Astride their trusty snowmobiles, the knowledgeable guides at Jay Snowmobile Adventures help visiting adventurers conquer the winter landscape during tours of picturesque Vermont snowscapes. One- and two-person tour packages begin at the outfitter’s home base, located 3 miles from the entrance of Jay Peak Resort. From there, groups wind through the wilderness of Jay, Vermont and parts of Westfield for up to two hours, exploring the snowy nooks and frost-covered crannies of Jay State Forest and the nearby countryside. They rarely make the trip alone, though; moose and white-tailed deer often dot the secluded paths, ready to pose for snapshots in their most photogenic outfits.
As riders learn the names of ancient trees and watch a stream meander through the mountains, wind rushes past their ears. That’s because they are following two guides along courses set by an overhead belay zipline—only stopping to traverse a swinging suspension bridge or rappel down toward the forest floor. ArborTrek Canopy Adventures cofounder Michael Smith devises these tours, drawing from more than 18 years as a challenge-ropes-course builder, manager, and trainer. He leads a trained staff of zipline guides versed in wilderness rescue and first aid as well as ecology, geology, and the local histories of areas such as Vermont’s Green Mountains. On each tour, two guides lead groups across interconnected ziplines, aerial bridges, rappelling walls, and other challenge elements. All the while, they follow a path that reveals facts about local history and ecology, such as which trees are native and what eggs forest rangers hatched from. ArborTrek’s builders design each course to work with the environment, and they minimize their environmental impact by consulting with local foresters, wildlife experts, and engineers.
Four generations of Boydens have lovingly tended hundreds of acres of land that make up Boyden Valley Winery. Plucked from more than 8,000 vines, these grapes are transformed into European-style wines, aged in French oak barrels in the on-site cellar. The resulting varietals include a handful of reds, whites, and coveted fruit wines, which can be sipped after tours, during tastings, or at home, where you're in charge.
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.
The Italian countryside has inspired poetry, music, paintings—and after a visit from George Landis and Sue Small—a new business venture. When the duo toured the Tuscan region, they did so at the helm of a Fiat 500 while a tour guide in another car ahead of them narrated the history of the undulating, vineyard-rich area over the radio. After returning to the States, the duo established Country Driving Tours of Vermont to give visitors to their area their own car-based tour.
Guests head out in BMW Z4 sports cars—nicknamed Bruno, Deiter, and Fritzi—for all of Country Driving Tours' trips. During the picnic tour, sightseers leisurely traverse through the Champlain Valley, making stops at vineyards and shops before dining on a catered picnic back at Country Driving Tours' home base, Dreamhouse Country Inn, also operated by George and Sue. The Dinner Tour treats guests to views of the sweeping countryside on the way to Tourterelle Restaurant, and the Classic Tour zips visitors around and over the Green Mountains and past its waterfalls that run with maple syrup.