Vegan-friendly vacation spots - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 09-02-2008, 11:11 AM
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I just got back from Mexico with my wife and we really struggled to maintain our vegan lifestyle. Can anyone recommend some vegan-friendly vacation destinations (anywhere in the world) so that we don't go through something like that again?



Thanks in advance.
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#2 Old 09-02-2008, 11:14 AM
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windy rainy England? our weather is bollocks but I think we have some history and all that lark.



It's pretty easy to eat vegan here and there isn't (much of ) a language barrier!
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#3 Old 09-02-2008, 11:19 AM
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I've never been to one, but there are lots of all-veg*n resorts all over the world... if my husband was a veg*n, I'd definitely check that scene out. Here's a link I found:



http://www.vegetarianusa.com/vacationmapworld2000.html
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#4 Old 09-02-2008, 11:22 AM
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What were the problems you had in Mexico? Where did you struggle the most?
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#5 Old 09-02-2008, 12:40 PM
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What were the problems you had in Mexico? Where did you struggle the most?



We stayed in Cancun at an all-inclusive resort. There's only so much rice and beans we can have in a week. Even the restaurants we visited outside of our resort were very meat, cheese, and seafood centric.
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#6 Old 09-02-2008, 12:57 PM
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Well, if you want to lie on a beach for your vacation, southeast Florida (Miami, Ft. Lauderdale, Boca Raton, West Palm Beach, etc) is veg-friendly. Orlando in central Florida is, too, if you want to hit the theme park scene there, though I don't know what there is to eat inside the theme parks (which don't allow outside food). I haven't been to the theme parks since going veg, though I'm in the Orlando area a few times per year for other things.



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#7 Old 09-02-2008, 01:02 PM
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My wife just found a link to this place in the Florida Keys: http://deerrunfloridabb.com/index.htm
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#8 Old 09-02-2008, 01:26 PM
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Seattle, Washington. Portland, Oregon. Victoria, BC Canada.



Sure, we don't have the sunny baches and resorts, but it's BEAUTIFUL, tons of fun stuff to do, and very VERY veg-friendly!
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#9 Old 09-02-2008, 01:53 PM
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We love the Northwest and try to go there as much as possible. We're even considering moving there in the next few years.
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#10 Old 09-02-2008, 02:10 PM
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My wife just found a link to this place in the Florida Keys: http://deerrunfloridabb.com/index.htm



Looks nice, and probably less than two hours drive from me. That might make for a nice long weekend some time. Thanks for the pointer.



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#11 Old 09-02-2008, 02:22 PM
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We love the Northwest and try to go there as much as possible. We're even considering moving there in the next few years.



Well if you do, I'll volunteer as tour-guide and restaurant-pointer-outer...
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#12 Old 09-02-2008, 02:25 PM
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You could stay home and take a vacation in Chicago!

<<hides momentarily



If you're looking for something further afield:



All the northeastern big cities are pretty vegan friendly (not sure about Philly..never been there). DC is fantastic, and a nice vacation spot. Actually, I suspect most big cities are decent. In the past few years, I've been in geez, 30 large cities in the States and have never struggled. Even in Oklahoma, I could manage as a then mostly-vegan. Traverse City (MI) is actually quite nice as well. It might not be a spot for a "big" vacation, but it's a nice beach getaway.



On this side of the sea, I've had good luck most everywhere in England, in Brussels, and in Barcelona (which gets a bad rap veg-wise, but it was fab for me). Paris was challenging, though that was in part a language barrier. Norway was not naturally vegan-friendly, but with some hunting, IS and I have eaten well, and even had a fancy-schmancy meal at a restaurant on our last visit.

The ones I pity are the ones who never stick out their neck for something they believe, never know the taste of moral struggle, and never have the thrill of victory. - Jonathan Kozol
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#13 Old 09-02-2008, 02:29 PM
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I would recommend the Big Island of Hawaii. It's full of veg*n hippies . I lived there for 4 months (in Hilo) and it was very easy to be vegan. The 2 biggest health food stores, Island Naturals and Tree of Life, had every vegan food I could need. Not to mention the huge outdoor fruit and vegetable market that sold every kind of vegetable and tropical fruit possible! I went there all the time to stock up on fresh organic produce. And the island's famous pizza chain (I forget what it's called, but they're found all over the island) has vegan pizzas!
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#14 Old 09-03-2008, 01:10 AM
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We stayed in Cancun at an all-inclusive resort. There's only so much rice and beans we can have in a week. Even the restaurants we visited outside of our resort were very meat, cheese, and seafood centric.



