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Bucket List Travel Adventures You’ve Never Heard Of

Once-in-a-lifetime Experiences

The Catskills are one of America’s oldest travel destinations, having provided rest and adventure to generations of weary New Yorkers looking to escape the oppressive heat of summer in the city.

And yet, there remains a secret side to the Catskills. It's a place that provides once-in-a-lifetime experiences to those in the know. A place where you can experience unique bucket list adventures that will make your friends jealous. Everyone knows about Hunter Mountain’s New York Zipline Adventure Tour offering the longest, highest, and fastest zipline canopy experience in the country. But did you know you can ski the Swiss Wall from Windham Mountain?

Native Harvest Cuisine

Get a Seat at Damon Baehrel’s Basement Bistro in Earlton. Creating what he calls “Native Harvest Cuisine,” Baehrel has made a name for himself by using nature itself as his inspiration, ingredient source, and cooking philosophy. Basement Bistro has famously not taken new dining reservations since 2014, but those interested in experiencing one of Baehrel’s four-hour feasts can try to secure a seat during “extra seatings” at the restaurant. These extra seatings are small gatherings where flexible and enthusiastic waiting list guests, small private groups, and returning guests have the opportunity to dine outside of the restaurant’s routine schedule. To be considered for this list, email reservations@damonbaehrel.com. Scoring one of these exclusive seats will make all of your foodie friends jealous of your bucket list accomplishment.

Golf the Catskills 9

Aso known as the Rip Van Winkle Golf Trail, and enjoy some of the best courses in the state with incredible views of the surrounding Catskill Mountains. From championship par 72  courses, to back nine created in the parkland style, find out why a round in the Catskills is an experience you won’t find anywhere else. Tackle bucket list golf courses by paying $199 for a Golf Trial pass, getting you tee times on all nine courses, accommodations, and the chance to win $10,000 in cash and travel prizes.

Hike the Hudson River Art Trail

Walk in the footsteps of famous landscape artists who helped create and popularize America’s first recognizable painting style. Thomas Cole, a British expat who loved to paint, began stylizing his paintings, inspired by the pristine landscape of the Catskills. Eventually, he took on a student Frederic Church, and together, they explored the Catskill region, creating some of the most famous and enduring artwork of their generation. Cole’s former home, now a National Historic Site, is the first stop on the Hudson River School of Art Trail, a 20-stop trail that crosses rivers, summits mountain peaks, and leads to views untouched in the 200+ years since Cole put brush to canvas. Art lovers will not want to miss the chance to check this amazing destination off their bucket list.

Ride a Snowcat

Hunter Mountain Snowcat Tours are only available while there’s snow on the trails, but man, are they something. Hunter Mountain was a pioneer in artificial snowmaking way back when, and continues to be the “Snowmaking Capital of the World.” If winter bucket lists are your thing, ride shotgun with a groomer for the early evening shift to experience Hunter’s steeps in a whole new way. You’re cockpit view gets you up-close-and-personal with the snow as you turn trails into a carpet of corduroy.

Ski & Ride Like an Olympian

Well, kind of. Windham Mountain’s Ski & Ride SkyTechSport Simulator lets you ski or ride in virtual reality while getting an intense workout. The simulator provides an immersive ski trail experience, so you can try skiing trails from the best ski resorts in the world, or take the 100-turn challenge. Fun for all ages and abilities, a 10 minute session is just $20.