Read my most recent piece for USA TODAY TRAVEL about San Luis Obispo, CA’s “City-to-Sea” coastal wine trail (excerpt below) at http://experience.usatoday.com/food-and-wine/story/tours-and-trails/wine-tours-and-trails/2015/07/14/san-luis-obispo-city-coast-wine/30130875/.
The tiny college town of San Luis Obispo on California’s coast made headlines in 2011 when it was named one of the four “Happiest Places” in the world by author Dan Buettner, and the “Happiest Place in America” by Oprah. These designations focused on such positive characteristics as the city’s ban of drive-through restaurants and public smoking, its pedestrian and bicycle-friendly roads, its year-round gorgeous weather, and easy access to sprawling coastline and the ancient volcanic chain of “Seven Sisters” peaks.
Astonishingly, the prevalence of fine, local wine — primarily Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, as well as a growing trend of coastal aromatic white varietals — was somehow not a deciding factor.
Nevertheless, the award-winning vintages coming out of San Luis Obispo’s little-known and underappreciated Edna Valley, Arroyo Grande Valley and Avila Beach coastal wine growing areas (on average, just five miles from the waves) are sure to inspire smiles, especially during summer vacations to the USA’s happiest town.
Follow this city-to-sea trail to discover some of the region’s most sublimely refreshing white wines while enjoying the sea breezes and sunshine of California’s coolest wine growing region (literally — it has an average daily maximum temperature of 70 degrees). … (Keep Reading at http://experience.usatoday.com/food-and-wine/story/tours-and-trails/wine-tours-and-trails/2015/07/14/san-luis-obispo-city-coast-wine/30130875/).
My latest travel piece for USA TODAY about Whidbey Island’s famous mussels came out last week, just in time for Penn Cove Mussel Festival.
“Whidbey Island, the largest island in Washington state located just an hour from Seattle by car or ferry, is famous for many reasons. Last year, 10Best.com readers voted this the No. 3 island destination in the country, due in part to its whopping six state parks, easy accessibility and incredible, 360-degree coastal views of surrounding geographic wonders like Puget Sound, Mt. Baker, and the Olympic and Cascade mountain ranges. It is home to spectacular Deception Pass State Park, idyllic Ebey’s Landing National Historical Reserve and historic sites like Fort Casey. But there is only one thing that truly puts Whidbey Island on the world stage: its mussels.” Read More
My latest article for USA TODAY’s Travel site, Experience Food & Wine, is out! Yeehaw! Read about the Wines of the Wild West, excerpted below:
“The same high-elevation southwest terrain that once provided the backdrop for the fierce Apache warrior chiefs Cochise and Geronimo, and for the often bloody dramas of rough and tumble cowboys and outlaws, now has a new protagonist. Amid the cooler temperatures, summer monsoon rains, and plentiful sunshine of the Sonoita and Willcox wine trails, the wine grape is steadily carving out its survival story, and winning national acclaim.”
My first article for USA TODAY’s online travel site came out last week, highlighting my recent exploration of the craft hard cider scene in the Pacific Northwest. Washington Cider Week is happening this week, but these cideries are worth checking out any time of year. Read the full article (also included below), and see the gallery of images at USA TODAY.