Travel may feel unattainable while you’re staying home, but there are a few ways to “travel” without going anywhere.
Getting lost in a good book or a movie about a favorite destination, recreating a meal you devoured during a favorite vacation, even planting an international herb garden are all fantastic options for getting your travel fix.
Another idea you can really sink your teeth into, and a personal favorite of mine: Have some of your favorite foods shipped right to you. The best part? While you enjoy the treats below, you can do so knowing you’re helping a small business during this challenging time. Don’t forget about your family and friends, either. Any of these suggestions will make fantastic gifts that are sure to brighten their moods during the coming weeks.
1. Island Creek Oysters
One taste of these oysters and you’ll be transported to the New England coast. Located in Duxbury, Massachusetts, near Plymouth, Island Creek Oysters grows, harvests, and ships some of the best oysters you’ll ever taste. The price per oyster is super reasonable and one of my favorite perks about ordering from ICO is that shipping is FREE if you have them delivered during the week. They stay fresh in your fridge for days longer than it will take you to eat them, so there’s no reason to pay for shipping!
ICO also offers options from farmers from throughout the New England area, so you have the opportunity to help several small businesses at once. I order at least a hundred oysters every year and also give them as gifts. The only thing missing on arrival will be the person to shuck them for you, but use this time to learn a new skill. Pair the oysters with some bubbly and horseradish-charged cocktail sauce, and it’s the perfect vacation at home!
2. Crown Candy Kitchen
Crown Candy has been on the same corner in North St. Louis for more than 107 years, and they don’t plan on going anywhere anytime soon. It’s one of the few places locals are sure to take out-of-town visitors for a special treat. Normally, the soda fountain restaurant would be packed with customers picking up their handmade, solid chocolate bunnies and other Easter goodies, but everything has gone online now. If you don’t need Easter candy, try their heavenly hash any time of year. It’s marshmallows hand dipped in chocolate then covered in pecans and more chocolate! It’s, well, heavenly!
This family-owned shop has been featured on Man v. Food and Adam Richman’s Best Sandwich in America. The next time you’re visiting St. Louis, be sure to stop in for a BLT and a crown sundae, my two personal favorites, after I’ve tried a few pieces of candy, of course.
3. The Cherry Hut
Anyone who has spent a summer on the shores of Northern Michigan has enjoyed a cherry delicacy or three. The Cherry Hut has been serving their award-winning cherry pie for nearly 100 years, and while they may not be able to ship their pies right now, they are shipping plenty of treats that will transport you to the shores of Lake Michigan with just one bite.
There’s jam, salad dressing, salsa, coffee, and of course, chocolate covered cherries! Get some for yourself, or make a friend’s day by sending them a treat or two. When it’s time to travel again, be sure to put Northern Michigan and The Cherry Hut on your list so you can enjoy their fantastic service and a slice of cherry pie in person.
4. Jasper Hill Farm
Located in Northern Vermont, this family-run dairy farm produces some of the best artisan cheeses I’ve ever tasted. And folks, I’ve tasted my fair share of cheese in my 46 years. I recently ordered several selections to enjoy on vacation. Each and every one was delicious, and if you like blue cheese, you won’t find a better one than theirs! What makes Jasper Hill Farm extra special is their support and collaboration with other dairy farmers in the region.
It’s a true family and community effort, and you can actually taste the pride and care that they put into each and every step of the process. One of my favorite offerings is their cheese of the month club. It’s a fun way to try a variety of cheeses. Fair warning: The wait and anticipation between each month’s shipment may be difficult for some.
5. Rock Springs Cafe
If you’ve ever driven from Phoenix to Sedona or the Grand Canyon, you know Rock Springs Cafe is a must-stop. It’s only been around for about 95 years. Sure, their menu will more than satisfy the tastes of any traveler, but let’s be honest, we come for the fireworks, the grand finale, the pies! Specifically, they’re known for their Jack Daniels Pecan Pie, but don’t let it overshadow their equally deserving fruit pies!
My two favorites are the strawberry rhubarb and the blackberry, but can you really go wrong with pie? Try their Ship A Pie option, and you’ll be able to answer that question yourself. Rock Springs is the oldest independently owned restaurant operating in Arizona, so be sure to stop in the next time you’re in the Southwest.
6. Kermit’s Key West Key Lime Shoppe
Is it even possible to reminisce about your Florida Keys vacation without thinking about Key lime pie? I didn’t think so. Kermit’s Key West Key Lime Shoppe is here for you to help recreate those memories while you can’t travel. And if you thought Key limes were just used for pie, you’ll be pleasantly surprised when you check out their online store!
I’m still trying to decide between fudge, taffy, and truffles, but during times like these, aren’t all three necessary? While putting in your order, be sure to let your loved ones know you’re thinking of them by sending a special treat right to their door. It will make this time at home a little sweeter for them as well.
7. Clementine’s Naughty And Nice Creamery
Living in St. Louis, this one is my guilty pleasure. While I know you most likely haven’t traveled to St. Louis or tried Clementine’s delicious flavors, I didn’t think it was fair to keep them to myself, especially during these times, when pouring our feelings into a pint may be exactly what we need!
You may be wondering about the naughty and nice in the name. It’s their two categories of flavors. Both are excellent and don’t necessarily reflect a customer’s general disposition. Naughty denotes ice cream flavors made with alcohol, while nice flavors are kid-friendly. As with all of the businesses we’ve included, this is another where you can simply taste the quality of ingredients. I’ve liked every flavor I’ve tried, and that includes the manchego! Yep, cheese ice cream, and it was fabulous! I wanted to give you some recommendations, but honestly, it’s impossible to narrow my favorites to a few. Just know you can’t go wrong.
We know so many businesses are suffering right now and this list features just a few of the great tastes enjoyed during our travels. I’m hoping this is the first of many recommendation articles, so please contact us with any food-related businesses worthy of a mention. We want to share for all to enjoy!