Fall means harvest, which means there’s a bounty of food festivals and wine fairs to travel to and enjoy. Here’s what’s on the menu, including hotels offering discount packages for a nearby festival or fair:
Newport, Rhode Island — The 5th annual Newport Mansions Wine & Food Festival takes place the weekend of Sept. 24-26. Sample more than 500 high-end international wines and foods and enjoy cooking demonstrations by celebrity chefs including restaurateurs David Burke and Food Network’s Chris Cosentino and a jazz brunch on the terrace of Marble House. That’s the opulent 1892 Vanderbilt estate that is a copy of Le Petite Trianon in France. Stay overnight at another Vanderbilt Mansion, Vanderbilt Hall, which has been turned into an opulent and elegant inn filled with original artwork, with a Mediterranean tiled lap pool in the basement and a beautiful view of the bay. Be sure to visit the fabulous millionaire mansions while you are there. My favorites are Marble House, which will remind you of the Petite Trianon in Paris, and Doris Duke’s estate, Rough Point.
Miami — Loews Miami Beach Hotel is pairing two tickets to the Miami International Wine Fair with two nights in the hotel, which has just completed a multi-million dollar renovation. The wine fair is at the Miami Beach Convention Center on Oct. 14th and 15th. This exclusive “Wine Down Weekend” Package is available for a promotional rate of $698, including the two tickets to the fair, which are $150. The package can be booked up until October 14, 2010 by phone only. Please call 305.604.1601 or 1.877.563.9762 and you must mention package name to get the discount.
Orlando — Every Fall Epcot® in the Walt Disney World® Resort transforms into a food and wine lover’s dream with the Epcot® International Food & Wine Festival. Fairfield Inn & Suites Lake Buena Vista in the Marriott Village is offering rates starting at $69 for the six-week festival, which runs from October 1st to November 14th. Plus, you get free wireless internet and these Lake Buena Vista accommodations are full of amenities such as complimentary continental breakfast and wireless internet.
Cape Cod — The annual Wellfleet OysterFest in Wellfleet, Massachusetts, October 16 and 17. This is a two day party celebrating the town’s famous oysters, clams and shellfishing tradiitons with lots of shucking and a hometown flavor. Since it’s after the peak summer tourist season, hotels on Cape Cod have cut their rates.
Albuquerque — Okay, it’s not a food and wine festival, just the world’s largest biggest hot air balloon festival, in Albuquerque, October 2-10. More than 500 colorful hot air balloons from all over the world soar silently over the desert landscape.
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