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The Top 6 Wineries to Visit in NYC

By Kacey Mya of The Drifter Collective

With more than eight million people living in New York City, you’d be hard pressed to find room to plant and cultivate a full-fledged vineyard. Fortunately, though, the concrete jungle is surrounded by greener pastures, where some experts have been able to grow those tasty grapes.

The next time you’re in New York City, set aside some time for a day trip outside of the metropolis to find the bona fide wineries New York City has to offer. We’re not talking about the exquisite wine bars you’re sure to find on the island, either: these are green, rolling vineyards with more to offer than just a delicious glass of wine.

Read on to find out where you’ll stop on your next Big Apple getaway.

Benmarl Winery

Benmarl Winery is widely known as America’s oldest vineyard, since its first grape vines were planted in 1848. Since then, the place has flourished and expanded to produce 15 varieties of wine, with many flavors inspired by the winery’s location in the Hudson River Valley. Speaking of which, you can take in some lush, green scenery while you sip amidst the valley’s rolling hills.

Martha Clara Vineyards

The Martha Clara Vineyard knows its clients might be coming in from New York City, so they’re prepared: groups shuttled in by bus, limo or car service can sign up for a group tasting once they arrive. And the flavors they sample won’t be disappointing: the winery has barreled everything from trendy rosé to super sweet Riesling.

Bashakill Vineyards

wine glass

The Hudson River Valley is clearly a hub for New York wineries, but developers have only scratched the surface of the area’s potential: 225,000 acres of land viable for wine-making, only 500 have been used so far.

Fortunately, Bashakill Vineyards has taken up shop — and taken advantage of the near-constant temperatures and high humidity in the Catskill Mountains. The winery can produce precisely aged pours because of this climate, and you’ll be glad to imbibe their tasty creations.

Wolffer Estate Vineyard

Most New Yorkers heed the call of the Hamptons each summer, but they do so to lay out on the area’s pristine, star-studded beaches. Your next trip should also include a visit to Wolffer Estate Vineyard, where Merlot, Chardonnay, Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon are never in short supply. They pair these staples with smaller batches of specialty wines and ciders.

Oh, and, speaking of pairing: you can get the right charcuterie or cheese board to match your wine here, too. And, if you’d rather just sample the wine, they have tasting flights on the menu as well.

Orchard Hill Cider Mill

wine glass in a field

Mixing things up a bit, the Orchard Hill Cider Mill serves up hard ciders rather than wine. But, don’t make the mistake of thinking that cider is a one-flavor, one-size-fits-all beverage. Instead, Orchard Hill has multiple ciders on deck, including extra-dry and fizzy varieties. Much like Wolffer Estate Vineyard, they pair their pours with seasonal food, though they also incorporate their ciders into the ingredients list to create savory glazes, for example. Yum.

Baiting Hollow Farm Vineyard

Baiting Hollow Farm Vineyard sites on Long Island, and its picturesque pastures full of horses do more than just produce wine. They also provide homes for the livestock at this half-winery, half-horse-rescue. They’re equally as serious about both pursuits, too, as they brought their vines directly to Long Island from France.

If you head to Baiting Hollow, you’re likely to be told how many of the pours take their names from horses who have been saved and rehabilitated there. You can also see the horses for yourself Thursday through Sunday, when the winery offers pony rides and live music to its guests.

It’s not the first, second or even the third thing that comes to mind when visiting New York, but the state’s winery reputation just keeps getting better and better. So, as you plan your trip to the Big Apple, don’t let a day trip outside of the city fall to the bottom of your list. Instead, experience all that New York’s wineries have to offer and add another unforgettable destination to your big trip. Cheers!


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Kacey is a lifestyle blogger for The Drifter Collective, an eclectic lifestyle blog that expresses various forms of style through the influence of culture & the world around us. Kacey graduated with a degree in Communications while working for a lifestyle magazine. She has been able to fully embrace herself with the knowledge of nature, the power of exploring other locations & cultures, all while portraying her love for the world around her through her visually pleasing, culturally embracing & inspiring posts. Follow her on Twitter and Pinterest.


