Spirited Side Trips

Thanks to Thanksgiving, Chanukah, Christmas and New Year’s, there’s a good chance you’ll be traveling to see relatives and friends in the next couple months. But instead of going to the movies or returning gifts during your free time in between dinners and parties, we suggest visiting a craft distillery.

Over the past decade, hundreds of independent distillers have set up shop across the country, many in—or within a few hours’ drive of—major cities. These operations produce a wide range of creative and innovative spirits, which are beloved by bartenders and connoisseurs alike. The best part? A lot of them offer guided tours, tasting rooms, bars and even gift shops (perfect for finding last-minute presents).

To make your holiday season a bit more spirited and fun, we’ve put together a guide to distilleries near large metros. (Not headed to any of the regions we picked? Check out the American Distilling Institute’s directory, which includes listings in 44 states as well as Canada.)

Safe travels!

Some of these distilleries have set tour schedules, while others are by appointment only. Please call ahead before visiting.

New York Area:

Kings County Distillery, 35 Meadow Street, New York, NY

Long Island Spirits, 2182 Sound Avenue, Baiting Hollow, NY, 631 630 9322

Tuthilltown Spirits, 14 Gristmill Lane, Gardiner, NY, 845 633 8734

Warwick Valley Winery & Distillery, 114 Little York Road, Warwick, NY, 845 258 4858

Chicago Area:

Few Spirits, 918 Chicago Avenue, Evanston, Ill., 847 920 8628

Great Lakes Distillery, 616 West Virginia Street, Milwaukee, Wis., 414 431 8683

Koval, 5121 North Ravenswood Avenue, Chicago, Ill., 312 878 7988

North Shore Distillery, 28913 Herky Drive, Unit 308, Lake Bluff, Ill., 847 574 2499

San Francisco Area:

Anchor Brewing and Distilling, 1705 Mariposa Street, San Francisco, Calif., 415 863 8350

Charbay, 4001 Spring Mountain Road, St. Helena, Calif., 707 963 9327

Essential Spirits, 144a South Whisman Road, Mountain View, Calif., 650 962 0546

St. George Spirits, 2601 Monarch Street, Alameda, Calif., 510 769 1601

Los Angeles Area:

Ballast Point Brewing & Spirits, 10051 Old Grove Road, San Diego, Calif., 858 695 2739

Desert Diamond Distillery, 4875 North Olympic Drive, Kingman, Ariz., 928 757 7611

East/Central Texas:

Garrison Brothers Distillery, Hye-Albert Road, Hye, Texas, 830 392 0246

Railean, 341 5th Street, San Leon, Texas, 713 545 2742

Ranger Creek Brewing & Distilling, 4834 Whirlwind Drive, San Antonio, Texas, 210 775 2099

Rebecca Creek Distillery, 26605 Bulverde Road, San Antonio, Texas, 830 714 4581

Treaty Oak Rum, 10109 McKalla Place, Suite E, Austin, Texas, 512 413 1227

Washington, D.C., Area:

Catoctin Creek, 37251-C East Richardson Lane, Purcellville, Va., 540 751 8404

Cirrus Vodka, 2700 Hardy Street, Richmond, Va., 804 231 3000

Copper Fox Distillery, 9 River Lane, Sperryville, Va., 540 987 8554

Fiore Winery & Distillery, 3026 Whiteford Road, Pylesville, Md., 410 879 4007

Series & Type: Travel

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