Exploring a new city this summer? We have the perfect accompaniment: wine. Check out six wine regions within driving distance of six great cities. Tip: Steal away during the week when city dwellers are back in the office and you can sip vino without the crowds.
The bucolic region of New York State is teeming with storybook towns and some of the country's oldest vineyards (winemaking here dates back to 1677). The area has a few wine trails to choose from including the Shawangunk, which sits between the Hudson River and the Shawangunk Mountains. Explore the trails on your own or hop on The Little Wine Bus (it leaves from Midtown Manhattan) and let them do the navigation for you. Use Travelzoo Local Deals in the Hudson Valley this summer to watch polo matches, horseback ride, bike and hear live jazz with a wine glass in hand -- with savings up to 55 percent.
With 32 varietals over 13,600 acres, the Niagara Peninsula is a diverse wine region with some impressive scenery: It's surrounded by rivers and lakes, and is a short drive from the famous Falls. The area is best known for its ice wine, a sweet wine made from grapes still frozen on the vine. The production process is arduous, making ice wine rare and expensive. But you can try it for yourself during the Niagara Ice Wine Festival in January, when wineries open their doors and the towns are teeming with street festivals and ice bars. Our Local Deals in Niagara include family activities plus the chance to sample the wine making the region famous.
City to visit: Washington, D.C.
Wine region: Loudoun County (drive time is 30 minutes)
Known as "D.C.'s Wine Country," Loudon County in Virginia is filled with rolling hills, farms and more than 40 wineries. Some are found in historic small towns with no more than 100 residents, while others are perched on the Blue Ridge Mountains with beautiful countryside views. Common varietals here include Norton, a dark grape that's a native of Virginia. Sample Norton and others on one of the six main wine trails that run through the area.
City to visit: Austin
Nearby wine region: Texas Hill Country (drive time is 40 minutes)
Texas is the fifth largest wine producer in the country and probably one of the few where the tasting rooms are filled with cowboy hats. The highest concentration of wine can found on Fredericksburg Wine Road 290, a rugged highway with 13 wineries. Those who want to leave their pickup trucks behind should try the Hill Country Bike and Wine tour. It sets tasters up with bikes, a picnic lunch and appointments at the local wineries.
City to visit: Seattle
Wine region: Yakima, Wash. (drive time is 2 hours)
Located in the rural countryside, these Pacific Northwest wineries are some of the oldest and largest in the state. The tasting rooms aren't quite as rural; they're centrally located in the towns of Prosser, Richland and Red Mountain. Visit a few of them along the Rattlesnake Hills Wine Trail. It's conveniently lined with more than a dozen wineries and, despite the name, is rattlesnake-free. Hyatt Vineyards is one of the most popular spots along the trail, thanks to its panoramic views of the Cascade Range.
City to visit: San Diego
Nearby wine region: Temecula (drive time is 1 hour)
Combine the rural landscape of Napa with the laid-back attitude of San Diego, and you'll get Temecula, an up-and-coming wine region 3,500 acres large. The area's unique microclimate (warm midday sun and cool ocean breezes) produces excellent chardonnays, merlots and sauvignon blancs. This ideal California weather can also be thanked for keeping the area's tasting rooms open year-round. With our Local Deals, sample the goods with savings up to 70% at several wineries. And find even more deals on our Featured Destination: California's Wine Regions page.
-- Ashley Hamilton is a deal expert based in Chicago. Travelzoo has over 250 deal experts from around the world who rigorously research, evaluate and test thousands of deals to find those with true value.