Escape plan: WineFest at St. Michaels

Wash your weekend down with some wine during WineFest at St. Michaels, a three-day festival that begins Friday. In its second year, this wine sampling event offers guests some tastes of the Chesapeake region. Pour a glass and explore this charming Colonial town on the Eastern Shore.

While visitors tickle their taste buds with grapes, there are also chef demonstrations, tastings, an art sale and special dinners. Generous types can help themselves to another glass since the event will also raise money for six local charities.

The plan: Using a WineFest map as a guide, attendees can saunter through St. Michaels sampling wines, Chesapeake Bay foods, local art, music and exhibits. Guests can start their weekend by putting their best foot forward in the C-Street Stomp Grape Stomping Competition. Don't feel like being on your feet? Go to the home winemaking workshop, where participants will learn about the art and science of making wine for themselves.

On Friday and Saturday, take advantage of the featured wine and beer dinners. Guests can choose from any of the participating restaurants for a night to gaze at beautiful views, sample wines and savor gourmet dishes.

You can also take a cruise aboard The Patriot. Gold-and-black band holders at WineFest will be treated to an hourlong tour of the sights of St. Michaels. See sites that were filmed for "The Wedding Crashers" and mansions dating back 200 years.

The details: The event takes place Friday through Sunday. Times and events vary. Gate price is $50 for one day, $85 for two days. Online prices are higher after Tuesday.

Information: To plan your trip go to

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