Check Out These 7 Must-See Vegan-Friendly Summer Vacation Destinations
With the arrival of sunny weather, many of us are excitedly planning our summer vacations.
But for those of us who live a plant-based lifestyle, how do we ensure we’ll have plentiful vegan options while we’re far away from home?
Thanks to the growing popularity of veganism, it’s easier than ever to find solid options anywhere you go. Still, some travel destinations are more vegan-friendly than others. So instead of stressing out about where you might eat during your getaway, why not travel to one of the veritable vegan paradises around the world?
Whether you crave the cool vibes of a northern US city, some R&R lounge time on a beach, or a taste of European culture, these are a few of the top vegan meccas emerging around the world for you to enjoy.
San Juan, Puerto Rico
First and foremost, remember that Puerto Rico endured the epic disaster that was hurricane Maria, the effects of which are still being felt throughout the country. Be mindful of this when you travel, and be sure to support local organizations doing important work to improve people’s lives.
In San Juan, you’ll have all of the culture and energy of a vibrant city plus access to the beautiful beaches of the Caribbean—the best of both worlds!
If you choose to explore restaurants nearby (and we strongly suggest you do!), San Juan provides an abundance of vegan dining options. 100% HP serves traditional dishes including empanadillas and picadillo de “carne” made with Impossible meat. Or try their vegan tacos, burger, or mac and cheese. Another option to check out is all-vegan San Juan restaurant Mama Pacha serving up healthy plant-based food including smoothies, bowls, wraps, and tostadas. For freshly prepared all-vegan Indian food, try Govinda’s Veggie Garden.
While you are in San Juan, you will likely notice that there are many homeless dogs living in the streets. A number of organizations are working to transport homeless animals to the continental US where shelters arrange for their adoption. It’s easy to help a dog in need travel safely to the US by volunteering as a “Flight Angel,” which involves taking an animal with you on your trip home. The organization arranging for the dog’s transport will handle all of the paperwork; you will just need to add them to your ticket and place their carrier under your seat. There’s even a Facebook group that matches Flight Angels with organizations that need help.
Toronto is the vegan heaven to our north. An easy drive from the US border, this city offers an abundance of plant-based restaurants that can be found throughout the city, so you can truly choose your own culinary adventure.
There are dozens of all-vegan restaurants in Toronto to keep you in plant-based paradise throughout your getaway. Eateries include Chic Peas Veg which serves up Ethiopian/Eritrean-inspired cuisine; Bunner’s, a vegan and gluten-free bakery offering a wide selection of celebration cakes, sweet bars, cupcakes, and cheesecakes; Tenon Vegan Sushi for exquisite Japanese fare; four locations of the super-chic Planta restaurant; and The Hogtown Vegan, offering the ultimate in cruelty-free comfort food.
If you’re planning to visit this summer, you might want to time your trip to coincide with the Vegandale festival, a celebration of all things vegan, taking place on August 6, 2022.
One of the greatest vegan foodie destinations, Toronto also has a history of animal activism. Toronto Pig Save, an organization that advocates on behalf of pigs and other animals who are farmed for food, often holds public events. If you’d like to spend part of your trip helping the helpless, take a peek at their calendar to see what they have planned.
Detroit, United States
Known as the Motor City and the birthplace of some of the world’s greatest music, Detroit (and the surrounding area) is also home to fantastic vegan eateries and an all-vegan beauty salon.
Enjoy exploring metropolitan Detroit and its architectural marvels such as the Art Deco Fisher Building and the Anna Scripps Whitcomb Conservatory. Or spend a day on the shores of beautiful Lake Huron, one of the Great Lakes.
While you’re in Detroit, be sure to stop by the restaurant Chili Mustard Onions for some vegan Coney Island-style eats, including the Chik’un Parm Sub and the CMO Coney hot dog—and definitely don’t forget the Chili Cheese Fries as a side! For dessert, stop by Treat Dreams, an ice cream parlor with vegan options aplenty. If you’re seeking food that aligns with a whole-food, plant-based diet, check out Cacao Tree Cafe, which prepares freshly made Power Bowls, wholesome wraps, salads, and smoothies.
When you’re not indulging in Detroit’s delicious food offerings, make an appointment at Rouge Organic Beauty for all-vegan services, including brow shaping and tinting, body waxing, and mani-pedis.
Boasting nearly 100 all-vegan establishments, Berlin may well be the plant-based capital of the world.
Gone are the days when Germany was associated only with meat-heavy cuisine. Welcome to a new day for the storied city that’s now filled with plant-based eateries serving up a robust spectrum of creatively crafted dishes. Whether you are seeking Mediterranean cuisine (Vegano Flavors), sushi (Tiger Club Vegan Sushi), culinary artistry (The Alchemist Kitchen), or Vietnamese food (Viet Next Door and Bodhicitta Vegan Bowl), Berlin will most likely be able to fulfill all of your plant-based food fantasies.
