Food, Wine, Travel Off the Beaten Path

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October 2021

Off the beaten path 1

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letter from the editor Happy Fall, Y’all! This issue of Food, Wine, Travel is close to my heart because I am someone who loves to to off the beaten path when I travel. Oh, I admit that I do enjoy the big experiences and attractions, but my heart lies with those small, oft-forgotten places that hold so much culture and adventure. I go to Italy a lot; I’m an Italian citizen, and I’m learning about the country of my grandparents (and now me). When I go, I undoubtedly fly through Rome or Milan, and I’ll visit them as well as Florence and Venice. My favorite thing to do, though, is explore the places tourists don’t often visit. This summer, I was in Italy twice, and I found such pleasure in spending time in Stresa, Dozza, Frascati, Stazzema, Mozzano, Isola Bella, and more. Of course, I was also in Pettorano Sul Gizio, the birthplace of my grandparents. I find that the people in those towns are so genuine and real. It’s not that the people in Rome and Florence and Milan aren’t. Those cities, though, are huge tourist centers, and the pace is more chaotic and frenetic. The people of those large cities rush as much as we do. So, we hope you enjoy visits to the slower places around the world— Murano, Stillwater, Kansas City, Micanopy, Girona, Ludington, and Temecula. Be sure to check out Westport, St. George, Roatan, Etna, and Cedarburg. Have you been to Malta? Hood River? Gloucester? Girona? Sag Harbor? This issue is going to take you to all of those places and more. We’d love to know your favorite! Thanksgiving is in a few weeks, believe it or not. I’d like to take a few minutes to thank you for reading and supporting our magazine. Stay safe, and enjoy the holiday! Christine Cutler Executive Editor

Christine Cutler | Executive Editor Amy Piper | Managing Editor Noreen Kompanik | Associate Editor Debbra Dunning Brouillette | AssociateEditor Irene Levine | Assistant Editor Jan Smith | Assistant Editor, Columns Mary Farah | Marketing Manager Paula Shuck | Marketing

Magazine Layout & Design Christine Cutler

Editorial Board

Debbra Dunning Brouillette David Drotar MaryFarah Jan Smith Chris Cutler

David Nershi Kathy Merchant Amy Piper Irene Levine Robyn Nowell

Contributing Writers/Photographers Elizabeth Smith Amy Piper Janie Pace Debbra Dunning Brouillette Jeanine Consoli Jo-Anne Bowen Gail Clifford Kathryn Anderson Lisa Morales Julie Diebolt Price Jim Farber Tonya Hennessey Diane Dobry Kathleen Messmer

Noreen Kompanik Cori Solomon Teresa Bitler Mary Rose Denton Erin Jones Joeann Fossland Wendy VanHatten Barbara Redding Andrew Der Jim DeLillo Jo Clark Sharon Kurtz Elaine Masters Colleen O'Neill Mulvihill

All articles & photographs are copyright of writer unless otherwise noted. No part of this publication may be reproduced without express written permission.

On the cover: Scenery change in Pine Valley Mountains. ©Barbara Redding


Editor: IFWTWA: Marketing: Visit our website:


Etna, Calif nia By Julie Diebolt-Price


lip into Scott Valley on a spring morning, and a profusion of purple and yellow flowers carpeting the valley floor greet you. The riot of color is breathtaking on your way to Etna—the perfect off-thebeaten-path destination for foodies, spirits devotees, beer lovers, history buffs, and outdoor enthusiasts.

Where is Etna? Etna, located about an hour west of Mt. Shasta, is 30 minutes from the Interstate 5 Freeway in Siskiyou County. Close to the Oregon border, exit at Yreka to reach this small town in Northern California. The population of Etna is about 700. Over the years, the youngsters have moved away to big cities seeking their fame and fortune. However, some have returned to their roots and bring sophistication and innovative skills to their small historic town. Preserving the history and blending the best of big cities and small towns have put them on the map.

Outdoor Activities Siskiyou County boasts four-season outdoor adventures. Make Etna your home base to enjoy these activities: road and mountain biking, whitewater kayaking and rafting, hiking and packing trails, front and backcountry camping, fishing, and hunting, panning for gold, plus snow sports during the winter. The wilderness areas easily accessed from Etna are the Marble Mountains, Scott and Klamath River watersheds, Russian Wilderness, Trinity Alps, and the Pacific Crest Trail. Most of the visitors come to Siskiyou County between May and October. However, if you are there during the summer, you won’t want to miss the annual rodeo, held the last Saturday in July.

History The Museum of the Native Daughters of the Golden West, located on Main Street, resembles Independence Hall in Philadelphia. The historic building was the first town hall that housed the library, jail, and fire department.



Photos: Scott Valley lupine; City of Etna established 1874


The Distillery Denny Bar Company is the only distillery in Siskiyou County. Dedicated to preserving the historic building, they created a Tasting Room around the safe that held gold from the gold rush days, which now contains the precious spirits distilled in the building. On loan from the local museum, the cash register is a fascinating relic on display for everyone to enjoy with their spirits. Tours educate visitors in modern techniques of distilling spirits. In addition, Denny Bar Company has created a complete experience of 5star dining with excellent spirits in a family atmosphere.

The Bakery People come long distances and write poems about the delectable KouignAmman pastries from Grain Street Bakery. How would I describe a KouignAmman? Soft, flaky, gooey, crispy—like nothing I’ve had before. Discovered on a recent visit, I am planning another trip just for this treat.

The Beer Trail Etna Brewing Co. is one of the stops on the Beer Trail in Siskiyou County. Famous for their BBQ Brisket, their extensive menu features grilled meats, sandwiches, and salads.


Photos, opposite: Native Daughters of the Golden West Museum Native Daughters of the Golden West Museum; Denny Bar Co at the corner Diggles and Main; Denny Bar Co Distilling Room; Denny Bar Co historic safe; Grain Street Bakery Kouign-Amman; This page: Denny Bar Co Crispy Chicken Plate; Etna Brewing Co entertainment; Etna Brewing Co sign; Paystreak Brewery exterior on Main Street

With 149 years of craft brewing history, Etna Brewing Co. beer was distributed in Northern California and Oregon by wagon and horse teams and kegs shipped by mule train. Prohibition shut down the brewery business. Since then, it reopened in 1990 by early pioneers of the microbrew revolution. Continuing the brewing tradition, Etna now has a family-friendly pub for the community. Paystreak Brewing, another popular stop on the Beer Trail, is located on Main Street. The casual atmosphere, menu, and entertainment (including dancing) draw customers seven days a week.

The Lodging Historic Collier Hotel is a convenient and comfortable lodging choice just a few steps from Main Street. Huge suites, high wood beam ceilings, and a large, fenced yard make this restored 19th-century rooming house a perfect retreat for exploring the local mountains, the Beer Trail, and creating family adventures. Beds for 12 people and up to 18 in downstairs and upstairs rooms, a full kitchen, and a large dining area, accommodate small or large groups. In addition, the sizeable, landscaped yard is ideal for hosting events.

Final Thoughts If you like to visit off-the-beaten-path destinations with stunning scenery, good food, and drinks, and making memories with the family, put Etna, California, on your itinerary.


Homage to Family and Love of Wine By Elizabeth Smith


s I listened to Dennis Murphy speak so enthusiastically about Caprio Cellars, he inspired me to share his story and discover his extraordinary estate vineyard and winery, whose mission is to offer an incomparable tasting experience of its world-class wines with an unparalleled attention to hospitality. Wine has always been a family tradition. Murphy’s great grandmother, Sanitella Caprio, was well versed in the homemade wines of her Italian neighborhood. His father makes wine in California. Murphy’s life-changing wine moment was during a visit to Seattle. He saw Walla Walla’s L'Ecole N° 41 wines on a restaurant menu. When he asked if the wines were good, his server replied, “These wines will blow your mind.” Murphy ordered the L'Ecole N° 41 Merlot, and the server was right. Driving around Eastern Washington for his work as a home builder, Murphy fell in love with Walla Walla and its wineries. He moved there in 1999 and discovered that warm, small town feeling he had been missing – as well as an up-and-coming wine region with tremendous opportunity to grow


Caprio Cellars –

and make his favorite varietal wines. In 2003, Murphy purchased a former wheat field, the birthplace of his first estate vineyard. He planted it in 2005 and named it Eleanor after his late grandmother, Eleanor Caprio. The first harvest was in 2008. He decided to use his Italian family name, Caprio, to launch his viticultural and winemaking dream. Today Caprio Cellars has three vineyards – Eleanor (two acres of Cabernet Sauvignon and one of Merlot), Octave (a hillside vineyard with 16 acres of Cabernet Sauvignon, two of Merlot, two of Cabernet Franc, and one of Malbec), and the newest, Sanitella, a high-elevation vineyard planted to Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, and Sauvignon Blanc. Sanitella is Murphy’s favorite. “This vineyard in the Oregon side of the Walla Walla AVA is on a fractured basalt cap. This soil type creates some deep, rich fruit, ideal for Cabernet Sauvignon.” Caprio Cellars also has a modern tasting space with a 360-degree view of the Blue Mountains and the valley, and its own kitchen under executive

A tasting at Caprio Cellars, for which there is never a fee, is nothing short of amazing. It includes a sparkling wine greeting and an intimate 90-minute wine and food experience. It is the culmination of Murphy’s “Customer Journey Map,” which brings to life Caprio’s unmatched attention to detail and quality in every step of the winemaking process, from the vineyards to the wine and food pairing. “We thrive off the energy of our guests and say that every 90 minutes we are throwing a dinner party in our home,” said Murphy. Tastings are by appointment only. A percentage of sales go to support First Story, a non-profit organization committed to affordable housing for low-income families.

A must-try wine on the tasting menu is Eleanor, a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Malbec, and Cabernet Franc, whose composition changes from vintage to vintage. It is a special treat to taste different vintages side by side. Making Eleanor allows Murphy to focus on the art of blending to create a wine whose varietal components are better together. Grandmother Eleanor’s meatball dish accompanies the wine and is Murphy’s favorite pairing. I tasted the 2016 and 2018 vintages. Both had lovely dark fruit and oak notes, a supple

chef Ian Williams. A little known tidbit is Murphy designed and built the tasting room and barrel room. “I spent years drawing sketches of the buildings. It was fun to see the ideas go from head, to paper, to real life,” he shared.

mouthfeel, and a lingering finish. The 2016 is elegant and softer, while the 2018 is young and vibrant, with a dense palate and bright acidity that will allow it to age with equal grace. When I asked Murphy what title he would give himself, he replied thoughtfully, “I would be Director of Forward Planning. I spend a lot of my time looking forward and trying to envision where the wine industry is headed. The wine industry is fun and dynamic and deserves the necessary attention to keep pushing the envelope.” Murphy’s commitment to community, hospitality, philanthropy, fine winemaking, and being a good steward of the land moves the winery forward. “Caprio Cellars is dedicated to leaving the world a better place than we found it. That is our story.”

Photos, opposite: Roses are red…our wine is too © Caprio Cellars; The man behind it all Dennis Murphy © Caprio Cellars; this page: Overlooking Eleanor Vineyard © Caprio Cellars; Caprio Wines with a view © Caprio Cellars; Roasted beets and creme friache © Caprio Cellars


small Town Big visions by Kathleen Messmer


magine breathtaking views, horses, vineyards, and ultimately, as much wine, beer, or distilled spirits as you could possibly drink. Exploring the backroads of Temecula Valley by horseback through devastatingly lovely vineyard is like nothing you’ve ever done. Sitting atop a gentle giant, winding your way through a vineyard, all the while taking in all the surrounding beauty and nature in the warm sun. Yo u h a v e n ' t experienced anything like this before, and it's the most incredible thing stored in your recent memory. Over a glass of wine at lunch at the very winery you rode through, you tell your friends all about it.

Accommodations, Activities, and Beverages Carter Estate Winery and Resort The Carter Estate Winery and Resort is a magical place complete with villas, vineyards, a restaurant, and a spa spread over 63 acres. The owner, Jim Carter's goal was to create the "complete wine country experience" for his guests. Fine wine paired with the best food at The Vineyard Rose Restaurant, a stay at a villa, and a spa day at The Grapeseed Spa complete that vision. The Carter Estate Winery has acquired over 2000 awards and medals for its wines. South Coast Winery Resort and Spa, which Jim owns as well,


holds winning records for its wine. "We just kept planting…and ended up liking everything we grew." Now the Carter Estate Winery has added horseback riding through the vineyards to entice his guests.

Horseback Riding through the Vineyards Wine Country Trails by Horseback is a great vineyard r i d e o ff e r i n g a one-of-a-kind experience, where discovering the Temecula Valley Wine Country is like nothing you’ve ever experienced. O w n e r, D i a n a LeForte, started her organization after noticing a Riding through the Vineyards dramatic increase in the number of abused horses and decided to take the matter into her own hands. She rescued and rehabbed 50 horses — with a little help from her friends. Donations keep the 20-acre ranch home for these horses comfortable and cared for, with all donations going to feed, medical care, and farrier services. Through training, reconditioning, and rehabilitation, she retrains the rescues to lead a healthy and productive life. LeFort then evaluates the rescues to see if they're a fit for the vineyard touring program. If they aren't, they're re-homed through a rigorous interview process of carefully selected new owners. Now, Diana and her associates provide beautiful rides through the Temecula Valley vineyards from atop remarkably gentle horses that have been

given a new lease on life because they were fortunate enough to be rescued by LaForte. Her clients are very excited to have this exclusive opportunity to experience riding through the incredible vineyards of Temecula Valley.

The Husband and Wife Libation Teams of Temecula Valley In the space of 30 miles, there are 3500 acres of grapes that supply over 40 wineries in Temecula Valley. One of the most exciting things about all of these businesses is that they’re not from generation upon generation of winemakers, brewmasters, or distillers. For the most part, they came from other professions and decided they wanted something different from life, then stepped up to do it. That in itself is very inspiring, but to up the ante, they are all very down to earth, love what they do, create amazing product, and are extremely communityoriented. There are no snobbish vintners here.

Palumbo Family Winery and Vineyards Owners Nick and Cindy Palumbo began their journey as fruit sellers and finally decided to go all-in and become winemakers. Nick comes from a music and chefs background, while Cindy was an office manager, both single parents when they met, they are now a husband and wife team that makes outstanding wine. Palumbo makes a number of excellent wines, but their Rosé is unlike any you’re likely to have experienced anywhere else. Their “sleeper” wine, a Monastrell, has something of an ethereal quality to it that you’ll love. Palumbo turns out 2000 cases per year, selling primarily to their wine club and locals. They sell out every year. In addition, their tasting room is open Friday, Saturday, and Sunday for wine tasting.

Oak Mountain Winery Oak Mountain is owned and operated by Valerie and Steve Andrews and is unusual in that it is Southern California's only mined wine cave, with geologic evidence in the walls dating back to the 1600s. Incredible. Before becoming winemakers, their backgrounds couldn't have been further from the winemaking path. Valerie was a painting contractor, and Steve was an auto towing and dismantling guy. Steve is also a Vietnam vet and the engineer at the winery. Valerie runs all operations. Their adventure began with some home-brewed pineapple wine, which, as it turned out, was very good. Sitting in a real cave, drinking wine and eating impossibly good food is something you’re not likely to forget anytime soon.

Photos: Wine Glass from Palumbo Family Winery and Vineyards; Oak Mountain Winery; Wine Tasting at Oak Mountain Winery; Cave Storage at Oak Mountain Winery


Lorenzi Estate Winery Another husband and wife winemaking team is Don and Brenda Lorenzi. Before becoming winemakers, they worked in other fields, namely publishing, for 30 years. They publish a beautiful regional magazine called Tastes of Italia, for which Don creates the recipes. The test kitchen for those recipes is in their home, and Don is also the chef. Consequently, it was a natural transition for them to get involved in winemaking. They began that particular endeavor in their garage 20 years ago. Don's philosophy is that "with the right recipe, you can create a stunning wine." As a husband and wife team, their philosophy is to divide and conquer. Don is the winemaker, Brenda runs the tasting room. Marketing and product promotions are decided on jointly. For the magazine, Don designs, photographs, and tests recipes, while Brenda handles subscriptions, promotions, and circulation. They are firmly dialed into what works for them. They turn out approximately 4000 cases per year and sell out every year. "That's confidence and good product." It would be difficult to debate that statement as their product is among the best in the country.

