Because it’s all about the Grapes

Whoever came up with the calendar that recognizes national days of celebration in May must be an oenophile – or what regular folks call a wine lover. May has two days dedicated to vino – National Moscato Day on May 9 and National Wine Day on May 25. So, let’s raise our glasses of whichever fermented grape is your favorite and toast to America’s Wine Trails.

Cozy cabin at Verde Valley in Cottonwood, AZ.

Arizona’s Verde Valley Wine Trail (vvwinetrail.com) has at least 10 wineries (check the website for a downloadable map) set among the beautiful countryside that includes locations in Jerome, Cottonwood, and Sedona. Book a tiny home at Verde Valley and you’ll find yourself in perfect proximity to explore Alcantara Vineyards, which is less than a 5-minute drive or a nice 1.4-mile hike from the resort. One unique way to see the vineyards is to do the Water to Wine Kayak Trip – check out sedonaadventuretours.com. Another option if you don’t want to go solo is to check out the tours offered through Sedona Vineyard tours (sedonavineyardtours.com).

Glamping Tent at Marina Dunes in Marina, CA.

If you’ve already done California’s northern wine country (Napa, Sonoma, etc.) consider the wineries of Paso Robles for a different perspective. Start your adventure with a glamping reservation at Marina Dunes and then take the day to head to Paso Robles to explore their grape offerings. For details, visit pasorobleswineries.net. There are plenty of options for tours, including group, private and even one where a non-drinking guide drives your car! And, if you want to taste something different than wine, consider an olive oil tasting at Pasolivo (pasolivo.com).

Vineyard in the Willamette Valley region of Oregon.

Did you know that Oregon’s lush Willamette Valley is home to two-thirds of all of Oregon’s wineries and vineyards? Start your trip off right by requesting a downloadable brochure from willamettewines.com and booking a tiny house at Mt. Hood’s Tiny House Village so at day’s end you have the best place to enjoy some of the wines you purchase along the way. All kinds of tours are available for Oregon Oenophiles, so check out agreatoregonwinetour.com for some options. Fun Fact: because of Oregon’s cooler climate, the state’s signature grape is the Pinot Noir, which is considered one of the oldest grapes in the world.

Cabin at Lake George Escape in Lake George, NY.

While not specifically devoted to wine alone, the Beverage Trails near Lake George, New York, do offer wine tasting along with spirits, cider, and beer. Book a rental cabin or cottage at Lake George Escape and try a different libation every day!  In addition to the Winery Production Facility, The Adirondack Winery has two additional tasting locations in the area as well. Check out visitlakegeorge.com/things-to-do/beverage-trails.

If you book a cozy cabin at Neshonoc Lakeside you can explore parts, or all, of Wisconsin’s Great River Road Wine Trail which stretches from northern Iowa to southern Minnesota. In addition to the great wineries, your drive will serve as an attraction as well. The river part of the Great River Road refers to the Mighty Mississippi so the route includes valleys, bluffs, and views of the river, all among a perfect country setting. Visit greatriverroadwinetrail.org for more information.

Read More:

Women’s History Month

March is the month to celebrate the role of women in American history and their contributions. All around the country, there are heritage sites including monuments, homesteads, works of art, and more that represent these women and their efforts in all areas from nursing and politics to civil rights, women’s rights and in the arts. We’ve listed just a few here and whether you visit now or later, it’s never too late to honor the efforts of these women.

“Gettysburg Civil War Women-s Memorial – Elizabeth Masser Thorn 1” by Amaury Laporte is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0

The Gettysburg Civil War Women’s Memorial: This seven-foot bronze sculpture of Elizabeth Thorn is located in Gettysburg’s Evergreen Cemetery. Thorn was six months pregnant at the time of the Battle of Gettysburg. Prior to the war, her husband was the caretaker of the cemetery but when he enlisted in the Union Army, the caretaking tasks fell to Elizabeth and her father. After the battle, the heavily pregnant Thorn buried 91 soldiers and 14 civilians killed in the siege.  The memorial is a tribute to all women who served, and suffered, due to the war.

Cozy cabin at Drummer Boy in Gettysburg, PA.

Stay with us in a cabin at Drummer Boy to explore Gettysburg and see the memorial.

Buildings by Julia Morgan: San Francisco native, Julia Morgan was the first woman to graduate UC Berkeley’s Civil Engineering program in 1894 and went on to become the first licensed woman architect in California. During her career, she designed more than 700 buildings throughout California, most notably Hearst Castle in San Simeon. For a listing of sites and locations of Morgan’s works, visit sf.curbed.com/maps/julia-morgan-buildings-best-sf.

“Sunset at Hearst Castle” by Trey Ratcliff is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

Stay with us in a glamping tent at Marina Dunes and enjoy a ride up the California coast to see Morgan’s works in the San Francisco area or down the coast to tour Hearst’s Castle.

Glamping tent at Marina Dunes in Marina, CA.

National Cowgirl Hall of Fame and Museum: According to their website, the museum is the only museum in the world dedicated to honoring the women of the West. Located in Fort Worth, Texas, the museum has archival footage as well as artifacts from these trailblazing women. Hall of Fame inductees include Sacagawea, Annie Oakley, Dale Evans, and Laura Ingalls Wilder. For information, visit cowgirl.net.

Stay with us in a cabin at Bay Landing in nearby Bridgeport while you explore the Cowgirl Museum.

Acadia National Park, Mount Desert Island, Maine: Why is a national park on the list of women’s history heritage sites? Because Beatrix Farrand, a noted landscape gardener, designed the carriage roads in this beautiful national treasure. Also, Farrand created the rock-walled reflections rooms at the garden at the College of the Atlantic in nearby Bar Harbor in 1928. Born in New York in 1872, Farrand preferred to be called a landscape architect. She also designed First Lady Gardens at the White House during the Wilson Administration.

Cozy cabins at Narrows Too RV Resort in Trenton, ME.

Stay at Mt. Desert Narrows or Narrows Too RV Resort while visiting Acadia NP.

Read More: