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Published: Wednesday, October 12, 2016 @ 10:38 AM
Updated: Wednesday, October 12, 2016 @ 9:05 PM
Florida has more than 100 craft breweries. Here are 20 to get you started.
Located in an industrial art park, Proof Brewing Company is helping put Florida’s Capital City on the map for craft beer with brews like Eightfive-O American Pale Ale and Mango Wit, which is made with organic mangos.
Try: Mango Wit
Using flavors like sweet potato casserole and blueberry cobbler, Funky Buddha brings bold flavors to South Florida’s emerging craft beer scene.
Try: Floridian Hefeweizen
Apalachicola is known for its oysters, but Oyster City Brewing Company is making a name for itself with its beers, which are popping up on menus at bars and restaurants around North Florida. Oyster City also uses local ingredients, like tupelo honey, in many of its brews.
Try: Hooter Brown Tupelo Honey Ale
Made famous by its 30A Beach Blonde Ale, Grayton Beer Company bottles that laid-back, South Walton state of mind with each beer it makes.
Try: 1890 Founder’s Ale
Also Visit: Idyll Hounds Brewing Company
This veteran-owned brewery in Jacksonville started as a passion project for Ron Gamble, a former Naval Flight Officer. Now, Veterans United beers like Raging Blonde Ale and HopBanshee IPA can be found throughout Northeast Florida.
Try: HopBanshee India Pale Ale
Also Visit: Intuition Ale Works
Jacksonville Beach was something of a craft beer wasteland before Engine 15 pulled up in its 1970 Ford firetruck. The brewery quickly grew and is now operating a location near downtown Jacksonville.
Try: Nut Sack Double Brown Ale
Also Visit: Green Room Brewing Company
Orlando Brewing in Downtown Orlando has made a name for itself by using organic ingredients in its products and was certified as an organic brewery by the USDA in 2006. You’ll find several OBC beers at the restaurants and bars at Walt Disney World Resort.
Try: I-4 IPA
Also Visit: Ten10 Brewing Company
Try: Orange Blossom Pilsner
Also Visit: Lakeland Brewing Company
Located at the Keel and Curley Winery in Plant City, Two Henrys Brewing Company makes everything from the classics like its 7 Mile Bridge IPA to the adventurous Roasted Jalapeno Blueberry Porter, brewed with blueberries harvested on site.
Try: Roasted Jalapeno Blueberry Porter
First opened in Odessa, Florida, Big Storm Brewing Co. is one of the fastest growing breweries in the Sunshine State, making waves with its Arcus IPA and Wavemaker Amber Ale. You can check out their taprooms in Pasco and Pinellas.
Try: Wavemaker Amber Ale
Also Visit: Pair O' Dice Brewing Company
A brewery that touts itself as being ‘Inherently Floridian,’ Swamp Head Brewery takes pride in its beer and also its sustainable brewing practices. Many of the spent grains used in the brewing process end up nearby at the University of Florida for cattle feed.
Try: Stump Knocker Pale Ale
Also Visit: First Magnitude Brewing Company
If you know one Florida craft brewer, it’s probably Cigar City Brewing and its wildly popular brews like Jai Alai IPA and Florida Cracker Belgian-style White Ale. Visit the taproom in Tampa and you might just see someone hand-rolling cigars in the corner.
Try: Jai Alai India Pale Ale
Also Visit: Ulele Spring Brewery in Tampa
Located just south of Ybor City’s 7th street, Coppertail Brewing Co. is doing craft beer in a big way. Aside from its impressive core beer lineup, which includes a Belgian-style American Trippel, Coppertail also has an extensive sour beer program that you can sample at the taproom.
Try: Unholy American Trippel
Also Visit: Tampa Bay Brewing Company in Ybor City
For fans of traditional Belgian style ales, St. Somewhere is a true gem. This Tarpon Springs brewery specializes in century-old unfiltered farmhouse style ales produced in small batches.
Try: Saison Athene
Also Visit: Silverking Brewing Company
Noted as Florida’s oldest microbrewery, Dunedin Brewery offers a line of great drinkable beers, like its Apricot Peach Ale and Red Ale. If you visit the brewery, be sure to order the fried cheese curds.
Try: Apricot Peach Ale
From the million-plus dollar bills hanging from the ceilings to its massive food portions, McGuire’s is a great place for a meal and a great beer. While you’ll only find its beer on-site, you can pick up a six-pack of McGuire’s Irish Red Ale in the gift shop.
Try: McGuire’s Irish Red Ale
Also Visit: Pensacola Bay Brewery in Pensacola
As the first microbrewery in St. Pete, Green Bench is making great beer inspired by its city. The Surrealist IPA, an American IPA blended with the tart qualities of a sour ale, was inspired by Salvador Dali’s fantastic artworks, which can be seen at the nearby Dali Museum.