In Berlin, you’ll also have the option of staying at vegan-friendly hotels such as NORA Hotel Berlin, which features a vegan restaurant, and Michelberger, a family-run hotel with a cozy restaurant that always offers vegan options, created with locally grown ingredients.
If you’re a shoe-lover (and who isn’t?), you’ll want to visit Avesu, Berlin’s first vegan shoe store. Be sure to make an appointment ahead of your shopping trip to ensure the shoes you are interested in are available for you to try on.
Miami, United States
The sun, the sand, the sea, and fabulous vegan food—there are so many things to love about Miami!
All-organic restaurant Plant Miami creates beautifully articulated and refreshing dishes that are healthy and delicious. Selections include kimchi dumplings, tempeh curry carrot ginger noodles, sunflower mushroom risotto, and a super green flatbread with coconut mozzarella, fresh green asparagus, avocado, zucchini, and baby arugula (yum!). Or you can choose from the dozens of other all-vegan restaurants in the city, like Organic Food Kings (vegan fast food faves including tacos and crispy chick’n sandwiches), and chef Matthew Kenney’s popular vegan celebrity hangout, Plant Food + Wine.
When you’re not lounging at the beach, why not take some time during your Miami getaway for a little vegan self-care at Nobe Yoga. There, you can participate in a yoga class, get a massage, and replenish your body with an organic snack or juice at the on-site plant-based cafe.
Make your Miami trip even more vegan-licious by staying at the Crest Hotel & Suites where you will find Miami Beach’s first vegan restaurant, Full Bloom Vegan (established in 2015) offering a delicious and convenient plant-based lunch and dinner.
Seattle, United States
If you’re seeking a summer vacation destination that’s less steamy than southern Florida, why not give Seattle a try?
Located on the Puget Sound in the Pacific Northwest, Seattle offers easy access to the water and stunning mountains, as well as thousands of acres of parks. Summer temperatures usually stay mild, typically peaking in the seventies.
The city is rich in culture, from the fantastic Chihuly Garden and Glass museum to its history as the hometown of grunge and Sub Pop records.
Seattle is also a great place to eat vegan. If you’re a pizza fan, you’ll want to head to Pi Vegan Pizzeria, where everything on the menu is free of animal products, from the Cheezy Bread Stix to the “Meatlovers” Pizza. Or perhaps you’ll be in the mood for all-vegan Thai food. Check out Kati Vegan Thai for artfully crafted Thai favorites including Massaman Curry, Old-style Pad Thai, and Pad See-Ew—and no need to worry about the presence of fish sauce.
While you’re exploring the city, be sure to stop by The Isle of Plants, an all-vegan grocery store offering items from Field Roast Spicy Mexican Chipotle Sausages to Earthly Gourmet Double Chocolate Brownies, to ready-to-go sandwiches you can toss in your bag before heading into the mountains for a hike.
And if you’ve got a sweet tooth, you’ll love Mighty O Donuts which even offers speedy delivery. Everything is plant-based, and flavors include Raspberry Riot, Chocolate Peanut Butter, and Lemon Poppyseed. Try them all!
For a long time, Paris had a reputation for being très vegan-unfriendly. However, times have changed—quite dramatically!
Today, the City of Light is host to many wonderful vegan restaurants, from plant-based fast food joints to elegant sit-down establishments. With two locations in Paris, Le Potager de Charlotte offers vegans an elevated French cuisine experience sans the animal products. Dishes include Sesame Marinated Tofu and Rigatoni Basilic & Balsamic Cream. It’s the perfect place for a celebratory meal, or a special night out after a day spent soaking in spectacular art at the Musée D’Orsay, Louvre, and Musée Rodin.
Paris is famous for its fanciful pastries and desserts, which traditionally were not prepared vegan. However, vegans today may indulge with a trip to VG Pâtisserie Végétale, an all-vegan dessert shop that also has gluten-free options. Dessert-lovers can live out their hearts’ desires with an incredible selection of beautifully crafted baked creations that do not contain any animal ingredients whatsoever.
If you’re feeling homesick, head to Hank Vegan Burger for some United States-style comfort food and enjoy a quickly prepared (and nicely priced) meal of burgers and fries. And the Chocolate Mousse dessert will remind you that you’re still in Paris.
With so many vegan destinations to choose from, this summer could be the one where you take your plant-based explorations to new heights! These are vacations you can definitely feel good about—so get planning, and enjoy!
Maya Gottfried is the author of books for children and adults, including Our Farm: By the Animals of Farm Sanctuary and Vegan Love: Dating and Partnering for the Cruelty-Free Gal.
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