Settled in 1882, Zichron Ya’akov is a great place to spend a weekend of shopping, eating, and sipping wines from the famous Carmel Winery. Named in honor of Baron Edmond de Rothschild’s father, the town is not far from the equally laudable Haifa (just 20 miles south, to be precise). Many visitors make a day trip out of a visit to Zichon from the aforementioned largest city in northern Israel.
The 19th century architecture is evidence of Zichon’s peculiar history. Dedicated to immigrants who came to Israel with the First Aliya (1882-1904), the First Aliya Museum houses life-size model displays of the town’s original residents designed to illustrate what life was like for the first inhabitants.
The largest winery in the country, Carmel produces more than 150 wines, and hour-long guided tours are a great way to take in the 100-year old vineyard complex.
At the end of Hameyasdim is another museum, Bet Aaronson (Aaronson’s House), the former home of the agronomist Aaron Aaronson. Both the external architecture and the contents within retain their WWI aesthetic.
Built by Rothschild in 1886, the old synagogue at the corner of Hanadiv and Hameyasdim streets is well worth a visit.
A handful of other memorials (particularly the arched memorial at the entrance to the old town center constructed to memorialize the original settlers) await visitors to Zichron with a historical bent.