Cognac’s nearly 200,000 acres of historic vineyards draw in tourists for tours and tastings at great houses like Martell, Hennessy, Courvoisier and Rémy Martin. But there’s more to discover in this verdant area of Western France than brandy.

For starters, cognac isn’t the only drink to hail from the region. It also produces Pineau des Charentes, a sweet blend of grape juice and cognac that you can try at local wineries. The scenery makes Cognac an idyllic spot for bike treks and hot air balloon excursions. The 224-mile-long Charente river offers a place for canoeing, boats rides, stand-up paddleboarding and swimming. Or hit the cobblestoned streets of the city of Cognac to see landmarks like the Tours Saint-Jacques, also called the Porte des Ponts, two towers that are remnants of the old medieval walls. But whatever you end up doing, make sure you end the day with a snifter of cognac.