Refuge Brewery One more outstanding husband and wife team is Kurt and Diane Kucera of Refuge Brewery. Refuge specializes in Belgian Ales, and if you are someone who thinks of themselves as a "wine only" drinker, you need to visit Refuge stat! Not


Oak Mountain also plans to start a brandy distillery soon. Stop by for wine, brandy, or great food. It will be a stellar experience.

only will you love the beer, but you will also appreciate the art of brewing that has gone into their product. They also are in the planning stages of opening a winery so you’ll get beer and wine in one visit or maybe two. Kurt was a mechanical engineer before becoming a brewer—apparently, engineers love brewing beer—which explains why, when he couldn't find the equipment he wanted to brew their beer, he went ahead and designed it himself. Diane has an interior architect degree and loves to entertain, so she runs all the events Refuge has, which are extremely popular. Being a truly family affair, both their sons are involved in the business as well. One of the best things about Refuge is that it's a place where wives and girlfriends are comfortable coming. The environment is clean and cozy, and the name implies that it's a place of refuge to get away from the world and the craziness that we deal with every day. You can go there to really relax and unwind. They turn out over a million cans of beer annually. No small feat, to be sure. They also donate their used grain to the local farmers as nutrition-dense feed for their livestock once it’s dried. Community involvement like this is only part of what the Temecula Valley represents.

Food, Fun, and Yum in Temecula Valley Le Coffee Shop Start your day at Le Coffee Shop. The owners are actually from the south of France and they take pride in providing an authentic and enjoyable French dining experience with traditional breakfast and lunch as well as French pastries, desserts, and beverages.

They also do private events and work with the customer to create a custom menu. They’ll cook for your guests as well if you like. In addition, they do platters for corporate events, reunions, or just a plain old party. A pretty sweet deal.

The Cowgirl Cantina Tucked back off Front Street in Old Town, just below the Gambling Cowboy, the Cowgirl Cantina features "cowboy-inspired" cuisine. The atmosphere is friendly and accommodating, and the staff is excellent. It’s one of those places that make you happy from the moment you walk in. The chips and green salsa are phenomenal, with the tortilla chips made from flour and corn, rather than just one or the other. They are loaded with flavor. The green salsa is spicy with very little heat, so you can still taste your food when it arrives. Try the Surfin' Cowboy Taco, made with tender Carne Asada, Chili-Mojo shrimp, roasted poblano chili, and caramelized onion, with a chipotle aïoli. Heaven wrapped in a tortilla. Make this one of your stops.

Bottega Italia Known for simple, honest cooking, the goal at Bottega Italia is to create a unique dining experience using fresh and sustainable ingredients. There are white cloth napkins on the table with a bottle of olive oil just begging you to dip your bread or pizza crust. Their pizzas are the best you'll ever taste. They're thin, foldable, and scrumptious. The cheese is gooey and thick, and the tomato sauce is fresh and tasty. The crust…fuggedaboudit. In addition, their Italian desserts—cannoli with chocolate chips, chocolate-filled cannoli with nuts, cannoli

with pistachios, gelato, fruit tarts, and more—are great. You'll think you're in heaven.

The Vineyard Rose Restaurant Dinner at the Vineyard Rose Restaurant at the South Coast Winery is never a bad idea. Having heard good things about it, expectations were high. The ambiance inside is very warm and cozy and the wait staff is attentive and accommodating. Dining at South Coast is an adventure, so once you’ve had your dinner, try the apricot bread pudding with vanilla ice cream. You’ll leave with gastronomic memories that scream for you to return.

Visiting Temecula is Never a Bad Idea With everything Temecula has to offer, you'd never guess it's a small town. People from all the nearby big cities, like Los Angeles and San Diego, come here to get away and relax. They're not wrong. While there are a lot of great wine, food, craft breweries, and distilleries, the people are proud of their community and of what they do, which is genuinely refreshing. Exploring Temecula Valley, however you do it, by horseback, jeep, or on foot, is sure to be a pleasurable experience. This is a small town with big visions. Go. Visit. Relax and unwind. You know you want to.

Photos, from left, opposite: Lorenzi Lion Logo with Wine; New Vine Growth; Grapeseed Spa Entrance; Braised Shortribs at Vintage Rose Restaurant; Cowboy Surf and Turf Taco at Cowgirl Cantina


Rustic Camping

Get Off the Beaten Path


ichigan isn’t typically a drive-through state that you happen to explore on your way to somewhere else. Surrounded on most sides by the Great Lakes, Michigan generally feels like an off-the-beatenpath destination. Situated on the shores of Lake Michigan, about an hour and a half north of Grand Rapids and four hours from Detroit and Chicago, Ludington, Michigan, is easily accessible to Michiganders. Yet, some aspects of Ludington spark a description of off-the-beaten-path. When I think of off-the-beaten-path Ludington, the S.S. Badger, Ludington lighthouses, and rustic camping come to mind.

S.S. Badger You’re not ready to fly yet, so you’re considering a Michigan road trip, but it seems a bit out of the way. What if you could get there sooner than you thought – and with less stress? You don’t need to circumvent Lake Michigan to arrive at your destination. The S.S. Badger trims time off your trip, and even the driver gets a break. The S.S. Badger is the last coal-fired steamship ferry in the United States, carrying people and vehicles across Lake Michigan from Manitowoc, Wisconsin, to Ludington, Michigan. During the four-hour passage, you can lounge on the deck, participate in a scavenger hunt, have a cocktail or snack, or play their famous bingo during the journey. Finally, you’ll arrive in time for dinner. While this article presents opportunities to get off the grid and back to nature, Ludington is also a foodie town. You’ll have many opportunities to enjoy craft beer and fine dining.

Big Sable Point Lighthouse


No weekend in Ludington is complete without a hike to Big Sable Point Lighthouse. Historically, Lake Michigan’s coastline stretching between present-day Ludington and Big Sable Point was perilous. In 1855,

In Ludington, Michigan By Amy Piper 12 ships wrecked along the craggy shore. They needed to light Big Sable Point to support the flourishing lumber industry and avoid future disasters. The lighthouse built in 1867 cost $35,000. As the lumber industry faded, the lighthouse continued to support mariners in various sectors, including steamers carrying coal and boating tourism. Attached to the black-and-white tower are the original keepers’ quarters. Climb 130 steps to the tower room’s viewing platform and walk on the catwalk to enjoy stunning views of Lake Michigan. The tower also has a well-stocked gift shop. Although it’s an almost two-mile walk each way down a trail to reach the lighthouse, buses provide rides to the lighthouse several times during the summer. Check out the dates here. Guided tours of the lighthouse and live concerts reward those who make the journey. These weekends would be a great time to visit if you want to see the tower views but find the almost four-mile roundtrip walk a bit daunting.

Ludington North Breakwater Lighthouse While the Ludington North Breakwater Lighthouse is less remote than the Big Sable Point Lighthouse, it’s still a jaunt. Built in 1924, they designed the breakwater to cut through the rough waves that arise as the weather changes on Lake Michigan. The flashing green light will guide you to the light. To explore this 57-foot structure, you’ll need to walk a half-mile down to the end of the pier at Stearns Park Beach. It’ll be worth the effort, though, as the light tower is open for tours and tower climbs throughout the summer. They also have a gift shop in the lighthouse.


To some, off-the-beaten-path means roughing it, and Ludington State Park offers that too. In addition to three modern campgrounds, the park features ten walk-in sites that require a one-mile hike along the

Big Sable Lighthouse; Breakwater at Sunset; View from the Big Sable Point Lighthouse; Climbing the Tower


trail leading to Big Sable Point Lighthouse. Situated a short walk from the Lake Michigan dunes, among the jack pines, these rustic camping spots include a fire ring and picnic table at each location. Nearby you’ll find vault toilets and a water pump. For a bit of luxury, Dune Grass Concessions will deliver firewood to your camp. The park welcomes hike-in campers to use the showers at the modern campgrounds.

You’ll also find dispersed camping, with no services, at Nordhouse Dunes Wilderness Area in the nearby Manistee National Forest.


Photos: Lake Michigan from Big Sable Point; View of Lake Michigan at Big Sable Point; BS LH Ludington; North Breakwater Light; Lake Michigan Beach House; Ludington North Breakwater Light at Sunset

If you want to get away from it all, you can do that in Ludington, Michigan. Arrive via the S.S. Badger from Manitowoc, Wisconsin, and spend your time outdoors in nature. Hiking the woods, exploring the dunes, investigating lighthouses, and rustic camping are all off-the-beaten-path activities in Ludington, Michigan.


Cedarburg, Wisconsin: A Stroll Down Main Street, USA By Jim DeLillo


edarburg, Wisconsin, is an old woolen mill town. Late 1800s stone buildings now serve as restaurants, lodging, wineries, boutique outlets, and gift shops. At the south end of Washington Avenue, Cedarburg's main street, I take a step backward in time. The spired St Francis Borgia Catholic Church acts as my home point, a landmark beacon where I start my stroll. German immigrants built the stone church in 1870.

Frannie's Market Walking in the front door, I immediately feel like I am in a general store. This shop features an eclectic assortment of foods, including charcuterie and bakery items. The food is smartly complemented by kitchen items, pottery, and gifts.

PJ Piper Pancake House I stop here for breakfast, where this oldfashioned diner is a local favorite. It serves good-sized portions of eggs, pancakes, and griddle specialties that fill the air with a tempting aroma. I leave with my belly full of home-style biscuits and gravy. Be prepared to wait on popular weekend mornings.

Stagecoach Inn An 1853 stagecoach stop now serves as a cozy bed and breakfast in the middle of town. Small but authentic, you can stay in any of nine rooms among vintage décor and have a friendly conversation with the inn owners.


Rivoli Theater

McCutcheon's Barber Shop

Five-dollar tickets for first-run movies complete the illusion that I am reliving the past. The movie house is staffed by volunteers, and a bag of popcorn doesn't set you back $15.

Jerry shortened my hair in this old-time tonsorial parlor along with revealing the obligatory gossip about town. I leave feeling like a local and my head a bit lighter.

Amy's Candy Kitchen Candied apples of all varieties fill the store's window. The sugary treats call to me every time I pass by. Handmade chocolates complete the siren call as the scent wafts onto the street each time the door opens.


Boulangerie Du Monde The warm, yeasty air hits me in the face when I open the door, and I am instantly transported to France. I pick out an almond-filled croissant from the glass case filled with rolls, artisan bread, and sweet pastries. Just remember to get there early since the baked goods sell out quickly.

The Shinery Moonshine Company This distinctive moonshine bar highlights a list of flavors that rivals an ice cream parlor. If you’re not sure of the taste, shots are available at the counter. After tasting, leave with one of the full bottles that line the walls.

Weeds A gift shop with everything under the sun from wind chimes to t-shirts, soaps, candles, lotions, décor items, and knick-knacks. A collection of fun tea towels rounds out the offerings of this unique store.


Java House This hipster-vibe joint serves specialties like B2D, an espresso blended with turmeric and ginger. When the COVID19 pandemic began, the shop closed its petite indoor café and now serves its beverage out of a walk-up window. I meet up with the locals at this popular spot. Carrying my latte to the outdoor patio, I sit among old farmers and the lap-top generation. The gossip and political banter are thick in the air.

Cedar Creek Settlement At the northern terminus, there is a collection of shops, including the Pineapple House. A gift store, among other things, it serves, of course, fresh pineapple.

The Anvil Pub & Gill Hearth baked sandwiches are the main feature of this casual eatery set in a 19th-century blacksmith shop.


Cedar Creek Winery A winery well-known for its fruit wine, with a local favorite being its Strawberry Blush. Other types include blueberry, cranberry, and pear rounded out by grape varietals.

The Olive Sprig The Olive Sprig displays rows of bright stainlesssteel tanks full of fresh olive oils and aged balsamic vinegar. One side of the store is dedicated to an assortment of kitchen gadgets sure to please any cook.

Cedarburg Art Museum Renowned for its focus on arts and culture, the town features its own Cedarburg Art Museum. Throughout the summer, the museum hosts a Beer Garden with live music, and picnic table seating with brats and pretzels for casual fare on Thursdays and Saturdays. Walking down Washington Avenue during the summer, I hear music coming from several local pubs, restaurant patios, and concerts in the parks as it serenades the night.

I reflect for a moment that until next time, I must leave this slower pace and slice of Americana behind.



Venetian Glass Bulbs

Discovering Murano, the GloriousVenetian Glassmaking Isle By Noreen Kompanik



hough we’d been to Venice, Italy several times as a couple, we’d never made it to a place we’d always wanted to visit—Murano. On a recent trip with a group of friends, we took a day trip adventure to the island. And are we ever glad we did! Murano is not one, but rather a series of seven tiny islands connected by picturesque bridges in the Venetian Lagoon. Just a mile from Venice, Murano is only accessible by boat. Boarding our vaporetto (water taxi) from Venice, we were off to discover this fascinating island known throughout the world for its magnificent glass.

History of Murano Glass For more than 1,000 years, talented artisans passed their secret glassblowing knowledge from generation to generation. In 1291, all glassmakers in Venice were required to relocate to Murano. The tradition of glassmaking was so coveted and protected that in the ancient Serenissima Republic of Venice, no one could even leave Murano without official permission. Arriving at the dock is like being in a miniature Venice with its traditional architecture and wooden poles to tie up boats and gondolas. We disembarked and headed straight to Murano Glass Factory where we were greeted by one of its talented glassmakers. There we were treated to an entertaining and educational demonstration of traditional Murano glassmaking and blowing. The artistic process is quite impressive as the master glassmaker twists, turns, blows, and whirls the glass like a fine choreographed dance through an open furnace burning at a fiery 1200 to 1400 degrees Celsius in order to fuse the glass. This is


just one of the steps in a process that is long and delicate, requiring painstaking patience. Afterward, we toured their showroom filled with a dazzling array of stunning colorful products from jewelry and vases to magnificent chandeliers. The workmanship here is truly awe-inspiring.

Exploring Other Island Treasures While glassworks are the crown jewel of Murano, there are other aspects of the Northern Italian island we found fascinating as well. Its alleyways are filled with other boutique artisan shops offering everything from more glasswork, art, clothing, and souvenirs. There are so many we could have spent an entire day browsing these impressive shops. In honor of Murano’s history, unique and somewhat bizarre glass and metal sculptures can be found throughout the island chain. Lamp posts bent into unusual positions had us all asking “How did they do that?” Other pieces inspired “I wonder what in the world this is meant to represent.” Well, art after all is about interpretation. That’s for sure.

Murano’s Magnificent Churches Italy is renowned for its splendid and often elaborate churches. Even smaller places of worship tend to be magnificently ornate and tales of religious and historical events are secreted within their walls. For a small island, Murano proudly boasts two beautiful duomos, both are surprising unexpected treasures. Chiesa di San Pietro Martire dedicated to St. John the Baptist was built in 1348. This Renaissance

and Gothic-inspired cathedral is renowned for its Baptism of Christ piece, attributed to famed Italian artist, Tintoretto. Duomo di Murano Santi Maria e Donato, one of the oldest buildings in the Venetian Lagoon. The Duomo is famed for its beautiful 12th-century Byzantine polychrome glass and well-preserved mosaic floor. The church also contains the relics of Saint Donatus of Arezzo as well as the bones of a dragon believed to have been slain by the saint.

Walk Ponte Santa Chiara Like most of the Venetian Lagoon, Murano has bridges spanning the canals. And one of our favorite photo spots is the Santa Chiara (also called the Murano Bridge). The arched Istrian limestone structure makes for a lovely capture, especially with the impressive clock tower in the background.

Gelato Time It’s not hard to find gelato in Italy, even on an island! And on a warm summer day, absolutely nothing tastes better. So, before we boarded our vaporetto back to Venezia (Venice), we headed to Murano Gelateria for our favorite scoops of this divine Italian delight. Our favorites? Frutti di Bosco (fruit of the forest), a delectable berry mix. My hubby can never pass up the Stracciatella, a milk cream with chocolate chips. On a beautiful late afternoon trip back, we all agreed that spending the day in Murano was a perfect escape. La vita è buona. Yes, life is good. Especially when finding an off-the-beaten-path unforgettable gem like the islands of Murano.

Photos, opposite: Colorful Canals of Murano; Canals of Murano; Murano's Creative Street Artwork; this page: Chiesa Di San Pietro Martire; Murano's Ponte Santa Chiara; Murano Glass Factory Artisan; Creating Murano Works of Art; Gelato—one of Italy's culinary treasures



hile most think of Fenway Franks, Boston baked beans, and Sam Adams beer when considering Massachusetts specialties, few think wine. Yet, tucked away off some of the most scenic byways in Southeastern Massachusetts are 10 wine producers already gaining a following among wine professionals and connoisseurs worldwide. All are within easy reach of Boston, and many are blessed by salt-water breezes from the North Atlantic.

Southeastern Massachusetts:Home of Winemaking Champions By Lisa Morales

Plymouth Harbor Picturesque Plymouth Harbor is the setting for two wineries, Plymouth Bay Winery and the aptly named 1620 Winery. Plymouth Bay’s tasting room features a folksy white front porch with expansive views of the busy waterfront. Michael and Pam Carr purchased the winery in 2011 and are known for fruity, fun berry wines, wine jellies, and sauces. With vinegar and cooking sauces, many unique products inspire cooks everywhere. Fruit-forward is not just a hackneyed phrase at Plymouth Bay. Customers are encouraged to “Play with Bay,” and their newsletter features recipes with beverage and cooking ideas. In honor of the 400th anniversary of ‘Plimoth’ Colony, they released two limited edition wines: Pilgrims’ Destiny, aged nine months in gin barrels, with a dry, floral finish, and Pilgrims’ Frontier, aged in cherry brandy barrels. Both belong on your holiday table.

