Cider Sippin’ Spots

Cider Sippin’ Spots

When they say everything old is new again, they may very well be talking about cider. Did you know cider was America’s beverage of choice during Colonial times? In fact, the Mayflower possibly carried the first cider press to be used in America aboard the ship that also brought the Pilgrims to our shores. Of course, they couldn’t do anything with it until the apples were harvested from the first apple trees planted here after they first landed.

Fast forward some 500 years, and cider is again very popular. To clarify, that’s hard cider versus soft cider. The difference here being that hard cider has an alcohol content while soft cider can be enjoyed by all ages! And, while Americans may not be drinking the 35 gallons of hard cider they apparently averaged annually during Colonial days, they are certainly taking it up once again, as evidenced by the popularity of cideries sprouting up across the country.

To produce cider, according to ciderscene.com, there are four steps. Pick, press, punish, and produce. Again, a differentiation is required. The apples used for cider are typically not the same apples that you would eat or cook with. Cider apples tend to be dryer and less sweet. The four-step result is a crisp, refreshing alternative to other spirits, including beer and wine.

Here are some cideries to check out this fall season:

Bishop Cider (Dallas, Texas):  Gluten-free and vegan friendly, the people behind Bishop Cider began making their own cider at home because they felt the commercially available cider in Texas was “trash” because it was too sweet. Started in 2014, Bishop Cider Co. now offers a variety of ciders and has a tasting room that typically offers six different ciders on tap. For more information, and to check out the unique Cidercade, visit www.bishopcider.com.

(Nearest Petite Retreat option is Bay Landing in Bridgeport, about 80 miles away)

Cider Bite (Portland, Oregon): Another cidery that grew from the idea that there was just no place to get good cider, the Cider Bite bills itself as a Cider House and focuses not only on making exceptional cider, but also on the history and production of cider. In fact, founder Jeff Hanneson’s great-grandfather was a cider-maker. Offering 32 ciders on tap, cider flights, and nibbles, the Cider Bite is the place to get your cider cravings satisfied. Visit www.ciderbite.com for more information.

Mt. Hood • Welches, OR

(Nearest Petite Retreat option is Mt. Hood in Welches, about 36 miles away)

Santa Barbara Cider Company (Santa Barbara, California): Come visit and see what’s on tap for the day as they offer 12 rotating taps of their delicious cider varieties which may include a coffee-based cider, a tea-infused cider, or one of several fruit ciders. All ciders are gluten-free and the cider makers say the majority of the ingredients they use can be found in your own kitchen cabinets, like cinnamon and brown sugar. They do have a tasting room and food trucks and other food providers are on hand during the weekends for nourishment while enjoying the cider offerings. For more information, visit www.sbcider.com.

Rancho Oso • Santa Barbara, CA

(Nearest Petite Retreat option is Rancho Oso, about 30 miles away)

Island Orchard Cider (Ellison Bay, Wisconsin): Visit the Tasting Room and Cider Pub in beautiful Door County, Wisconsin, where you can see the cider making process as well as enjoy the flavors of Island Orchard. Visit www.islandorchardcider.com for more information.

Tranquil Timbers • Sturgeon Bay, WI

(Nearest Petite Retreat option is Tranquil Timbers in Sturgeon Bay, about 36 miles away)

Palm Springs: A Modern Playground

Palm Springs RV Resort
Palm Springs RV Resort

Palm Springs became a big draw to movie stars in the early 1930s not only because of its proximity to Los Angeles but in just a two-hour drive you’re transported in the serenity of the desert, away from the hustle and bustle of the Hollywood lifestyle. Palm Springs has always offered plenty of sunshine, fresh air, hiking trails, and natural hot springs. Today, Palm Springs continues to draw stars and regular folks alike thanks to its fabulous mix of desert vistas, vibrant arts and culture scene, and plenty of shopping and culinary opportunities.

The Palm Springs Art Museum includes works by Marc Chagall, Picasso, Andy Warhol, Ansel Adams, and even features two outdoor sculpture gardens. It also has major collections of Native American and Western art, photography, and glass, including works by Dale Chilhuly. A special exhibit that runs through August 2019 is Lines in the Sand which explores the history of the desert through our relationship to the land, environment, and community. Admission to the museum is free. For hours and additional information visit psmuseum.org.

For more art, don’t miss the Desert Arts Festival, scheduled for December 8 and 9, 2018, which will feature artwork across all mediums including acrylic, oils, watercolors, clay, stone, wood, etchings, and sculpture.

Joshua Tree National Park

Of course, you can’t come to the desert and not experience the desert, so some suggestions include a Jeep tour to Joshua Tree National Park, Indian Canyons and the San Andreas Fault. The area has several different companies that offer various tours, so be sure to visit visitgreaterpalmsprings.com to see what your options are. The Living Desert Wilderness Loop Trail is also a great option for hiking the desert – this can be done through admission to The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens, another must-see when in Palm Springs!

For a double whammy of total tranquility and delicious food, visit The Starlite in the heart of downtown Joshua Tree, where you can take a yoga class at the Instant Karma yoga studio and enjoy an authentic slice of NY style pizza at Pie for the People, right in the middle of the desert!

If shopping is your game, there’s plenty of action in the Palm Springs area, which boasts many distinct shopping districts. There’s the Desert Hills Premium Outlets mall in Cabazon and downtown Palm Springs with its boutiques and antiques. The mod Uptown Design District features 50 unique boutiques, galleries, and shops along several blocks. And if you visit the Corridor, which has shops, cafes, and galleries, don’t miss the Just Fabulous bookstore, where plenty of famous authors like Anne Rice and Lily Tomlin have held books signings. You never know who might be looking for that perfect vacation read!

Speaking of stars, each month the Astronomical Society of the Desert conducts sky tours and observations of the night sky through telescopes and binoculars at the Santa Rosa & San Jacinto National Monument. These Star Parties are free events, but optional donations help support the group’s mission to protect the Coachella Valley desert. For more information or to make a reservation for the next Star Party at the Monument, visit desertmountains.org.

The colorful cottages at  Palm Springs RV Resort are the perfect place to stay while you play in and around Palm Springs! The campground is set among 805 date palm trees in the beautiful Coachella Valley with plenty of amenities and activities, and the adorable cottages are the icing on the cake here!

Make your Petite Retreats reservations today!