Up-And-Coming Regions to Explore in Ireland, Texas and Ontario

Take a scenic road trip along the Skellig Ring, tour wineries in Texas Hill Country and hit the beach on Lake Erie.
 

Lake Erie, photo courtesy of Elgin County Economic Development and Tourism

Lake Erie, Ont.

The low-key north shore of Lake Erie is sometimes referred to as Canada’s “forgotten coast,” but that’s starting to change. Though much of this stretch is agricultural, complete with tumbledown barns and roadside produce stands, it also has some lovely beaches (such as Erieau and Port Stanley), as well as friendly communities like Kingsville. A popular spot with birders due to its proximity to Point Pelee National Park, Kingsville is also attracting chocolate fans these days, thanks to the handcrafted chocolate birds at Old Dutch Guys Chocolate, a new shop on Main Street.

Skellig Ring, photo by Peter Cavanagh/Alamy

Skellig Ring, Ireland

This is Ireland at its best—an 18-kilometre route that branches off the fabled Ring of Kerry and takes travellers to rugged coastlines draped in endless shades of green and dotted with age-worn villages. Skellig means “steep rock” in Gaelic, and everywhere you turn, steep rocks and dramatic cliffs abound. Offshore, the rocky, spiky island of Skellig Michael houses the ruins of an ancient monastery and has become a visitor favourite since being featured in Star Wars: The Force Awakens last year (it will also be featured in The Last Jedi, which premieres next month).

Texas, photo by Miguel Lecuona of Hill Country Light Photography

Texas Wine Country

The state known for massive ranches and beefy barbecue is now becoming a bigger player on the wine scene. The main Texas wine region is called the Texas Hill Country AVA and is centred around the town of Fredericksburg, a city settled by German immigrants that’s near both San Antonio and Austin. Look for big, bold French varieties such as Syrah and Italian grapes such as Sangiovese, as well as white wines. You’ll find lovely inns and wineries in an area of Texas with pretty, rolling hills. Bonus: the joys of both Austin and San Antonio are close by.

Read more: Emerging Places in 2017

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