Best Bachelorette Party Destinations 11 Photos
Dude-Approved Bachelor Weekends 11 Photos
The Ultimate Guide to Las Vegas 19 Photos
10 Trips for the Chocoholic 10 Photos
About an hour away from Napa, Sonoma County is considered more low-key and spread out. However, it holds its own with an equal number of wineries, and the region excels at Chardonnay, Merlot and Pinot Noir. Standouts include the Francis Ford Coppola Winery, owned by the famous movie director. Not only does the estate produce more than 40 wines at its on-site facility, but the grounds also include two eateries, two swimming pools, a movie gallery and bocce ball courts. Add ongoing wine tastings and wine experiences, and you might not have a chance to visit anywhere else. Korbel Winery is a must stop for sparkling wine lovers; 50-minute winery tours cover its wine cellars and conclude with a tasting at St. Francis Winery & Vineyards.
Bike tours are another great way to experience Sonoma’s bucolic countryside: Wine Country Bikes offers single and multi-day tours. For the ultimate wine country experience, check out Sonoma County Grape Camp—three days worth of harvesting grapes, blending wines and eating farm-to-table fare.
Take your pick of ongoing festivals, but if you have to choose, the Harvest Fair draws wine aficionados from around the country for a weekend of wine tasting, grape stomping, seminars and more.960 1280
Oregon has a handful of wine producing centers, but the action centers around the Willamette Valley, which is known for its Pinot Noir. The region counts more than 300 wineries and five wine trails, including one geared toward cycling enthusiasts: Pedaling for Pinot. Whether or not you follow a trail, many wonderful wineries abound. For example, Silvan Ridge Winery was one of the first in 1979, and has since become one of the most beloved. While in its tasting room, also try the 2013 Malbec.
King Estate Winery produces the most pinot gris in the country, and its pinot noirs, cabernet sauvignons and syrahs also receive high marks from wine professionals. Willamette Valley Vineyards and Sokol Blosser Winery are other don’t misses for pinot noir. However, the International Pinot Noir Celebration is the ultimate pinot noir mecca known the world over. The three-day event, now in its 30th year, features tastings from more than 70 of the world’s best pinot noir producers, vineyard tours, and drinking and dining under the stars.
Although Walla Walla’s wine industry didn’t start until the late ‘70s, it’s rapidly built a reputation as one of the top wine regions in the country, and even earned comparisons to Napa. Syrah, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon are among the wines it does well, and there are more than 100 wineries, spread across four wine regions, in which to try them. The Walla Walla Wine Alliance provides a thorough rundown to get oriented. Leonetti Cellar was the region’s first commercial winery in 1977.
Woodward Canyon Winery was another early pioneer—not just in wine production, but in sustainable wine production at that. Pop into its tasting room to sip its acclaimed 2012 Old Vines Cabernet Sauvignon. Pepper Bridge Winery excels at Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, and its tasting room, housed in a small yellow structure straight out of a storybook, is the perfect setting to try them. If you enjoy being the first in the know, Spring Release Weekend provides the chance to explore new releases while learning about them directly from the winemakers.960 1280
Must-Visit Places for the Wine Snob 10 Photos
Cheese-Obsessed Towns and Festivals 10 Photos
Although there are more than 100 breweries and brewpubs across the state, Asheville is the epicenter with the most breweries per capita, earning it the title of “Beer City, USA” four times in a row. As such, beercation options abound. You can start by following the Asheville Ale Trail, which provides options by car, bike or on foot. Wicked Weed Brewing is a favorite for its hoppy ales and barrel-aged sour beers. Visit its Funkatorium location, a barrel house and tasting room all in one.
Download the Dig Local app for the city’s latest beer happenings, or let an organized tour, whether the original Brews Cruise or small group Asheville Brewery Tours, do the work for you. Depending on the time of year, try to include the long-running Brewgrass Festival for live music alongside favorite local brewers, or the Winter Warmer Beer Fest to partake in some of the best breweries from around the state.960 1280
Believe it or not, Brooklyn was once one of the country’s top beer producers at the turn of the 20th century. As with the rest of the country, Prohibition was one of the major factors behind the industry’s decline. Brooklyn Brewery heralded the industry’s resurgence when it opened in 1996, and today its beers, including the popular Brooklyn Lager, can be found nationwide and abroad. Venture to hipster-haven Williamsburg for a free tour and tasting.
Other breweries that you can visit include Threes Brewing, which consists of an on-site brewery and a full bar with 20 taps. Recent newcomer Other Half specializes in IPAs and gives appointment-only tours. Tørst has become a destination for craft beer imbibers; across the river in Manhattan, Blind Tiger Ale House, one of the city’s best craft beer bars, serves a curated tap selection that includes renowned Brewery Ommegang from upstate New York.
