An off-the-grid retreat and a good drink don’t have to be mutually exclusive. Thanks to the craft movement, stunning lodges throughout the country are focusing on local beers, wines, and spirits to elevate their drinks programs.
Translation: No more swigging something you can get anywhere during your prized vacation stretch. A good lodge fireplace or cabin stoop deserves a drink as unique as the surrounding wilderness.
Here are some great rustic stays for the thoughtful imbiber:
The wonderfully refurbished Suttle Lodge overlooks a pristine mountain lake by the same name in the heart of Oregon’s rugged Cascades. There’s a Wes Anderson feel about the place, with its warm decor and boy-scout-meets-resort aesthetic. In the lodge’s main gathering space, a fire is roaring, records are spinning, dogs wander about and the bar is just a few paces away.
Despite its fairly remote location, the lodge serves up an impressive bar menu. It’s like outdoor school for gastro-junkies. Curated by Portland chef Joshua McFadden (of Ava Gene’s and Tusk fame), the Suttle Lodge menu features seasonal comfort food alongside beers from nearby Bend and inventive cocktails inspired by the region. And, in the warmer months, the adjacent boathouse offers local beers, wines, and coffees, along with tasty, summery grub.
While a bit more suburban, Willows Lodge rests in the heart of the Woodinville wine scene, just a short drive from Seattle. Scores of tasting rooms reside just a short stroll away from the resort’s front door.
The lodge itself touts a fireside lounge and the much-celebrated Herbfarm Restaurant, with its eclectic dining room and sprawling wine list. Beyond the more expected wine tours, there are a number of local distilleries and breweries as well, such as Woodinville Whiskey and Sumerian Brewing.
The Stanley Hotel
Estes Park, Colorado
This gorgeous building is set just outside of Rocky Mountain National Park and was the inspiration for classic horror film The Shining. In fact, go to the Whiskey Bar if you feel like re-enacting the scene where Jack Nicholson sips a drink served by an imaginary barkeep.
The iconic Colorado establishment features Cascades Restaurant as well an outdoor patio. The Whiskey Bar, however, is the property’s gem, with the state’s largest selection of the brown spirit, signature cocktails, local beer, and an incredible, high-end-saloon-like atmosphere.
Panther Valley Ranch
Hot Springs, Arkansas
The National Parks are tricky terrain for imbibing as eatery chains and limited drinks programs tend to dominate. But there are creative ways around the mostly underwhelming menus that run rampant in some of our nation’s greatest spaces, especially the more urban ones.
Panther Valley Ranch is a woodsy retreat near Hot Springs National Park in Arkansas. While its accommodations are simple and there’s no bar on site, Superior Bathhouse is just a short trek away. The self-described first brewery within a National Park produces a handsome lineup of craft beers, brewed from natural thermal spring water a stone’s throw away.
One of the country’s most respected brewery operations is also a working farm with stunning onsite cottages. Enjoy an estate-bottled saison while sponging up the wondrous, bucolic landscape that encompasses the farm. The fantastic cuisine is matched only by a soaring wine list, regional spirits, and the award-winning beers that helped Blackberry Farm earn its keep.
Better still, the Great Smoky Mountains are just a few short miles away.
The Brewery Lodge
Michigan City, Indiana
This 12-suite lodge is nestled in the woods of Michigan City, on the south shore of Lake Michigan. Refined, yet of another era, The Brewery Lodge is a beer enthusiast’s paradise. The property includes a craft beer and wine lounge as well as a restaurant with outdoor terraces, and. Brewery tours are available to interested guests, featuring eight nearby producers, including Zorn Brew Works, Back Road Brewery, Ghost Isle Brewery, and more.
South Casco, Maine
Maine’s Migis Lodge offers lakefront accommodations and a high probability of moose sightings. It also serves up a nice local drinks program, featuring wines from all over the globe and a nice selection of Maine beers. Also of note is the cocktail menu, stressing seasonal forage-ables like blueberries, raspberries, and local spirits.
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