TALKING POINTS:Visitors enjoy a distillery tour at St. George Spirits.
Ben Krantz Studio
Just a short ferry hop from San Francisco or Oakland, Calif., is the island of ALAMEDA, best known for its busy World War II naval air station. The base closed in 1997, and the district, now dubbed Alameda Point, honors its military past with a museum aboard the aircraft carrier USS Hornet and with the Alameda Naval Air Museum. Movie and television crews frequently film here (Discovery Channel’s MythBusters team conducts trials on the old runway), and historic hangars house a trio of top-flight tasting experiences.

From Alameda’s main ferry terminal, follow the coast past former military buildings while winding toward Monarch Street. ST. GEORGE SPIRITS (www.stgeorgespirits.com) samples bourbon, gin, absinthe and other beverages in a spacious tasting room with striking skyline views of San Francisco. Call ahead for a distillery tour, and swing by the store for a bottle to take home. In October, FACTION BREWING (www.factionbrewing.com) started crafting hop-forward ales and Belgian-inspired beers in the hangar next door. The crew also ages brews in barrels sourced from St. George and its other neighbor, ROCK WALL WINE COMPANY (www.rockwallwines.com). A father-daughter team heads up this urban winery known for traditional varietals and forward-thinking sparkling wines. Follow a tasting flight with small bites from the on-site restaurant, SCOLARI'S AT THE POINT.