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Vacation Ideas?

Bzdhkap Jun 19, 2012 08:20 AM

For me, a good vacation includes nice sightseeing opportunities, and good, or at least halfway decent kosher restaurants. Depending on frozen meals, or on supermarkets, doesn't do it for me.
We live in the NYC area, and over the years, are grateful to have had the opportunity to travel to London, Paris, Jamaica, Puerto Rico,
Toronto, Montreal, L.A., San Francisco, Las Vegas, Seattle, Canadian Rockies, Miami, Boca, Boston, D.C., Chicago, Philadelphia, Atlantic City, the Berkshires, Niagara Falls, Brandywine River Valley, many of which met my criteria.
For about a week this summer, we are ideally looking for a new destination, in the continental U.S. or Canada, a drive or flight away from the NYC area, not too hot temperatures, fun and or interesting sightseeing, possibly theater or entertainment, and maybe even a beach, so my husband can get in a morning swim - and at least one or two decent (not necessarily fancy) kosher eateries.
Any suggestions? Daytrips, & overnight ideas are also appreciated.
Thank you very much!

  1. d
    DeisCane Jun 19, 2012 08:35 AM

    Hilton Head?

    2 Replies
    1. re: DeisCane
      Bzdhkap Jun 19, 2012 09:22 AM

      Thanks! Are there any kosher restaurants near Hilton Head? Would it be very hot this time of year?

      1. re: Bzdhkap
        DeisCane Jun 19, 2012 09:27 AM

        Sorry, I meant Myrtle Beach. There are a couple good options, according to the thread below. It's not yet too hot there.


    2. m
      mamaleh Jun 19, 2012 08:55 AM

      LA Jolla/San Diego Area, Atlanta, Denver

      3 Replies
      1. re: mamaleh
        Bzdhkap Jun 19, 2012 09:35 AM

        Thanks! haven't been to any of these places. I'm a little afraid of the altitude in Denver.
        San Diego and Atlanta are definitely possibilities, but will have to check the summer climate, and things to do.

        1. re: Bzdhkap
          DeisCane Jun 19, 2012 09:35 AM

          San Diego is lovely weather-wise. Atlanta is not.

          1. re: DeisCane
            SoCal Mother Jun 19, 2012 10:58 AM

            San Diego weather is usually perfect all year round. There are actually only two seasons: daytime and nighttime.

            Exceptions are May gray/June gloom (65-70 but overcast), one week in August will be hot (80!), one week of rain around December and every few years there is a fire in October. (smoky air.)

            Other than that it's 70 and sunny all the time.

      2. a
        AdinaA Jun 19, 2012 09:04 AM

        New Orleans. Baltimore.

        7 Replies
        1. re: AdinaA
          Prettypoodle Jun 19, 2012 09:25 AM

          TONS to see do and EAT in Baltimore:)

          1. re: AdinaA
            Bzdhkap Jun 19, 2012 09:40 AM

            Thanks! I forgot to add Baltimore to my been there, done that list. New Orleans is on my to-do list for A cooler time of year.

            1. re: AdinaA
              queenscook Jun 19, 2012 10:31 AM

              What kind of kosher places does New Orleans have? It always seemed to me to be such a treif food destination, I hadn't really thought of considering it for a vacation. But maybe you'll convince me otherwise?

              1. re: queenscook
                SoCal Mother Jun 19, 2012 11:06 AM

                There are two kosher places in NOLA. Both are wonderful but you need a car. In addition the famous Cafe du Monde is now kosher (wasn't when I was there.) They are world famous for a doughnut called "beignet" and chicory coffee. Neither one sounds appealing to me, but they are located in an amazing spot near the river.

                1. re: SoCal Mother
                  mamaleh Jun 19, 2012 01:14 PM

                  Du Monde is kosher??? I'm booking a flight now. The smell of those beignet's frying always drove me nuts. Can't wait to try them. Jazz Festival (then Weight Watchers), here I come!

                  1. re: mamaleh
                    SoCal Mother Jun 19, 2012 01:55 PM

                    Yes, but I don't know about parve/CY.

                    It's a doughnut Mamaleh!!! It may look exotic but it's just a doughnut. The chicory coffee is awful. I don't get what the fuss is about.

