So you missed Expo West? Instead, you can up your summer road trip by planning your vacation around your commitment to animals. Below are some ideas to get your creative juices planning.
If you go to any of these locations, be sure to tag #thedreamyidealist so I can cyberstalk you. ♥♥♥
CHECK OUT SOME VEGAN FESTIVALS
You’ll get to try loads of yummers food, talk with companies, expand your vegan friendscape (we all want that) and try to hide how emotional you’re feeling by the rare opportunity to spend a couple of hours in a space that is devoted to promoting a vegan world.
You may be surprised by how many such festivals exist. Large (like Vegan Street Fair) and small. At times, cloaked in non-vegan names too, like Yoga Expo which may focus on Yoga, but makes it their mission to offer vegan options to all attendees, and to sweeten your interest a bit more, is sponsored by companies like Daiya, GoMacro and Gardein. The best part is that Yoga Expo itself is on a road trip to 8 major cities this year.
TAKE A VEGAN CRUISE
That’s right! Take a cruise with some of your vegan heroes and eat until you can’t move. You’ve probably seen the ads for Holistic Holiday at Sea’s vegan cruise advertised in VegNews. Why not go? You’ll get to hear Dr. T. Colin Campbell, Dr. Michael Gregor, Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn just to name a few.
If you’re looking for an overseas adventure check out VegVoyages. They take care of everything for your vegan trip to India, Bali, Thailand and more stunning countries you fill your Pinterest boards with.
Probably super obvious but why not visit some animals and the kind humans that rescued them? Going to a sanctuary, looking into an animals eyes and hearing their personal story of survival is moving shit.
Sometimes you even get to hug them, depending on their comfort level, and feel grateful that you are doing all you can to prevent other animals from going through those terrors as well. We vegans are fighting a longterm battle that can sometimes feel hopeless. Sanctuary visits are the pilgrimages that refuel our sense of hope.
You can check out my sanctuary visits to Farm Sanctuary, Catskill Animal Sanctuary and T&D’s Cats of the World. FS and CAS have vegan accommodations on site that include breakfast. Here’s a directory with sanctuaries all over the US, Canada and Ireland.
FOLLOW VEGAN BANDS/MUSICIANS
Concerts are so Summer. Go see The Mountain Goats. Not only is John Darnielle vegan, but at every show he puts out literature about Farm Sanctuary. Rob Zombie, Ellie Goulding and Prince are also vegan. Here’s a list of vegan and vegetarian bands/musicians/singers.
VEGAN FRIENDLY CITIES
Pinterest, FB, Twitter and the rest of the interwebs are filled with lists of vegan friendly cities. (Man do we all collectively love lists these days.) So pick one you can afford, and that has other cool stuff to do in between your vegan gorge-outs, Insta that trip so the rest of us can drool with jealousy.
If a major city is more than you’re aiming for this trip, then try a vegan friendly town. VegNews just released their 12 Best Towns for Vegan Living last month. Lucky for you, I wrote the Essential Guide for Being Vegan in Ithaca, which is VegNews’ #5 pick.
FAMOUS VEGAN EATERIES
In LA, Manhattan or Disney World? Cause they all have their own Erin McKenna’s Bakery (formerly BabyCakes).
VEGAN HEALTH RETREATS
I’ve already touched on Disney, which is a place I love. Besides Erin McKenna’s baked goods, did you know that you can order Gardein, Tofutti, Gardenburgers and Daiya Cheese there? This is in addition to all of the other amazing from scratch vegan options offered all over the parks and at resorts. Check out Vegan Disney World for a complete list by park. More of a Disney Land person? They have loads of options too. Check out Disney Land Vegan. (While you’re at it, check out @DisneyLandCats on Insta…I’m obsessed)
Just a few hours north of NYC, in New Paltz (home of Mohonk — read about my trip there) is an all vegan B&B called The Hungry Ghost. In New York’s Finger Lakes Wine Region, there is an all vegan B&B called The Ginger Cat. They even provide a list of local wineries with vegan wines.
Wine tasting and visiting micro-breweries is a classic romantic, or friends, trip. But since most use animal products in the beverages, or during production, and somehow can legally get away with not disclosing this, we vegans usually steer clear. Thank god for Barnivore, right?!?
Metropolitan Brewing, in Chicago, is a craft brewery specializing in German-style vegan lagers. Vegan Beer and Food Fest is the stuff my dreams are made of. In June they will be in Portland and in LA. I make myself hungry everyday gawking at their Insta.
Miss the experience of visiting a stunning country winery surrounded by sunny rolling hills lined with rows of vines? Me too. We all love John Salley for his incredible advocacy and devotion to animals. So obviously visiting his winery The Vegan Vine should be on all of our summer dream lists.