop of 2,610 feet dare skiers and snowboarders to cut into their powdery snow packs. All levels of pole cats can trek the more than 27 miles of trails. Beginners can glide on gently groomed hills and experts can disappear into the Black Hole, a rare triple-black-diamond route. The downhill professors at Snow Sport University coach students in the ways of balance, speed, and outmaneuvering paparazzi on bobsleds. The resort's snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, and snowmobiling keep winter warriors' agendas packed.
Spanning 140 feet and welcoming up to 424 shipmates, the Spirit of Ethan Allen III stages public and private cruises along Lake Champlain's shoreline in prime view of the Adirondack and Green Mountain ranges. Furnished with heating and air conditioning, each of the ship's three decks seat guests for an array of occasions, including luncheon cabaret shows, brunches, dance parties, and murder-mystery dinners all fueled by the ship's executive chef. The captains disclose historical tidbits and folklore during daily narrated scenic cruises and remain quiet during nightly sunset cruises to let guests groove to background music, sip on spirited beverages, and fill out long-overdue tax forms.
Framed by the tree-spotted foothills of Vermont, Rocky Ridge Golf Club’s 18-hole course unfurls across a verdant expanse of rolling farmland. Throughout the course, elevated fairways and greens offer breathtaking panoramas of the surrounding mountains, as well as a safe lookout from which golfers can detect rival armies of croquet players. Flower beds and rocky outcrops along short-grass corridors further accent the layout’s bucolic environs. Clubbers looking for lessons can seek out golf pro Ed Coleman, who roams the grounds in a zen state attained through 20 years of coaching experience and aromatherapy that uses the odor of freshly mowed fairways. Cozy, green-side seating and tables nestled in shaded porches await golfers for post-round relaxing at the clubhouse restaurant.
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Beginner's ice-climbing excursions, set amid Vermont's picturesque framework of frozen peaks and glacial waterfalls, equip students of all levels with the basic know-how for treading arctic landscapes. During each private, seven-hour session, one of Petra Cliffs' certified guides outfits scaling protégés with all necessary gear and equipment before leading troops out to the course. Easy to moderate terrain enables a fruitful learning environment, where groups work on fundamental techniques including belaying, rappelling, and primal screaming. Since lessons are private, students have the opportunity to dictate the day's instruction and focus on specific skills, ranging from elementary top-roped climbing to mimicking the mating call of feral zambonis.