For guidance, Urban Oyster offers craft beer walking tours and craft beer crawls. True beer lovers shouldn’t miss the annual NYC Beer Week, a 10-day event celebrating local beer with everything from trivia nights to secret events.960 1280
Three Days of Beer Heaven 10 Photos
Bourbon Trail and Beyond 10 Photos
Weekend Trips for the Cider Lover 10 Photos
One Weekend in Glacier National Park 6 Photos
6 Romantic Weekend Getaways 12 Photos
Weekend Adventures for Nature Lovers 7 Photos
Unusual Lodging Off the Beaten Path 11 Photos
7 Weekend Camping Trips Near Austin 7 Photos
America's Secret Swimming Holes 13 Photos
More than 40 wineries call the North Fork home, along with a brewery and distillery. Wineries are a mix of corporate and independent; if you’re traveling with a larger group, check with independent operators ahead of time, since many don’t allow buses or vans.
Kontokosta Winery is the island's easternmost winery, and one of the most beautiful properties in a region packed with Instagram-ready wineries. Its long, vineyard-flanked driveway makes for a dramatic entrance, and leads to an equally impressive tasting room housed in a large, airy farmhouse. For the ultimate North Fork experience, cross the sprawling backyard with your glass of award-winning Rosé or Sauvignon Blanc while drinking in the rural sweep of Long Island Sound.960 1280
You could easily spend the entire weekend visiting wineries, but it's not the only option. Rent bikes from Dan’s Bike Rental, either to pedal to wineries or around Greenport. A number of wineries also hold yoga classes in their vineyards during the warmer months. There's no shortage of farms, and Harbes Family Farm is one of the largest with three locations. The main location in Mattituck offers 10 acres with horses, sheep, chickens, rabbits and more. It also features two corn mazes, hayrides, and a tasting room for adults.
Orient Beach State Park is located at the very end of the North Fork, and is just a 15-minute drive from Greenport. The beach is long enough so that it never feels crowded; in fact, if you visit during an off-peak time, you might have much of it to yourself. Either way, hiking paths lead to such finds as mussel beds or giant osprey nests in trees, while kayak rental is available from Eagle’s Neck Paddling Company. On the way back, stop by Lavender By the Bay to stock up on lavender supplies. Walk through the lavender fields when they’re in bloom (usually between early summer and fall) for an $8 entry fee.960 1280
The North Ferry to Shelter Island is conveniently located next to the Long Island Rail Road, and the trip takes five minutes. Shelter Island is a worthwhile excursion; if the North Fork feels like a serene getaway, the island is even more so. Exploring it requires a car, unless you’re in good enough shape to bike hills and longer distances. Grab lunch at SALT Waterfront Bar & Grill next to a marina and chow down on steamed mussels and lobster rolls. Afterward, make your way over to Sunset Beach and head upstairs to the bar to enjoy sunset views over the water.
Back in Greenport, make time to pop into its dozens of boutiques and antique stores that line Front and Main streets. Verbena sells eclectic gifts, while Bealle & Bell is a go-to among industry insiders for its antique treasure trove; Thursdays are the best bet to score new weekly finds.960 1280
Shabby chic Love Lane Kitchen in Mattituck is a beloved breakfast and brunch spot; you can’t go wrong with the French toast or a lobster roll. The North Fork Table & Inn, a ten-minute drive from Greenport in Southold, serves destination-worthy farm-to-table fare in an upscale farmhouse setting. Options for lunch or dinner might include tuna sashimi or handmade ricotta cavatelli. Desserts tend to be artistic takes on savory dishes, such as a tapioca pudding resembling sunny side up eggs. If you can’t score a reservation, look for The North Fork Food Truck in the parking lot and order the lobster roll at least once. A side of North Fork Potato Chips are obligatory.
In Greenport, The Salamander General Store serves some of the best fried chicken around. Place your order an hour ahead of time, then bring your feast to the waterfront for a lunchtime picnic. For dinner, Noah’s is acclaimed for its seafood and small plates, and provides an interesting selection of local wines. The Frisky Oyster is another upscale option for dinner, and yes, oysters are a highlight. For more casual dining, Claudio's Clam Bar is an open-air dining spot right on the water, and the perfect spot for enjoying fresh seafood and local wine.960 1280
Long Island's Hidden Gem 10 Photos
Stratton Mountain offers upwards of 20 dining options, from pizza to sushi, and many incorporate locally sourced ingredients where possible. For example, Vermont Grilled Cheese makes sandwiches with cheese from local Cabot Creamery. For other quick bite options, Stratton Mountain Deli serves up breakfast egg sandwiches, burritos and hot chocolate. It also offers a small grocery section, and is a good spot to pick up souvenirs such as Vermont maple syrup. Fire Tower Restaurant & Tavern is a popular spot for casual fare, with a small menu featuring tempura-style shrimp and margherita flatbread. It also provides a strong selection of local craft beers. For upscale dining, Verde Restaurant earns high marks for its mussels and homemade breads.
If you have a car, off-mountain options abound a half-hour away in Manchester and surrounding towns. The Silver Fork excels at New American; its dining room is small, so reservations are a must. Adventurous foodies should try The Perfect Wife Restaurant and Tavern. It describes its approach as freestyle, and has been experimenting with a new menu every weekend. For a romantic meal, The Chantecleer Restaurant specializes in seafood and French fare.960 1280
Hit the Slopes in Stratton 10 Photos
Sprawling Rough Point is famous for being the summer home of billionaire tobacco heiress and philanthropist Doris Duke, whose extreme wealth and unconventional lifestyle drew media attention her entire life. The 115-room residence has remained the same since her death, filled with an impressive art collection and surrounded by formal gardens. Unlike the other estates along Bellevue Avenue, Rough Point was modeled after an English manor; it was also the site of Duke’s debutante ball.