Try: Green Bench IPA
Also Visit: Cycle Brewing in St. Pete
Located in a market in beautiful downtown Winter Garden, this young brewery has become a Central Florida staple with High Stepper American IPA and McSwagger’s Own Amber Ale. Why the name Crooked Can? Things tend to get a little crooked after a few brews.
Try: High Stepper American IPA
This “Southern Public House” in downtown Winter Park is a well-known hotspot for foodies, but Cask & Larder’s on-site brewery is making beer of the same caliber as the food.
Try: 5 Points IPA
Founded by current and retired members of the military, this aviation-inspired brewery is doing big things with its beer. The Blonde Bomber Ale can be found in cans throughout Northwest Florida.
Try: Blonde Bomber Ale
Have a favorite Florida craft brewery that's not on the list? Let us know about it in the comments below.
Published: Tuesday, February 20, 2018 @ 5:41 PM
— You can take some of the most lavish, expensive wine tours in the world in the Napa Valley, where wines are all about heritage, taste and sophistication.
These days, though, even the snootiest oenophile can find a worthy wine tasting in places far from California. And the same goes for the Napa-style custom of wine tours. Travelers in the South or Southeast have lots of pleasurable wine tours to choose from, including self-guided forays, touristy excursions and exclusive itineraries presided over by the wine elite.
Georgia, Tennessee and Texas are just a few of the markets that have come into their own in recent decades and have the wine trails to prove it. While you won't be inundated with award-winners on a few of these tours, you can still find numerous high-ranked wines and others that are fun to sample. The vintners are typically small, but accessible, and it's exciting to see newer wineries just starting to make their mark.
For a taste of fine wine tours nowhere near Napa, consider these five:
Sevierville, Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg, Tennessee
All hail Appalachian winemakers. Five Tennessee wineries (and a distillery!) along 12 miles near the Great Smoky Mountains have banded together to present a free, self-guided tour. Each of the wineries is open all week for free tastings. They include Hillside Winery and Apple Barn Winery in Sevierville, Mountain Valley Winery and Mill Bridge Winery in Pigeon Forge and Doc Collier Moonshine Distillery and Sugarland Cellars in Gatlinburg. Plus, there's no law against catching Dollywood as part of your visit. And don't miss the Muscadine Spumante from Hillside Winery in Sevierville, which recently won the Governor's Cup at Wines of the South.
Free or nominal charge tastings
A scenic drive through the Dahlonega mountains sets the tone for sampling wines from "the Heart of Georgia Wine Country." It's the grapes that make the difference: The growing conditions and mountain elevations are ideal for European, French hybrid and American wine grapes. The trail makes a great day trip from Atlanta, with a driving time of a little over an hour and plenty of chances to meet winemakers and sample their labors of love. Stops include Cavender Creek Vineyards & Winery, Frogtown Cellars, Montaluce Winery & Estates, Three Sisters Vineyards & Winery and Wolf Mountain Vineyards & Winery.
Starting at noon Friday, March 16 through 5 p.m. Sunday, March 25, 2018 - 5 p.m.
This annual shebang is a great way to visit lots of wineries and sample a few wine and food pairings, enjoy live music or other mini-wine tasting events. The Winegrowers Association of Georgia sponsors and Northeast Georgia plays host. Travelers pay at the first winery visited and then can enjoy any or all of the other participating winery offerings: Each place does its own format, along with filling up those "passport glasses" that commemorate each year's event. Participants range from Cartecay Vineyards in Ellijay apple country to Fainting Goat Vineyards in Jasper, with dozens of other options around and about Northeast Georgia, all listed on the event website.
Austin to Fredericksburg and Lampasas to New Braunfels and other points in between
April 6-22, 2018
Individuals $45, couples $75
Who says you have to be in California for a lavish wine country experience? The Texas Hill Country's annual wine trail celebrates the blooming wildflowers along with a full 17 days of sipping award-winning wines. Each ticket includes a tasting passport for each featured winery (limit four per day). A small sampling of participating wineries includes Lost Draw Cellars, Messina Hof Hill Country, Narrow Path Winery and Old Man Scary Cellars.
Johnson City, Hye and Stonewall Texas
Tasting fees vary
Published: Wednesday, February 21, 2018 @ 8:57 AM
— A Florida beach has been named the nation's best in TripAdvisor's annual Travelers' Choice awards.
The travel website announced Tuesday that Clearwater Beach was the best in the U.S. in 2018, climbing from No. 4 in 2017. The beach also topped the national list in 2016.