If I may make a suggestion, the problem was perhaps booking an all-inclusive vacation instead of opting for independent travel. You put yourself at the mercy of a resort instead of opting to find your own meals.



Cancun has two vegetarian restaurants: http://www.happycow.net/north_americ...cun/index.html Did you find them? How were they?



A couple of good looking pasta dishes here: http://www.cancunitalianrestaurant.com/menu_pasta.html A quick search found Chinese restaurants and more places to explore if the local cuisine is getting a bit samey.



Another idea would be to book a self-catering accomodations with a small kitchen. You could then enjoy rubbing elbows with the locals buying food at street markets and researching how to cook local cuisine with local ingredients. This is what I do when traveling to places without a lot of restaurants. Some of these self catering places have pools and all of the trappings of a resort but with the addition of your own kitchen and cooking facilities.



I've found the thing with any vegegtarian vacation is to do lots of research beforehand therefore you won't be dissapointed or miss out on some hidden gems in favour of the tourist trail.



The moral of the story is that anyplace in the world is veggie friendly if enough research is included in vacation planning. Being a veggie shouldn't keep you from travelling anywhere in the world you want to.
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#15 Old 09-03-2008, 01:15 AM
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I would recommend the Big Island of Hawaii. It's full of veg*n hippies . I lived there for 4 months (in Hilo) and it was very easy to be vegan. The 2 biggest health food stores, Island Naturals and Tree of Life, had every vegan food I could need. Not to mention the huge outdoor fruit and vegetable market that sold every kind of vegetable and tropical fruit possible! I went there all the time to stock up on fresh organic produce. And the island's famous pizza chain (I forget what it's called, but they're found all over the island) has vegan pizzas!



oooh I wanna go there now
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#16 Old 09-03-2008, 04:55 AM
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oooh I wanna go there now

Me too, sounds just great!
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#17 Old 09-03-2008, 05:21 AM
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Originally Posted by MrFalafel View Post

If I may make a suggestion, the problem was perhaps booking an all-inclusive vacation instead of opting for independent travel. You put yourself at the mercy of a resort instead of opting to find your own meals.



Cancun has two vegetarian restaurants: http://www.happycow.net/north_americ...cun/index.html Did you find them? How were they?



A couple of good looking pasta dishes here: http://www.cancunitalianrestaurant.com/menu_pasta.html A quick search found Chinese restaurants and more places to explore if the local cuisine is getting a bit samey.



Another idea would be to book a self-catering accomodations with a small kitchen. You could then enjoy rubbing elbows with the locals buying food at street markets and researching how to cook local cuisine with local ingredients. This is what I do when traveling to places without a lot of restaurants. Some of these self catering places have pools and all of the trappings of a resort but with the addition of your own kitchen and cooking facilities.



I've found the thing with any vegegtarian vacation is to do lots of research beforehand therefore you won't be dissapointed or miss out on some hidden gems in favour of the tourist trail.



The moral of the story is that anyplace in the world is veggie friendly if enough research is included in vacation planning. Being a veggie shouldn't keep you from travelling anywhere in the world you want to.



Trust me....I did loads of research beforehand. Even places you think would be very veg*n friendly (i.e., Chinese restaurant) were unbelievably meat centric.



The resort we stayed in had an Italian restaurant, Chinese, Japanese, Thai, as well as Mexican cuisine. One would think that with those options we would be fine but guess again.



And again, we not only ate at our resort but we tried a few other restaurants in the area. It was definitely a struggle.
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#18 Old 09-03-2008, 05:25 AM
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And one more thing....the one veg*n place we wanted to eat at was within walking distance of our resort. We walked over there one night to find out that they closed that location. The next closest one was a $20 (US) cab ride each way. We didn't think it was worth $40 in transit fees to eat what appeared to be very casual cuisine.
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#19 Old 09-03-2008, 06:12 AM
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Trust me....I did loads of research beforehand. Even places you think would be very veg*n friendly (i.e., Chinese restaurant) were unbelievably meat centric.



The resort we stayed in had an Italian restaurant, Chinese, Japanese, Thai, as well as Mexican cuisine. One would think that with those options we would be fine but guess again.



And again, we not only ate at our resort but we tried a few other restaurants in the area. It was definitely a struggle.





Wow that certainly does sound like a struggle, especially when so many inclusive restaurants were advertised as in residence in the resort. That's a lesson for all of us planning holidays: what one person says is a Thai restaurant may not be what you expect as a Thai restaurant.



