Saturday, February 4, 2012


5 of the USA's Best Trips (Kindle Edition)
This is a great little guide for 5 places to go in the U.S. to vacation. First is a trip to western Virginia for the blue grass and old time music venues that are between the Blue Ridge and the Appalachian Mountains. You'll see where the Carter family started their rise to fame (June Carter Cash and other family members) and you're also in for a treat as you take in the breathtaking beauty of the area. Make your way to Floyd, VA and you'll find great music and the best fried chicken in Virginia.

Second on the itinerary is a trip to Vermont in the autumn of the year. There is an abundance of farmstands overflowing with fresh produce, and take in the well-known beautiful fall foliage of the area. A good number of restaurants in this state buy their fresh fruits and vegetables from local farms. The Cafe Provence in the town of Brandon serves a seasonally changing menu and the food comes mainly from local farms.

We are asked to loosen our belt as we go to see the area between Minneapolis and Milwaukee as we go by (and stop at!) supper clubs, creamy pie establishments, frozen custard stores, a mustard museum, and an organic farming area and not-to-be-forgotten breweries and lots of cheese. The majority of the cheese in the land is made in this area. At the Norske Nook in Minneapolis, the sign says "Pie Fixes Everything." There is banana cream, blueberry crunch and pecan cream cheese pie. Take I-43 to Milwaukee to see the Mustard Museum with 5200 kinds and then taste!

Trip 4 is Alice Waters' Culinary Tour of California eating. Alice's restaurant is Chez Panisse and back in the 70's Alice changed the terminology on menus so that people understood what they were eating. "California cuisine" and "certified organic" are a few of those terms. Alice evaluated several food establishments in California such as Hog Island Oyster Company where oysters can be bought, cooked and eaten on the beach. In San Francisco there is the Ferry Building Marketplace where there is a broad selection of gourmet organic produce.

Last on the list is a brewery tour through the Pacific Northwest by train. Amtrak's Cascades and Coast Starlight routes run up the western flanks of the Pacific Northwest. The tour starts in Eugene, OR and ends in Vancouver, BC. In Eugene there is the Eugene City Brewery, The Starlight Lounge and Steelhead Brewing Co. Going on to Portland there is the Hopworks Urban Brewery which composts all of its brewing wastes, serves food made from local organic products and serves organic beer. To get around the areas once off the train, the guide suggest renting a bicycle and even gives the names and locations of places that rent out bikes. Remember not to miss Granville Island Brewing first in Vancouver.

There is much more in the Best Trips than what I've summarized here. Many hotels and inns are recommended, as well as restaurants. Each section also has a "Detour" which has information about off the beaten track places to go. I enjoyed reading this very much and since it's from Lonely Planet, I trust the information if I were to plan a trip based on this guide.

Jack Hinshelwood

No comments:

Post a Comment