The COVID-19 global pandemic has changed our lives in innumerable ways, and how we travel is no exception. As destinations begin to reopen for business and visitors, it has become clear to us that travel for the rest of 2020 will be defined by the classic road trip. We want to get out of our homes and back into the world, but we want to do so safely. We want to visit places with wide open spaces where keeping a safe physical distance is easy to do naturally. After months of being cooped up at home we want the great outdoors, natural beauty, and the pampering of luxury travel experiences. What better way to celebrate our ability to get out and travel again than with a road trip infused with our very favorite wine country stops? In our opinion, not much pairs better with wine country than the stunning coastlines of Washington, Oregon and California. So read on, and contact us, to get inspired and start planning your very own West Coast Wine Trip.
The West Coast is blessed with natural wonders galore, but this summer (and always, if we are honest) we are most excited about wine country, and the coast, and how perfectly they come together. Let 2020 be the year you enjoyed a very memorable, and very safe, wine country vacation.
Whether you have just a few days, or a couple of weeks, we can curate an incredible and rejuvenating coastal wine trip for you. Just last week I did a quick road trip of my own through Oregon's famously beautiful Willamette Valley, and then worked my way down the Oregon and California coasts back to Sonoma County, where I live. My trip was short - only five days - but even in that amount of time I got to sip, taste, breathe in, photograph, explore, and trek one of my favorite parts of the world, just the way I wanted to. I even got a massage!!
Willamette Valley is very much open for business! The wineries we visited greeted us with open arms (even though we couldn't actually complete the hug!) and our favorite resorts and hotels were thrilled to be open again and welcoming guests back. You can expect winery hosts to be wearing masks, and enhanced cleanliness and physical distancing guidelines are in place, but truly, this does not diminish from the experience at hand. Our favorite wine tour guides are up and running, and you can look forward to a safe, hygienic, and fun experience when out with your driver or cycling guides.
After a couple of days drinking and eating in Willamette Valley, I drove about 90 minutes west to reach the Oregon Coast. There are countless charming seaside towns and villages dotting the western edge of the state, but some of our very favorite (from north to south) are: Astoria, Cannon Beach, Tillamook, Pacific City, Yachats, Bandon, and Gold Beach. Along the coastal drive between these towns are a plethora of state parks and recreation areas with stunning natural features, hiking opportunities, wildlife viewing, activities like crabbing and clamming and tide-pooling, and much, much more.
While I chose a Willamette Valley as my get-out-of-the-house trip, it is by no means the only region welcoming visitors back. Napa and Sonoma have also recently reopened. It may look a little different (see note about masks), but wine country is still as welcoming as ever. Work with West Coast Wine Country to craft a custom wine and coast itinerary based on your interests and length of trip. See below for a few favorites to consider as you begin planning.
Want to understand what precautions wineries are using in this new COVID era? Click here for our handy guide about what to expect when visiting wineries this summer and fall.