If one pumpkin on your porch is enough to have you smiling all season long, just imagine how happy thousands of pumpkins will make you. We bet that’s exactly what the masterminds behind these impressive pumpkin patches were thinking. But it’s more than just volume that lures visitors — it’s the insanely creative displays (like the village scene at the Dallas Arboretum) and the promise of fall fun (hayrides, doughnuts and corn mazes). Eager for a pumpkin-packed day out? Here are five spots around the country that do it right.
The national parks are an American treasure. On Aug. 25, the National Park Service — which manages and preserves the country’s 412 national park areas — will celebrate its centennial. In addition to its preservation efforts, the organization maintains myriad on-site dining options that keep campers, hikers and first-time explorers fueled for the day. Read more
When planning a vacation, one of the top reasons to opt for a house rental instead of a hotel is for access to a full kitchen while you’re away from home. It’s much less expensive (goodbye, 18 percent gratuity on every meal and drink!) and if you love to cook, it’s pretty fun. That said, the post-arrival trip to the grocery store can quickly turn into a nightmarish spend fest without some advance planning. Here are tips on how to smartly stock your rental kitchen with a single trip to the grocery store that won’t break the bank.
Tip #1: Plan your meals.
I have found that some of my go-to meals at home just aren’t feasible on vacation. Making my family’s favorite meatballs, for example, would require me to purchase breadcrumbs, Parmesan cheese, fennel seed and several varieties of herbs — ingredients I always have at home, but might not use again during my vacation stay. Try to stick to recipes that have relatively few ingredients, such as this Zucchini Panini and our other 5-Ingredient Summer Recipes.
Chefs spend their days absorbed in their own kitchen — rarely getting the opportunity to experience food beyond the day-to-day operations in their own restaurant. When they do get a break to travel, many of them find inspiration in food that becomes fodder for dishes that later appear on their restaurant menus. We asked a few chefs to tell us which cities have inspired some of their favorite new dishes. Read more
Whether you’re hopping on a plane or have a long road trip ahead, snacks are a key factor in successful travel with kids. Before you head off for that end-of-summer family vacation, make sure to check some of these kid-approved portable snacks off your packing list. Tired, hungry traveling parents should certainly partake of these goodies, too.
Gluten-Free Cheesy Crackers
These crunchy, cheesy bite-size crackers are easy enough for kids to make themselves. Let them measure ingredients, cut out the crackers in fun shapes, and sprinkle on toppings like sesame and poppy seeds. Then pack the crackers up for happy munching in transit.
If you’re a food obsessive like us, good eats are at the epicenter of your summer travel plans. Here are the summer vacation tastes we FoodNetwork.com staffers fantasize about for the rest of the year — and the recipes that help us re-create those lazy beach days (or Parisian adventures!) back home. Read more
Welcome to the Hamptons: home to beautiful beaches, incredible real estate and renowned traffic (especially during prime summer season). In the many villages and hamlets of the towns of Southampton and East Hampton, restaurants can cycle through as quickly as summer tourists. But an abundance of local produce and access to both the Long Island Sound and the Atlantic Ocean for fresh seafood mean you’re guaranteed to get a great meal at any time of the year. Plentiful weekly farmers markets, along with roadside stands like Little Dog Farm (pictured above), The Green Thumb farm stand (one of Katie Lee’s favorites, where she buys local Mecox cheese) and North Sea Farms, mean you can also make a mean meal at home. To help craft this tour we reached out to a few experts, including Food Network stars Katie Lee and Geoffrey Zakarian; Dan Rattiner, the publisher of the local iconic weekly Dan’s Papers and host of Dan’s Taste of Summer (where you can try almost all of these spots in one place); and Kathleen King, founder and owner of Tate’s Bake Shop. And we added a few of our personal favorites.
It’s interesting to hear what people collect during their travels. From postcards to original artwork, the choice of what to carry home reveals an intimate peek into the traveler’s life. As a food professional, it’s not surprising I hanker for edible souvenirs. Unfortunately, they don’t last any longer than the time it takes to eat a sausage sandwich on the cobbled streets of a German village, or lick the buttery crumbs off my fingers from an unbelievably good French croissant. A bottle of Italian olive oil might make it out of the country, but its lifespan is only as long as the number of home-cooked dinners it lasts for. Although the foods may be long gone, the memory lives on.