Road Trips on Tap: Brewery Tours

The McLaughlins
Angela and Andy McLaughlin have been married for nearly 8 years and have been living full time in their motorhome for almost 3 years. They love exploring new places together with their pets.
Photos by Angela McLaughlin

Road tripping in the comfort of your motorhome is a fun way to visit brewpubs and wineries while spending time with friends and family

The word “motorhome” may conjure up images of family vacations to national parks or camping in the woods during your retirement years, but those aren’t the only adventures you can have in your home on wheels.

pet-friendly brewery
Some tasting rooms will allow your canine companions to join you on the adventure.

Make your next — or first — excursion an exciting one with a different kind of destination. Rising in popularity is the idea of winery and brewery tours in a motorhome. Whether a cross-country road trip to visit your top favorites or a shorter vacation locally, it can truly be an amazing experience.

How to plan this kind of tour

The first step is to determine if there is a specific travel destination — a certain brewery or winery, perhaps. If your favorite wine comes from Washington, you may find your tour planned around a specific winery in that state. Likewise, if you know you relish West Coast beers, this may help determine where to start.

Pick your number-one destination, and begin to plan around it. This will help determine how far away from home you intend to travel. Once that’s nailed down, you’ll be able to figure out the length of your trip and the number of stops you’ll be able to make.

Look for tasting rooms

Once you have your number-one stop and tentative route formed, begin to look for tasting rooms along the route that interest you. It may result in a slight detour, but that’s what it’s all about! Exploring new places and trying new beverages.

Have a beer on meAreas of the country that see more visitor traffic may be more convenient for motorhome travel, but don’t let this rule out other locations. Some tasting rooms have started picking up on the trend, offering specific motorhome parking areas.

If you’d prefer to avoid parking at the tasting room itself, locate a campground or RV park nearby, and utilize your tow vehicle to venture through the area. This will give you more flexibility for parking, while allowing you to travel with your belongings and a larger group — and still avoiding the high cost of hotel fees.

The McLaughlins’ Top 8 Picks

Remember to always drink and drive responsibly, and assign a designated driver.

Of course, don’t drink and drive

If you do not want to plan for a sober driver from your group, utilize a rideshare company such as Uber or Lyft. This will allow you to travel from the comfort of your motorhome to whatever tasting room you are looking to visit. This is also a great option for those who don’t have a dinghy vehicle and who don’t want to find parking at each location.

Wine tasting is popular in several areas of the country, with some of the most well-known located in California — Napa Valley, Paso Robles, Temecula. But don’t miss out on wineries in lesser-known regions. They may not be as densely populated with wineries, but you might end up finding a new favorite by trying someplace new. Even areas of the Midwest — where you might think grapes are too difficult to grow — have talented winemakers showing off their craft.

tasting flight
A motorhome beer tasting tour is a fun way to try a variety of brews.

Breweries and microbreweries are popping up all over the country. From small towns to large cities, you can find them nearly everywhere. With brews to please nearly every palate, beer tasting is taking the country by storm. Popular motorhome brewery road trips include visits to some of the big-name breweries, where fans can see firsthand where their favorite beers are created.

beer picnic
After a day of beer tasting, bringing a growler back to your campsite is a relaxing way to spend the evening.

 

For vacations closer to home, load your friends into the motorhome, and book campsites in two different locations, hitting up breweries in each area. After your tasting, grab a couple of growlers, and bring them back to the motorhome for your own private tasting around a campfire.

Keep track with an app

Many people have started recording the places they’ve visited and the beers they’ve tried, keeping track of what they’ve liked and disliked. One of the most popular apps for this is Untappd, a free app that allows you to log in beers while connecting with other beer drinkers.

wine tasting
Cheers to traveling with friends!

Perhaps beer and wine are not your thing, or you want to branch out even more. We talk a lot about wineries and breweries, but mead tasting and distillery tours are also gaining in popularity. These may be fun and worthwhile additions to your road trip — or even a trip in themselves.

The perks of road tripping in the comfort of a motorhome cannot be understated. Not only is it an exciting way to travel, but you can bring more of your belongings with, making for a more comfortable journey. Plus, it’s a fun way to travel with a group of friends.

Ballast-point-breweryPlanning a brewery or winery motorhome road trip is your chance to get creative and adventurous. Celebrating an anniversary or birthday? Plan a romantic getaway in your motorhome to visit the source of some of your favorite adult beverages. Looking for a way to get the friends together for a weekend of fun? Load up in the motorhome and go. It’s time to hit the road for another adventure!

To follow along with Angela and Andy on their motorhome adventures, go to www.thewanderingdolphin.com


 

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