The namesake town of the automobile brand, Cadillac is a popular port of call for voyages departing from nearby Bordeaux. Situated on the Garonne River, it is so close to the Sauternes region that you can practically taste the sweet dessert wines in the air. And although tiny, this French town has a celebratory joie de vivre that doesn’t fail to impress.
What We Love
Wine, Wine, Everywhere: Wineries are on almost every street corner both in and on the outskirts of Cadillac — and almost every one of them offers tasting sessions.
The River Walk: A pathway system runs near to the cruise ship piers, making a casual stroll along the Garonne — or a picnic lunch — an easy independent venture.
Best Known For
Château de Cadillac: Constructed in 1599, Cadillac Castle is renowned as one of the first examples of French-style architecture. Once a palatial mansion favored by the likes of Henry III, the Château also served as a women’s prison for 150 years until closing in the 1950s. Today, it is one of Cadillac’s most important tourist attractions.
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Who It's Best For
Fans of Dessert Wine: Cadillac is the ideal gateway for a day trip to the nearby Sauternes region, which is famous for its sweet dessert wines. If traveling independently, this is probably a good place to arrange for a designated driver.
Culture Cravers: This under-the-radar town isn’t overrun with tourists, and most of the shops and wares you’ll find here are intended for residents. Lovers of local culture, rejoice.
Don't Say We Didn't Warn You
Wine Not: If you’re not into wine, don't whine about it. Like Saint-Émillion, Cadillac is all about the grape.
It’s Small: While charming, Cadillac is miniscule. The town can be easily explored on foot — in all of about 30 minutes.
Aaron Saunders is a Calgary-based contributor to ShermansCruise.com.