Favorite vacation destinations such as California's Napa Valley and the Florida Keys are working swiftly toward a return to normal after being hit by disasters in 2017 (as are struggling Puerto Rico and Mexico City.) Tourist dollars can help a great deal toward that aim, and residents often go the extra mile to show their thanks. But if your winter travel plans are up in the air because of worries about recovery — or you’re simply hankering for something new — here are alternatives to the popular challenged regions.
Southern Wine Country
The fast-moving wildfires that raged across Napa and Sonoma counties have long been extinguished, and most of Northern California’s wine country has welcomed visitors back. But about four hours south, “the new Napa” is also calling — and it features both wine (with 250 vineyards) and cowboys. Here, casual style rules at even the best restaurants, but wine making is taken seriously. The area is known for Rhone varietals and stellar whites, but cabernet sauvignon is on the rise. Wineries in Paso Robles are mostly centralized in one region, requiring less driving to tour them and their stunning hillside vineyard vistas. What’s more, pristine sandy beaches like Cayucos, Cambria, San Simeon, and Morro Bay are a 20-minute drive away.