Family and Community— a Recipe for Success Wine culture is so much more than viniculture. It is the culture of creating then sharing with friends and

Wines produced at the family homestead, which features grapevines planted by Bob’s Italian grandfather, are world-class. Vozzella is a devoted, well-educated “hobbyist” winemaker. He knows

Photos: La Cantina tasting; Plymouth Bay Wines; Plymouth Bay shop; La Cantina staff


family a deeply personal passion. This is precisely the joyful, generous mantra of winemaker Bob Vozzella at La Cantina Winery in Franklin. The famiglia Vozzella is busily part of the enterprise. Bob’s Italian mother, wife Ana, and children happily share the family traditions. Recently an event in their charming garden featured Ayla Brown (American Idol Season Five) and Scott Bellamy, themselves a “family act.”

where to source the best grapes worthy of the family label: Pinotage from South Africa, Carmenere, Cabernet, and Malbec from Chile. He then skillfully finesses these into European-style wines such as the red that is true to a St. Emillion-style Bordeaux, a lush Barbera, and a sophisticated Cabernet Sauvignon aged in French oak for 24 months. As a result, La Cantina wines from Franklin stack up admirably in international competition.

Corporate Location with Artistic Production Blending the science and art of wine is also the métier of Artis Winery winemaker Jacquelyn Groeper in Pembroke. The no-frills tasting room immediately conveys Jacquelyn’s studious approach to her craft and imparts that serious yet playful attitude to her students in Boston University’s Wine Studies Program. Jacquelyn took her studies to the highest level by completing programs at the University of California-Davis and the Washington State University’s Enology and Viticulture Certificate Programs. Jacquelyn’s experimentation exemplifies her approach with everything from where they harvest cask wood, how deep the “toast” or char of the barrel is, and how the cask is manufactured. The living, breathing nature of wine is omnipresent in Jacquelyn’s work, and she’s an excellent teacher. I was pleasantly surprised to discover the Aglianico grape of Italy sourced from Clements Hills, California. An avid and accomplished cook, Jacquelyn shares extensive food pairing

If you visit… Plymouth Bay Winery 114 Water Street Plymouth, MA Artis Winery 300 Oak Street #470, Pembroke, MA 02359 Artis Winery

Photos: La Cantina Winery; Artis winery; Artis tasting

La Cantina Winery 357 Union Street Franklin, MA 02038 La Cantina Winery

Truro Vineyards & South Hollow Distillery 11 Shore Road (Route 6A) North Truro, MA


suggestions on her website. Other wines currently bottled by Artis include Tempranillo, Nero d’Avola, and a Grenache Rosé. Behind the commercial frontage, this is a seriously delicious wine education experience worth a trip.

The Outermost Winery In The Outermost House, Henry Beston described the windswept Cape Cod dunes in his classic tale, and the vineyards in Truro are set into the leeward hill of dunes deposited eons ago. A 19th century home is now part of a sprawling complex for the enjoyment of wine, spirits, and cocktails at Truro Vineyards. A Croatian vintner and a former Atlanta beer brewer are making amazing wine and spirits on the far-end of Cape Cod. Milan Vujnic and Dave Roberts, JR are the team behind the enterprise’s success. Robert’s father purchased the property and winery in 2007 and brought in Hungarian winemaker Matyas Vogel. Roberts fils studied with Vogel, and the result is award-winning wine. Last year, the winery introduced the popular wines and mixed cocktails in cans, perfect for beach parties and picnics. I love showing visitors Truro Vineyards for a bit of Napaby-the-Beach. Also on the property now is South Hollow Spirits. Roberts’ enthusiasm for experimenting with his small-batch distillery is infectious. He’s onto some exciting combinations for barreling and blending. Watch for the return of the CRUSH wine festival by the Massachusetts Farm Wineries and Growers Association. Growers, winemakers, and hard cider producers encourage consumer awareness of Massachusetts wines and a positive business environment for continued growth and production of world-class Massachusetts-grown wines.


Photos: Truro winery; Truro winery; Truro wines


Sunset Views and Delicious Food–The Ultimate Pairing For An Adults-Only Getaway

By Jeanine Consoli


lan a vacation at an all-inclusive resort, and you’d be thrilled about the endless activities. But less enthused about the meals. Maybe you’d wonder, “Are there going to be choices for my diet?” Or “Will the options be tempting?” When I traveled to Bigfork, Montana, for an “Adults Getaway Weekend” at Flathead Lake Lodge in May, those thoughts never crossed my mind. The Lodge offers a few adult only weekends before Memorial Day to ready the staff for a busy summer. These weekends call for relaxing on the ranch, complete with exceptional food, wine, and activities like horseback riding, on 2,000 acres of property on Flathead Lake that’s been in the Averill family for over seven decades. Flathead Lake is pristine. At 28 miles long and 15 miles wide, it’s the 79th largest freshwater lake on the planet.


Dining in the Historic Lodge The historic lodge was a boy’s camp built in 1932. Les Averill, a bomber pilot in World War II, returned home to Montana in 1945 and bought the dilapidated Lodge. He began a business first for hunting clients and later, a dude ranch. Les hosted famous dignitaries, generals, and celebrities (some signed the bottoms of dining room chairs) who loved the beauty of the area and the warm hospitality. The lodge has taxidermy prizes hung from the walls from decades of hunting excursions, along with saddles, paintings, and sculptures. A vast double hearth fireplace roars daily, and the crackle and smell of the woodsmoke feels cozy. Buffet-style breakfasts are served each morning for guests. Still, others may choose to go on a morning horseback ride up to a ridge, where a pancake breakfast with bacon, coffee fills the air. Lunch, dinners, fireside chats, mid-day snacks, and communal gatherings take place in the lodge.

A Vision For The Future Les passed the torch to his son Doug, who gave it to his son Chase. As the third-generation steward, Chase maintains the traditions such as the Wednesday night “Mountain Steak Fry," which includes a bonfire and live entertainment in a clearing in the woods. Guests can ride horses or a seat on a vintage fire truck up to the venue. While this meal is a favorite, Chef Rob Clagett (in his third season) and Chase want to offer new dining options. The team built a gorgeous outdoor kitchen

Photos: Fresh fruit at breakfast; Fried chicken lunch; Chili and Cornbread cookout; Sunset at Flathead Lake Lodge; Seafood and white wine pairing


with a wood-fired oven and an Argentinian-inspired grill unveiled this season. In 2020, the Pandemic caused travel destinations to suffer, but Flathead Lake Lodge didn’t miss a beat. The patios provided guests outdoor dining spaces. This, plus other inspirations, led the team to build the outdoor kitchen.

Rustic Fine Dining Chef Rob hails from Virginia but keeps the Averill's mission to preserve the Western identity of the ranch top of mind. The kitchen prepares buffalo, bison, and other local organic products, and everything is scratch made. He’ll always work with any allergy or dietary needs and never cooks with tree nuts as there’s usually an allergy. Dietary issues are on the forefront of the menu which keeps him on his toes, but it's a challenge he enjoys. He loves teaching his team of sous chefs, line chefs, bakers, and assistant bakers employed from culinary programs across the country. The team wows guests with new dishes and keeps the favorites. One example was the lunch buffet of fried chicken and ribs, creamy mac and cheese, and spicy collards I enjoyed one afternoon. It was outstanding.

him what went well and what didn’t. This inspiration furthered ideas for the outdoor kitchen. He ordered local cherry wood from the southern end of the lake to infuse his grilled items with an authentic flavor of Montana. The produce and meat are locally sourced, and now the wood is too. His favorite night is the first night when a new group comes in. He encourages diners to embrace the local game saying, “You may be served buffalo or elk, which is healthy for you. We encourage you to try it.”

Each Meal is Special These weekends are different, but traditions remain. We had breakfast rides and an advanced ride to Swan Lake for a chili and cornbread cookout. Unfortunately, our steak fry got canceled due to the weather. We made the best of it, and a raucous two-step broke out in the lodge with staff. There was musical entertainment after dinner. My favorite was noshing on S'mores by a lakeside fire. Two guitarists serenaded us as the sun was just setting at 9:30 pm because the locals call it, Montana time.

Chef Clagett Off the Job Chef Rob is a musician and cooked in every station before enrolling in the CIA. Off-season he snowboards and travels. He never stops cooking or developing recipes and keeps a log to remind


Photos:Dining Room at the Lodge ©Flathead Lake Lodge; S’mores and music; Chase Averill at the grill ©Flathead Lake Lodge; Dinner at Flathead Lake Lodge ©Flathead Lake Lodge;Ribs, chicken, collards, and Mac ’n cheese ©Jeanine Consoli

My Little Fantasy Island— Fakarava, Tuamotus, French Polynesia By Debbra Dunning Brouillette




akarava is a Tahitian word meaning beautiful, and that could be considered an understatement. French artist Henri Matisse, who visited Fakarava in 1930, was said to have taken “rapturous swims in lagoons with water the color of diamonds, emeralds, and sapphires.”

This far-flung French Polynesian outpost is genuinely an off-the-beaten-path destination. From the U.S. mainland, you will first board an eight-hour flight in Los Angeles or San Francisco to Papeete, Tahiti. Then, your journey will continue, either by ship or plane, 275 nautical miles northeast to reach a chain of 77 islands and atolls called the Tuamotus. Covering a 328-square-mile area in the Pacific Ocean, the Tuamotus are the largest chain of atolls in the world. The second-largest atoll (defined as a ring-shaped coral reef) in the chain is Fakarava, and that’s where my adventure began. A series of small islets form a ring around its lagoon. After booking a 10-day Tahiti/Tuamotus cruise aboard Windstar Cruises’ Wind Spirit, I did a little research. I found that our first port of call, Fakarava, is a designated Biosphere Reserve and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. As an avid SCUBA diver, I pre-arranged a one-tank dive with Fakarava Dive Center. We boarded a 25foot inflatable dinghy for the short ride to Ohotu Reef, known to be a great area to encounter sharks and manta rays. We saw both, including three mantas, which seemed to perform for us, rolling and slowly flapping their “wings” before effortlessly moving out of sight into the depths.

Photos: Fakarava’s lagoon at Havaiki; Fakarava’s Havaiki Guesthouse; Table in water at Havaiki Guesthouse; Our dive boat with Windstar ship in background; a sel e; Havaiki Pearl Farm Dock



Following our dive, we followed the suggestion of our dive guide by renting bicycles to see more of the atoll. Then, we pedaled down the main road, briefly stopping to photograph a picture-perfect Catholic church at Rotoava, which was dedicated in 1850. Built entirely of coral by early missionaries, the interior light fixtures were created using local shells. A bit further down the road, we reached the Havaiki Fakarava Guesthouse, situated on a beautiful beach bordering the lagoon. Ten bungalows face the lagoon; five bungalows sit amid tropical gardens. It is also home to the Pearls of Havaiki (, a black pearl farm established in 1989. Although the resort was closed for the season, when we arrived in late November, a group of locals were enjoying the beach. When two women left one of the covered tables submerged in the shallow lagoon, we decided to walk out to it to take a few photos. A reef shark circling the table (looking for a free lunch, perhaps?) kept us waiting on the shore until it moved on to find a more appropriate meal. I often dream of returning to this “fantasy island” destination to stay a few nights at the resort, snorkel on the lagoon, dive the reefs, and savor the sights and sounds of this extraordinary Polynesian paradise.

Photos Giant clam; Locals enjoying the beach; School of sh from our dive; Rent a bike to see more; Interior of Fakarava’s Catholic Church; Fakarava’s Catholic Church



I only wish we’d had time for a second dive on Tetamanu pass, sometimes called the “shark wall,” where divers regularly encounter hundreds of gray and white tip reef sharks.

St. Augustine Distillery's Tour & Tasting is a Winning Combination in the Nation's Oldest City By Sharon Kurtz


avvy travelers are continually ferreting out authentic new and unique experiences. If that describes you, St. Augustine, Florida, is a destination that should be high on your list. If your travel plans always seem to include ferreting out distillery tours and discovering new cocktail bars, then you are not alone. If you are a small-batch spirit devotee, then the St. Augustine Distillery offers a respite to enjoy and savor a few pleasurable and tasty hours.

A new style of Florida tourism. St. Augustine Distillery, established in 2013, is part of a new generation of American craft distillers. The quality comes through both in the taste and in the story of how this small family-owned distillery has become the newest, best attraction in the Nation’s Oldest City. Locally owned and community founded, the artisanal spirits distillery is in historic downtown St. Augustine within a beautifully restored ice plant from the turn of


the century.

#1 Whiskey Tour in North America The #1 Whiskey tour in North America, the distillery's free tour and tasting, much like a wellbalanced cocktail, blends education and entertainment for guests of all ages. The distillery's passion for sustainability and community shines through every step of its process. They utilize Florida's legendary agriculture, including citrus, sugar cane, corn, and wheat sourced from local farmers, and transform them into some of the country's most sought-after craft spirits. The tour starts in the small museum, then passes through the distillery to a tasting room, finally ending up in the gift store. Each tour takes 45 minutes but leave more time for enjoying the

Photos, opposite: Corn Barley Wheat ©Melissa Mararelli photography; Copper Stills ©St. Augustine Distillery; St. Augustine Distillery Spirits ©Melissa Marcarelli photography; St. Augustine Distillery ©Floridas Historic Coast; this page: Florida Straight Bourbon and Mixer; Bourbon Barrels and Spirits; Florida Cane Vodka

delicious libations afterward in the upstairs Ice Plant Bar.

Distillery Tour Experience Housed in the renovated historic building from the early 20th century adds to the ambiance of the tour. Old farming tools adorn exposed brick walls, providing visitors a glimpse into the agricultural origins of the craft. Vintage photos and copper sugar caldrons set the stage. Currently a self-guided tour, staff member Scott was kind enough to be my private guide. He explained how the grain is mashed and fermented, and the function of the gigantic copper stills in making hand-crafted spirits.

From Grain to Glass They make four spirits that include Florida Cane Vodka (distilled from Florida sugar cane), New World Gin (cane neutral spirit macerated with Florida-inspired botanicals and juniper berries), Pot Distilled Rum (made from Florida molasses, then aged in bourbon barrels) and Florida Double Cask Bourbon (local sweet corn, red winter wheat, and malted barley). Did you know that whisky doesn’t turn into bourbon until it touches White American Oak? The bourbon is aged in new charred barrels for three years or more. One of the unique aspects of St. Augustine Distillery its collaboration and barrel exchange program with nearby San Sebastian Winery, finishing their bourbon in port barrels from the winery.

Tasting Room Tipple At the end of the tour, we entered the tasting

room (every visitor’s favorite place), where I sampled four signature cocktails—a Florida Mule, Rum Tiki, Gin and Tonic, and an Old Fashioned. The highly versatile all natural mixers combine with the distillery’s unique spirits, creating luscious libations perfect for your cocktail soirees.

What makes St. Augustine Distillery unique? The final stop was the gift store where visitors are invited to sample any of the distiller’s spirits “neat”. They also sell mixers, bar tools, ice trays, and other unique items. In the gift store, employee Clark Gilmore reeled off a few things that make the St. Augustine Distillery special. “We are first and foremost— Florida distillers, Florida residents, and we are proud to share the agriculture and people of our state. “We source every single ingredient we can in Florida. The sugar cane, corn, and wheat that go into our spirts all come from St. Johns County Farms. “Our gin uses at least three different varieties of Florida citrus. If you take a sip of gin—it tastes like Florida gin. If you have a little glass of the


bourbon—it tastes like a coastal Florida bourbon. “Our spirits are distilled and bottled by real people. We know our spirits are ready to go into the bottle by ‘nosing’ and tasting, and so at every step of the way, you have that human element.”

The Takeaway Co-Founder, CEO Philip McDaniel “We wanted to create an engaging and entertaining experience that would educate our guests about how spirits are made, from farm to bottle. From there, we wanted to teach them how to create, serve, and enjoy signature cocktails using fresh ingredients. Our spirits capture the taste and flavors of Florida. The experience and bottle that you purchase are a great souvenir of your trip to Florida.”


