Looking for a little summer getaway that will take you to an entertaining locale and teach you a thing or two about wine and spirits?
You don’t need to spend all that money to fly over to France and learn about Bordeaux and Cognac for your journey, there are plenty of destinations in the USA that will let you get your tipple in while you travel. And, if you’re not close enough to these haunts, a little staycation is as close as your nearest vineyard.
A Trek Through Bourbon Country: Louisville
Louisville has it all – it’s gorgeous, affordable, and full of bourbon. How can you go wrong? All of the bourbon in the United States is made in Kentucky (it has to if it’s going to be called Bourbon), and many of the distilleries are a short drive out of the city. They are picturesque and, better yet, will let you sample the product. When you get back into town, you can hit up the area’s bars, many of which take part in the Urban Bourbon Trail, a bar crawl that will guide you to the best watering holes in this surprisingly cosmopolitan city. http://www.bourboncountry.com/urban-bourbon/
Wine Vacations: Napa or Long Island
If you want sip vino on your vacay, then there are options for you on both the East and West Coast. If you’re closer to Cali, then the place to be is Napa, which has a climate that’s perfect for producing many of the country’s best wines. There are countless wine tours that will lead you through the region, or if you’re really brave you can bike through the countryside on a pedal powered tour. http://www.napavalleybiketours.com/.
If you’re looking to chill on the East Coast, Long Island is where it’s at. The region has a wide selection of vineyards that are all easily accessible and close to one another. And, the best part is that they are all close to the beach – so you can pair a visit to this wine-soaked region with a trip to the Hamptons.
If those regions aren’t conveniently located, there are actually wineries in every one of the 50 states (yes, even Alaska). These provide great opportunities for staycations – most of the wineries offer tours, tastings and discounts on their products (sweet!). Walk around, learn about the production, score some bottles and take them outdoors for a summer picnic. Check out a vineyard locater here: http://www.allamericanwineries.com/AAWMain/locate.htm
Brew-Tastic Getaway: Portland, Maine
If you’re looking to spend some time soaking up suds in the summer sun, then Portland, Maine is the town for you. The town is basically the beer capital of the Northeast, and there are plenty of breweries that will hook you up with tours and tastings. Grab a pint or two at Gritty McDuff’s or Sea Dog, and then head to one of the waterfront restaurants to taste some more brews. There’s a bonus about choosing this as your destination – lobster. The crustaceans in this town are abundant and, more importantly, delicious. Dive right in.