FX Excursions

FX Excursions offers the chance for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in destinations around the world.

5 Outside-the-Box Places to Make an Unorthodox Escape

by Carley Wade

Dec 11, 2018

© Courtesy of Inn at the 5th


Known for its seafood, Ivy League universities and harsh but scenic winters, few would probably realize Rhode Island, Connecticut and Massachusetts have a couple of geographical sweet spots when it comes to grape-growing along the Coastal Wine Trail. The consortium includes 14 locally owned vineyards great for a two- or three-day weekend. A $99 pass entitles the owner to two tastings at each. In Rhode Island, Newport Vineyards and Carolyn’s Sakkonet Vineyard are just a few minutes’ drive from downtown Newport, where there’s plenty in terms of nautical charm along a scenic waterfront. Newport Vineyards is New England’s largest grower of wine grapes, and produces more than a dozen varieties a year at a gorgeous facility that includes tours and tastings, restaurant, boutique and live music. Don’t miss the regional specialty: small-batch ice wine.


Inn at the 5th

Inn at the 5th © Courtesy of Inn at the 5th


The Southern Willamette Valley is the lesser-known, less expensive and less-visited portion of one of the most influential wine-producing regions in all of Oregon, as well as the Pacific Northwest. Eugene is the perfect jumping-off point for exploring. Check out Inn at the 5th as a “home base,” and its half-day wine tour with transportation so there’s no bickering over who’s the designated driver. The wine tour package includes a bottle of red or white wine, a tote and wine opener. The tour starts at the Sweet Cheeks restaurant tasting room located on the Inn at the 5th’s Garden Plaza. From there, a luxury vehicle whisks visitors to tastings at three different wineries: King Estate, Silvan Ridge and Iris Vineyards. An optional picnic may be packed from Provisions, with treats like Oregon hazelnuts, local cheese, bread and charcuterie. A new urban wine tour starting in 2019 includes local wineries with shorter drives.


Drink like our forefathers in Williamsburg, Virginia, where the Colonial Wine Trail offers up a tidy four options just right for a girls’ weekend or history lover’s getaway. The Trail includes Williamsburg Winery, the state’s largest, with two restaurants that offer a scenic brunch overlooking the vines, or if you wanted to go all out, there’s a seven-vintage tasting with a three-course dinner at Café Provençal. No DD? Overnight it at Wedmore Place, a 28-room European country-style hotel on site.


Inn at the 5th

Inn at the 5th © Courtesy of Inn at the 5th


Eighty miles long and 13-wineries deep, the Shawangunk Wine Trail offers up a respite away from New York City in the heart of the Hudson Valley. Farm-to-table cuisine awaits, along with a long list of diverse vintages: vinifera, sparkling and French-American and fruit wines. Each winery — just 60 miles outside of the city — is small- or medium-sized and is family-owned. B&Bs like Borland House in historic Montgomery offers cooking classes if you want to travel with groups of friends.


Ohio has six wine trails — Appalachian, Ohio River, Capital City, Canal Country, Shores & Islands, and Vines & Wines — so there are dozens of varietals to try, including late-season ice-wine. Central Ohio offers a self-guided driving tour, while the Lodge at Geneva has a year-round Wine Shuttle. Four Saturday departure rounds go to different locations each, and if you want to call in sick on a Friday for an extended weekend, the same wineries are offered four times. Lodge guests get a $10 per person ticket discount.


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