Photos: Tasting with Clark Gilmore ©Kristi Dosh; Spirits Tasting ©Melissa Marcarelli photography; Gift Store ©St. Augustine Distillery; Co-Founder Philip McDaniel ©Melissa Marcarelli Photography

If you go… Daily self-guided tours run every 30 minutes from 10:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. No reservations required. Free on-site parking. Pet friendly. For more information, visit St. Augustine Distillery’s website. St. Augustine Distillery 112 Riberia Street, St. Augustine, Florida 904-825-4962

St. George:

An Oasis Wrapped in the Red Rocks of Southwestern Utah By Barbara Redding

After hiking amid the other-worldly rock formations of Utah’s Mighty 5 national parks last May, the plan was to kick off the hiking boots in St. George and recharge before flying home from Las Vegas. We ditched the boots, but we couldn’t sit still for long. This small desert-valley city in the southwestern corner of Utah offers some stunning surprises of its own. First, the geography is glorious–and I’m saying this after visiting Utah’s national parks. Red-rock cliffs and mesas of the Colorado Plateau tower over the city of about 100,000 people. Geological regions meld But there’s more. Just a short drive north, dense stands of ponderosa pine trees climb the slopes of the Pine Valley Mountains on the edge of the Grand Basin. In the opposite direction, the Mojave Desert stretches desolate and dusty all the way to California. The juxtaposition of three geological regions, coupled with the absence of the crowds we encountered at the national parks, made St. George a picture-perfect last stop on a two-week road trip through southern Utah. Mormon icon Brigham Young likely would have approved. He dispatched the first non-native settlers from Salt Lake City in 1861 to plant cotton. The crop never turned a profit for the Church of Latter-Day Saints, but St. George earned its nickname as Utah’s “Dixie” and its reputation as the state’s warm-weather retreat. One of the city’s first snowbirds, Young built a winter home here.

Photos: Hiking in Snow Canyon. @2020 Greater Zion Convention & Tourism Of ce. All Rights Reserved; Hot air balloon above St. George. @2020 Greater Zion Convention & Tourism Of ce. All Rights Reserved; Pioneer Park stroll. @2020 Greater Zion Convention & Tourism Of ce. All Rights Reserved; Sky Mountain Golf Course. @2020 Greater Zion Convention & Tourism Of ce. All Rights Reserved.






Temperate weather and more Today visitors to the St. George area, also known as Greater Zion, can enjoy more than temperate weather. The lofty sandstone monoliths and shadowy slot canyons of Zion National Park are less an hour’s drive away. Plus, several vast state parks and recreation areas offer challenging terrain for mountaineers, hikers, equestrians, mountain bikers, and ATV fanatics. Green fairways also meander among striated outcroppings, luring golfers to a dozen-plus top-ranked courses. Vibrant and friendly downtown St. George offers historic buildings, whimsical art and galleries, and inventive dining options, too. Local tourist officials hope visitors will take their turn in Zion Park, but also experience the grandeur of the surrounding area.

Red rocks and sunsets That’s exactly what I did. As awed as I was by Zion, leaving the crowds behind was a relief. We unpacked at our rental house west of the city and scrambled up a nearby hill just in time to see the sun sink behind the red rocks. Blissfully alone we watched as a blaze of colors—bright yellows, burnt oranges, and mauves—-spread across the western sky. The next day we explored downtown St. George, where the tall, white steeple of a Mormon Tabernacle dominates the skyline. When I opened the door, a church elder welcomed me inside the plain and airy church. Completed by pioneers in 1876, the tabernacle is still a popular venue for music concerts and civic events because of its superb acoustics. Several young docents dressed in period costumes greeted me on the porch of Brigham Young’s winter home. Tall trees shade the stately brick two-story house, which is surrounded by a white picket fence. Both the tabernacle and Young’s home are included in a self-guided historic walking tour.

Art entices downtown visitors Art is everywhere. I literally almost bumped into several whimsical sculptures along downtown streets. Humpty Dumpty perches precariously in front of the Children’s Museum reading a book, while Harriet Tubman sits resolutely on a park bench holding her walking stick and lantern. I later learned that a local arts group—Art Around the Corner—commissions more than two dozen new sculptures each spring. “The beautiful landscape in Greater Zion prompts exploration, but it also inspires creation,” said Kevin Lewis, tourism director for the Greater Zion Convention & Tourism Office.


While admiring watercolor landscapes at Gallery 35, I met artist Glenda Caskey, a former Texan known for her dreamy pastels. “The colors and textures surrounding St. George make this a very exciting place to be an artist,” she told me.

Eclectic dining options Creativity is a feature of local restaurants as well. We were tempted by the popular bread sticks and soups at Judd’s Store, the town’s original general store that still sells hard candies and hand-dipped ice cream. But the beet salad and coconut key lime pie won me over at the Painted Pony, an upscale bistro with an outdoor patio overlooking town square. Our stomachs full, we headed to the city’s Red Hills Desert Garden to meander through five acres of flora from cacti to succulents and desert grasses—all carefully labeled. I squeezed into a slot canyon—no hiking required. Above the gardens, the steep cliffs of Pioneer Park beckon local mountaineers and mountain bikers as well as visitors seeking panoramic views. (“Dixie” is painted in large white letters across the rocks.)

Kolob Canyon: Zion without crowds We laced up our hiking boots again the next morning to visit the west side of Zion National Park. The Kolob Canyon trails and vistas are almost as breath-taking as the east side, but without crowds. Intrigued by the pine-covered mountains above the red rocks, we drove to the Pine Mountain Recreation Area for a picnic and a short hike around a tree-shaded reservoir. Another day we explored Snow Canyon State Park, whose unusual mix of twisted burnt-orange rock formations and black volcanic cones has made it a backdrop for several movies. At Gunlock State Park we watched a dozen swimmers cool off in the park’s deep-blue lake. Our last night, we dined on the patio of Xetava Gardens Café in Kayenta, an upscale desert

community west of St. George. Modern adobe homes meld into the desert landscape around an art village with galleries, gardens, and a labyrinth. The atmosphere was relaxed, and the cuisine refined. But I came for one last fiery sunset behind the red rocks. I wasn’t disappointed.

Photos, opposite: Scenery change in Pine Valley Mountains; Succulents in bloom at Red Hills Desert Gardens; Historic downtown St. George. @2020 Greater Zion Convention & Tourism Of ce. All Rights Reserved; This page: A erce sunset in Zion National Park. @2020 Greater Zion Convention & Tourism Of ce. All Rights Reserved; Red rocks and sage brush at Kayeta; St. George's historic tabernacle; Horsebackriding in Snow Canyon. @2020 Greater Zion Convention & Tourism Of ce. All Rights Reserved.






Saddle Up for Wine Tasting at this Family-owned Farm By Kathryn Anderson


45-minute drive east of Vancouver into the scenic farmlands of Langley, I ventured to Krause Berry Farms and Estate Winery. Familyowned and operated since 1974, owners Alf and Sandee Krause practice ethical and sustainable farming. They have come a long way from their humble beginnings of one acre of strawberries to today’s 200 plus acres of fruits and vegetables. They grow such a wide variety of items that their garden is a picturesque color wheel. As owner Sandee Krause was giving me a tour of the premises, I was in awe of everything they grew, cooked, baked, fermented, and sold. I witnessed farmers working in the fields, bakers making scones and decorating cookies, cooks assembling pizzas, and the winemaker


swirling glasses for wine tastings. Impressively, they only produce products from what they grow or can purchase from another local company.

From Seasonal to Yearround Farming In the beginning, Krause was a seasonal farm. They started with strawberries, then added raspberries and blackberries. For crop rotation, they planted corn, cucumbers, cauliflower, and broccoli. Owner Alf explained that when they were a seasonal farm, they couldn’t keep staff year-round. Searching for a solution to their problem, in 2012, Alf and Sandee found a way to stay open all year — they opened a winery. I am not sure how many wineries are born to keep staff through the seasons, but I’m certainly

glad this one was. Not only does Krause’s winery ensure that team can work all year, but it also reduces fruit waste. Fruit has a relatively short shelf-life unless you freeze it, which is precisely what they do to make their fruit wines. So not only does it reduce waste, but fruit wine produced from frozen fruit gives a better yield. This is what we call a win-win situation. Before it has the chance to spoil, the fruit is frozen, then later turned into wine. They use fermentation totes for thawing the fruit, then move it to stainless steel tanks. Fruit wines have a four six-month fermentation time, much shorter than traditional wine. This is beneficial for increased production and allows Krause Winery to produce 30 different wines.

Photos, opposite: Krause Berry Farms color wheel garden; this page: Ted and Toby Bowman holding award-winning Krause wines; Krause Farm owners Sandee and Alf Krause; Wooden winery doors with cowboy boot planters at Krause Winery; Stainless steel wine barrel

A When a Farmer Meets a Cowgirl Fruit wineries are less common than traditional grape wineries, but where Krause Winery really stands out is with its Western theme. As owner Sandee explains, a farmer met a cowgirl, and their love for each other and the family farm blossomed. Horses have always been a part of Sandee’s life, and her equine love is evident as soon as you set foot inside the Western-themed winery. In place of stools or chairs, they have horse saddles. Thankfully, I was wearing pants and was easily able to saddle up at their bar for my wine tasting. Their tasting room showcases saddles, equestrian artwork, cowboy boots, and a

cowboy hat. Every detail, including the wine bottle labels, highlights Sandee’s love of horses.

It’s All in the Family Father-son duo Ted and Toby Bowman run the winery. Ted manages the winery, and his son Toby is the winemaker. Toby offered me a tour of the winery, and his enthusiasm for winemaking was evident throughout every step of the process. Afterward, I enjoyed my wine tasting with his father, Ted, and I immediately saw where Toby got his charm. As they say, the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. Speaking of apples, that is where we started my wine tasting with Krause Oaked Apple wine. A mix of six different apples, this crisp and

Wine is more than a beverage; it’s a thread of life. ~Ted Bowman A refreshing wine is the perfect patio sipper. Next, we moved on to Rhubarb with Strawberry, then Blueberry. Next up was Tayberry. Tayberry? I glanced at the bottle with one eye cocked, “What is a tayberry?” I ask Ted. “It’s our best-selling wine,” he exclaimed proudly. “A tayberry is a cross between a blackberry and red raspberry,” he tells me. As I take a sip, I note that its bold and bright flavor would


pair well with a juicy steak. Not surprisingly, Krause’s Tayberry wine took home a Silver in the All Canadian Wine Championships. As Ted and I casually chat about life while I sip my wine, he says to me, “Wine is more than a beverage; it’s a thread of life.” I couldn’t agree more.

Photos:Garden archway at Krause Farms; Horse saddles inside Krause Berry Farm Winery; Krause Blackberry Porto wine; Krause market & store; Krause store


Taste something completely new.

Hear the gentle lapping of the Gulf waves nearby as you dine al fresco. Taste a local favorite as you bite into fresh-caught grouper. Raise a toast with a glass of wine as the sun warms your shoulders. Discover the unbeatable open-air dining scene in St. Pete/Clearwater.


Mi nopy, F

da$ by Jo Clark

46 ri



Off the beaten path in Micanopy


re you looking for the best vacation spot in Florida for a couple? Or a get-away for friends? Micanopy (Mickah-no-pee) just might be the place.

A small, peaceful town, Micanopy is Florida’s oldest inland community. At a touch over one square mile, Micanopy has 669 residents who occupy 300 residences. The town, founded in 1821, is tucked away in rural north Florida, near Gainesville. The seeming remoteness was enhanced by the drive-through Payne’s Prairie Preserve, enveloping the main highway.

This is F da the way it used to be. ~ New York Times

The pace is perfect for long walks, shopping, reading on the porch, and napping in the swing-bed on the veranda.

The Herlong Mansion The Herlong Mansion should be your destination. Built in 1845, the mansion has 11 bedrooms, at least five porches (I lost count!), and two guest houses. The house is on the National Register of Historic Places. There will be a platter of home-baked cookies in the downstairs hall, wine in the late afternoon, and aahhh-mazzing breakfasts! Walk the grounds to see a variety of flowers, greenery, azaleas, camellias, and roses which bloom nearly yearround in Florida’s warmth. The squeak of porch rockers will lull you into complete relaxation. Then, after dark, take your last glass of wine out to the gazebo and enjoy the lights, crickets, and twinkling stars. Says magazine editor and former innkeeper Joanne Anderson, “The Herlong is so pretty and nicely done; luxurious and tasteful. I could see anyone getting used to that!”

Inviting Shops I’m pretty sure that Delectable Collectables houses the most extensive collection of cameos anywhere! They are as varied as they are beautiful. Along with estate jewelry,



Photos: Herlong Mansion; Relaxing on the veranda; Jo on a swing bed on Herlong veranda; Gazebo at night; Micanopy shops; Shopping in Micanopy


there are selections of pottery. Formerly the town’s bank, the original vault is behind the counter. Antiques and crafts crowd the Stagecoach Stop. The owner does lovely beadwork, and I could have spent hours perusing the shelves. Lotus & Buddha Art Collective and Coffee Bar opened in May. An eclectic shop featuring over 40 artists’ work, coffee, and organic teas, they will soon offer beer, wine, and live music.

Walking Tour Take a stroll through the picturesque Micanopy Historic Cemetery. This example of American history’s first recorded burial dates to 1826. Next door to Mosswood coffee shop is an incredible museum that showcases the history of Micanopy and the surrounding area. Located in Thrashers Warehouse, you can spot it by the Coca-Cola sign on the side. Yes, it has been repainted. The artist worked diligently to recreate the colors that would be true to a sign faded in the hot Florida sun. The Mott-May Gallery is a feast for the eyes and a perfect spot to pick up a souvenir! Each month they have a themed showing. If your visit is well-timed, you may see the show “Micanopy” set for November 3-14. It coincides with the town’s 200th Anniversary and the town’s historical drama. Hummmm…I’d better get packing!

Energy to Burn? Hiking, biking, bird watching, wildlife viewing, kayaking, and canoeing are available—just one short mile from Micanopy at Payne’s Prairie Preserve State Park. Florida’s Photos: Angel in Micanopy cemetery; historic church; Mosswood; Antique shop; downtown; Antique shop


first state preserve is now a designated National Natural Landmark. Tuscawilla Preserve is 600 acres of prairie and uplands with small creeks and mesic forests. Tuscawilla comes from the Seminole name of the area, from the time of Chief Micanopy. Adjacent to this Preserve is the 16-acre Micanopy Native American Heritage Preserve, which includes Native American archeological features. A hiking trail through the area provides interpretive signage and native vegetation. The Barr Hammock Preserve, located just west of Micanopy, is 5,700 acres that offer miles of trails and wildlife observation areas.

Looking for Food Just a short drive or bike ride away is the best pizza in Florida. Anybody will tell you that Blue Highway has delicious handcrafted pizza, unique salads, and Mediterranean dishes. Next door, in the service station (yes, really!), is some of the best BBQ you’ll ever stick a fork into. Pearl’s owner David Carr says, “Basically, it’s a glorified country store.” The store brings folks in for convenience items and keeps them coming back for the food! They serve hearty breakfasts starting at 6 a.m. and Big Jim’s Barbeque starting before noon. The conveniences include a section with maps and books of regional interest—one-stop shopping at its best!

Insider Tip When you visit Micanopy, be aware that many shops close on Monday and Tuesday, so plan accordingly. As the saying goes, “So much to do, so little time.” Better schedule an extra day in Micanopy.

Photos: Payne’s Prairie Preserve State Park Observation Tower; Payne’s Prairie Preserve State Park; Wild Flower; Hibiscus; Wild mushroom; Gooey pizza



d Tr s



d By Elaine Masters


hat a temptation! The promise of unlimited diving and tropical culture on a remote Honduran island hooked us immediately.

When my dive buddy boyfriend pointed out Roatan, the largest of the Bay Islands, it seemed an exotic and distant destination. But what may seem far-fetched was relatively easy to get to from the US. We chose from several direct flights from US cities and, with persistence, navigated new travel rituals for testing and vaccine certification before departures and return flights. Roatan’s a noted scuba divers mecca as part of the immense Meso-American reef and home to a vast coral playground, turtles, and schools of rainbow-hued fish. Once host to an annual whale shark migration, we knew that the huge spotted and benign pelagics (they live in open water and are constantly on the move) now sojourn further north.

Once we landed at the compact Juan Manual Valdez airport, I expected to find divers clustered around gear bags but discovered families, elderly couples, groups of twenty-somethings, and honeymooners. During a week at Anthony’s Key Resort I proudly completed nineteen dives before taking off to explore more of the island from Hacienda Caribe Tesoro in West Beach. The contrasts were striking. Anthony’s was allinclusive, with many activities to choose from, while the West End hotel left us time to explore independently. We walked everywhere or rode water taxis from the hotel pier. At Anthony’s, we shared a daily boat with the same group. One of our dive buddy families split up during the day. The teens choose paddle boarding and kayaking. Grandmother enjoyed massages and reading from her patio hammock. Mom and Dad joined us for most dives before everyone reconvened for meals in the treetop dining room. Most days, I finished diving, rode the












motor dinghy over to the Key, and jumped into the central pool for a watery happy hour. The small island, ringed with comfy over-the-water bungalows, held most of the resort lodging.

to behave and spent a blissful hour playing with one finny family while they freely zipped past, chased tufts of tossed seaweed, and nosed curiously into our cameras.

