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Week of vacation in July

Guys, I’ve got a week of vacation the week of the 4 of July and i’m looking for suggestions. Currently live in Minneapolis Mn and am willing to do some driving. Would like to go somewhere where I can spend the week touring craft breweries and maybe get in a decent fireworks display as well. A beer festival wouldbe cool too. Live in middle of country so either coast would work. Will be Colorado the week of the GABF so will pass on that area. Would love to hear some ideas. Willing to do hotel or camp out of car.

Portland. Spent a few days there and sampled over 100 different brews.

Asheville, NC has lots of craft brews and the town of Sylva is a couple hours away, best fireworks I’ve ever seen. They close down the main street and then do the fireworks on the steps leading up to the courthouse, so they’re going off just above the building, very inspirational. Been a while since I was there, but they used to have a good brewpub/brewery there as well. And you’d be in the Smokies, so if you like hiking there are a lot of great trails in the area.

Between MN and WI just stay here and take day trips . I just got back from a trip from Cali and brew tour and it was awesome, so you could try that as well. I have a post on here about it if your interested.

Boston. Besides SA’s there are several craft brewers available by public transit.

Then there’s the revolutionary history.

And the fireworks on the Esplanade with the Pops playing a concert…timeless.

Oh and edit: while you are in town, take in a Sox game at Fenway. See one of the true landmarks in baseball.

Boston is a great town to visit. On the pricey side. After spending 5 days in San Fran, I think it’s a better scene and your dollar suprisingly goes a lot farther with respect to hotel and even beers ($5/pint SF vs $7/pint boston on average).

In either case if you are going for a week, I’d suggest to get outside of the city. The drive up into Sonoma county is HIGHLY recommended (Russian River, Lagunitas, Bear Republic). From Boston you can do Portsmouth NH and/or Portland ME, both quaint New England towns with strong brewing cultures.

[quote=“Wahoo”]Boston is a great town to visit. On the pricey side. After spending 5 days in San Fran, I think it’s a better scene and your dollar suprisingly goes a lot farther with respect to hotel and even beers ($5/pint SF vs $7/pint boston on average).

In either case if you are going for a week, I’d suggest to get outside of the city. The drive up into Sonoma county is HIGHLY recommended (Russian River, Lagunitas, Bear Republic). From Boston you can do Portsmouth NH and/or Portland ME, both quaint New England towns with strong brewing cultures.[/quote]

This. I cannot attest to SF, but in Boston, if you stay just a few miles outside of town along or very near a rail line, you will save lots on lodging and still be able to get in and around the city on the rail system. There are great breweries like Smuttynose and Shipyard are in the seacoast region you mentioned. Smaller but very good breweries around Beantown abound like Wachusett:

http://www.wachusettbrew.com/index2.html

They are reachable by rail/taxi/bus line or within an hour’s drive from Boston.

Prices on pints drop off to SF levels just outside of the city too. Lots of good beer pubs along the rail lines with just a short walk, so you can embibe and not drive.

And while in SE NH or SE ME, go to the ocean, and partake in a clambake, or hit an “in the raw” seafood shanty. Freshest lobstah, clams, chowdah, and cohn you will find. So much for the family to do around the area besides the beer.

Now I’m sounding like the damn tourist beaurou, but while you are in the area, check out Salem, the witch trials, etc. Go to the Lexington green for the shot heard round the world. Go to Old Sturbridge Village: http://www.osv.org/ Go to Plymouth Plantation and the mayflower: http://www.plimoth.org/
Go to the Cape, see the national seashore.

Damn, you are coming at prime time in summer. Waaaay too much to do and see. It all started here. The 4th of July and Columbus day are the two best times of the year to visit Mass.

Got to put another plug in for my hometown of Portland. More breweries per capita than any city in the world and a top notch tourist destination. 4th of July weekend also hosts the Waterfront Blues Festival, which is free for the most part with a donation to the Oregon Food Bank. The Blues festival has an awesome fireworks display. http://www.waterfrontbluesfest.com/

The fireworks display at Fort Vancouver used to be the largest west of the Mississippi. http://www.fortvan.org/pages/fourth-home Don’t know if it still is, but the show is easily visible on the Oregon side of the Columbia River, just north of Portland.

The vineyards and wineries of the Yamill and Willamette valleys, the beautiful Oregon coast (including Rogue and Pelican breweries), the Columbia Gorge National Scenie Area, Mt. St. Helens National Volcanic Monument, and 11,215 foot Mt. Hood are just a few of the attractions within easy driving distance of Portland. Portland is also very easy to get around in with its safe and clean light rail, street car, and bus service (Tri-Met).

