It’s a no-brainer that you’ll want to sample the local cuisine while traveling. When you’re on an extended stay in a vacation rental, you have the opportunities to get to know the subtleties of local flavors – plus the time and space to learn to cook them yourself.
If you’re into authentic food experiences, then you might go all the way and seek out ingredients that are locally grown and produced. Local food uses less energy and produces less pollution and waste than food that is shipped long distances to consumers. In addition to greening your vacation, you’ll be truly enjoying all that the area has to offer, letting your taste buds savor the freshest foods possible.
Want really fresh, local food? Book your stay at a rental home with an on-site vegetable garden, fruit trees, or even a hen house for guests to eat from. There are quite a few listed on FlipKey, so you can start planning your next hyperlocal food adventure right here.
If Italian cuisine is your idea of perfection, then get your group together and spread out at the Country Villa, Lupo, right outside of Rome. The extensive grounds include a vegetable garden for guest use, so you can put together the freshest bruschetta you’ve ever tasted. Or, bring your family to the three-bedroom Villa Saveria A in Tuscany for a getaway in a medieval hamlet that’s been renovated into vacation homes. The vegetable garden will give you the chance to try making ribollita, a common soup filled with Tuscan kale and other veggies. A couple could opt instead for the one-bedroom apartment, Villa Silvestre C, in Campania, and feast on aromatic basil and juicy tomatoes from the garden; olive oil and wine are produced in the immediate area as well.
Made in the U.S.A.
Within the United States, rental homes with gardens, farm animals, fruit trees and other food-producing features give you a way to learn about the natural resources and history that surround you. The hosts of this Historic Rhode Island Schoolhouse that has been turned into a vacation home offer guests the chance to gather herbs and vegetables from the gardens, or eggs from the hen house. Further south, a stay at this historic farmhouse in Maryland provides a garden full of vegetables, and a porch to eat your locally harvested dinner on. On the west coast, in Sonoma County, California, a stay at the Country Garden Cottage provides you with an organic vegetable patch, as well access to honey and eggs collected from the hosts’ own bees and chickens. Out in the Pacific, at this luxurious Maui home with a pool, guests can pick tropical fruits from on-site trees and harvest herbs and vegetables from the garden. Now that’s taking advantage of island paradise.
We hope that more vacation rental owners take notice of the local food frenzy and start offering their guests access to fresh produce to give them a true taste of their surroundings.
Joanna Eng is a New York-based writer and editor who covers travel, green living, food, careers, entrepreneurship, and more. Her travel experiences have ranged from hostel hopping in Mexico to staying with distant relatives in China to renting a beach apartment in New Jersey.