Soon after Mimi Omiecinski moved to Princeton in 2006, a chance sighting of a Nobel laureate sparked her interest in the town's distinguished residents. When a local business owner informed her that Princeton has more Nobel laureates, Pulitzer winners, and Parakeet Best in Show recipients than any two-square-mile radius on Earth, she commenced an intense study about the town, its tenants, and its history.
The result of this fascination is Princeton Tour Company, an eclectic blend of tours that covers the breadth and depth of Princeton's history, including its culture, university, and local businesses. Ghost tours take guests on a cemetery walk past the gravesites of a United States president and a signer of the declaration of independence, whereas walking tours cover the stories of former Princeton residents including T.S. Eliot and Brooke Shields.
North Fork Bike Tours leads wine lovers on foot-powered excursions through the picturesque farms, gardens, and vineyards of local wine country. Tours traipse across the North Fork of Long Island and offer a rare, on-the ground view into local wine culture. Riders progress at a leisurely pace over predominantly flat terrain and well-surfaced roads while stopping to enjoy sips at local vineyards. All riders are provided with bicycles that feature baskets for carrying home souvenirs and bottles freshly plucked from the vineyards' wine trees.
Pour & Pedal leads wine lovers on 13-mile excursions through the picturesque farms, gardens, and vineyards of New Jersey and New York's wine country. Tours progress at a leisurely pace over predominantly flat terrain and well-surfaced roads, and riders are provided with bicycles that feature baskets for carrying any bottles bought at vineyards. Tours begin at 10 a.m. and finish around 3 p.m., often passing by seasonal attractions such as antique car shows or live concerts en route.
A vineyard-lined drive and the panoramas of the Sourlands provide a feast for the eyes to complement the rich taste of Old York Cellars' wines, which include malbecs, syrahs, and chardonnays. After taking in the sights from beneath a shady umbrella on the expansive, stone-accented patio, oenophiles retreat to a timber-frame tasting room and sample from the award-winning wines and chocolates. To support the community, the vineyard also holds regular art exhibitions, holiday events, and meet-the-artist events.
The Grape Escape intoxicates senses with interactive, winemaking courses that yield 12 bottles of wine over the course of four sittings. Each 60-minute sitting separately integrates the various stages of winemaking: crushing, pressing, racking, and bottling. During spring, crafty oenophiles gather and sift through scores of South American grapes shipped straight from Chile and Argentina. Classes commence upon choosing the type of fruits, barrels, and aging durations that will foster forthcoming fermentation. Crush sweet juices from well-measured mounds of nature's candy before reconvening about two weeks later to begin the pressing process. Work the wine press to extract elixirs and transfer them to your oak barrels of choice. After learning how to properly rack wines during the third sitting, burgeoning vino makers conclude courses with a bottling and custom-labeling session that curbs urges to conceal beverages in paper bags.
Every October for the past nine years, Field of Terror has opened its gates for thrill seekers bold enough to brave the terrors lurking inside its rural haunts. This year, the farm will host four separate attractions, starting with the Killer Kornfield, a maniacal maze ruled by evil plant-men—failed scientific specimens brought to life by the infamous Farmer Frank. From there, they'll board the hayride into Zombie Town, a community overrun by those who found themselves the innocent victims of Frank's need for human DNA. Should they make it out with their brains intact, passengers will alight to face ghastly horrors in the Unknown Barn, which is rumored to be the very site where the farmer conducted his grisly experiments and hosted his petrifying Friday-night square dances. Visitors will have to navigate the dark, twisting hallways in order to avoid becoming yet another of Frank's victims, and if they're lucky enough to escape, they'll don special protective glasses to make it through Dementia 3D, where chemical exposure has turned some of the farmer's prey into unspeakable horrors.
Every night, the terror of the fields is countered by a host of spirit-lifting activities, including bonfires, DJs, dancing, and nightly hayrides to the pumpkin patch. Those who lose their nerve can detour toward less terrifying attractions such as a straw-bale maze or the family-friendly flashlight maze, which is open each night until 10 p.m.