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At Amazing Grace Vineyard
At Amazing Grace Vineyard in Chazy, New York

Pet-Friendly Travel is Georgie Jet’s ongoing series exploring the best pet-friendly inns and resorts around with tips for things to do with your best friend along the way. Says Georgie Jet:

“I travel with Baci, a well-traveled and well-trained Chocolate Lab. Thankfully, I can leave her alone in a hotel room and she is quiet and well-behaved. She might find a comfy club chair to cozy up in, but that would be her worst offense. If your dog is not comfortable being alone, then leaving her home with a petsitter might be better.” 

In the northeastern corner of New York state, a perfect weather weekend made the charming vineyards set along the Lake Champlain valley sparkle. And so did being able to take the pets along—including our chocolate lab Baci.

"Cheers"
“Cheers”

Pet-friendly La Quinta hotel
Finding a truly “pet-friendly” accommodation is not easy, as “pet-friendly” most often means small dogs only, and that they have to be taken with you when you leave. Not at —where you can even bring your iguana! I don’t have an iguana, but I do have Baci, who doesn’t like to be left at home, and two cats (Ace and Chammy) that also enjoy traveling in the car in their crates.

La Quinta rocks!
La Quinta rocks!

At La Quinta, we were able to bring the whole “family” and leave them in the room when we had dinner out and about (many “pet-friendly” places make you take them with you when you leave the room, which is particularly tricky when it’s hot or cold out). Before dinner, I alerted the front desk and was told to put up a “Do Not Disturb” sign on the outside, and left my cell phone number with them in case of emergency.

It turned out that while we were at La Quinta, there were two fire drills. Some pranksters pulled the alarm on Friday at 4 pm (while I was in the hot tub!), and again the next morning at 8 am. If they were caught, their parents would have been fined $3,000 per incident, as three large fire trucks had to come out from the Plattsburgh Fire Department. On the bright side, neither was at five in the morning, and while we waited for the building to be cleared outside, I was able to see all the people taking advantage of the pet-friendly hotel. Lots of dogs, and cats in crates—and I never heard a single dog barking while I was there! I also learned that if had either been a real emergency, the front desk would have given the firemen and -women all the room numbers with pets in them to be rescued.

I have to say, I was impressed with the friendliness and care of the manager, desk people and housekeepers at La Quinta. Another : The king bed was really comfortable, as were the 5 down-like pillows. My husband, Highroad Cam, loved the large flat-screen T.V. All this for a budget hotel ($85-$195)! Also included are breakfast, access to a heated pool and hot tub, and free high-speed Wi-Fi in all rooms.

Erin and Brian Frey of Elfs Farm Winery and Cider Mill
Erin and Brian Frey
of Elfs Farm Winery and Cider Mill

Adirondack Coast summer wine tour
Our  started Friday night with an unscheduled visit to  on St. Route 9 in Plattsburgh for their new Friday Night Wine Down event. For $4 each, Cam and I tasted all of their wines and ciders, finally settling on a “Two Heroes Cider” for Cam and a “Vignoles” white wine for me. Later, we also shared their fabulous Strawberry Hard Cider. Due to limited quantities, you can only buy one bottle per person, so you’ll want to bring along some friends!

On Friday nights, a musician performs and they serve light snacks. We got to know the entire Frey family, including Erin, the daughter for whom “Elfs Farm” (Erin Lee Frey) is named, brothers Brian, Kevin and Sean, and head honcho—“the Dad”—Tom. All the children are involved with the family business. We returned the next day to see how they set up stations along the vineyard for tastings. We loved it here!

Sean Frey of Elf's doing a red wine tasting
Sean Frey of Elfs doing a red wine tasting

Next, our Adirondack wine tour took us north to Mooers, New York, almost on the Canadian border, to visit , another family-owned vineyard. Stone House had more than 10 varieties of wine, including many from fruits other than grapes; blueberries, gooseberries, plums, raspberries and currants also make it into their wines. I loved their raspberry table wine. We enjoyed the tour of the vineyards and orchards—and, we were able to bring Baci!

We then drove south along Route 9 to Chazy and visited , where they specialize in native and French hybrid grapes as well as some fruit wines. I also liked their Raspberry Skies fruit wine. The vintner was so friendly—she even made lasagna. While we tasted wine outside there was Italian Opera music playing!

Chazy, New York, along The Adirondack Wine Trail
Chazy, New York, along the Adirondack Wine Trail

Our final destination was , just down the road in West Chazy, set high up on a ridge with a great view of the Vermont mountains across Lake Champlain. Highroad Cam was happy to point out Camel’s Hump and Mount Abraham, our favorite hiking places.

There were three more vineyards and wineries on our list, but we had to stop after four!

Baci was longing for a swim, so along the way back we went to , a gorgeous place to visit and let Baci enjoy herself in the cobalt-blue water of Lake Champlain. We went to downtown Plattsburgh for dinner——and back to the town in the morning for cappuccinos at  and then visited the  before heading off back to Vermont on the .

NOTE: The  will be on Saturday, October 12 at the Crete Civic Center in Plattsburgh. If you’re thinking about a visit, there’s no better time!

Pet-friendly!!
Pet-friendly!!
Downtown Plattsburgh
Downtown Plattsburgh
Koffe Kat in Plattsburgh
Koffe Kat in Plattsburgh
Highroad Cam and Baci
Highroad Cam and Baci
Point Au Roche State Park
Point Au Roche State Park
With Highroad Cam and Baci
With Highroad Cam and Baci
Awesome canyon
Awesome canyon
Friday Night Wine Down
Friday Night Wine Down
Two Heroes and Strawberry Hard Cider at Elfs
Two Heroes and Strawberry Hard Cider at Elfs
Erin and Brian Frey of Elfs Farm Winery and Cider Mill
Erin and Brian Frey of Elfs Farm Winery and Cider Mill
All signs point to: Tasting Room
All signs point to: Tasting Room
Elfs Farm Winery and Cider Mill
Elfs Farm Winery and Cider Mill
La Quinta rocks!
La Quinta rocks!
Grand Isle Ferry to Plattsburgh
Grand Isle Ferry to Plattsburgh
Baci and cats on board
Baci and cats on board
Beautiful Lake Champlain
Beautiful Lake Champlain
Sean Frey of Elfs doing a red wine tasting
Sean Frey of Elfs doing a red wine tasting
Chazy, New York along the trail
Chazy, New York along the trail
Worth the trip!
Worth the trip!
"Cheers"
Georgie Jet

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1 Comment On "Pet-Friendly Travel: Along the Adirondack Coast Wine Trail with our Chocolate Lab Baci"
  1. Katherine Belarmino
    Katherine Belarmino|

    I find it so frustrating when “pet friendly” hotels expect travelers to never leave animals unattended in the room. We love to travel with our dogs, and include them in as many activities as possible, but there are times when they just can’t come along. Sounds like a wonderful time. We’ve stayed at La Quintas before with the dogs. I think we will need to stay at them more often in the future when traveling with our furry children.

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