The fifty-year-old resort has polished its hospitality and held onto local staff through the thin pandemic times. The complex operation includes a fleet of sparkling boats, a new dockside reception area, a restaurant, and the Roatan museum. I loved talking with some of the researchers working on coral restoration at the Marine Institute.

I wanted to know more about the island culture after an evening performance by the Luwany Garifuna troupe. Descendants of slaves abandoned by British privateers, the Garifuna have kept drumming and dancing traditions alive in their Roatan community. Since cruises have abandoned the port, island visitors are welcomed to Garifuna celebrations at markets and festivals in Punta Gorda. We were fortunate to see them at Anthony’s.

On our last resort day, I joined several of the Institute’s scientists at Bailey’s Key where a pod of dolphins has been living for years. We learned how

Photos, opposite: Baby lobster; this page; Street entrance to Caribe Tesoro Guest House; Argentina Grill in West Beach; Luwany Garifuna Dance Troupe; AKR Bungalow Hammock


After leaving the resort, we rented a car for a day but didn’t drive as far as the Garifuna’s northern village or to the beached wreck near Turquoise Bay, another all-inclusive resort. Instead, pulling over at a hilltop lighthouse, we could see both sides of the island then wound down to the small Manawakie Eco Park, where our guide taught us about the local herbs and the stories behind the floor to ceiling murals. But what drew me to Manawakie were the indigenous animals sheltered there. Their gentle keeper helped us interact with monkeys, huge parrots, and cuddly sloths! Another larger wildlife and beachy eco-park, Gumbalimba, is closer to the West End. Later I poked around bars, cafes, and scores of shops in the West End. I loved the locally created crafts inside the Rusty Fish shop and the new t-shirt from the Marine Park Center, which supports reef health. When it was time to return home, I didn’t mind leaving the voracious sand fleas (and living in a cloud of bug spray), but I’d return in a heartbeat to camp out in Punta Gorda. One day you’ll find me there dancing and filling up on their cassava, plantain, and seafood dishes. Photos: Rusty Fish Craft Market Totem ; Anthony's Key Poolside Happy Hour; Communing with Capucin Monkeys at Manawakie Eco Park; Lobster and shrimp dinner on the pier at Caribe Tesoro; Author Elaine Masters fooling around in West Beach



Les Baux-de-Provence By Wendy VanHatten

Ruins Along Side

Chateau Ruins


et in the heart of the Alpilles regional county park, Les Baux-de-Provence is a heritage site. It has even won the title of one of the Most Beautiful Villages in France. Considering the fact that there are plenty of beautiful villages in France, this is quite an honor. So, why this designation? We wanted to find out. For starters, the village literally sits on a rocky plateau. It didn’t exactly look like the best place to build; it was just perched there, overlooking the valleys, hills, and marshes below. There were reasons for that. The Baux outcrop is one of the last foothills of the Alpilles mountains. With sheer drops of 20 to 45 meters, this craggy cliff formation provided natural protection for the Chateau, a crucial piece of the village. With its panoramic views, you can see all the way to Arles and the Camargue. If you know where to look, you can see some patches of red earth. These spots are all that are left of the bauxite quarries; a mineral used to make aluminum. This location was important as far back as early prehistoric times. Defend and protect. In addition to the magnificent drop-offs, there are several smaller outcrops where defending troops could see the enemy coming. These somewhat smaller fortresses acted as a warning system for the main Chateau to keep it safe.

In the Middle Ages, the Baux lineage was one of the leading families in Provence, thanks to the land. They had control of over 79 towns and fortresses until the King took it over. Then came the Renaissance. This golden age was crucial for the town as any buildings needing repair were rebuilt until 1631. Insurgents took it over, leading to a revolt. Cardinal Richelieu’s troops besieged it, once again demolishing it. The village of Les Baux was gradually abandoned until 1821 when a geologist discovered a red rock rich in alum earth, bauxite. After WWII, the village began a new life as a tourist and cultural center. Raymond Thuillier opened a Michelin-starred restaurant Oustau de Baumaniere, enhancing Les Baux’s international reputation for food. Then came that distinction of one of the “Most Beautiful Villages in France.”

Our Visit On to our visit and quest of its most beautiful distinction…You need to know you can only visit this gracefully preserved village on foot. With its narrow alley-ways, even the foot traffic gets congested at times. Winding our way up through the village, our goal was the Chateau at the top. Our self-guided tour let us explore as


much as we wanted, learning about the turbulent history, watching a giant catapult hurl rocks at incoming invaders, and experiencing what it would have looked like to watch an enemy approach from miles away. Walking back into the village after exploring the Chateau, lunch was our quest. The Renaissance facades, noticeable on many buildings, bring the memories of what this village once was back to mind. Small shops and restaurants now occupy those buildings.

What did we discover?

Plan on spending an entire day. If you can, arrive early. Wander through the Chateau and its entirety, taking advantage of the free audio recordings. They help explain what you’re looking at and how it functioned many, If You Go… many years ago. You’ll learn Les Baux-de-Provence how they used that giant is a French commune in catapult, made their amour, the Bouches-du-Rhône where they kept food, and I department of the province where they treated the of Provence in the wounded.

Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region of southern France.

A bottle of wine, lavender soap, a new Panama hat, locally grown olive oil, or perhaps a custom-designed knife, whatever you’re looking for, you might see it here.

Restaurants? No shortage of these, from simple takeaway deli sandwiches, piled high with local meats, olives, and cheeses to sit-down organic meals to ala carte specialties. Les Baux-deProvence is truly a foodie village.

Allow time to explore the village. Whether you’re shopping, exploring local fare, adding a bottle of locally grown wine, or wandering, take your time. Look at the buildings and imagine what they housed in their former lives. After our visit, we can attest that this is definitely a beautiful village in so many ways. So now to explore the rest of the Most Beautiful Villages in France.

Photos: Bauxite; Catapult; Village sign; Street of Les Baux; Les Baux Ruins Toward Top; Les Baux street


The Resort At Paws Up— Truly the Last Best Place By Janie Pace


ith 37,000 acres of scenic wilderness, ten miles of the Blackfoot River, 100 miles of trails, eagles soar, horses run freely, cattle roam in rolling pastures, and herds of elk graze in the meadow. This historic Montana working dude ranch, Resort at Paws Up, is a first-class, luxury resort with immense sky hospitality near Greenough, Montana. What’s more, the 1.5 million acres of the nearby Bob Marshall Wilderness Area make the ultimate outdoor playground. It’s as big as a National Park, but it’s private and definitely off the beaten path.

How is Paws Up Different Saddle up for a Montana horseback ride across vast meadows, and scenic forests, with trail rides designed for beginners or advanced riders, where you herd an authentic cattle drive. Experience lifechanging equine connections learning horse whispering. For a six-hour frontiersman adventure, ride deep into sky country amid sage and Ponderosa pine, off the beaten path, where panoramic views take your breath away. Or start


with the basics and learn foundational horsemanship. Have fun at the Sky-Line Aerial Adventure Park, where you maneuver over various rope courses using a helmet, harness, and lanyards. River Rafting offers three levels of adventure. Take a guided trip on the Clearwater River, where you’ll wind along a 3.5-mile stretch of the stream, taking in amazing views. Float in a raft or inflatable kayak down the Blackfoot River in Class I and II rapids for more excitement. And for the ultimate thrill, take the Albertson Gorge full-day Whitewater Rafting trip featuring class III plus rapids. The Seeley Lake Jet Ski Adventure includes a scenic guided tour from the inlet channel to remote corners of the glacially formed lake, beginning with a safety lesson then stops for photo ops. Take in all the breathtaking landscape as you float up and away in the magnificent hot-air balloon in the majestic Blackfoot River Valley.

Revel in ATV tours, backcountry tours, fat-tire electric bike tours, downhill mountain biking, or gocart racing for trail adventures.

huckleberry pancakes at breakfast, with your choice of healthy home-cooked dishes, plus a full espresso bar and smoothies.

Fly-fish on the Black Foot River, Clearwater, or Missouri Rivers. Learn sporting clays, biathlon, old west .22 rifle range, paintball, or archery.

Dinner at the Pomp Restaurant, refined rustic ranch style, combines classic cooking with the chef’s imagination to create culinary innovations with local and seasonal ingredients.

There is plenty of cross-country skiing, snowboarding, tubing, snowshoeing, snowmobiles, skijoring, sleigh rides, and dogsledding in the winter. Montana’s Snowbowl for downhill skiing is a 45-minute drive from the resort.

Savor Three Exquisite Chef-Prepared Meals Daily The Trough offers Western-style fine casual dining, incorporating hand-cut meats, locally sourced vegetables, plus paninis, or rice and grain bowls. Savor breakfast and lunch daily. Don’t miss the

The Tank is a full-service cocktail bar boasting creative options in a casual atmosphere with flatscreen TVs, breathtaking views, and a spectacular fireplace. The Dining Pavilion at the luxury camps serves breakfast and dinner prepared by the talented chef working full view in the pavilion.

All photos for this article are of Paws Up Resort and the area and are courtesy Paws Up.


Photos, this page: Tomahawk steak; Pancakes; S’mores; Opposite: View; Fire pit; cabin; cliffside dining; All photos courtesy Paws Up.


Luxury Accommodations Choose from twenty-eight Paws Up luxury homes in five different styles for every taste, from the meadow, big timber, wilderness, ranch house, or river lodge, with a personal Lexus SUV for transportation. The Montana Glamping Resort, available mid-May through mid-October, offers six premier camps with safari-style luxury tents, each including a full bathroom. Opening June 1, 2021, Green O boasts twelve modern Tree Haus, forest bathing for two in a sanctuary among the trees, with floor-to-ceiling windows, amid unparalleled natural beauty.

Mountain Spa Town Nestled under towering pines sits Spa Town, a group of white tents connected by a wooden boardwalk, just past the babbling brook. The

individual treatment tents have a sink, heated massage table, and view of the meadow, with nature’s soundtrack of the babbling brook, songbirds, and a rustle of wind in the trees. You’ll experience the finest of spa treatments, feeling lost in the woods. Enjoy yoga and wellness along with the fitness center. Upcoming spring events include the Cowgirl Spring Roundup, The Wonder Women of Food and Wine, Wellness in the Wilderness, Mother’s Day, or Montana Master Grillers.

Getting There Check for direct flights to Missoula, Montana. Included is complimentary roundtrip transportation from the airport to the resort, plus transportation around the resort. Paws Up is a trip of a lifetime.


Pink Brews & Mountain Views: Off-the-Beaten-Path in Vermont By Colleen O’Neill Mulvihill Some might say that almost all of Vermont is off-thebeaten-path. Residents seem to like it that way, and tourists seem to take it in stride. So at a tiny brewery located at the end of a winding dirt road in Braintree, Vermont, being greeted by three friendly “brew dogs” who roam freely across the 16-acre property at Bent Hill Brewery is all part of the rural charm.

Bent Hill Farm and Brewery Nestled in the mountains with views for miles, you’ll find a farm brewery experience like no other. Bent Hill Brewery pairs its signature brews with a delectable and unique meatless food menu, and it’s a hit with vegetarians and carnivores alike. In addition to brewing beer, these working farmers also grow their hops, blackberries, blueberries, cherries, and currants on-site, much of which gets used directly in the brewing process. Adding fruit to the mix during brewing may not sound like a novel idea, but when the result creates suds in shades of fuchsia, deep purple, and blush hues, people take notice. We arrived at Bent Hill Brewery on a brilliantly blue, sunlit, early afternoon in late August with our two Great Danes in tow. As with most breweries in Vermont, leashed and wellbehaved dogs are allowed to join their owners here for a leisurely afternoon of taking in expansive mountain views and local libations. Bent Hill’s Signature Brews


Spending the afternoon in such a gorgeous setting was incredibly satisfying in its own right. At the same time, sampling perhaps the most unparalleled food and drink menu we’ve encountered was enchanting. After we sampled a few of the unique beer offerings, we settled on our choices. I chose the fruity and hoppy “Blood Orange Double IPA,” one of Bent Hill’s inaugural brews. My husband took a gamble on the “Wandering and

Wondering,” a cream ale with pink guava and vanilla. Neither of us was the least bit disappointed in our choice, and I immensely enjoyed watching my husband drink a creamy-pink beer! Other offerings we sampled include “The 10 Planet,” a sour IPA with red prickly pear, soursop, vanilla, and Citra hops. A neon-pink beauty in a glass, this brew delivers a bold, fruity mouthfeel with a hint of vanilla finish. At only 5.5 percent alcohol by volume (ABV), it’s the perfect afternoon refreshment. th

Curiosity got the best of me, so I had to sample the “Three Stoned Birds.” This ale, aged on black and red currants with cinnamon and vanilla, is a whopping 9.5 percent alcohol by volume (ABV), so I opted to take a four-pack home with me instead of drinking it at the brewery. This brew’s deep purple hue is accented by the sweet cinnamon aroma as soon as it hits the glass. A smooth drinking, easy-to-love concoction, “Three Stoned Birds” is most certainly one of my favorite Bent Hill offerings.

Bent Hill’s Meatless Food Menu It’s not often that you find a small hillside brewery that exclusively serves vegetarian and vegan food. If that sounds off-putting to you, don’t let it because the constantly rotating menu is chock full of mouth-watering bites. You’ll find familiar offerings like macaroni and cheese, grilled cheese with homemade tomato basil soup, and hand-cut fries served with garlic aioli. My husband and I are both vegetarian, so making a food choice was difficult because there were many enticing options. His choice of the white bean burger with house-made chips brought accolades of the best veggie burger he’d ever had. I opted for the special of the day, the Summer Vegetable Arancini. Served in a sizzling iron skillet, the risotto dish with carrots, onion, celery, zucchini, squash, and red pepper served atop house-made marinara was scrumptious.

Visiting Bent Hill Brewery Bent Hill Brewery is open Thursday through Sunday from noon to 8:00 PM; no reservations are necessary. From Interstate 89, take the Randolph exit and enjoy a quick 10-minute drive through central Vermont’s rolling hills and farm fields along Route 66 to Braintree. Your destination is 1972 Bent Hill Road, and you can trust your GPS to get you there. For additional information, weeklyspecial menu offerings, or contact information, visit their website or follow Bent Hill Brewery on Facebook or Instagram.

Photos, opposite: Our table with beer version 2; Mountain Views from Bent Hill's Deck; Bent Hill Brewery Welcome Sign; This page: Our table on the deck with our beer;Our two Great Danes at the brewery; Bent Hill Brewery's Summer Vegetable Arancini; Bent Hill Brewery outdoor seating with mountain view


Sag Harbor, New York: Blending History and Hampton Chic By Diane Dobry


or most of my childhood summers, my family packed up our big blue Oldsmobile with food, blankets, clothes, beach chairs, and floats. Then, pulling a boat, we drove for an hour and a half on the Long Island Expressway from our home in western Long Island to a beachfront bungalow on Noyac Bay on the east end’s south fork. There we got our fill of sun, sand, and surf along with swimming, sailing, and skiing—water skiing, that is. Though we could walk to a penny candy store or the local grocery, the more extensive downtown area was Main Street in nearby Sag Harbor, a bustling, historic town on the fringes of the famous, oldmoney Hamptons. At that time, in the 1960s and ‘70s, primarily middle-class families rented the waterfront cottages. They enjoyed exploring picturesque shops along Main Street, many of which still exist, though most have taken on a more high-end vibe to go with the more upscale crowd that comes in these days.

History Lessons Rainy days meant heading to one of many historic landmarks hidden in plain sight to learn about Sag Harbor’s importance in our country’s history. Sure, they had great little Italian restaurants and luncheonettes with vanilla milkshakes to die for, and even celebrity sightings right on Main Street. But, it wasn’t until I was in college studying American History that I had a chance to research the town’s role as the first port in the United States and realized the Customs House is still there with docents and exhibits to tell the tale. A paper I wrote about the American Revolution opened my eyes to what Sag Harbor had contributed to that pivotal war. In addition to its role in the Long Island Spy Ring depicted in the AMC series TURИ (the

62 in Sag Harbor ©VictoriaBrewer. Boats

Umbrella House on Division Street still has bullet holes), British soldiers built a fort on the highest hill where an immense white steepledeprived Whaler’s Church now stands. Built in 1844, the church has its own story as part of the town’s place in the 19thcentury whaling industry. Next to that church is an old graveyard where the town founders, residents, and business owners dating to the 1700s are now at rest—Mr. L’Hommedieu, a prominent businessman; Mr. Howell, the t o w n ’ s i n n k e e p e r, w h o s e establishment was occupied by the British as their headquarters close to the wharf; and Howell’s

son who died as an infant, among many others. Most streets also bear the names of original families who, along with local natives, established the area. Those natives helped spot whales and worked alongside whaling ship crews to process these giants for blubber that provided lamp oil, whalebone for women’s dresses, and scrimshaw used for pipes, knife handles, necklaces, and other décor. Sag Harbor Whaling Museum tells those stories.

the background, had good deals if we took time to search. We bought wine and gourmet snacks for a sunset cruise on the American Beauty boat tour, or we’d enjoy a decadently expensive meal at one of the trendier restaurants. A free copy of Dan’s Papers, available at shops throughout the town, provided upcoming event insights—walking tours, winery tastings, and even Hamptonshosted Shakespeare in the Park or designer showcase homes.