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Romantic Culinary Travels in El Paso

El Paso is a city that manages to be both modern and sleek yet steeped in history and culture. Therefore, it’s an exciting destination for any traveler. It’s also an amazing place for couples to explore, with a variety of hotels in downtown El Paso to spark some romance while staying close to the action. What may be most surprising is what you’ll find when looking to add a little wining and dining to that spark. In fact, you’ll want to try several culinary experiences in El Paso if you’re looking for a little romance in this west Texas destination.

Journey Along The Wine Trail

Image via Flickr by uıɐɾ ʞ ʇɐɯɐs

Along the winding path of Highway 28, you’ll find an incredibly romantic setting as you make your way to one of the area’s most appreciated wine regions. Heading along the wine trail, you can hold hands and talk as you drive by stunning scenery, peaceful landscapes, and vineyards.

It’s here where you’ll also be able to spend some time as a couple as you visit El Paso’s only vineyard and winery, Zin Valle Vineyards, for a free wine tasting. You can also make a day of it and head over on a Sunday when live music is playing. Bring a blanket and some food and enjoy a picnic with whatever wine you both prefer.

Explore the Growing Brewery Scene

The beer culture in El Paso is rapidly growing, with more and more breweries opening. This scene offers the opportunity to explore El Paso in a unique way. There’s also a lot of fun and excitement to be had as a couple while exploring your palate and learning about the flavor profiles of beer.

You can keep date night within the heart of the city and head to El Paso Brewing Co. for a beer tasting, a snack, and a lesson in the area’s beer history. It’s a great place to enjoy each other’s company while learning something new and immersing yourselves in a part of the area’s culture, both past and present.

Indulge in Diverse Cuisines

While Mexican cuisine and Tex-Mex may be what first comes to mind when thinking of food in El Paso, the city actually boasts a whole host of different restaurants. They offer a variety of dining experiences for couples looking to enjoy a romantic meal together.

If you want to ignite that spark over delicious food, you can find pretty much whatever you both want, from Mexican cuisine at L and J Cafe to American-style dishes at the Mesa Street Grille. With patio options, live music, or candlelit tables, you’ll be able to find the perfect setting for you both.

 

El Paso is definitely a romantic destination for couples. While there are tons of different things to do throughout the city, you’ll find exploring the culinary scene together a special experience. There’s nothing more romantic and sensual than feeding each other bites of a great meal across a table, staring into each other’s eyes while sipping wine, or laughing at the foam clinging to your upper lip as you savour a craft beer.

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10 Best Dates in Washington, D.C. That Aren’t Dinner & A Movie

By Kacey Mya of The Drifter Collective

Washington, D.C. is the nation’s capital, and for good reason: the city has a rich history and a lively, diverse culture to match. In other words, you’d be remiss to spend every single night out at dinner and a movie when there’s so much else to do.

Date Ideas To Spark Some Fun & Romance in Washington, D.C.

Need a little help planning your next out-of-the-box excursion? Here are 10 ideas for making your D.C. date something extra special:

Picnic in the Park

A picnic is a roundabout way of eating a meal on a date: you won’t be dining at a restaurant, but you can still whip up a meal to impress. On top of that, you’ll be able to go and grab a seat at any time you want without reservations. If that’s not enough incentive, the city has a lengthy list of gorgeous parks that would paint a picturesque backdrop to your picnic. It might even be more romantic to dine on a blanket beside the Potomac or under a cherry tree, right?

Monument Tour

Chances are, you’ve seen the majority of D.C.’s most famous monuments. But, when is the last time you went on a stroll to see them all in one fell swoop? You and your date can embark on a walking tour of the National Mall and check out the city’s most famous landmarks. Plus, all that time walking will give you two a chance to chat and really get to know one another.

Washington DC Monument

Arcade or Billiards Bar

Another dating rut to fall into is grabbing drinks over, and over, and over again. Instead, make your trip to the bar a bit more memorable by choosing a spot with tasty beverages and a memorable activity. A gaming bar like the city’s Atlas Arcade allows you to play retro video games while you imbibe. Or, you can hit up a billiards room and play pool, as well as darts, shuffleboard and arcade games, depending on the place you go.

