Walla Walla, WA

Try a Cab town on the culinary cutting edge

Eastern Washington’s fun-to-say hamlet may sit in the thick of Cab (and Syrah) country, but an influx of top chef talent from Portland, San Francisco, and neighboring Seattle means there’s also a ripe food scene. When you’re not sampling a pour from one of nearly 20 tasting rooms downtown, exploring area vineyards, or foraging for treasures like the famed Walla Walla sweet onion at the Farmers Market, there’s even more to imbibe and ingest around town. Feast on locally sourced (and regionally renowned) fare at the historic Whitehouse-Crawford Restaurant before topping it all off with sweets from Bright’s Candies, a small-town staple since 1934.

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Temecula, CA

Sample mellow SoCal’s blooming wine country

Over 30 wineries pepper this relaxed Southern California valley’s landscape. With a climate akin to the Mediterranean’s, the abundance and diversity of great grapes should be no surprise—there are more than 50 different varietals harvested here! And with close proximity to San Diego and Palm Springs, this burgeoning destination makes for a visitor-friendly foodie experience all year long. Visit the casual Old Town District or go the five-star route at countless award-winning stops like South Coast Winery’s Vineyard Rose Restaurant. The area is also fertile when it comes to annual tasting festivals like January’s Barrel Tasting Festival, September’s Wine Crush, and SIP Temecula, to name a few.

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Texas Hill Country

Get a taste of the Lone Star State

All manner of wildflowers dot the Texas Hill Country’s scenic byways, attracting horticulturists every spring, but it’s also a prime destination for in-the-know oenophiles. Along US Highway 290 and on hidden back roads, there are more celebrated vineyards from Blanco and Johnson City to New Braunfels than you can possibly experience on one trip. Start by sampling a seasonal varietal at the family-run Wimberly Valley Winery 30 minutes outside of Austin and feasting inside an actual treehouse at Utopia’s Laurel Tree restaurant. Just don’t leave without seeking out the area’s heavy German and Czech culinary influences—from bratwurst, schnitzel, and strudel to kolaches (a regional delicacy) filled with wurst.

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Willamette Valley, OR

Indulge in Western Oregon’s endless wine-related riches

Portland’s raging food scene is well documented. So if you’re already planning a trip round about Western Oregon, a region known for cultivating Pinot noirs rivaling those produced in France, make plenty of time for a stopover in lush Willamette Valley. There are over 700 vineyards and 500 wineries, multiple tasting and touring companies, and scores of events to choose from, so you have every excuse to overindulge while plotting a return trip. Sample countless musical varieties along with the fruits of the vines at an area concert and dig in to fine cuisine at the likes of Newburg’s James Beard Award nominee, the Painted Lady.

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Stowe, VT

Harvest your love of juicy fruits in Stowe

Fall is deliciously fruity in this slice of Vermont. The state’s rolling hills are overflowing with produce from the region’s classic apple orchards, farm stands, and farmers markets where visitors are able to meet producers and pick their own goodies. Shoreham’s family-operated and ecologically managed Champlain Orchards has bloomed for over a century with over 100 varieties of apples, in addition to bountiful peaches, pears, plums, berries, and nectarines. Fall’s harvest is heaven for cider aficionados who’ll find this particular red fruit at the peak of its taste. They’re also just in time for Stowe’s sudsy Oktoberfest! How ’bout them apples?

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St. Louis, MO

Meet your fellow foodies in St. Louis

Looking for a more urban culinary adventure this fall? St. Louis is brimming with a veritable cornucopia of gourmet-level inventive takes on locally sourced fare far beyond the area’s well-known standbys like barbecue. Indulge in the region’s plentiful German-inspired standards—like a whopper of an Oktoberfest celebration—boosted by an inspired craft beer scene. And if you’re looking to venture outside of town for libations, make the trip to the impressive Mount Pleasant Estates, the first government-appointed wine-growing district in the US, for a sip of the hillside bounty just one hour from St. Louis.

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