Grown-Up Fun

Endless Summer

As an adult, I spent many annual girls-only weekends there with my best friend. Though the town has always had a wealthy and diverse reputation, we saw its cultural and artistic community growing. Unique boutiques and artsy gift shops, always with mellow, sophisticated music playing in

Today, Main Street is a visual time machine, with buildings, shops, and even a movie theater that have evolved from days past. The Launderette is still there on the corner, where Mom did our laundry. We kids ran to the 5&10 Variety Store, also still there, with its creaky wooden floors, shelves loaded

with beach towels, sand toys, postcards, t-shirts, kites, and all other necessities for weekend visitors. The American Hotel, which stands on the spot of Mr. Howell’s inn, boasts a front porch where the famous and the not-so-famous sip their drinks and enjoy a cigar. Romany Kramoris Gallery and Flashbacks boutique offer a variety of creative and attentiongrabbing goodies. Aside from the Variety Store, The Wharf Shop has distinctively unique toys, books, gifts, and miniatures to appeal to the kid in anyone. And, in winter, the HarborFrost event keeps visitors coming beyond beach season. Find more on the Chamber of Commerce site, with up-to-date ideas for lodgings, food, and activities.

Photos: Downtown Sag Harbor. ©Jeremy Garretson; The Wharf Shop ©Jeremy Garretson; The American Hotel ©Jeremy Garretson; Sag Harbor Movie Theater ©VictoriaBrewer; Keyes Art Gallery ©Victoria Brewer; The Dock House ©JeremyGarretson; Main Street Shop Sag Harbor©VictoriaBrewer


Girona— The City of Many Faces

By Jim Farber


rya Stark races through the streets of Braavos causing pandemonium as she flees the wrath of the Many-Faced God. Jamie Lannister atop his snow-white charger lays siege to Great Sept of Baelor in King’s Landing. These are scenes devoted fans of the HBO series, Game of Thrones, know well. What they may not know, as I did not, is that Girona, one of the most remarkable towns in Spain, provided the backgrounds.

rise and fall of the Roman Empire, and became a prosperous center of Jewish trade until the horrors of the Spanish Inquisition. It’s a city that contains the bestpreserved medieval Jewish Quarter in Europe and a towering Romanesque/Gothic cathedral that defines the skyline. But when you venture beyond the walls and narrow alleyways of the Old City, Girona is a modern, cosmopolitan town with gracious plazas, flower-lined cobbled streets, a beautiful defining river front, elegant stores and renowned restaurants including El Celler de Can Roca, once ranked as the ‘World’s Best Restaurant’ (by Restaurant Magazine).

Girona served as a backdrop in Game of Thrones and contains the bestpreserved Medieval Jewish Quarter in Europe.

Although I have traveled extensively in Spain, I had never heard of Girona. Located in Catalonia, 60 miles north of Barcelona, Girona is a city where the ancient past (dating back as far as the first century B.C.), our bustling present, and the fantasy kingdoms of Game of Thrones all come together. It is a city that saw the

Strategically located between the mountains and the sea, Girona is encircled by the Pyrenees to the north and the beaches of the Costa Brava to the south,

Photos, this page: River View; The River Walk; Game of Thrones, Courtesy of HBO; Opposite: Girona street during ower festival; Model of the Jewish Quarter; Jewish History Museum; A courtyard in the Jewish Quarter



which makes it a popular shore excursion for the many cruise ships that dock in the port of Palamos, which is how I came to discover its wonders. I was cruising at the time with Windstar about one of the company’s luxurious yachts outward bound from Barcelona to Monte Carlo to experience the high-speed thrills of the Grand Prix (a journey I later recounted for this magazine). I was attracted

to Girona because of its deeply rooted Jewish heritage. I had no idea I was about to find myself in the world of Game of Thrones. You enter the heart of Girona by crossing one of the many bridges that span the Onyar River. Then as you work your way up toward the imposing stone walls and grand gates that guard the Old City, the modern world fades away and you’re in


medieval Spain, as well as the fantasy kingdoms of Braavos and King’s Landing.

Call (the Jewish Quarter) survived and can be seen.

For real devotes of the series, there’s even a Game of Thrones walking tour offered by Viator for $67 that features key filming locations and (according to Viator’s promotional material) an abundance of “insider gossip.”

In the street El carrer de Sant Llorenç you can find the center, Bonastruç ça Porta where the Jewish Museum of Girona is located. This fascinating museum describes the origins of the Jewish community’s beginning in the 9th century featuring an array of objects used in daily life and religious ceremonies. The museum also includes a model of the Jewish quarter as it appeared at the end of the 14th century.

Girona’s historic landmarks that were magically transformed include the Cathedral of Santa Maria with its vaulted nave (the largest in Europe) and cloisters; the labyrinthine byways of the Jewish Quarter (with its remarkable historical museum); the Església de Sant Martí Sacosta, a church near the Pujada de Sant Domenech, home to the famous Girona staircase. The Carrer Ferran el Catolic is an age-old Arabian bathing complex, which once formed part of a convent, while adjacent to the festival square of Plaça dels Jurats is the monastery of Sant Pere de Galligans, a Romanesque Benedictine structure. The history of the Jews in Spain is a sad one. But before the horrors of the Inquisition, Spain, and particularly the town of Girona, supported a large and thriving Jewish community. And while its synagogues were all destroyed, much of the architectural a n d archeological history of the Jews of Girona, who lived in El

As stated in the museum’s mandate, The main aim of the Museum of Jewish History is to preserve and reflect the history of the Jewish communities of Catalonia, which throughout the entire medieval period formed part of, and made a decisive contribution to, the history of the country and its cultural and scientific development. In most cases an attempt has been made to illustrate the explanations given during the visit to the museum with examples of items originating from Girona’s own Jewish history. These examples, which may be in documentary, archaeological or pictorial form, thus offer a general explanation of the pattern of Jewish life in medieval Catalonia.Every year thousands of visitors enjoy the wonders of Barcelona. They— and you– should definitely add the wonders of Girona to any itinerary.

Useful Information… Girona Tourism (general information) “Game of Thrones” in Girona with information about Viator walking tour. The Museum of Jewish History, Foundation Call de Girona.


O The Beaten Path in K


City, K

s By Erin Jones


ome may consider Kansas City a flyover city, but some have started to notice the arts culture and delicious barbecue in recent years. Those coming to visit may stick to the Kansas City, Missouri, side, but there is much to consider on the Kansas side of things. Kansas City, Kansas, offers the best skyline views, rich Latin culture, and a neighborhood feel in the city’s heart. Going off the beaten path in Kansas City, Kansas, will lead you to some delicious tacos and an urban hike to understand the history and culture.

or taqueria. Once you visit a restaurant on the trail, you check into the website, and the more places you visit, the more prizes you are eligible to win. For example, visit five restaurants and receive a sticker, but should you visit 30 locations, you’ll receive a T-shirt. From tacos al pastor to tortas, the taco trail provides some truly delicious tacos but supporting local businesses is the highlight. You’ll find the owners friendly and gain insight into the local community. It is a winning situation for supporting locals while enjoying the best tacos in the U.S!

Kansas City, Kansas. Taco Trail

Urban Hike

Kansas City, Kansas, has a proud Mexican heritage. The Kansas City, Kansas, Taco Trail is the best way to discover local cuisine and steer clear of the chain restaurants and support local businesses. Kansas City, Kansas, has over 50 taquerias and Mexican restaurants, and the local visitors’ bureau created a genius way to showcase them. If you visit the Visit KCK website, you can get your taco trail pass. The taco trail pass lists all the restaurants participating in the taco trail and has them sorted by location (downtown, midtown, south, etc.) or by cuisine types such as Tex-Mex

To uncover the history of Kansas City, Kansas, book an urban hike. It is a three-hour walking tour that will increase your heart rate while learning about the local area’s history. On the Urban Hike website, you can book the Strawberry Hill and Downtown KCK tour. The tour is as diverse as the local community. You’ll discover many murals that celebrate the history of the area, and you’ll receive a lesson regarding the Native American history of the site.






KC Skyline


What I loved most about the urban hike was discovering the community of Kansas City, Kansas. The Police Athletic League (PAL) has created a community garden that provides an outlet for the youth of Kansas City, Kansas, to learn about local plants and gardening. During the hike, we were able to meet Marcella MoralesGaona, the garden director. Marcella loves the kids she works with, and it showed in her descriptions of the gardens and her future plans. Not only does the garden grow vegetables and plants native to Kansas, but it also has a chicken pen. The space is an oasis in the city and a fantastic way to get the youth involved in learning about gardening. As we continued our hike, we stopped at the Huron Cemetery, a historical site with a fascinating past. The cemetery is the resting place for members of

the Wyandotte tribe. The tribe was relocated from Ohio to Kansas City in the 1800s. At one time, there was a land battle to redevelop the cemetery, and the Conley sisters, descendants of the Wyandot chief, stood their ground to protect the cemetery. They built a temporary shelter and stood guard over the land. In 1909, Lyda Conley took her case to the Supreme Court of the United States, the first Native American woman to argue with the highest court in the land. Unfortunately, she did not win the court case, but she did gain sympathy. To this day, the land remains a cemetery dedicated to the Native American community. The cemetery sits on a hill in the middle of downtown. As you look across to the nearest building, you’ll find a mural of the Conley sisters, an excellent tribute to the contribution to Kansas City, Kansas.

Conclusion Kansas City, Kansas, is a genuine community that offers tasty tacos and history to discover. It is a city with a mix of an urban setting but keeps the Midwest slower pace. It is so much fun to get off the beaten path, and I hope you put Kansas City, Kansas, on your list of places to visit in the future.

Photos: CK Taco Trail Street Taco; Strawberry Hill Mural; PAL Garden; owers found on urban hike; Strawberry Hill Museum



All ’s Whale in Massachusetts By Andrew Der

Best-Known Gloucester Landmark



lapping and waving floppy pectoral flippers in the air while floating on its back to greet its amazed ocean audience, this magnificent Humpback Whale was the real thing. The boat ride lasted only an hour before we joined the deep-sea frolicking after leaving Gloucester Harbor under the watchful gaze of the Gorton’s Fishermen’s Memorial of fish stick fame (memorializing “they that go down to the sea in ships…”). Whale-watching is a rare opportunity anywhere, but jutting into the Atlantic northeast of Boston and Cape Cod, this quick access through Massachusetts harbor is a vibrant alternative, ranking as one of the top ten whale-watching spots in the world by the World Wildlife Fund. Also the home of NatGeo’s “Wicked Tuna” TV series, Gloucester is a unique small town with a big reputation as one of New England’s richest nautical and historical experiences featuring a multitude of seas-side nature and cultural appreciation. “Paaak” the “Caaa” (local dialect for “Park the car”) and get aboard a comfortable tour boat for an

unforgettable and easy ride to the Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary at the mouth of Massachusetts Bay. Fishing boats, sailboats, marinas, and historic shoreline communities are sprinkled everywhere along the way, and on a clear day, you’ll see a new and distant perspective of Boston’s skyline. For the photographically inclined, this is the time to break out the underused telephoto lens sitting a bit too long in the drawer. While a whale sighting is not guaranteed, it is virtually unheard of to miss it during the season of April through October. My favorite time is September for fewer crowds and prime weather. The lumbering mammals actually enjoy slapping their tails and fins along with breaching.

Off the Beaten Path Whale-watching tour departure points are conveniently located near the Gloucester Maritime Heritage Museum, making a great way to finish the day after the boat returns. The museum features marine science exhibits and aquarium touch tanks

Make It Happen

One-stop-shops for all things including whale watching, places to eat, and accommodations are and Photos: Boating the Old-Fashioned Way; One of Many Fishing Waterfront Communities; Waving Whale Tail; Gloucester Harbor; Ribbons of Rocky Coastline


—and don’t miss the Gorton’s Seafood Company Museum display. Nearby, my favorite under-publicized and modest attraction is the Diving Locker—a home-grown maritime “museum.” The lower level consists of two delightfully crammed rooms of the most amazing diving antiques, treasures, and a quirky collection of nautical curiosities casually run by a retired gentleman. He surely must have known Lloyd Bridges of the 1960’s black and white “Sea Hunt” TV show. Accommodations across Gloucester’s inner harbor on the Atlantic shore offer brilliant sunrises and unexpectedly rocky shorelines. Getting there requires a drive past Good Harbor Beach, one of the most scenic beaches ever, especially at sunset and low tide. The best beach for lounging, and even family time, is a short drive north to the city’s Wingaersheek Beach—a local and lesser-known version of Maine’s Bay of Fundy boasting some of the most

drastic tide changes in the region. So check the tide charts, bring beach chairs, walk hundreds of yards into the ocean in just inches of water, and enjoy the tide pools to channel your inner marine biologist. Home to Gloucester’s first settlers in 1623, Stage Fort City Park is an enriching snapshot of history with huge climbing boulders, secret cannons, a fantastic overlook, a hidden beach, and bathrooms (yay). Many premium water-side eateries abound in walking distance—and of course, feature seafood. Do not leave without having ”lobsta,” clams, or mussels. As a lower key and smaller alternative to Cape Cod, don’t miss the larger encompassing Cape Ann peninsula to round out the Gloucester region experience with an afternoon excursion to nearby Rockport, billing itself as a world-famous “quaint seacoast village.” Check it and Cape Ann out for a leisurely postcard coastal drive with an art colony flavor. Stop randomly at fishing villages and remote rocky beaches along the way. Just do it.

Photos: Cape Anne Harbor; Weathered Rock Tidal Pools; Good Harbor Beach at Sunset; Working Waterfront Lobster Traps; Wingersheer Beach with the Biggest Tide Change; Gorton's Maritime Museum Display


Puerto Rico: Beyond San Juan

By Teresa Bitler


ost people who visit Puerto Rico stick to San Juan, exploring the historic fort overlooking San Juan Bay and sipping pina coladas at the bar that invented them. Even though I had never visited the island before, I decided to leave San Juan behind and, instead, explore southern Puerto Rico to gain a deeper understanding of the island’s history and culture.

Coffee Culture and Art After touching down, I traveled two hours south to Guánica and the Copamarina Beach Resort & Spa, my base for the next three days. Guánica may not sound familiar, but as I learned the next day, the town played an important role in Puerto Rican—and American—history. During the Spanish American War, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers landed here and began their march inland from Guánica. Ponce de Leon also used Guánica Bay to launch a move inland. Although no rock marks where he first touched Puerto Rican soil, his legacy lingers throughout the region, including the city of Ponce. Before making our way to the explorer’s namesake city, we stopped first at Yauco, though. The epicenter of the Puerto Rican coffee industry, Yauco grows tobacco and tropical fruits, too. A nearby sunflower farm attracts tourists and locals alike for photographs among the blooms. However, art—not agriculture—has made Yauco an Instagram favorite. In 2017, local Jonathan “Pito” Hernández spearheaded a movement, Yaucomatic, to paint murals throughout the town. Its success led to the Y2 mural project, which turned one of the area’s toughest neighborhoods into a tourist attraction. I wished I had the whole morning to walk Yauco’s streets, coffee in hand.



Photos: The landing spot for American troops in Guánica Bay; Colorful murals in Yauco; Colorful street art in Yauco; Sun owers; 3-D Street art in Yauco

Short on time, though, we continued to San Germán. There, we toured the Religious Art Museum, San Germán History Museum, and Pharmacy Museum, but I preferred the plaza lined with dedications to local figures. My favorite? Lola Rodríguez de Tió. When her mother threatened to cut off her hair if she didn’t break up with her love, Rodríguez de Tió cut her own hair, handed it to her mother, and married him anyway. She later wrote the Puerto Rican national anthem.

Bioluminescent Bay Experience I’ve wanted to visit a bioluminescent bay since I first learned about the plankton-like microorganisms that illuminate the water, turning it bright turquoise, when agitated. Since there are only five bio bays in the world and three of those are in Puerto Rico, I made a visit to La Parguera in Lajas a priority. Although Laguna Grande is closest to San Juan and Mosquito Bay boasts the highest concentration of the glowing microorganisms, La Paraguera stands out as the only bio bay where you can swim in the bioluminescent water instead of kayaking through it. You’ll also encounter fewer crowds. I picked up a few tips on my trip. First, leave the camera behind. Even my $1,200 DSLR failed me in the low light. Second, wear a light-colored bathing suit. When you get out of the water, run a hand

Photos: Parque de Bombas; Boat on a bioluminescent bay; Kayaking on a bioluminescent bay; The Pharmacy Museum in San Germán

across the cloth, and your bathing suit will glow! Finally, don’t expect much, at least not at La Parguera. The water sparkles with pinpoints of light more than it actually glows.

