Dining

Gr(eat) Escape

The new perfect vacation puts food on the table and the itinerary
Photo: Courtesy of The Vines Resort & Spa
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More and more, travelers are planning vacations that provide the whole package: food and adventure and, recently, combinations of the two. While it’s still important to do a bit of relaxing, it’s also about staying active and staying well fed. Here are a few options to get you in the mood for that next getaway.

① Calling all outdoor explorers. If you are looking for a rugged getaway that teaches you how to hunt, fish and butcher an animal all in one weekend, then this is the trip for you. Author chef and spokesperson Georgia Pellegrini encourages you to step outside your comfort zone and  become one with nature on her adventurous excursions.

② Farm, drink and be merry. There is something special about gathering your own fruits and vegetables on a local farm and transforming them into something beautiful. At Blackberry Farm in Walland, Tennessee, you get to do just that by learning the basics of farm cooking and wine pairings through  hands-on demonstrations and tasting tours. There is even an opportunity to spend a day shadowing a chef as they go about their daily routine, so don’t forget to pack your knives.

③ Have your wine and bathe in it, too. Yunessun Spa House in Hakone, Japan, is giving wine enthusiasts a chance to bathe in their favorite alcoholic beverage. These spa treatments are said to rejuvenate the body and will certainly make you feel like royalty. If wine isn’t your first choice, the Spa House offers a variety of other savory bathing options, such as cleansing sake, coffee and green tea baths.

④ Cannonball into a beer swimming pool. We’re not kidding. We know you have a fantasy of swimming in a pool of beer, and we can happily say that fantasy is now a reality. The Starkenberger brewery in Austria allows visitors to swim in a large “beer swimming pool,” filled with 42,000 pints of suds. Now don’t go filling your backyard pool just yet; we recommend you leave this one to the professionals.

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⑤ Discover America’s sweetest destination’s secret. The Spa at The Hotel Hershey near Hersheypark in Pennsylvania provides guests with a variety of signature treatments using—you guessed it—chocolate. Get cloaked in a chocolate fondue wrap or enjoy a chocolate facial. This is the ultimate chocolate experience.

⑥ Live the good life. This is exactly what you’ll be doing if you sign up for a Southwest Icelandic adventure with travel company Eat.Pray.Move. After daily meditation and yoga classes for all levels, you’ll dine on meals carefully chosen from renowned restaurants and chefs in the city. And we’re not talking all-you-can-eat buffets. These are multicourse tasting menus with wine pairings to help you relax after a hard day of . . . relaxing.

⑦ Make your own wine and your own adventure. Whether you want to pick the grapes and make your own wine, or simply do the sampling while taking in the Andes Mountains, The Vines Report & Spa in Argentina offers a variety of boozy combinations. Add in a little outdoor fitness time by taking a yoga class or scale the outdoor climbing wall.

⑧ Just add salt. Did you know that sitting in a salt cave 10 times for 45 minutes could help with allergies, circulation problems and asthma? Neither did we—until now. Make your vacation do double duty by reaping the health benefits of a trip to the salt-iodine spa at Galos Caves in Chicago, Illinois.

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