Outdoor Movie

Okay, so this is technically still a movie date. But the fact that you and your date can grab a blanket, some snacks and sit under the stars while watching a movie makes it just a tad more special. scape the room by solving various puzzles, too, so you can find the one nearest to you or the screen showing the movie you most want to see. Offerings range from blockbusters, to 80s classics, to cartoons — the choice is yours.

Escape Room

Don’t worry — it’s not as scary as it sounds. Places like Escape Artist DC give participants a full narrative, creating a world that has a puzzle to solve within it. You and your date will have to try and scape the room by solving various puzzles but it will be a fun challenge for you to complete together. Once you’re out, you’ll feel like you really earned a good cocktail, which will round out a seriously memorable evening.

Kayaking

The Potomac River you picnicked beside is the perfect place for a kayaking trip, too. You and your date can sign up for a guided tour, or simply rent a kayak or canoe together and start rowing. If you want to do something a little less challenging, you can also rent paddle boats in smaller bodies of water like the Tidal Basin, where you’ll have incredible views of the Jefferson Monument.

Washington DC Date ideas

Museum Hop

Washington is home to some of the nation’s best museums, and they cover a broad range of interests. In fact, allowing your date to choose the museum you’ll visit will give you an insight into his or her interests and personality. Will it be the Smithsonian American Art Museum, the National Air and Space Museum, or the International Spy Museum, where you can pick up an alias and try your best to live like an undercover? The choice is theirs.

Visit a Winery

You might be surprised to find out that there are some bona fide wineries within a stone’s throw of Washington, D.C. Many of them have open hours, tours and tastings, as well as activities like live music, movies and bocce ball on the vineyard lawn. Your date will be impressed as you whisk him or her off, though it would be best to grab a shuttle or taxi out to the winery so you can both imbibe.

Volunteer

The nation’s capital has endless opportunities for locals to get involved and make the city — and world — a better place. You and your date can brainstorm the causes you care most about and find a charity involved with your top choice. Then, sign up to fill grocery bags at a food bank, walk shelter dogs or help re-paint a local school. The few hours you spend doing good will make you feel pretty good about yourselves and each other.

Cook Together

Finally, you can always keep things casual and simple and still eat a hearty meal. Simply skip the fancy restaurant dinner and find a recipe online instead. You can work together to peel, chop, sauté and bake, producing a full meal as a team. Sometimes, a meal you make yourself tastes even better than what you buy in a restaurant, anyway — you should try that theory out and see.

Now, Make It A Date!

Chances are, at least one of these date ideas suits you and your significant other. So, cancel your dinner reservations and plan something out of the ordinary instead. You’ll both enjoy doing something different, but mixing things up will make you enjoy those special dinner-and-a-movie nights even more. To us, that sounds like a win-win.  


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Kacey is a lifestyle blogger for The Drifter Collective, an eclectic lifestyle blog that expresses various forms of style through the influence of culture & the world around us. Kacey graduated with a degree in Communications while working for a lifestyle magazine. She has been able to fully embrace herself with the knowledge of nature, the power of exploring other locations & cultures, all while portraying her love for the world around her through her visually pleasing, culturally embracing & inspiring posts. Follow her on Twitter and Pinterest.


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Top Features Of The 2017 Chevy Volt For Road Trips

For us, a car means more than a means of daily transportation. It’s also often one of our preferred methods of travel, whether it’s a road trip to get to a particular destination or whether the road trip itself is the point of our travels. We’ve taken long as well as spontaneous drives (like the long weekend road trip to New Brunswick) and through all of them we’ve learned some pretty important tips for taking a road trip. What always ends up being the most important factor is the car we’re driving so whenever we’re looking for a new car, there are some key features we tend to focus on that guarantee the vehicle will suit our everyday needs and beyond. Lately, we’ve been intrigued by a variety of different options for vehicles from fuel-efficient hybrids to RVs as we always have a diverse set of needs when we own or rent a car.

Finding The Right Features In A Road Trip Car

We had heard quite a few things about the 2017 Chevy Volt that made us think it’d be a solid car all around as well as being an environmentally friendly option that had the potential for saving on fuel costs. So, we headed to Hogan Chevrolet to get a closer look at the 2017 Chevy Volt for ourselves.