Sugar, Rum, and History My last day began with a stop at the Indigenous Ceremonial Center. Located in the Tibes Valley near Ponce, this small museum showcases indigenous artifacts found in the area. Out back, a flat trail takes you to ancient ruins and past signs pointing out native plants. Our Isla Caribe guide, Melina Aguilar, grew up in Ponce and went into detail about the sugar and rum industries that made the region rich. While Puerto Rico’s most popular rum, Don Q, is produced in Ponce, unfortunately, it doesn’t open its distillery to the public. Instead, you’ll have to sample it at one of the restaurants lining Ponce Plaza. Here, in the plaza, Aguilar directed us to the most photographed firehouse in the world, Parque de Bombas, and told us about the drunk goat that once served as the station’s mascot. I snapped the obligatory photos and scanned the plaza. This was what I had come to experience: not the fruity drinks or the beaches, which are great, but the people and the culture you can only find when you venture beyond the usual tourist destinations.

Photos:The Religious Art Museum in San Germán; The trail at the Indigenous Ceremonial Center


Recharge Your Spi t & Refresh Your Soul in Westport, Washi ton By Mary Rose Denton





hh, the aroma of that salty sea air hits my nose as we head west out of the metropolis of the city and along Hwy 101 towards the Washington coast. I stick my head out the passenger side window for a moment, like a pooch sniffing the wind. We are on a longweekend. Destination is the cozy, little beach town of Westport. Westport is a fishing town, through and through, with a quieter beach area than some of the larger resort towns near by. The city itself became incorporated in 1914 just as the town expanded with it’s fishing industry and a variety of outdoor activities. Today people still flock to the area during certain seasons of the year to snag that catch of the day including crab, runs of salmon, lingcod, and albicore tuna. Rolling into town, our first priority is the beach! But first, we check in to our beach condo for the weekend at Vacations by the Sea. Anxious to set foot on the sand, we drop our bags and head out the door and back down the three flights of stairs. A path outside the condo building leads us to the surf.

Oh, how sweet it is, too! I take in a deep breathe of the misty and salty air letting my serenity begin. The walkway along the condo also leads onto a segment of the 1.3 mile paved trail of the Westport Light State Park. This paved pathway follows the beach and is a great way to get out, see the sights, and surround yourself with nature, especially if you have any physical limitations. The park consists of a 560-acre area with 1215 feet of shoreline. At one end we find the jetty which is a very popular surfing spot as well as a dozen, or so, surfers. Stopping we watch them ride the waves for awhile. Second only to fishing, Westport has become world reknown for it’s surfing thanks in part to what is known as “King Tides”. These tides are the highest of the year, when earth, moon, and the sun all align strategically to produce a very dramatic show at sea. And to a surfer - these are the most thrilling. Overlooking the park and the harbor is Grays Harbor Lighthouse , the tallest lighthouse in Washington with a height reaching 107-feet. For a small donation you are welcome to climb to the


Wesport Winery Lighthouse

top, up a narrow and spiraling staircase to a spectacular 360-degree view. Reservations are required to tour the tower.

Bites and Brews in Town After hiking the beach we worked up an appetite. A couple of blocks up from our condo we found Blackbeard’s Brewing Company. This pizza and beer hub looked like the perfect solution to satiate our hunger, and we were not wrong. Looking for a great gourmet pizza and ales brewed in-house? Look n o f u r t h e r. I e v e n ordered mine on a gluten-free crust! Our next day took us into town, exploring the shops, the waterfront, and another local lunchtime favorite, Aloha Alabama BBQ. Now, I am not a BBQ fan, at all. And as a vegetarian, I was more than a little skeptical of what I would find on the menu. Aloha Alabama BBQ sits on the main street and as the name suggests, their offerings are a fusion of Southern and Hawaiian flavors, with a little bit of Northwest style. Using both Yakima apple and Hawaiian kiawe wood they smoke their entrees creating a unique BBQ flavor, which is replicated in their sauce and is also available for takeout. We sampled the deep-fried pickles, a new dish to our palette but one we continued to run into all over Westport. It’s a thing, these deep fried pickles. Photos: Group photo of Lighthouse; Sea Charters in Westport; Crab pots on dock; Crabbing gear


The International Mermaid Museum and Wesport Winery Our next adventure was what really brought us out to the coast on this long weekend. The long, anticipated International Mermaid Museum just opened it’s doors and owner Kim Roberts graciously offered to show us around. The museum is located right next door to the Ocean Daughter’s Distillery and Sea Glass restaurant and located inside the Westport Winery Garden Resort grounds. For a high-tide culinary experience the drive out to Wesport Winery is well worth it. Their menu is creative and vast. As a world renowned winery and distillery (earning numerous national awards), they offer both wine and whiskey flights, allowing you to sample several varieties during one meal.It certainly was a challenge to pick just one libation to bring home! The Westport Winery Garden Resort is open, free of charge, to merfolk of all ages. As we meandered the winding, whimsical garden paths situated on 15 acres, we passed by over 80 sculptures and art pieces, all by local Grays Harbor artists. Out front of the museum near the sentinel Mermaid is a game of Petanque set up (a french game much like lawn bowling). I stop and pitch a few balls. Westport may be a cozy, little beach town but it is a beautiful place to recharge your soul. Come ready to slow your pace and stay for awhile.

Photos: Mermaid Welcomes All to Winery; Downtown rush hour in Westport; Fishing vessel in port; Mermaid Statue in front of Mermaid Museum; Sculpture of Lovers Embrace inside Westport Winery Gardens


Sleeping Buffalo

Hot Springs By Joeann Fossland

Sublime tranquility is sometimes found in the middle of nowhere! Along a stretch of Highway 2 from the North Dakota border to Glacier National Park that’s called the Hi-Line, you’ll find the only hot springs in Northeastern Montana, Sleeping Buffalo Hot Springs & Resort. About three hours and a half hours north of Billings, this peaceful Mecca is a hidden delight.

History In the 1920s, a wildcat oil rigger was drilling for oil and instead found a gushing well of hot (108º) water at 3,200 feet flowing with 900 gallons per minute. During the depression, two Montana counties got together and with the help of the New Deal’s WPA, transformed the hot springs into the Legion Health Resort. Over the years, it has had its ups and downs. Ten years ago, it had fallen into disrepair. The present owners, Dennis and Michelle Simpson, bought it in 2014 and have been beautifying and upgrading it since to bring it to its potential of a premium recreational resort.

Accommodations: Something for everyone We reserved one of the five remodeled cabins that spread out across the lawn from the pools. We were delighted to walk into a modern, western-themed cabin with a portable airconditioning unit, a large flat screen TV, a full kitchen, and, best of all, a nice comfy queen-sized bed.


Inside the lodge is an Executive King suite and two Junior suites. They share a full kitchen area and provide convenience and luxury. Renting a cabin or one of the interior suites gives you access to the pools 24 hours a day, not just the regular hours (8AM-8PM). We are early risers and took advantage of this by going across the lawn at about 7:30. We had the place to ourselves, except for the one maintenance person who was readying things for the day. Outside, the camping area has lots of RV-hookups, tent spaces, picnic tables, and a bathhouse. The Internet and phone reception were very good, but why would you want to do that here?

The Sleeping Buffalo Hot Spring’s Pools Obviously, the pools are why we came. Fed by an artesian well, these pools are chemical-free. The water contains many minerals that are said to be healing. Inside a bright, high-ceilinged room with lots of windows, a very large pool (65’x40’) is filled with 90-degree water is conductive to longer swims and family play. In a corner, a small cold plunge is a very chilly 46 degrees. We watched six young boys bravely go in and out of it of the cold plunge, shrieking as they did! I only put my toes in. My heart is working just fine and I didn’t feel the need to shock it.

In a smaller, open room behind those pools is a long, hot pool (28’x10’) at 106º with built-in benches for comfortable soaking. The large sauna is adjacent if you like steam. Surrounding the pools are deck chairs and some tables and chairs and even a fireplace for chilly times. The turnover of fresh water is every 23 minutes for the hot pool and about every 48 hours for the big pool. Towels are provided for lodging guests.

Food If you stay for a few days, bring food. There is no restaurant, though snacks and pizza are available. You can take the snacks and beverages you want and pay at the end through the honor system! Having the kitchen solved the problem of meals for us.

What’s Next? A new well was drilled in 2021, giving Sleeping Buffalo water flow of 4000 gallons per minute. Immediate plans for the future are impacted by the COVID situation. A new outside pool is planned in the next year or so.

Conclusion Sleeping Buffalo’s location makes it a destination in itself! It isn’t on the way or near anywhere (unless you are going to the lake or ice fishing!). Come here to unwind and relax. Take a break from the busyness of life. It is uncrowded and beautifully updated. With few distractions and lots of comfort, Sleeping Buffalo Hot Springs is a perfect place for a family reunion, a corporate retreat, party or wedding.

Photos:, opposite page: SBHS Welcome; SBHS Cabin #2; SBHS Cabins; Road to SB; This page: Wildlife and Morning Glories; SBHS Cold Plunge; SBHS Hot Pool; SBHS big pool; Kick off your boots pillow


Why You’ll Want to Visit Page, Arizona— the Hub to all Lake Powell Activities By Gail Clifford Antelope Canyon “Seahorse” ©Gordon Lane


len Canyon is for pure delight, so spoke explorer John Wesley Powell of this rare section of the Colorado River that did not terrify nor torment his men.” That’s exactly what I found on a trip to Page, Arizona this summer. It’s off the beaten track, four hours from the Phoenix airport, two hours from Flagstaff, but worth the journey. When someone mentioned Lake Powell to me, I thought it was probably somewhere in the


Mountain states. But now, having been there, will always remember it’s on the border of Arizona and Utah. There was so much to do, I was sorry I couldn’t stay longer. That’s very common, says Gordon Lane, tour manager of Page—Lake Powell Hub. He’s known some people that changed a day’s stay to a week and plan to return each season. In the meantime, he provided great information about what to do in a day, a weekend, or a week.

Horseshoe Bend On the way into town, is a great time to stop at Horseshoe Bend. It’s a 270 degree turn in the Colorado River. The hike, on an uneven but paved path, is just over a half mile to the overlook. A breathtaking 1,000foot drop into the canyon lands a beautiful view of the Colorado river. As you drive into Page, you’ll be surprised that the desert turns to water so quickly. Stop at the Page – Lake Powell Hub to get any maps you hadn’t found online prior to your trip.

Glen Canyon Dam Stop at the Carl Hayden Visitor Center, with its circular, glass-enclosed east side that juts over the Canyon. Reserve to take the guided tour through Glen Canyon Dam. Check at the Carl Hayden visitor center for schedule. Walk across the bridge in front of the Dam for an above the scenes view of the Dam and the Colorado River behind it. On the opposite side of the bridge, you’ll see the Colorado River flow where the half day float trips can start, even spotting petroglyphs along the way.

Skylight Arch The biggest surprise to me was how close the Skylight Arch is past the Carl Harden Visitor Center. It’s an easy 10-minute drive and a moderately difficult .25-mile hike to reach Starlight Arch. It’s an inverted arch, so you’ll be standing on top looking down at great views.

Photos: Colorado River ©David Metz; Mid-afternoon hike down to Horseshoe Bend; Page, AZ, Antelope Canyon (Slot Canyon) ©Dave Metz; Skylight Arch ©Gordon Lane; The Glen Canyon Dam; Kayak and Paddle Board, Lake Powell to Lone Rock ©Gordon Lane


Wirepass Canyon “Slot canyons are magical crevasses in rock, split and polished by water and time,” Gordon quotes. Ripples of orange, red and violet blend beautifully into the powder blue slice of sky above these walls. He highly recommends any of the hikes or tours. Take a day trip or a four-day camping excursion.

Antelope Point Marina One of the best places in town for lunch, or for a wedding reception, relax at Lake Powell as the marina’s houseboats and water activities surround you. Blue waters lap at sculpted red sandstone. The fascinating light and color play between water and desert is unparalleled. Millions of visitors, many international, enjoy every imaginable water or hiking activity from this area. Make sure you carry plenty of water.

Rainbow Bridge National Monument "Sheer cosmic poetry" is how one writer describes the world’s largest natural bridge. Accessible by boat or a strenuous trail from Navajo Mountain, the towering bridge is a sacred site to neighboring tribes. Visitors are asked to treat the bridge with the respect they would use in a cathedral. Gordon was gracious enough to share many photos with me of Rainbow Bridge and unusual rock formations including toadstools, cliff dwellers, Wahweap Whodoos and the view from Alstrom Point, a particularly difficult, but most beautiful spot in the area. Lake Powell is, without a doubt, one of the most sublime places on earth. I can’t wait to return.

Photos: Rainbow Bridge - Lake Powell ©Gordon Lane; Toadstool - Lake Powell ©Gordon Lane; Cliff dwellers Lake Powell ©Gordon Lane; View from Alstrom Point Gun Sight Bay & Butte- Navajo Mountain ©Gordon Lane


Variety is the

Spice of Life

Be authentic. Stay independent.


Charming Stillwater— Gem of the St. Croix River Valley By Tonya Hennessey


et on the banks of the St. Croix, a side trip to historic Stillwater will make your next visit to Minnesota's Twin Cities area. This lush river valley makes a soothing backdrop to a few days of fun and relaxation in the state’s birthplace.

In 2020, USA Today readers voted it in the Top 10 Best Small Town Food Scene. The flowerpot-lined downtown streets have been re-energized with new hotels, restaurants, and boutiques. The historic lift bridge has closed to traffic and re-opened as a green biking and pedestrian trail. The 2021 holiday season will feature a new European-style Christmas Market with Stillwater’s 50+ independent small businesses engaging to provide a fun experience for the whole family. You can find an abundance of live music, entertainment, and festivals year-round.

Relax and Enjoy Historic Stillwater The Lora Hotel is an intimate contemporary establishment with 40 rooms and top-notch dining. Meticulously renovated from the 1868 Joseph Wolf Brewery building, it opened in 2018, incorporating original limestone brick walls built right into the bluff. Attention to detail and elegance give it a warm and welcoming vibe. Pet-


friendly, with valet parking, forget your car for a few days of exploring on foot. Call me nerdy but I loved their room keys. Why shouldn’t they be pretty? Choose from a number of hotels, like the Rivertown Inn, a restored lumber mansion, the Water Street Inn right by the river, or the gorgeous Hotel Crosby on Main Street. An Evening Stroll Across the Lift Bridge I had accepted the kind offer of a to-go cup for my cocktail, and the lift bridge trail over the river was the ideal place to continue the sultry summer evening. A small crowd gathered to watch the bridge lift for boats to pass. Walking on, a glorious sunset rewarded me from the hill on the Wisconsin side.

Antiquing and Collectibles Shops Antiquing is one of Stillwater’s enduring allures. I have fond memories of my mother’s excursions to explore the shops back in the 1970s. The impressive Midtown Antique Mall hosts three floors and 65 dealers—the Midwest’s largest. Vintage paper and crafting devotees will find much to swoon over at Rose Mille. And Black Letter Books is a literary lovers’ dream, with thousands of rare, out-of-print, and used tomes.

Stillwater’s Unique Veteran’s Memorial Stillwater’s unique Veterans Memorial pays tribute to the selfless service of local veterans and all U.S. veterans from the Civil War to the Vietnam War. The vertical spire stands in a large park in a neighborhood up on the bluffs above Main Street, and the Farmers Market sets up there every Saturday morning.

Photos:, opposite page: Stillwater Historic Lift Bridge and Riverfront Park; View of the St. Croix River Valley From the Bluffs; Stillwater Veterans Memorial; This page: Midwest Antique Mall Sign; Artisan Shop Downtown; Main Street in Downtown Stillwater


Eating and Drinking in Stillwater – A Quick and Dirty Roundup With a vibrant foodie scene, Main Street is a veritable epicurean celebration. Festooned with a mini umbrella, The Tilted Tiki’s Tilted Hawaiian is a yummy rum concoction. Brick & Bourbon is a blast, offering elevated comfort food and craft cocktails— try the Smoking Gun. Lolo American Kitchen, Lolito, and Stillwater Proper serve up delicious takes of American and Latin American eats and craft cocktails. Domacin Restaurant, Wine Bar & Wine Shop is a tasteful establishment with over 600 wines. At the Crosby Hotel, Matchstick presents a classy menu of locally sourced farm to table dishes and 2,000+ spirits. Or travel back to the Roaring Twenties at the underground Velveteen Rabbit Speakeasy. For a classic Americana experience, stop for an oldfashioned burger and malt at Leo’s Grill & Malt Shop. I caught up with an old friend over a languorous meal at Feller in the Lora Hotel that had us fawning. The menu featuring local game meats and creative iterations intrigued us, and our curiosity was wellrewarded with dishes like an original Hamachi Crudo and a sumptuous Leg of Rabbit. Both were delectable and pure food art. Confidently indulge yourself, knowing you’ll walk it off the next day on the Stillwater Stairs, where the limestone bluffs provide very doable workout and sightseeing routes. Here’s a good one to try.