Meanwhile, Grace Bay in Providenciales, Turks and Caicos, took the award for the best beach worldwide.
Published: Tuesday, November 07, 2017 @ 5:06 PM
Updated: Tuesday, November 07, 2017 @ 5:06 PM
— Camping may be fun, but not everyone is cut out for roughing it. Some folks need a little more waiting for them after a long day of adventures than a sleeping bag and a flimsy tent. Here are five ways to experience the nature of the Smoky Mountains without pitching a tent yourself.
Falling Water Adventure Resort 10345 U.S. 19/74, Bryson City, N.C. 800-451-9972. fallingwatersresort.com
Those who aren't afraid to get their feet wet during the day (but prefer a cozy bed at night) will find an apt home away from home in Falling Water Adventure Resort, a North Carolina getaway that offers affordable yurt rentals to accommodate its sporty clientele. Activities at the resort include river rafting, canopy tours and zip lines, and visitors who choose to stay in the yurts can also enjoy amenities like fresh linens, a private fridge, and individual coffee maker. Those who stay will still get a taste of the campsite life — picnic tables, a shared bath house, and charcoal grills ensure that guests can still get their fix of the outdoors.
North Georgia Canopy Tours 5290 Harris Road, Lula, Ga. 770-869-7272. northgeorgiacanopytours.com
Don't knock tent camping until you try it with North Georgia Canopy Tours, whose tepees are fully equipped with electricity, running water, and air conditioning — a must for anyone who knows just how hot a Georgia summer can get. The accommodations range in size and can sleep up to 10 guests. Order breakfast at check-in for an additional bit of luxury and be sure to book a zip-line tour to experience the great Smoky Mountains from the trees.
Camp LeConte 1739 E. Parkway, Gatlinburg, Tenn. 865-436-8831. campleconte.com
The campsites at this East Tennessee getaway run the gamut from standard piece of land to luxury treehouse, offering a distinct experience for outdoorsy types of all ranges. Those who opt for the most decked-out digs will find themselves sleeping in the open air among the tree tops and enjoying a covered patio, full private bathroom, and a beautiful view of Mount LeConte. Free board game rental ensures you'll have plenty to do when you unplug, while free Wi-Fi ensures you'll have access to the outside world when and if you need it, too.
Various sites. 828-450-9745. ashevilleglamping.com
There's a pretty long list of reasons to visit Asheville, N.C. The restaurants are incredible, breweries abound, and unique, friendly small businesses thrive in this laid-back mountain town. But one of the best things about Asheville is its proximity to nature. Within minutes, visitors can go from the downtown experience to a rustic mountain cabin, making this the ideal destination for groups with mixed intentions. Asheville Glamping offers accommodations that range from vintage Airstreams to mini yurts and picturesque domes. Each site offers an array of amenities, and those looking for comfortable, rustic sleeping arrangements will likely find something that suits them.
The Yurts at Sky Ridge 200 Sky Ridge Drive, Bryson City, N.C. 704-701-5696. skyridgeyurts.com
Most campers don't take vacations with the intention of sitting inside and watching television, but The Yurt at Sky Ridge folks aren't taking any chances: flat screen TVs, walk-in showers, kitchen appliances are among the amenities offered in these structures — and that's not taking into account the killer views.
Published: Friday, January 19, 2018 @ 2:57 PM
— Need a vacation that isn't followed by a barrage of credit card bills?
Tiny home vacation rentals are a wallet-friendly option, with beach, mountain and ranch locations available. Renting a small space for a weekend getaway or weeklong adventure is also a great way to test drive the tiny home concept.
»Here are six tiny home vacation rentals that offer lots of fun per square foot:
$119 average per night
Right across from Farlain Lake with its sandy beach and shallow waters, this tiny vacation rental is also close to many ski and snow mobile trails, parks and lakes.
Around $89 per night
Set on a hill by Puget Sound, this extra tiny 160-square-foot vacation rental comes with a window seat, full-size sleeping loft under a skylight and mini gas fireplace. Oh, yes, and trail access to a private beach.
Dennis Port, Massachusetts
Around $70 per night
Just 300 square feet, this Cape Cod cottage is just a short walk from the ocean beach and near restaurants (including Sundae School Ice-Cream).
Canyon Lake, Texas
Around $202 average per night
Perfect for a romantic lake getaway, this Victorian cottage is made from reclaimed building materials and features vintage stained glass windows.
Mineral Bluff, Georgia
Prices start at $99 per night
Ah, the mountains! This is a perfect - and perfectly affordable - way to enjoy the North Georgia mountain air. The 480-square-foot cabin boasts amenities like a king-size bed, fire pit, hot tub and stainless appliances and granite countertops.
Average $83 per night