                    When I was there I bought a box of beignet mix for a gift (for a non-Jewish friend amusingly) and it had chof-k if I remember correctly. You can get it online.

                    I admit I have never tasted a beignet, but I have tasted Krispy Kremes and I don't understand that either.

                    But I loved New Orleans and would like to go back.

                2. re: queenscook
                  AdinaA Jun 21, 2012 02:25 AM

                  Since the hurricane, the Jewish community has consolidated in Metarie, a suburb. The kosher place there is a large grocery/butcher/bakery/catering operation with tables. And GREAT jambalaya. They will deliver to downtown hotels.

                  I think there is a second restaurant in Metarie. It is fun to sit at Le Monde and have cafe au laid and a donut, with all the other tourists.

              2. g
                GilaB Jun 19, 2012 11:39 AM

                Vancouver? I've never been but have heard only good things. There are several kosher restaurants, I don't think it ever gets too hot, and it's near gorgeous outdoorsy places.

                4 Replies
                1. re: GilaB
                  mamaleh Jun 19, 2012 01:30 PM

                  Vancouver is a great idea.

                  1. re: mamaleh
                    SoCal Mother Jun 19, 2012 01:58 PM

                    There is a fancy restaurant in Vancouver that sends out coupons if you "like" their Facebook page.

                    1. re: SoCal Mother
                      Mashgiach Jun 19, 2012 10:25 PM

                      Maple Grill has discounts??! Great! Food is fantastic!

                      1. re: Mashgiach
                        SoCal Mother Jun 20, 2012 03:53 PM

                        Go on their Facebook page

                2. c
                  cappucino Jun 20, 2012 04:45 AM

                  If you are willing to fly anywhere, then my choice is Vancouver and then San Diego. Alternatively, San Francisco and that area. San Diego gets you guaranteed weather as mentioned before and nice hotels walking distance to La Jolla shul which is in a very nice area. Also, major takeout at the Ralphs supermarket with every kind of kosher plus Shabbos takeout. Vancouver is just so beautiful (mountains, ocean, clean, green, parks..). We got food in Vancouver and went to Whistler--the ski town--which has all kinds of activities in the summer. Vancouver also has cultural options, shows, concerts. Victoria Island. Please report back what your choice was. I believe we can only afford Virginia this summer.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: cappucino
                    SoCal Mother Jun 20, 2012 03:55 PM

                    Actually let us know before you go. Maybe someone on the list might want to host you or at least meet you...

                    I am planning a trip to Houston this summer. (Yes, I know, I know...Really! I know!)

                  2. k
                    koshergastronome Jun 21, 2012 09:20 AM

                    Virginia Beach?
                    We're actually heading there next week, does anyone know of the kosher restaurants in and around that area? A shamash search came up with one pizza restaurant in the norfolk area (25mins) drive...anything else?
                    And any ideas for activities in the area?

                    4 Replies
                    1. re: koshergastronome
                      cappucino Jun 21, 2012 03:47 PM

                      Virginia Beach does not have anything to offer in terms of kosher food right now. As far as I know there is no kosher pizza store in Norfolk, but I will check on that. Last year, there was the Richmond JCC which offered very light food---nothing that good, pizza bagel, tuna sandwich. The meat restaurant in VB closed down. There was a grocery store in the Norfolk area, but no takeout. If there is a pizza store down that way, please let us know.

                      1. re: cappucino
                        queenscook Jun 21, 2012 04:17 PM

                        I have no personal knowledge of this, but there is a pizza place under the Va'ad of Tidewater listed on Shamash:

                        The listing was updated as recently as May.

                        1. re: queenscook
                          masteraleph Jun 21, 2012 04:27 PM

                          There is a pizza store there; it's brand new.

                          1. re: masteraleph
                            cappucino Jun 22, 2012 06:44 AM

                            That is wonderful!

