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5 Fun Northern U.S. Waterfront Wineries and Breweries

From Massachusetts to Oregon, grab a drink, sit back and unwind by the water

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Unwind by the water at these wineries and breweries.
Millennium Images/Gallery Stock

Imagine sitting by the water with a crisp chardonnay or ice-cold IPA in your hand, blissfully decompressing as waves splash rhythmically against the shore. That is the magic of waterfront wineries and breweries across the Northern U.S. In truth, there aren’t many, which adds to their appeal. From Cape Cod, Massachusetts, to Pacific City, Oregon, here are five spots where the sights and sounds are as enticing as the libations they serve. Please note: The businesses featured are open year-round. Check websites or call ahead for seasonal information and pricing.

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Tree House Brewing Co., Cape Cod Bay, Massachusetts

Tree House Brewing Co.’s bayside location in Sandwich, Massachusetts, exudes the easygoing New England vibe characteristic of Cape Cod. The taproom’s light-filled space boasts beautiful ocean views steps from Town Neck Beach. If you want to imbibe alfresco, choose the shaded courtyard, replete with a sandy bottom you can sink your toes into. Craft beer fans will appreciate the company’s award-winning brews, many of which are among BeerAdvocate’s 250 top-rated beers worldwide. King Julius, a double IPA, is at the top of the heap at number 12. Those who crave something different will find a dizzying selection of satisfying beverages, including nonalcoholic seltzer, a wide range of spirits and whole-bean coffees. As if that wasn’t enough, there’s live music, too. Check the website’s calendar for performance dates and times. Sunday–Thursday, 11 a.m.–8 p.m.; Friday–Saturday, 11 a.m.–9 p.m. Pour tickets available online, required before arrival.

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Kontokosta Winery, which is set on 62 acres, has a view of Long Island Sound.
Alamy

Kontokosta Winery, Long Island Sound, New York

The family-owned and -operated Kontokosta Winery is one of more than 60 vineyards and tasting rooms in New York’s Long Island Wine Country. However, it is the only one where you can sip while gazing at a coveted view of Long Island Sound. Set on 62 acres, this sustainability-minded waterfront farm uses wind energy to power its operation. Flights are served in the award-winning vineyard’s spacious barn-inspired tasting room, where cheese and charcuterie are available. There is plenty of room to enjoy the lauded sauvignon blanc or cabernet franc at the water’s edge; just grab a lounge chair and make yourself comfy. Minutes away, the village of Greenport awaits. Film buffs will recognize it as the picture-perfect setting for The Devil’s Own, the 1997 film starring Harrison Ford and Brad Pitt. Although the celebs have moved on, there are plenty of shops and galleries to explore. There is a $5-per-person entry fee. Tastings are $24 per person. Open Sunday–Friday, 11 a.m.–5 p.m.; Saturday, 11 a.m.–6 p.m. Walk-ins are welcome on a first-come, first-served basis. Groups no larger than six.

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Pacific Star Winery overlooks the Pacific Ocean on California’s Mendocino coast.
Courtesy Pacific Star Winery

Pacific Star Winery, Pacific Ocean, California

Overlooking the Pacific Ocean on the Mendocino coast, the 36-year-old Pacific Star Winery sits on a natural 5-acre promontory fringed with jagged 30-foot cliffs. Not surprising, the view from here, says owner Sally Ottoson, is “absolutely beautiful at all times.” A scenic 20-minute drive from Fort Bragg off Highway 1, the winery offers indoor and outdoor tastings and encourages guests to pack a picnic and stay awhile. Befitting the vineyard’s distinctive aesthetic, Ottoson specializes in rare and unusual grape varieties. A bestseller blend of old vine Carignane, petite sirah and the rare charbono blended with zinfandel, called Dad’s Daily Red, is dedicated to her World War ll veteran father and others who served our country. Ottoson suggests visiting between April and August for a special treat when migratory gray whales and other marine life pass by. Tastings $14 per person. No reservations required. Friday–Sunday, 12–5 p.m. Note: The weather is volatile in this region; check conditions before arrival.

Mellisoni Vineyards, Lake Chelan, Washington

Inspired by a magical stay at a private villa and winery in Tuscany, Mellisoni Vineyard owners Donna and Rob Mellison set out to craft their own intimate experience at home. With an idyllic waterside address on Lake Chelan in the heart of Washington state, the couple’s friendly, hands-on approach is lauded in multiple reviews. Featured wines include a Bollincini Brut Bubbly from a blend of riesling, pinot grigio and chardonnay, and a 2020 pinot noir with notes of cherry, cranberry, plum, clove, mushroom and earthiness. Although there is an indoor tasting room in case of inclement weather, most guests prefer to sit on the shaded patio or sprawling lawn to take full advantage of the region’s more than 300 days of sunshine. From late April through mid-October, Mellisoni hosts a weekly concert series featuring a variety of musical genres. Open mic nights are held every Monday from Memorial Day through Labor Day for performers wishing to showcase their talent. Tastings $20 per person. Online reservations required. Open Thursday–Monday, 1–6 p.m.

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Pelican Brewing Co. is situated along Pacific City Beach in Oregon.
Pelican Brewing Company

Pelican Brewing, Pacific City, Oregon

The first of four coastal Oregon outlets operated by Pelican Brewing Co., Pacific City’s flagship taproom poured its first draft in 1996. Customers love its prime beach location after a day spent catching waves or hiking at Cape Kiwanda. The brewhouse’s bar and seated restaurant are popular year-round hangouts, particularly in warm weather when the beachfront patio is open, and the sunsets are to die for. Recognized with more than 450 awards, Pelican Brewing’s perennial standouts include Kiwanda Ale, Beak Breaker Double IPA and Tsunami Stout. On the food front, clam chowder, Dungeness Crab Mac and Cheese or Pelican’s Fish & Chips are signature dishes you don’t want to miss. In keeping with its commitment to conservation, the brewhouse hosts “Science on Tap,” a monthly series of talks from fall through spring, such as a recent presentation titled “From Local to Global: How We Study the Secret Lives of Sharks.” Open daily 11 a.m.–10 p.m. Restaurant and outdoor terrace are kid- and pet-friendly.

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