Hotel at a Glance: Tuscany House Hotel
Southern New Jersey is home to one of the most historic vineyards in the United States: the Renault Winery, which dates back 150 years. That’s when French-born master vintner Louis Nicholas Renault began producing champagne here; soon enough, he was one of the largest distributors of bubbly in the United States. In 2001, the winery’s current owners added a 50-room hotel to the vineyard, naming it the Tuscany House Hotel for the way its design calls to mind the Italian countryside.
- Wine package: Select options include a 40-minute tour of the winery and tastings for two. As part of this optional package, you’ll also receive a $25 dining credit for Joseph’s Restaurant, and mason jars with drinks for two.
- Onsite restaurant: At Joseph’s Restaurant, Executive Chef Joe DeGennaro crafts Italian entrees such as chicken agrodolce with golden raisins, cherry peppers, and white balsamic glaze.
- Live music at Joseph’s Restaurant on select weekends
- Tee off on the 18-hole championship golf course, which overlooks the vineyards.
Egg Harbor City, New Jersey: Pastoral Countryside and Wineries Outside Atlantic City
You’ll find the rustic town of Egg Harbor City about 20 miles inland from Atlantic City. Thanks to a microclimate and soil similar to France’s, the area supports a handful of award-winning wineries. They include Renault Winery and Sylvin Farms Winery, which offer tastings and tours.
The bright lights of Atlantic City are a quick drive away. No trip to that glittery destination would be complete without a stroll along the famous boardwalk, which stretches for 6 miles along the coast. Originally built in 1870 to keep sand out of hotel lobbies, the boardwalk grew in popularity as a place where you could drink and gamble without much trouble from the police during Prohibition, as depicted in HBO’s Boardwalk Empire. The casinos are still lively, but the boardwalk has grown more family-friendly over the years; visitors are just as inclined to sit at the beach or stop at one of the many carnival rides.
It’s also worth checking out the Absecon Lighthouse, which is more than 150 years old. Climb its 228 steps to the top for sweeping views of the city skyline and the sea. Down at the base, you’ll find a replica of the original light keeper’s lonely cloister and the collection of sock puppets he created to keep him company.