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10 great wine getaways

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  • Hotel Mar Monte offers a tour featuring Santa Barbara County appellations
  • Learn winemaking and tasting techniques at Wine Camp in Long Island, N.Y.
  • Estero Beach Hotel Resort arranges tours of wineries in Mexico's Guadalupe Valley
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Coastal Living

(Coastal Living) -- From Mexico's Guadalupe Valley to Blue Hill, Maine, these 10 waterfront getaways offer a toast to the good life.

Chateau Grand Traverse vineyard on Lake Michigan

Chateau Grand Traverse vineyard on Lake Michigan

Southern Dawn II, British Columbia

On five-day cruises aboard this 60-foot charter, guests in four luxury cabins sail among sheltered islands sipping local wines, enjoying fine dining, and visiting vineyards along Canada's B.C. coast. Stops include tastings at Salt Spring Islands Vineyards; lunch at Saturna Island Vineyards; and a visit to Cherry Point Vineyards for Vancouver Island's renowned Cowichan Valley vintages. In between, vacationers can kayak pristine waters and hike maritime forests. Peak season for the customized trips is April into October; 877/479-4695.

Waves and Wine, Santa Barbara, California

With its Pacific Ocean location, Santa Ynez Mountain backdrop, and proximity to wine country, Hotel Mar Monte offers a primo package. Waves and Wine includes two nights' lodging, a picnic lunch, and five-hour town-car tour to three wineries in Santa Barbara County appellations; 800/643-1994 or hotelmarmonte.com.

Wine Camp, Long Island, New York

For roll-up-your-sleeves fun, participants toil in the vineyards of Long Island's renowned wine-producing North Fork. Wine Camp's four-day packages also include lodging at spiffy local inns such as Stirling House Bed & Breakfast, which overlooks Greenport's harbor. "Campers" learn winemaking and tasting techniques, pair foods with wine, blend wines with a pro, and take home a case of you-know-what. Sessions are offered in spring and summer months, and during October harvest; 631/495-9744 or winecamp.org. Stirling House; 800/551-0654 or stirlinghousebandb.com. CoastalLiving.com: Wine tasting 101

Don't Miss

The Inn at Chateau Grand Traverse, Traverse City, Michigan

In the nation's fourth-largest grape-growing state, Chateau Grand Traverse winery welcomes travelers to a property overlooking a vineyard and Grand Traverse Bay. The six-bedroom lodging is handy for sampling Grand Traverse's many award-winning varietals, including a diverse family of Rieslings. The inn also anchors a visit to other wineries on Lake Michigan's Old Mission Peninsula appellation: It's a short drive to Chateau Chantal, Bowers Harbor Vineyards, Brys Estate Vineyard & Winery and Peninsula Cellars for tastings of myriad varietals; 800/283-0247, wineriesofoldmission.com.

Ingleside Vineyards, Oak Grove, Virginia

Near the Chesapeake Bay, on Virginia's historic Northern Neck, Ingleside Vineyards welcomes wine vacationers to two rental cottages. Four-bedroom Leeds Cove overlooks the Rappahannock River; two-bedroom Vineyard Views enjoys, well, views of the vineyard. Guests may stroll to Ingleside Winery for guided tours and tastings, offered daily; 804/224-8687 or inglesidevineyards.com.

Hotel Vintage Park, Seattle, Washington

Hotel Vintage Park, a Kimpton property near Elliott Bay, entices travelers with a variety of wine vacation packages that celebrate Washington's Puget Sound AVA (the only official appellation west of the Cascades). The Grape Escape Weekend Getaway includes a wine tasting at Pike Place Market's tasting room, and an evening wine hour hosted in the hotel's lobby. Guests also receive a wine journal and bottle opener to commemorate their trip; 206/624-8000 or hotelvintagepark.com.

Cottage Inn by the Sea, Pismo Beach, Central California

Halfway between San Francisco and Los Angeles, San Luis Obispo County produces such excellent Chardonnays and Pinot Noirs that some call it an "Eden" for these varietals. To share this wine-lover's paradise, the bluff-top Cottage Inn by the Sea provides a chauffeured Coastal Wine Tour. A designated driver takes guests to four to six of the region's wineries, including popular Edna Valley Vineyard. The winery day trip, lunch, and two nights in an ocean-view room make a great escape; 888/440-8400 or cottage-inn.com.

The Blue Hill Inn, Blue Hill, Maine

The Blue Hill Inn offers three- and four-night packages for Downeast Maine's second annual Foliage, Food, & Wine Festival October 11-14. As part of the celebration, Blue Hill Inn owner Sarah Pebworth hosts a tasting from her B&B's Wine Spectator-lauded cellar. Nearby activities include a wine dinner and a sparkling-wine luncheon at two Blue Hill restaurants; a hard-cider tasting; and, in the town park, "A Taste of the Peninsula" presented by area chefs; 800/826-7415 or bluehillinn.com. Blue Hill Peninsula Chamber of Commerce; 207/374-3242 or bluehillpeninsula.org.

GullWing Beach Resort, Fort Myers Beach, Florida

The Women Who Wine package is GullWing Beach Resort's response to a growing trend. When gal pals check in for a two-night stay in the resort's luxury accommodations, they're treated to a welcome basket that includes six wine selections. They also receive The Winerd, a wine-tasting game that pairs trivia questions with a spin on blind tasting; 239/765-4300 or gullwingfl.com.

Estero Beach Hotel Resort, San Ysidro, Baja California

A surprise to many travelers, Mexico's Guadalupe Valley has been producing wines since the 16th century. It's now home to nearly two dozen wineries that win converts to local reds and whites. For this south-of-the-border experience, settle into the four-star Estero Beach Hotel Resort, just north of the valley. The beachfront hotel offers full- and half-day wine-tasting tours of three valley wineries. Other guided activities include a bike tour to one winery and a horseback-riding venture to the winery of Adobe Guadalupe; 011/52/646/176-6225 or hotelesterobeach.com.

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Copyright © Coastal Living, 2009

Produced by Allen B. Bunting and Susan Haynes

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