Food festivals can be enjoyed, or they can be suffered. In our opinion, it all comes down to planning: the difference between stumbling aimlessly from tap to tap and a memorable experience comes down to hatching a strategy beforehand.

We’re here to help out with a plan for Seattle’s Taste Washington, which bills itself as “the nation’s largest single-region food event.” From March 29–30, Taste Washington will celebrate its 17th year with a bacchanalia of food and wine in the Emerald City. Some inspiration:

  • Start with a satiating meal at your hotel (several are offering complimentary breakfasts to guests during the event—see below!). Then head to the CenturyLink Field Event Center for one of eight educational seminars on things like old-vine fruit, wine-blending, and exotic varietals.
  • Play mad wine scientist at Saturday’s wine blending experience, demystify wine and food pairings at the Matchmaker session, or learn how to cook with what you drink at Sunday’s “A Winemaker, a Brewer, and a Distiller Walk into a Bar” cooking session.
  • After class, delve into more than 200 Washington wineries pouring 800 wines in the main hall. Use your newfound pairing knowledge to fortify your stomach with regional delights from the likes of Hook & Plow, Pike Brewing Company, and Theo Chocolates.

If the wine goes to your head and you start to stumble, worry not—you won’t have to go far. A handful of Seattle hotels are offering exclusive Taste Washington packages, some including a safe ride home and a complimentary bottle of wine. Here are five to get you started:

Best Western Plus Executive Inn
200 Taylor Ave N, 206-448-9444
Package pricing starts at $229 and includes:
-Bottle of Washington state wine
-Round trip town car transportation to venue
-Complimentary breakfast
-Complimentary parking

Mayflower Park Hotel
405 Olive Way, 206-623-8700
Package pricing starts at $195 and includes:
-Complimentary valet parking
-20 percent off food and Washington state wines in Andaluca restaurant

Best Western Loyal Inn
2301 8th Ave, 206-682-0200
Package pricing starts at $204 and includes:
-Bottle of Washington state wine
-Round trip town car transportation to venue
-Complimentary breakfast
-Complimentary parking

Vintage Park - A Kimpton Hotel
1100 5th Ave, 206-624-8000
Package pricing starts at $199 and includes:
-Welcome amenity of Washington wine
-Overnight valet parking

Renaissance Seattle Hotel
515 Madison St, 206-583-0300
Package pricing starts at $189 and includes:
-Complimentary parking for one vehicle

Every other Tuesday: Weekend escapes, travel deals, lodging and dining picks, and ideas for Northwest getaways. (See an example!)