But I have seen many times in the past where one veggie will say a certain location was 'great' for veggies while another veggie would say the exact same area was not great for veggies. It really is interessting.



Would you consider a self-catering holiday?
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#20 Old 09-03-2008, 06:16 AM
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Sorry your vacation was not as vegan-friendly as you expected.



I second MrFalafels advice to book self-catering accommodation and to shop groceries at the local markets (and grocery stores). That way you can still research and go to veg*n-friendly restaurants in the area if you like, but you dont depend on them as much. Works very well in many European countries too. Though I admit Hawaii also sounds intriguing.

No need to leave it up to someone else (or an all-inclusive resort), to decide what/where you should get to eat.
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#21 Old 09-03-2008, 06:44 AM
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I'll second Tofu-n-sprouts recommendation of OR/WA/BC. I went there in 2006, we hired a campervan and drove round for a couple of weeks, cooking our own food so I can't comment on restaurants etc. but we found all sorts of good stuff in the supermarkets.



Slightly closer to (my) home, you shouldn't have too much trouble in most parts of western Europe, though certainly in France it's a real help if you have your own cooking facilities. In the UK there are an increasing number of all-veg hotels and guesthouses, I've stayed in a particularly nice one called 'Lancrigg' at Grasmere in the Lake District.
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#22 Old 09-03-2008, 06:59 AM
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That place in the Keys looks awesome but wow is it expensive!! I guess that is to be expected. Dream vacation goes on my wish list.

"Women & cats will do as they please, & men & dogs should relax & get used to the idea." Robert Heinlein
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#23 Old 09-03-2008, 10:06 AM
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I should add that I don't know whether the other islands of Hawaii are veg friendly, I only know the Big Island. Everywhere I went on the island (but especially in the east) there were vegan options, with the exception of Bubba Gump Shrimp and Cafe 100 restaurants.
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#24 Old 09-03-2008, 11:11 AM
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Do you speak languages other than English? My boyfriend and I had a fabulous vacation in Bulgaria last year, but that's where I'm from so we were able to get all yummy vegan foods both from my family and restaurants (the cuisine is similar to Greek). Trust me, there are many vegan options even in meat-centered cuisines, just normally they would not be listed in the fancy restaurant dishes. A couple of years ago (when we were only vegetarian) we also had a great time with a vacation in Japan, but we were with two friends fluent in Japanese. I think traveling to an area where you can communicate is key.
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#25 Old 09-03-2008, 12:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrFalafel View Post

Another idea would be to book a self-catering accomodations with a small kitchen. You could then enjoy rubbing elbows with the locals buying food at street markets and researching how to cook local cuisine with local ingredients. This is what I do when traveling to places without a lot of restaurants. Some of these self catering places have pools and all of the trappings of a resort but with the addition of your own kitchen and cooking facilities.

That sounds like a great vacation on its own.

http://www.ourveggiekitchen.com
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#26 Old 09-05-2008, 03:56 PM
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A friend just returned from a trip to Bar Harbor, Maine, and said that it was vegan-friendly, especially if you are doing your own cooking. She mentioned a restaurant called Two Cats that supposedly was veg-friendly.
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#27 Old 09-05-2008, 04:02 PM
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Jamaica mahn! Rastafari! Best. Vegan. Food. Ever!
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#28 Old 09-06-2008, 06:51 PM
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Well, the best place to be a veggie is in my town...New York City.

We have the most vegetarian/vegan restaurants in the U.S.A ......maybe even the world because of our population density....even more than California!

We have lots of raw vegan restaurants too.
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#29 Old 09-06-2008, 08:04 PM
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What about bed and breakfast type places? Those would be nice.
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#30 Old 09-06-2008, 08:30 PM
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Do you speak languages other than English? My boyfriend and I had a fabulous vacation in Bulgaria last year, but that's where I'm from so we were able to get all yummy vegan foods both from my family and restaurants (the cuisine is similar to Greek). Trust me, there are many vegan options even in meat-centered cuisines, just normally they would not be listed in the fancy restaurant dishes. A couple of years ago (when we were only vegetarian) we also had a great time with a vacation in Japan, but we were with two friends fluent in Japanese. I think traveling to an area where you can communicate is key.



Thats nice to hear about Bulgaria (I've always wanted to go) and my mother and I are looking at it for an option for next summer (we're doing a big vacation when she gets back from deployment).
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