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7 Fun Ways to Eat, Drink, and Support Local Businesses

7 Fun Ways to Eat, Drink, and Support Local Businesses

California towns are offering passports and deals that bundle local flavors

Posted 2 years agoby Katrina Hunt

Wine tasting flights, discounts on dinner, free gas for the road trip home. As regions in California experience different levels of reopening, local businesses have been joining forces to support one another and accommodate customers as much as possible. That’s why it’s a great idea to check the website of any destination you’re hoping to visit to check for deals that bundle in experiences or offer freebies when you shop local.

Whether you live nearby or are planning to do a weekend getaway when the time is right, here are seven enticing Golden State offers, listed north to south:

Covet Pass, various regions

This $150 pass gets you free tastings at more than 20 wineries in Napa Valley, Sonoma Valley, and Lake County. Participating wineries included Clif Family Winery in St. Helena, Matanzas Creek Winery in Santa Rosa, and Cache Creek Vineyards & Winery in Clearlake Oaks. You also get discounts on other purchases—like the online wine shop or transportation with Beau Wine Tours. (Tastings otherwise range from $15–30 per person.) Lasts 365 days from your purchase date.

Sonoma County Tasting Pass

Taste your way around Sonoma County’s wineries with this pass (one day for $44.99; three days for $79.99; or 90 days for $149.99) that’s sent to your phone and has plenty of built-in discounts. Each participating winery has its own extras—like Forestville winery Enriquez, which includes a cheese plate with your tasting. The deal is ongoing.

Concord Passports for Comfort Food, Beer and Tacos

The East Bay town of Concord is offering a variety of ways to enjoy its rich food-and-drink scene. For starters, the town is celebrating its annual Concord Comfort Food Week until Jan. 31, which comes with its own passport: When you check in at participating businesses, you could win prizes including a future stay at the Hilton Concord.

For any future visits, pick up the Concord Beer Passport, which grants you a free flight of beer from a local brewpub—such as Epidemic AlesHop GrenadeEJ Phair, or Concord Tap House—when you book a hotel room. You can also use the app to book tastings ahead of time. While you’re exploring, add the Concord Taco Trail Passport, which includes 40 spots around town to find carnitas, vegetarian, and even filet mignon tacos.

Visit Visalia Gift Card

Book two nights at a hotel in the Central Valley town of Visalia—a convenient launching pad for Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks—and you’ll earn an ever-welcome $75 gift card for gas. Choose from 12 participating hotels, including the Visalia Marriott at the Convention Center and The Darling Hotel, a boutique hotel set in a former bank building. Must travel by March 31, 2021.

Stockton Savings Pass

This free pass, which downloads to your phone, promises more than $1,000 in savings when used over the course of a year at a long list of Stockton restaurants and attractions. Deals typically include 15 or 20 percent off a bill, free desserts, and BOGOs—like a buy-one-get-one admission to the Haggin Museum or buy one, get another for 50 percent off at Whirlows Tossed & Grilled, a restaurant and alehouse in the city’s Miracle Mile district. 

Wine Trail Tasting Pass, Yolo County

The fertile Central Valley land in Yolo County is home to more than 30 wineries, with varietals ranging from Syrah and Chardonnay to Malbec, Primitivo, and even Sparkling Port. Get a good sampling when you purchase this tasting pass that is sent right to your phone. Choose from a three-winery pass ($25, good for three tasting flights) or a six-winery pass ($49 for six flights), valid for six months after purchase date. One of the participating wineries is Turkovich Family Wines, which also has its own creamery.

SLO Buy Local Bonus

It’s easy to love the local flavors of San Luis Obispo, a city teeming with fresh produce, beer, and wine. With this online deal, spend $100 at local businesses (either one business, or a combined few); email in your receipts; and you’ll get a $20 gift card to be used at another small business. With the exception of supermarkets, big-box stores, hotels, and gas stations, most “local”-style businesses qualify—such as farm-to-table pioneer Big Sky Café, the takeout delights of SLO Provisions, and Gold Rush Steak House at the famed Madonna Inn.

To stay in the loop on the latest travel-related guidance, check our Responsible Travel Hub.

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