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Culinary Wine Travel through North America
North America's Finest Wine and Food Regions

While the beaches of Mexico and Falls of Niagara may be known best for the unparalleled natural beauty they offer, these North American regions also serve as bastions for delicious food and wine. The United States, Canada and Mexico offer travelers some of the world's most exiciting options for food and wine in easy-to-access locations throughout the continent. Wine and food aficionados can enjoy their favorite pairings in these popular North American destinations.

United States
San Diego Region
Although northern California is famous worldwide for its wine, southern California also offers some high-quality local vineyards surrounded by its scenic beaches. The San Diego Wine & Culinary Center is conveniently located in downtown San Diego and features an urban winery for visitors looking to enjoy a tour and wine tasting. The area is best known for the San Diego Bay Wine & Food Festival, which runs annually from Nov. 14-17 and feature 160 world-class wineries and 60 fine dining restaurants. However, vacationers can enjoy the region all year by visiting the variety of vineyards that run north of San Diego to San Pasqual Valley. The numerous year-round options makes San Diego an ideal wine region for travelers to visit.

Philadelphia Countryside
Known primarily for its rich history, Philadelphia offers much more than monuments and museums. The city is actually surrounded by 18 wineries, six of which make up the Brandywine Valley Wine Trail, a quick 25-minute jaunt from the city. Most notably, the vineyards come together on Sept. 29 and Sept. 30 to celebrate HarvestFest, which features concerts, picnics and wine-related activities. However, visitors touring the area throughout the year can experience the best of Philadelphia's wine tastings.

When it comes to cuisine, Philadelphia is bursting with places to eat. To sample a variety of foods in one location, travelers should be sure to visit Reading Terminal Market. Open since the 1860s, the farmers' market is home to more than 80 merchants, and features both local and ethnic selections. The market even offers daily tours of its expansive food collection. Of course, no trip to the City of Brotherly Love is complete without a taste of an authentic Philly Cheese Steak. Be sure to ask a local for his or her favorite cheese steak haunt!

Mexico
Baja Region
While traditionally recognized for its expertise in all things tequila, in recent years Mexico has garnered great praise for its passion and dedication to wines. When visiting, be sure to check out Ensenada — a beautiful coastal city that has not lost its small town charm. In addition to its striking images of the Pacific Coast and Gulf of California, Ensenada is within a day's trip from Mexico's three prized, wine-producing areas — San Antonio de las Minas, the San Vicente Valley and the Santo Tomas Valley. While enjoying one of Baja's best vintages, travelers can take advantage of the region's beloved cuisine, offering fine seafood dishes including shrimp tacos and ceviche. In September, the city is host to the Ensenada Seafood, Lobster and Tequila Festival — a delicious time for visitors looking to experience the region's very best in food and wine.

Sonora Region
Another area not to be overlooked is Mexico's Sonora region. Although not as popular as the Baja, Sonora is home to more than half of Mexico's vineyards. A picturesque destination for wine enthusiasts, Sonora serves as a main producer of wine grapes for both the Baja region and areas of Arizona. As a result, most of the region's wine is produced by local wineries, and offer visitors an intimate look into the region's long and storied history with viticulture. Travelers looking to relax, should visit the port city of Guaymas. Here vacationers can enjoy the beach along with the traditional Yaqui tribe villages. After testing the region's popular wine, visitors should sample the area's famous Bacanora, a drink produced from agave Pacifica.

Canada
Okanagan
Tucked between the mountain ranges just north of British Columbia, the Okanagan region features some of Canada's best in scenery and wine. The region begins in the town of Osoyoos, at the southernmost part of the Valley, just north of the Washington border. Osoyoos offers quaint lodging and dining options for food and wine enthusiasts, including several bed and breakfasts. From Osoyoos, travelers can continue north through wine country, stopping for tastings of the area's premiere reds and whites at vineyards along the way.

Another must see city is Penticton. Nestled between two lakes, visitors can enjoy numerous fall festivals celebrating the area's wine and scenery. Vacationers should be sure to try Joy Road Catering, known for its famous "food of the earth," which is served every Sunday. Skaha Lake's combination of great food, local wine and panoramic views is not to be missed.

Niagara Region
Ontario's Niagara region offers travelers a beautiful backdrop for touring the area's 68 wineries. Chock full of festivals, tours and tastings, concerts, excellent cuisine, artisan shows and family entertainment, Niagara has something for everyone. Quaint Niagara-on-the-Lake is nestled within the wine country region and and delight tourists with its water adventures, golf courses, fine dining and wineries. The scenery extends beyond the many vineyards, however, as the region is just a short drive from the breathtaking Niagara Falls. For travelers looking to visit a major national hub, Toronto is only an hour drive from the region, and boasts more than 7,000 restaurants reflecting cultures and cuisines from around the world.

Source — Orbitz Worldwide

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