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Food + Drink

8 Best Booze Trails in North America

From the shores of British Columbia to the rolling hills of Kentucky, North America leads the way for the world’s best alcohol-inspired trails. Whether you seek to bike or hike your way from brewery to winery to distillery, here are the can’t-miss boozy stops.

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Kentucky Bourbon Trail

Discover the birthplace of bourbon on the Kentucky Bourbon Trail, where you’ll imbibe on the rich tradition and proud history of “America’s Official Native Spirit.” In honor of the state’s most revered spirit, the tour winds through Lexington’s beautiful Bluegrass Region, stopping at world-famous distilleries like Buffalo Trace Distillery, Wild Turkey Distillery, and Woodford Reserve Distillery, for tastings and a firsthand look at the art and science of creating the drink.

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Grand Valley Ava

With nearly 30 wineries by the Colorado River, the Grand Valley AVA is an oenophile and adventurer’s paradise alike. Pair wine tastings with whitewater rafting excursions, or single-track cycling the Colorado National Monument and Grand Mesa, one of the world's largest flat-topped mountains. While hiking, biking, or driving this stretch of the Western Slope, sample small-batch, hand-crafted Malbec at Avant Vineyards and taste Riesling, Chardonnay, and Pinot Grigio at Colorado Cellars, the first vineyard to make and sell wine from Colorado-grown grapes.

RELATED: 8 Wine-Friendly Spas Where You Can Booze and Beautify

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BC Ale Trail

Although most travelers venture to British Columbia for the outdoors, craft beer connoisseurs will love exploring Vancouver Island and the Sunshine Coast with a pint in hand. The new BC Ale Trail showcases local breweries beginning in Nanaimo then onward through the Horne Lake Caves, where you can take a hike through nettles, sea asparagus, and wild seaweed, culminating in a flight tasting at Townsite Brewery in Powell River. Explore Gibsons Public Market before raising a glass at the final stop: Persephone Brewing Company.

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The New Mexico Ale Trail

After a surge of breweries opened in the past two years, Albuquerque finally cemented its claim to fame with the debut of The New Mexico Ale Trail. With 40 breweries and taprooms, it surpasses Portland, Ore. in size. Even more impressive: The city officially designated the area as The Brewery District. While on the trail, walk from brewery to brewery or opt for a bike tour of breweries like La Cumbre Brewing Co., Boxing Bear Brewing Co. and Marble Brewery.

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Oakland Urban Wine Trail

Most oenophiles associate wine trails with the great outdoors, but in Oakland, Calif., you’ll find one in an urban environment instead. Housed in renovated warehouse spaces, the Oakland Urban Wine Trail winds through the heart of the city, stopping to try reds sourced from around the state, including Napa and Sonoma. Explore the trail on two wheels with Easy Bay Winery Bike Tours, so you can sip and cycle your way through Oakland.

RELATED: Your Guide to Santa Barbara Wine Country

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Bend Ale Trail

With more breweries per-capita than any other city in Oregon, it’s no surprise Bend gladly takes the title as Oregon’s beer capital. Take a weekend trip to see the Bend Ale Trail, where travelers can use a passport to discover Bend’s most beloved breweries like 10 Barrel Brewing Co., Deschutes Brewery, and Sunriver Brewing Company. At each stop, get stamps for the suds, which you can trade in for souvenirs at the Bend Visitor’s Center once the passport is full.

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Seneca Lake Wine Trail

Along the banks of Seneca Lake in New York, more than 30 award-winning wineries await. Part of the Finger Lakes Wine Country, the region is America’s second largest wine producer, bested only by Napa Valley. As the country’s first wine trail, the Seneca Lake Wine Trail features tastings and food pairings, as well as one-on-ones with sommeliers. Hire a driver to chauffer you around, then end the day at one of the charming winery inns.

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Fort Worth Ale Trail

Experience Texas’ rising craft brewery culture along the state’s newest trail, the Fort Worth Ale Trail. With nine breweries and counting, sample local favorites at Chimera Brewing Company, Panther Island Brewing, and Rahr & Sons, which was recently named one of the top 10 breweries in America. Many places even offer special tasting menus to complement the flights—so don’t worry, you won’t be walking away hungry.

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