A short drive from Quebec City, a growing network of artisanal producers (600 and counting) has banded together to form the Gourmet Route (www.gourmetroute.com), along the banks of the St. Lawrence River. Go on a bee safari and taste wild honey at the Musée de l'Abeille (8862 Blvd. Ste.-Anne, Château-Richer; 418/824-4411; www.musee-abeille.com). To sample raw-milk blue cheese, head to La Maison d'Affinage Maurice Dufour (1339 Blvd. Mgr.-de-Laval, Baie-St.-Paul; 418/435-5692). For a liqueur fix, there's Cassis de l'Isle Ensorceleuse Monna et Fils (723 Chemin Royal, St.-Pierre, Île d'Orléans; 418/828-1057). End your trip at Monastère de la Croix Glorieuse(125 Rang Ste.-Philomène, La Malbaie; 418/439-4611), where fruit-jelly candy is made by the resident monks; stick around for mass to repent your gluttony. STAY The 19th-century Fairmont Le Château Frontenac (1 Rue des Carrières, Quebec City; 800/441-1414; www.chateaufrontenac.com; doubles from $288) is built on a bluff overlooking Old Quebec. DON'T MISS A meal at Les Saveurs Oubliées (350 Rang St.-Godefroy, Les Éboulements; 418/635-9888; dinner for two $60), which serves lamb raised on the restaurant's farm.
The American wine scene has extended beyond Napa and Sonoma. From coast to coast, these alternatives are giving the heavy hitters a run for their money with weekend tastings and vintages available from the source.
WHERE Finger Lakes, New York, a much-overlooked region starting to boom. GREAT GRAPES Hermann J. Wiemer (3962 Rte. 14, Dundee; 800/371-7971; www.wiemer.com), which makes terrific Riesling. EAT Suzanne Fine Regional Cuisine (9013 Rte. 414, Lodi; 607/582-7545; dinner for two $50), serving organic produce from its garden. STAY The refurbished Greek Revival Esperanza Mansion (3456 Rte. 54A, Bluff Point; 866/927-4400; www.esperanzamansion.com; doubles from $139), on Keuka Lake.
WHERE Central Virginia, a vineyard-lined area near the Blue Ridge Mountains. GREAT GRAPES Chrysalis Vineyards (23876 Champe Ford Rd., Middleburg; 800/235-8804; www.chrysaliswine.com), known for its red Norton. EAT Oxo Restaurant (215 W. Water St., Charlottesville; 434/977-8111; dinner for two $90), for modern French cooking. STAY Keswick Hall (701 Club Dr., Charlottesville; 800/274-5391; www.keswick.com; doubles from $225), a luxury golf resort.
WHERE Anderson Valley, California, a sleepy throwback to sweeter times. GREAT GRAPES Navarro Vineyards (5601 Hwy. 128, Philo; 800/537-9463; www.navarrowine.com), hot-listed by industry pros for its Gewürztraminer. EAT Libby's Restaurant (8651 Hwy. 128, Philo; 707/895-2646; dinner for two $38) offers up authentic Mexican dishes. STAY The charmingly rustic Philo Pottery Inn (8550 Hwy. 128, Philo; 707/895-3069; www.philopotteryinn.com; doubles from $110).
What do you do to escape when you run a food shop so famous that it attracts more than 500,000 visitors a year?If you're Ari Weinzweig, co-founder of Zingerman's Deli (www.zingermans.com) in Ann Arbor, Michigan, you embark on food pilgrimages of your own. "All trips are food trips for me," he says. We asked Weinzweig to share his favorite American destinations and a few essential stops along the way:
Eastern North Carolina: Barbecue Heaven
Barbecue lovers won't want to miss this area, for its pulled pork with distinctive vinegar-based sauce. Fly into Raleigh-Durham; make it your weekend hub. Mitchell's Ribs, Chicken & BBQ 6228 Ward Blvd., Wilson; 252/291-3808; lunch for two $14. Ed Mitchell pit-cooks four or five whole hogs every day of the year. Wilber's 4172 U.S. Hwy. 70, East Goldsboro; 919/778-5218; lunch for two $14. The pork here gets its flavor from being smoked over oakwood. Scott's Barbecue 1201 N. Williams St., Goldsboro; 919/734-0711; lunch for two $10. The recipe for Scott's Famous Barbecue Sauce came to the founder, Reverend Adam Scott, in a dream: "It's the best you've ever tasted." Mama Dip's Kitchen 408 W. Rosemary St., Chapel Hill; 919/942-5837; lunch for two $20. Swing by for country-style Southern chicken, greens, biscuits, and pecan pie by Mildred Council, the 75-year-old chef-owner.
Vermont: A Wheel Good Time
This is the season to explore the Green Mountain State. Fly into Burlington International Airport and make one of the area's historic inns your home base. Shelburne Farms 1611 Harbor Rd., Shelburne; 802/985-8686. Try the award-winning farmhouse cheddar—while you're at it, check out the estate, a National Historic Landmark. Built in 1886, it now serves as a nonprofit environmental education center. Jasper Hill Farm 884 Garvin Hill Rd., Greensboro; 802/533-2566. Mateo and Andy Kehler turn out a range of cow's milk farmstead cheeses, including three varieties of raw-milk cheese. American Flatbread 46 Lareau Rd., Waitsfield; 802/496-8856. Don't miss the all-natural pizza from this wood-fired earthen-oven bakery. On Fridays and Saturdays, the place turns into an informal restaurant. Woodstock Farmers' Market 468 Woodstock Rd., Woodstock; 802/457-3658. This is an ideal place to buy locally-made products, especially if you're packing a picnic. Vermont Shepherd 875 Patch Rd., Putney; 802/387-4473. Stock up on some of Cindy and David Major's "Best of Show" sheep's-milk cheese from their roadside country stand. Grafton Village Cheese Co. 533 Townshend Rd., Grafton; 800/472-3866. For its cheddar, Grafton uses milk supplied by small family farms; the covered bridge next to the facility provides a terrific rural photo op.
Mitchell's Ribs, Chicken & BBQ
Les Saveurs Oubliées
Scott's Barbecue Sauce Company
This BBQ mecca opens at 6 a.m. for breafast brains and eggs; country ham; grits. The pork is ready closer to 10 a.m. and is worth the wait. Sit in one of the knotty pine–paneled rooms, with wooden schoolhouse chairs and red-checked tablecloths to chow down on their perfect sandwiches.
The foothills of Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains, south and west of Washington, D.C., are a playground for the city’s old guard, their horses, and their beagles. With its laird-of-the-manor grandeur, no place evokes the regional esprit like Keswick Hall. In a stately Tuscan-style structure originally built in 1912, its 48 guest rooms are decorated with a mix of hunt-club prints, canopy beds, polished armoires, and Chippendale chairs. There are hints of fun: one room holds a framed collection of Best in Show ribbons that somebody’s poodle won. Fossett’s, the swag-festooned restaurant, serves some of Virginia’s most compelling food—quail with chanterelles, rockfish with mussels and fava beans—with bottles from up-and-coming local wineries: King Family Vineyards, Blenheim Vineyards, and Kluge Estate.
Fairmont Le Château Frontenac
Recently renovated 1893 landmark hotel set above the St. Lawrence River within the walls of Old Quebec. Aristocrat-worthy furnishings, such as carved headboards and antique tapestries, make up for the minuscule size of some rooms.
Sample the award-winning wine list and French country cuisine, made with organic produce from the restaurant's garden.