Put on Your Tourist Hat Fun tourist activities abound! Cruise the St. Croix on a river paddle boat, or engage a gondola ride for a more intimate experience. Stillwater offer fantastic public golf courses, including the 170-acre Logger’s Trail. And don’t miss a trolley ride. There’s even a story time Tour for kids. Stillwater is a small-town gem, loved by locals and well-worth discovering by a wider audience of travelers and adventures. Flyover country? Think again! This happening destination offers something for everyone.


Photos: A Tilted Hawaiian Cocktail at The Tilted Tiki; Rabbit Leg at Feller Restaurant; Lolo American Kitchen's Burrata Small Plate; Smoking Gun Cocktail at Brick & Bourbon; Hamachi Crudo at Feller Restaurant

The International Food Wine Travel Writers Association (IFWTWA) is a nonprofit, volunteer-run organization whose membership is comprised of seasoned, vetted professionals from around the globe—Australia, Brazil, Canada, Greece, India, Italy, Mexico, New Zealand, Portugal, South Africa, Thailand, The United Kingdom, and the United States of America. Our members promote food, wine, and travel through a variety of platforms that include print and digital publications, broadcasting, and social media. IFWTWA publishes Food, Wine, Travel Magazine both on its website and digitally; participates in broadcasts on Big Blend Radio , and sponsors a series of professional development webinars.

Get more information about the benefits, guidelines and application process at


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By Jo-Anne Bowe


ocated on the tiny island of Malta,halfway between Africa and Italy, Meridiana Wine Estate has as its mission “to produce worldclass wines of Maltese character.” To achieve this mission, the estate had major challenges to overcome. The first challenge was to reclaim a WW11 airfield. Malta suffered extensive damage during WW 11. Because of its strategic location and as the site of the Allied Headquarters, Malta was targeted with over 15,000 tons of bombs, more than in England. The 47-acre site was purchased in 1989. Reclaiming the airfield was the first priority. Safely removed were two WW 11 bombs. Now the challenges of the soil and growing conditions. Malta has a temperate Mediterranean climate. The vineyard was planted to maximize the cool winds blowing from the north so that winds blow through the rows”. Several years of experimentation with several varieties of rootstocks and grapes led to the first planting in 1994 and 1995. All 91,000 vines are individually drip-irrigated.

Bank financing was also an obstacle to a wine estate off the beaten track. Not until Malta joined the European Union was financing available. Meridiana Wine Estate has succeeded after all the obstacles and indeed become internationally recognized. The first harvest was in 1995. They now produce ten labels: four whites and five reds with a yearly production of about 140,000 bottles. The Estate uses only grapes grown exclusively in Malta. Most bottles are sold domestically and some sell out even before release. Meridiana Wine Estate ships to niche markets and private clients around the world. If you are interested, there are a limited number of bottles available online For information on tours and tastings, contact the winery. The tour includes visits to the fermentation hall and underground cellars. Enjoy tasting the fine wines while relaxing overlooking the vineyard. The featured wines in our flight were Fenici White, Fenici Rose, Melqart Cabernet Sauvignon, and Nexus Merlot. I recommend ordering the Maltese Platter to compliment your wine. The platter features local meats, vegetables, cheeses, breads, and olives





Visit M idiana Wine Estate, Malta

and must be ordered in advance. Check this link for information on tastings and tours. Not only has Meridian Wine Estate gained international acclaim, but the estate has also set the standards for quality Maltese Wines. To enjoy Meridiana wines, plan a visit to the island of Malta. The estate is located in TaQali, at the base of the historic walled city of Mdina in Malta’s agricultural area. It is easy to reach by taxi from anywhere on the small island. To reach Malta, major airlines fly into Malta from Europe. I flew in from London and back through Naples. I recommend you stay in Valletta, a world heritage city filled with history and culture. Get off the beaten track and enjoy exploring Meridiana Wine Estate in Malta. I am confident you will be glad that you did so.

Photos, opposite page: September Vineyards Meridiana Winery ©Mary Charlebois; This page: Olive Tree - Meridiana Winery ©Mary Charlebois; Meridiana Winery ©Mary Charlebois; Food & Wine Tasting Meridiana Winery ©Mary Charlebois; Labels Meridiana Winery ©Mary Charlebois


By Cori Solomon


eading east from Portland, one travels along the lush green treelined landscape of the Columbia Gorge. The beauty that engulfs is filled with waterfalls and Mount Hood looming in the background. This journey takes you to the Hood River, a city that abounds with days of yore. Nestled along the Columbia River in the heart of the Columbia Gorge, Hood River lies at the confluence of the Hood River and the Columbia River. Although Hood River is an hour from Portland, you know you are off the beaten path when you set foot in the town. The atmosphere is completely different from downtown Portland, its suburbs, and the towns just south. You find yourself in a laid-back environment filled with old-town charm. Beyond the town, you will find the Hood River Valley, known for its apple, pear, and cherry orchards. It is also home to one of Oregon's smallest AVAs, making the appellation one of the lesser-known areas to grow grapes. The Columbia Gorge AVA received its designation in 2004. Located in the rain shadow of the Cascades, the weather is drier than Portland or the Willamette Valley. The area has about forty

vineyards, which grows a variety of grapes, including Syrah, Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Gewürztraminer, Zinfandel, Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Gris, Riesling, and Sangiovese.

History of Hood River Originally named Dog River, Mary Coe, a pioneer resident of the valley, opposed the name Dog River and was instrumental in changing the name to Hood River. Maps show that the name Hood River appeared on maps by 1856. Mary and her husband Nathaniel were the original owners of a 319-acre land grant. They were the first to plant fruit trees in the Hood River Valley. Apple orchards flourished in the area from 1890 to 1920. In 1919, an intense freeze hit the area damaging many of the orchards. The apple trees were replaced with pear trees, and today Hood River County is the leader in producing Anjou pears. Visiting Hood River|Hood River is a walking town, so getting into its groove, you need to stroll its streets, take a glimpse at its art galleries, enjoy its local dining, and pop into a tasting room on Oak






Photos, this page: The Pines 1852 Wines; Mt Hood Wines; Opposite: Analemma Wines; Broder Ost Breakfast; Hood River Artwork; Hood River © Visit Hood River


Following The Path To H d Riv d the Col bia G ge AVA

St. Getting to many of the area's wineries requires taking your car.

farmers market is outdoors at 5th and Columbia. During the winter, the market changes locations and frequency.

A Vineyard Dinner Chef Mark Deresta of Riverside at the Hood River Inn created a dinner at Analemma Wines. This dining experience was a special treat, unique and off the beaten path. It was a memorable moment for any visit; testing the waters for future dinners with this private dining experience was the ideal ending to my ten-day visit to Oregon and Washington.


Ost When visiting Hood River, one must have breakfast at Broder Ost. With a Scandinavian flair, eggs will never taste better. From egg skillets to Danish Pancakes, start your day in style. I promise you will not leave hungry. All ingredients are sourced locally.

Hood River Art Scene

I first discovered Analemma Wines during a zoom tasting showcasing wine regions of Oregon. Located in Mosier Hills, the winery utilizes biodynamic practices to produce wines that reflect a sense of place.

There are lots of art galleries and studios in Hood River. One, in particular, is the Columbia Center for the Arts. Not only does the gallery feature local artists, but it is also home to one of the local theaters for the performing

At that time, I was so impressed with the 2018 Analema Mosier Hills Grenache. I discovered a very vibrant Grenache displaying lively aromas of cinnamon and lavender and flavors of strawberry and cherry accented with licorice, fennel, and cinnamon. The grapes see 35% whole cluster fermentation followed by aging in concrete eggs and 600L neutral oak for 15 months. The farm-to-table dinner paired with Analemma wines was superb. favorites were the scallops.

Farmer's Market You get to know an area by visiting the local farmers market. What are the locals shopping for, and what types of purveyors attend these markets? Hood River is not different. It is the place to discover gorge-grown products. From May to the third week in November, the

at Broder



The Pines 1852 Lonnie Wright is one of the area's pioneers and, for that matter, the Columbia River Valley. He settled in the area in 1972 and established his vineyard m a n a g e m e n t c o m p a n y, Columbia Country Vineyard, in 1983. Lonnie has since supervised the management of 650 acres in the area in addition to his vineyard. After growing grapes at his Pines Winery and Vineyard, Lonnie decided in 2000 to make wine with his vineyard grapes. The name Pines 1852 is dedicated to the year when the property he owns in the Dalles was carved out of t h e O r e g o n Te r r i t o r y . Between 1890 and 1900, Zinfandel was planted by an Italian stonemason, Louis Comini, who created h e a d s t o n e s f o r R e v. Toussaint Mesplie. It was


Photos: Wy'East Vineyards; Analemma Wine Dinner Coconut Panna Corra with Petit Manseng © Kris Fade Analemma Wines; Analemma Wine Dinner Pan Seared Scallops; Farmer Board at Wy'East

Toussaints brother Theodore and staked a claim to the land in 1852. When Lonnie purchased the property, it was an old dairy farm surrounded by Ponderosa. It remained a dairy from 1926 to 1941 Today besides the old vine Zinfandel, Lonnie cultivates Syrah, Merlot, and another block of Zinfandel. Lonnie's flagship wine is his Old Vine Zinfandel. All his wines are available at his tasting room on Oak Street in Hood River. My favorite wines were the Brut Rosé of Pinot Noir (created in the methode champenoise) which delivers flavors of strawberry. The Old Vine Zinfandel exhibits a nice balance with smooth velvety textures. Heritage Zine is a vibrant Zin.

Wy'East Vineyards Wy'East in Native American means Mt. Hood, whose presence is very apparent, making the name is apropos. In 1992 Dick and Christie Reed decided they needed a change of pass from the hectic lifestyle of Chicago as floor traders in the stock market became the impetus for them to move to Hood River. They moved to the area because they loved wine, skiing, and windsurfing, and all three are popular in Hood River. A year after they moved in, they purchased Blue Chip Farm and Vineyard. They named it Blue Chip after their first horse. The old fruit stand became


the tasting room, and the old barn and stable became the winery. The property is filled with pear orchards. In the mid-1990s, they purchased the Wy-East Vineyard. This vineyard planted in the 1980s is one of the highest elevation vineyards in Oregon. Today between the two vineyards, the Reeds cultivate Chardonnay, Pinot Gris, and Pinot Noir. They source fruit from the Columbia Valley for their Cabernet Sauvignon, Zinfandel, and Carmenere. Wy'East's flagship wine is the Pinot Noir. My favorites were the Pinot Gris and the Carmenere. While visiting Wy'East, make sure to try a Farmer Board from Wheels with your tasting. The board is an art piece and showcases local artisan cheeses and meats.

Mt Hood Winery The Bickford Family is another old-time family in the area. They began as grocers in 1909, and now in their 6th generation, they produce wine and are one of the larger pear growers in the area. They planted grapes in 2000, and their first vintage was 2003. For some, it may be off the beaten path; for others, it represents one of Oregon's smaller AVAs that promotes diversity in varietals. It is an excellent place for wine lovers to discover another side of Oregon wine as the area continues to define itself as a world-class producer of fine wine

Meet our writers… Kathryn Anderson is a freelance health, wellness, and travel writer and blogger whose mission is to inspire people to live their best life through adventure, travel, and self-care. Based in Vancouver, she enjoys exploring both locally and abroad. Follow her adventures on her blog and Instagram. Teresa Bitler is a freelance travel writer and author of multiple guidebooks, including Fodor’s InFocus Grand Canyon National Park. She has harvested grapes in Sonoma, flown in a World War II trainer, and sailed the Maine Coast aboard a windjammer. Follow her adventures on Instagram @teresa.bitler. Debbra Dunning Brouillette, an award-winning travel writer and photographer, is an associate editor of Food, Wine, Travel Magazine. Florida vacations from her Indiana home opened her world to sun, sand, and turquoise water. She especially enjoys exploring tropical destinations and natural wonders, and savors the food and wine wherever she goes. Visit her website at Tropical Travel Girl. Jo Clark is a retired teacher. She is road tripping, photographing, and writing about beautiful places, great food, and wineries and their delicious wines; her articles and photographs may be seen at Have Glass Will Travel and on Instagram she's known as JoGoesEverywhere (she sure tries!) Jeanine Consoli is a freelance travel writer, photographer, and foodie from Washington Crossing, Pennsylvania. A retired teacher turned writer, she loves discovering the history, culture, and flavors of each place. A passionate traveler she’s excited to add to her list, finding places off the beaten path at home and abroad.

Patagonia, Chile, and more recently to St. John USVI. He has 40+ years of experience in international publications. Dr. Diane Dobry, an online educator and freelance writer/blogger with a special interest in Hungary, once imported Hungarian wines to the US. She covers Hungary, Florida, and New York, while teaching and writing books. She is at and on Facebook and Twitter @gettinghungary. On Insta @getting_hungary. Originally from Minneapolis, MN, Tonya Hennessey is a travel, food, and freelance writer currently residing in the San Francisco Bay Area, She took off for a post-college few years of travel that awakened her awe of the world’s varied cultures, landscapes, and, of course, foods! She’s never stopped. Erin Jones is a freelance Travel Writer based in the midwestern United States. England is her favorite place to be, but she is always up for an adventure in new cities. Catch Erin’s adventures on her blog, w w w. a d v e n t u r e s o f e r i n . c o m , a n d I n s t a g r a m @adventuresoferin82 Noreen Kompanik is a San Diego-based travel journalist with over 650 published articles; an assistant editor of Food, Wine, Travel Magazine and editor of Travel By Vacation Rental Magazine. She’s a regular contributor to Travel Pulse, Edible San Diego Magazine, San Diego Explorer, and Go Nomad. Noreen, along with partner Kristi Dosh have launched Travel Writers University, a program for aspiring travel writers. Home - Travel Writers University

Elaine Masters is an award-winning travel writer, b l o g g e r, v i d e o g r a p h e r, a n d f o u n d e r o f She covers mindful travel, food, overlooked destinations and is always planning the next trip. Her happy place is blowing bubbles in warm

Jim DeLillo is a travel writer and adventure photographer specializing in transporting imagery and descriptive narrative. He lives in Cedarburg, WI with his wife, Judy. His travels have included a climb of Mt. Kilimanjaro, a trek of the W-Circuit in

Sharon Kurtz is a freelance writer who shares her love of travel and food by exploring unique customs, cultures, and flavors at home and around the globe. While Dallas, Texas is home with her husband and three spoiled dogs, her carry on is always packed ready for the next adventure. Catch up with her on and shar_kurtz

Julie Diebolt Price is a professional photographer, educator, travel writer, and journalist. She educates and mentors aspiring photographers and business owners. As a journalist who loves to travel, she creates memorable experiences and shares them with words and pictures. Catch up with her at


waters with her dive-buddy and fishmonger sweetheart. Kathleen Messmer is a photographer, filmmaker, journalist, and wildlife advocate. She believes the world is an amazing place and presents her experiences with humor and appreciation for other world cultures. Read her adventures in a number of publications including her own travel journal at and Lisa Morales is a Massachusetts native and Cape Cod resident. She is an award-winning photographer who travels throughout the Americas and Europe learning about and enjoying the wines and cultures of each region. Janie H Pace is a travel writer/photographer from Fort Worth, Texas. Her culinary, wine and travel photo adventures have led her across Peru from Cusco to Machu Picchu, up the Icefields Parkway from Lake Louise to Jasper, and visiting all four islands of Hawaii. Janie posts her adventures at Amy Piper is a Lansing, Michigan-based freelance travel writer and photographer. Bombsniffing dogs chased her in the middle of the night in Bogota, gate agents refused her boarding to Paraguay (wrong visa), and Federal Marshalls announced her seat number on a plane looking for a murder suspect (traded seats.) It’s always an adventure! You can follow her adventures at and @100ThingsLansing.


Barbara Redding is a freelance travel writer in Austin, Texas, who has written about a Hindu wedding in Kolkata and snorkeling in Cuba’s Bay of Pigs. Always in pursuit of adventure, she also fosters homeless dogs that require more resilience than dealing with TSA agents. Find her on Elizabeth Smith is a contributing food and wine journalist to Napa Valley Life Magazine and the Napa Valley Register, communications and social media specialist, and a member of Les Dames d’Escoffier International Sacramento. She enjoys tasting her way through Napa Valley, fitness, and pet sitting. Connect with her at Cori Solomon, an award-winning writer/ photographer in Los Angeles, can often be found traveling with her dogs in tow. Her blog, The Written Palette, focuses on travel, art, food, wine, and pets. Cori's background is real estate. Also, being an animal artist, her articles utilize the art palette both visually and verbally. Wendy VanHatten writes about travel, food, and wine. Her travel blog, https://, and her food and wine blog, Wendy is a food, wine, and travel editor for WE Magazine and Women of Wisdom magazine and a published author.

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