The Coast's Best Wine Vacations

Waterfront getaways that offer a toast to the good life

Wine Vacations
Photo: Courtesy of Chateau Grand Traverse Deck Waterfront getaways that offer a toast to the good life

Waves and Wine, Santa Barbara, California
With its Pacific Ocean location, Santa Ynez Mountain backdrop, and proximity to wine country, Hotel Mar Monte offers a primo package. Waves and Wine includes two nights' lodging, a picnic lunch, and five-hour town-car tour to three wineries in Santa Barbara County appellations; 800/643-1994 or hotelmarmonte.com.

Wine Camp, Long Island, New York
For roll-up-your-sleeves fun, participants toil in the vineyards of Long Island's renowned wine-producing North Fork. Wine Camp's four-day packages also include lodging at spiffy local inns such as Stirling House Bed & Breakfast, which overlooks Greenport's harbor. "Campers" learn winemaking and tasting techniques, pair foods with wine, blend wines with a pro, and take home a case of you-know-what. Sessions are offered in spring and summer months. 631/495-9744 or winecamp.org. Stirling House; 800/551-0654 or stirlinghousebandb.com.

The Inn at Chateau Grand Traverse, Traverse City, Michigan
In the nation's fourth-largest grape-growing state, Chateau Grand Traverse winery welcomes travelers to a property overlooking a vineyard and Grand Traverse Bay. The six-bedroom lodging is handy for sampling Grand Traverse's many award-winning varietals, including a diverse family of Rieslings. The inn also anchors a visit to other wineries on Lake Michigan's Old Mission Peninsula appellation: It's a short drive to Chateau Chantal, Bowers Harbor Vineyards, Brys Estate Vineyard & Winery, and Peninsula Cellars for tastings of myriad varietals; 800/283-0247, wineriesofoldmission.com.

Ingleside Vineyards, Oak Grove, Virginia
Near the Chesapeake Bay, on Virginia's historic Northern Neck, Ingleside Vineyards welcomes wine vacationers to two rental cottages. The two-story Pointe at Liberty Farm home overlooks the Rappahannock River; two-bedroom Vineyard Views enjoys, well, views of the vineyard. Guests may stroll to Ingleside Winery for guided tours and tastings, offered daily; 804/224-8687 or inglesidevineyards.com.

Hotel Vintage Park, Seattle, Washington
Hotel Vintage Park, a Kimpton property near Elliott Bay, entices travelers with a variety of wine vacation packages that celebrate Washington's Puget Sound AVA (the only official appellation west of the Cascades). Enjoy the hotel's wine events like winery tastings and a personalized Washington wine tour from the concierge; 206/624-8000 or hotelvintagepark.com.

Cottage Inn by the Sea, Pismo Beach, Central California
Halfway between San Francisco and Los Angeles, San Luis Obispo County produces such excellent Chardonnays and Pinot Noirs that some call it an "Eden" for these varietals. To share this wine-lover's paradise, the bluff-top Cottage Inn by the Sea is just a short drive from the region's wineries, including popular Edna Valley Vineyard. Take a winery day trip, lunch, and  enjoy two nights in an ocean-view room for a great escape; 888/440-8400 or cottage-inn.com.

The Blue Hill Inn, Blue Hill, Maine
The Blue Hill Inn offers various packages for Downeast Maine's second annual Foliage, Food, & Wine Festival in October. As part of the celebration, Blue Hill Inn owner Sarah Pebworth hosts a special wine dinner with fantastic food and excellent hospitality. Nearby activities include a cheese and chocolate tasting and a traditional lobster bake; 800/826-7415 or bluehillinn.com. Blue Hill Peninsula Chamber of Commerce; 207/374-3242 or bluehillpeninsula.org.

Estero Beach Hotel Resort, San Ysidro, Baja California
A surprise to many travelers, Mexico's Guadalupe Valley has been producing wines since the 16th century. It's now home to nearly two dozen wineries that win converts to local reds and whites. For this south-of-the-border experience, settle into the four-star Estero Beach Hotel Resort, just north of the valley. The beachfront hotel offers 6½-hour wine-tasting tours of three valley wineries with appetizers, bottled water, and lunch at a local restaurant included. 011/52/646/176-6225 or hotelesterobeach.com.

Published November 2008, Updated November 2011

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