                    2. b
                      Bzdhkap Jun 22, 2012 05:16 AM

                      Thanks everyone for your wonderful suggestions so far. I'm embarassed to say that
                      I also forgot to include Vancouver and Victoria in my list of places we've already been.
                      That's where we started off on our trip to the Canadian Rockies. All of the other options
                      suggested are definitely on my wish list for future trips. I'm planning to do more research
                      into Myrtle Beach or San Diego for the hoped for upcoming vacation. Right now I'm
                      leaning towards something closer to home. Maybe a drive away. Still also under consider-
                      ation might be a return visit to someplace we've already been. There is something
                      relaxing about returning to a familiar place - and maybe discovering some new kosher
                      restaurants that have opened since we were there last :).

                      4 Replies
                      1. re: Bzdhkap
                        AdinaA Jun 27, 2012 02:07 PM

                        New Haven. I love Claire's Vegetarian restaurant, someone on this list says there's another good restaurant there. Stamford also has restaurants that have been discussed here. Great museums at Yale. Easy drive to Mystic Seaport and a number of other attractions.

                        I know, a vacation in New Haven sounds, well, like a punchline. But I'm serious. Connecticut is filled with attractions and beaches, all of them a short drive from New Haven.

                        1. re: AdinaA
                          Cholent Fresser Jul 4, 2012 10:38 PM

                          what kosher options (and sights?) are there in Baltimore?

                          1. re: Cholent Fresser
                            kosherGlutenFree Jul 5, 2012 07:53 AM

                            There is alot to do in Baltimore and it is close to DC.

                            The Walter's Art Museum and Baltimore Museum of Art are both free for the regular exhibits. Ft McHenry has the original flag that flew during the bombardment during the War of 1812 plus the actual fort is fascinating, this would be a nice place to have a picnic. There are tons more museums in the area and every time I turn around there are more (Black History museum, Civil War museum, Railroad, etc). The National Aquarium, Baltimore Zoo (which I think is now called the Maryland Zoo), an small but excellent Jewish Museum with 2 historical synogogues, Inner Harbor which is downtown with shopping plus the aquarium plus some museums in the area. Boat tours of the harbor. Annapolis is about an hour away.

                            I haven't checked for several years but there was a boat ride to the eastern shore of MD from Baltimore.

                            There are quite a few places to eat in the jewish area which is mainly in Northern Baltimore City. But there is something downtown. Plus we have excellent shopping for food with Seven Mile Market plus other stores having kosher items. I am not as up on restaurants since I don't eat out much due to limited or no gluten free selections. If you come now I saw that Seven Mile Market has peach cake which is a Baltimore tradition (don't know if it uses the traditional recipe since I cannot try it since it has gluten). They also have something called a coddy (again I have never tried it but have been told it is good). The one Baltimore food tradition that I have never seen a kosher version of is taking a fresh lemon and inserting a certain type of peppermint stick that is porous so you can suck the juice out through the stick, this is very popular at fairs/festivals. One thing I do miss being able to eat is the mohn cake from Goldman's Bakery, a friend would send this to her mother every year after her mother visited and had some of the cake. Wasserman's makes his own deli which is gluten free and excellent with an interesting selection that is not widely available (and he will do things like vacuum seal the meats to help with taking some home).

                            Hopefully someone else will comment more fully on the restaurants.

                          2. re: AdinaA
                            bagelman01 Jul 5, 2012 07:35 AM


                            As you know, I'm a New Haven Native and still live within a 30 minute drive. Great destination choice.

                            Claire's and Edge of the Woods (this time of year don't know what's available at the Slifka Center at Yale)

                            30 minute drive to Waterbury....

                            Timex Museum, Mattatuck Museum, Thomaston Steam Train, Quassy Amusement Park and ESPN within another 20 minutes

                            Assorted kosher dairy dining, I think the deli has closed. Kosher bakery, deli, butcher and prepared foods at the Shop-Rite. Waterbury has a thriving Yeshiva/Kollel community.

                            Nothing kosher worth eating in Bridgeport (bad cafe at the JCC)

                            Stamford 45 minutes from New Haven has Kosh, good fleisighes. I didn't like it at first but it has improved in the last couple of months.

                            Hartford area (40 minutes from New Haven)

                            State Capitol, Wadsworth Athaneum, Bradley Air Museum, Mark Twain House, etc.

                            Shuman's Deli in Bloomfield is quite good.

                            the shoreline has good beaches and attractions as well at prices that won't break the bank.

                            Many Stop and Shop bakeries are under kosher supervision as well as Carvel

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