Chateau-sur-Mer was the first on the Newport society scene, and the site of many a grand party. Its Victorian decor is markedly toned down compared to later arrivals, but rest assured its dark wood paneling and hand-painted murals are by no means boring.960 1280
The only thing harder than deciding where to eat is deciding where to stay. Channel the Gilded Age at Castle Hill Inn, a Relais & Chateaux property. Its lodging options range from a luxurious room in a 19th-century Victorian mansion, to cottages and houses on a private beach, to a separate property overlooking the harbor. On-site dining and spa services complete the relaxation trifecta.
Boutique hotel Gilded is a quirky take on the era and a must for lovers of architecture and design, from furniture in bold colors and shapes to wallpaper and accents that beg for your attention. Breakfast is included and might involve homemade baked goods such as cheddar-scallion scones or small plates with melon balls and cucumbers. The Vanderbilt Grace boutique hotel resides in a historic mansion, and yes, it was built by a Vanderbilt. It's near the attractions on Thames, and counts two restaurants, two pools and a spa.
The suite-only Mill Street Inn is ideal for families, and located in a 19th-century mill that’s been designated a National Historic Landmark. Or stay right on Thames in The Francis Malbone House, the former residence of shipping magnate Colonel Francis Malbone. The decor channels an earlier era, and provides the proper setting for an afternoon tea of homemade macaroons, cookies and more.960 1280
Step Into the Gilded Age in Newport 10 Photos
Not Your Mother's Palm Springs 10 Photos
Described as encompassing Spanish Colonial warmth, old Hollywood glamour and new California dreaming, the Bacara Resort & Spa is the height of luxury for a weekend in Santa Barbara. Every one of the 311 rooms and 49 specialty suites are intimate and relaxing, featuring their own private patio or balcony.
The resort resembles an intimate Mediterranean village, embracing 78 beachfront acres between the Pacific Ocean and the Santa Ynez mountains. The understated elegance is present in every room and at the resort's spa and 3 restaurants.
Another great option is The Simpson House Inn, an 1874 historic landmark decorated to Victorian perfection. French doors open to manicured gardens, and quaint cottages dot the beautiful grounds. While the rooms have everything your heart could possibly desire, the Inn's most impressive features are its extras: the gourmet Mediterranean hors d'oeuvres and Santa Barbara wines served each afternoon, the enormous video library and the full gourmet breakfast (delivered on delicate china).
Take a tour of The Simpson House Inn's gardens, and see why guests fall in love with this unique Santa Barbara bed and breakfast.960 1280
The Brewhouse is a quintessential California hangout: outdoor dining, views of the water, dinner and drink specials, fresh music and a relaxed vibe. And to state the obvious, great beer brewed on the premises is served daily; try the dark Harry Porter or the Condor Pilsner.
Brophy Bros., overlooking the harbor, is a locals' favorite and home to fresh California cuisine. Two things not to be missed at Brophy's are the clam chowder and the opportunity to make new friends at the long communal table. The fresh-fish menu changes daily, the mark of a great seafood restaurant.
One of Santa Barbara's most romantic restaurants is Stella Mare's. The traditional French cuisine is served for brunch, lunch and dinner, complemented by French and American wines. Overlooking the Bird Refuge, a 42-acre saltwater wildlife refuge, the beautiful old house and greenhouse are the perfect place to bring a loved one while staying in Santa Barbara.
For the best authentic tacos in Santa Barbara, head to this humble street-corner shack. Endorsed by Julia Child, you won't mind waiting on line for fresh ingredients that are spiced to perfection. Always check the daily specials first and ask for extra tortillas no matter what you decide to order.960 1280
After watching a beautiful sunset over the Pacific Ocean, head to any number of places for nighttime fun. The Boathouse at Hendry's Beach is a relaxed atmosphere perfect for watching the sunset and then sipping cocktails around the fire pit.
For a lounge atmosphere with great dancing, head to Eos Lounge located near State Street. Combining the vibes of casual elegance, contemporary cocktail lounge and nightclub, Eos is a great place to experience the culture and style of Santa Barbara.
To combine your dinner with some great theater, head to The Lobero whose calendar of events features performances like the Australian Chamber Orchestra, The Capital Steps, Damn Yankees and an evening with Lily Tomlin. It's conveniently located in downtown Santa Barbara and is the perfect Friday night activity.960 1280
Short of camping in the park, the closest hotel to the dunes is DunesWalk Inn, a historic mansion turned B&B.
The summer season, Memorial Day to Labor Day, is the most popular but, if you don't care to sun bathe, late spring is great for hiking, too, and you can find lower rates at hotels.960 1280
Hike and Relax in the Indiana Dunes 8 Photos
Bike Your Way Through Grand Haven 7 Photos