For reasonable accommodations, you cant beat the McMenamins properties. The McMenamin brothers started out as brewpub operators but later expanded to acquiring and renovationg historic properties into combination B&Bs, restaurants, breweries,and movie theaters all in one! Their beers are mediocre, but their properties are world class.

http://www.mcmenamins.com/Hotels

I’m adding a +1 for Asheville. I got married in Asheville almost a year ago and my bachelor party was a brewery crawl. What a day. That’s what picking the right best man will get you. Greenman Brewery was a favorite. Of course, I may not have been in the best position to make judgments by then and I can’t speak for any fireworks but for my money, western NC is just breath taking.

+1 but I am biased cause I am from there

Portland Oregon has some FANTASTIC breweries IMO. the west coast in general has a great variety. You can’t go wrong over here

Plus, contrary to popular belief, it’s not always raining here. The summers are beautiful

Come to Milwaukee, plenty of good breweries to tour and fantastic fireworks over Lake Michigan.

Well, as lively as the brew scene is in New England, its not as omnipresent as other places. I guess I was saying if you are on vaca on the 4th, the country’s b day, it would be cool to see the place it all started, take in history, take in the food (Boston is foodie paradise) and take in several great breweries while you are there. I was pitchin the whole vacation package for the family, while still focusing on fantastic brews and breweries. If you are going alone and going straight for the brews and nothing else, maybe the Pacific North West is better. But you wont see old ironsides. You wont see the bunker hill monument, and the whites of their eyes. You wont see the most celebrated fireworks in the country. You wont see the old north church. Or the freedom trail, or fanuel hall where the talk of revolution and the planning of the tea party happened.

If you said March, I would not have said so much. But…

thanks for the responses guys. Going into this my two thoughts on location were Boston for the history and some local brews and portland more for the brewery aspect of vacation. Its nice to see that other people share my same thoughts. i would say its down to these two spots. now time to start looking into pricing.

barneygumble - any suggestions on good places to stay that are fairly reasonably priced? cost in boston around the fourth would probably be the most prohibitive factor going.

Whereever you choose to stay, I’d make sure its a place you don’t need a car to get around (on/near a T-line or within city limits for walking). Boston is a great walking city and the T (MBTA) is pretty solid as far as mass transit systems go. But the streets in boston are a nightmare, parking is very expensive, and I’ll leave out the part about the reputation of Massachusetts drivers.

When I go into boston I leave my car at the Riverside T station for the duration of my stay and take the green line into the city to a hotel. Parking is a few bucks a day I think, versus $30-$50 a day at a hotel.

You might be able to find a hotel in Cambridge or Somerville and take the Red Line T in from there. I typically prefer to stay in the city.

[quote=“barneygumble”]Boston. Besides SA’s there are several craft brewers available by public transit.

Then there’s the revolutionary history.

And the fireworks on the Esplanade with the Pops playing a concert…timeless.

Oh and edit: while you are in town, take in a Sox game at Fenway. See one of the true landmarks in baseball.[/quote]

+1. Boston is an awesome town to visit. Been there 3 times for weekend trips. Sam Adams, Harpoon are right in the city and there are several others not far away. And with it being so steeped in history, it would make a great city to visit for 4th of July.

Philly (where I’m from) is also another great option for that time of year. There are fantastic fireworks displays all over and tons of things going on in the city for the holiday. Lots of breweries too. Slyfox, Victory, Yards, Philadelphia Brewing Company, Flying Fish is just over the bridge in Jersey. And if you wanted to rent a car and take a day trip you could drive to Yuengling Brewery in Pottsville, PA, about 2hrs away. And along with the breweries Philly is a hub for craft beer in terms of brewpubs and great craft beer bars.

if you want close, you have a tons in WI and MI.

WHat are your favorite breweries? THen you can go explore pubs around that area

Or some of the major beer cities suggested.

Portland also has awesome fireworks. Dispite mortars being illegal here, the city gets a permit to do an awesome mortar show for the holiday

If you are thinking between Portland, OR and Boston, Portland definitely has the edge beerwise and is a great town in and of itself, Can’t compete with Boston historywise of course. If history is your thing, than there is plenty outside of Boston as well. Depending on how far you are willing to drive, you could also loop in NYC, Philly, and DC with all their fantastic offerings, and if you make it to DC, you have all the surrounding Civil War history. It can, however, be brutally hot and sticky back East during that time of year.

What Portland offers in addition to many more beer offerings and a livability and quirkiness not to be generally found in East Coast cities is outdoor wonders that few places in the world can match or exceed. Before moving to Portland 20 years ago, I lived most of my life on the East Coast and still love the history and the vibe, but I choose to live here.

In the end, I don’t think you can make a wrong choice, and whichever way you decide to go this year, do yourself a favor and make the trip to your second choice when time allows.

What actual dates will you have?
If you are into organic the North American Organic Beerfest is going on the last two days of june and the first of july in Portland. Not to mention the butt load of breweries in the Portland metro area.

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