Since we wanted to see what kind of car it was and whether it was versatile for both everyday driving and road trips, we were looking at it for certain key features that would serve our purposes.

Chevy Volt Interior

5 Key Features in The Chevy Volt

What we found is that the Chevy Volt has quite a few of the features we look for in a car, especially one we’d want to use for frequent road trips. Though small, sleek and part electric, this car surprised us with how much it offers and the following are 5 key features of the 2017 Chevy Volt that were particularly important and relevant to us.

Road Trip Beats: Entertainment System

Chevy Volt Dahsboard

We love having a car with a console that’s packing a punch when it comes to entertainment and with that comes the sound system and phone-charging capabilities. The 2017 Chevy Volt is pretty loaded when it comes to what it offers in those departments – Sirius Satellite Radio, An OnStar Built in WiFi Hotspot option, a myChevy Mobile App which allows you to control the car from anywhere you’ve got a signal, and compatibility with Androids or iphones that allows you to use the touchscreen display to access your phone to play music, make phone calls, use Maps and see messages. The built-in speakers are also great and there’s an option to upgrade to Bose speakers to make it that much better.

While this makes working and staying connected easy while driving the car, especially on longer road trips, the wireless charging capabilities and 2 USB ports also allow us to make sure all our gear is charged and ready to be used wherever we are and however long we are on the road.

Spacious Interior For All Our Gear

Chevy Volt Trunk Space

We can usually travel light but when we driving is our method of transportation, we want to be able to bring whatever we want – all our gear, a cooler for food and drinks and any extras we typically can’t travel with when we’re flying or using other means of travel.

The 2017 Chevy Volt is pretty spacious and would definitely accommodate what we would want to bring with us. The rear seats even fold down to allow for extra storage space.

Accommodation Mode

Chevy Volt Test Drive & Review

A term we’ve coined ourselves, accommodation mode is what we call it when we’ve converted our car into a bed… which we seem to do a lot. Whether it’s a front seat nap while we’re getting where we’re going or a full on sleep in the back with the seats folded down, we like to drive cars that offer us flexibility in how we design our travels and give us the opportunity for spontaneity in where we go and how we get there.

As we already mentioned, the interior is spacious and the rear seats fold all the way down which makes for perfect accommodation mode. The only problem with this is that there’s not that much extra space for the stuff we bring to be piled or shifted. In that case, we could always stick to sleeping in the front as the seats actually recline all the way back and are pretty comfortable!

Guidance & Getting There

Chevy Volt Review

While the 2017 Chevy Volt comes with the option to upgrade for GPS, the cell phone compatibility makes it easy for you to use maps on the dashboard screen as long as you have service on your phone. While we typically get by easily without GPS or an app to guide us, having either makes it so much easier and since we often like to be spontaneous, it helps to have a way to get back on track easily or even look for random places we can stop, places we can eat or even take a rest.

Fuel Efficiency & Cost to Drive

Chevy Volt Electric Fuel Savings

Chevy Volt battery life

 

 

 

 

Unlike your typical hybrid, the Chevy Volt doesn’t run on a combination of electricity and gas at the same time. Instead, it works off the electric power first (to get you to most places you’ll want to go in a day) and then shifts to fuel-powered. We think this is great because you can save on fuel as you drive for everyday errands and even commuting to work and only use fuel for longer trips and destinations.

Chevy Volt Electric Plug Chevy Volt Electric Plug

For road trips, it would mean a bit more planning to confirm you had stops along the way to power up if you didn’t want to keep paying for fuel but as it’s got pretty good fuel-economy, you can still drive solely on gas power if need be.

This combination makes it a great option for saving some money and government incentives drive the price even lower, making it a more manageable cost overall.

 

Overall the Chevy Volt is a pretty impressive little package though the price point is somewhat higher than a comparable car without hybrid capabilities. For us, it’s a great option for a road trip car though the space in back may be tricky to manage a full-blown nap AND our luggage… but to be realistic, how many people really sleep in the back of their cars when they travel? Yep, probably just us!

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best features of the 2017 chevy volt pinBest Road Trip Features of the Chevy volt pin