Best Weekend Getaway - 2008
The sounds of the city's hustle-bustle can almost serve as a security blanket of sorts. You grow used to the car horns, the rumbling trucks, the emergency sirens, the obnoxious neighbors. When you wrap yourself in the comfort of the noise, it's easy to forget the simple pleasure that can be found in peace and quiet. Remind yourself already and head to Hermann, about an hour and a half west of St. Louis along the Missouri River. In this tranquil, nineteenth-century German enclave, bed & breakfasts abound, as do wineries, where folks are welcome to buy a bottle, pull up a chair and just sit and breathe in the fresh air and serenity. Each of the seven area wineries has its individual merits (and Stone Hill Winery is definitely one of the best in the state). Just remember to have earplugs waiting for you at home — those sirens will seem inordinately loud upon your return. And also note: October is not a time of quiet contemplation in Hermann — it's Oktoberfest, which means lots of drinking, lots of people and lots of fun, just a less restful sort of fun.