By Gillian Burdett

Life regrets tend to be of things not done, experiences not lived. This is why we create bucket lists. If you feel the need to break away from your work-a-day world and view life from a new angle, then it’s time to get working on your own list. You don’t have to travel to the base of Mount Everest or the African Savanna to find bucket list- worthy adventure. Here is a list of adventures that are within an hour’s drive of Hartford.

Lime Rock Park Race Track
60 White Hollow Road
Lakeville, CT 06039
(860) 435-5000

Have a need for speed? Lime Rock Park puts you in the driver’s seat on their speedway.  Lime Rock caters to beginners and more experienced racecar drivers. The park regularly holds driving events with categories to include drivers of all different skill levels in non-competitive races. Lime Rock is home to a driving school for those who want to advance their skills on the track and compete.

Connecticut Parachutists
360 Somers Road
Ellington, CT 06029
(860) 871-0021

Jumping out of an airplane is a bucket list classic. Connecticut Parachutists provide training and tandem jumps with a professional, certified staff. Freefall over the Connecticut farmlands surrounding Ellington Airport for an experience that will literally change the way you look at the world. Connecticut Parachutists also offers lessons for those interested in earning a US Parachute Association license.

Lake Compounce
186 Enterprise Drive
Bristol, CT 06010
(860) 583-3300

No bucket list would be complete without the adrenaline rush of a giant roller coaster. The Phobia Phear coaster at Lake Compounce rides the rails at speeds approaching 65 MPH, shooting riders along twisting tracks. Hang upside down at 150 feet before a near-vertical plunge back towards the ground. The 863 feet of rail takes less than a minute to ride, but there is nothing better to blast through any phobias you might have about height, speed or tight spaces.

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CT Ballooning
P.O. Box 177
Kensington, CT 06037
(860) 209-0351

Most everyone will pause to watch a colorful hot air balloon float overhead, but a bucket list is meant to turn passive admiration into action. From the excited rush of flaming burners inflating the balloon to the gentle lift as the basket rises off the ground and carries you through the sky, you won’t find a better combination of thrill and peace than a hot air balloon ride. The wind direction determines the balloon’s path, which forces riders to go with the flow and experience the moment.

Joy Ride Charters
63 Pilots Point Drive
Westbrook, CT
(203) 530-5037

Get out of your landlubber rut and book a seafaring adventure. There’s nothing like an invigorating sea breeze and the taste of salt air on your tongue to awaken your senses. Joy Ride Charters offers hourly, half-day and full day sails on Long Island Sound. Looking for more adventure? Captain Joy Sherman also conducts charters to the Caribbean.

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