The snow is melting and the sun is beginning to shine. It’s almost time to pull out the bathing suits and dust off the grills because summer is right around the corner. In the meantime, spring break will just have to do. It’s a chance to let your hair down and go on a pre-summer adventure that tickles your green and/or foodie fancy to the max. And I’m not talking about drinking until your face falls off in some crazy, college kid-infested beach town. I’m talking about one week away from the grind to experience some of the best vegan food and eco-vacations the world has to offer. Be it a full week or just a few days, check out some of the most interesting locales across the globe to get your eco-vegan spring break on!
Portland, OR – Portland takes top honors for being both green as well as vegan-friendly. Be sure to fast for a full week prior to arriving in Stumptown, because if you’re a foodie, this is your haven. Sure, it’s not the sunny, hang-out-by-the-pool kind of place, but there is plenty of booze and tons of killer food. And if you’re feeling especially gluttonous, you can always bike or hike off the calories on any of their beautiful trails or eco-friendly streets.
Eco Must-Do: Pedal Bike Tours of the city
Chattanooga, TN – Yep, Chattanooga, in the heart of the South, is one of the greenest cities around. If you’re into history and seeing the makings of a modern green city, this is your place. Boasting river tours, abundant walking and biking trails both in and out of the city, as well as a growing vegan scene, you may want to catch the Chattanooga Choo Choo into town!
Eco Must-Do: Tennessee River Gorge Eco Cruise
Burlington, VT – Want to get away from all the hustle and bustle? Then make Burlington your choice for this year’s spring vacay. The area is the epitome of eco-friendliness, from citizen-based groups that tackle any number of issues like solar energy and recycling to the fact that the city makes it a point to have its energy come from renewable resources; Burlington is a great place to cozy up and enjoy some time away. Explore the various hiking trails, prep fresh food from local farms, help with the maple farming, or stay at any number of their eco-resorts.
Eco Must-Do: Take a green cab and stay at the eco Willard Street Inn
Channel Islands National Park, CA – If you are looking for a little sun and splash, the very green Channel Islands are for you. Just a jaunt up the coast from Los Angeles, you can be enjoying the surf and the incredible marine life in a few short hours. With a wide array of diving and other eco tours like kayaking, set up shop in a green hotel by the sea and enjoy!
Eco Must-Do: Hang out underwater with the Eco Dive Center
Belize – Eco-tourism is Central America’s biggest coup. With gorgeous beaches and breathtaking rainforests, Belize lends itself to green living. Jam-packed with fresh-from-the-land cuisine and eco resorts, this is the place to sip from a coconut on the beach without worrying about your carbon footprint.
Eco Must-Do: Stay at Chaa Creek Resort and take part in its Go Green activities
Costa Rica – As mentioned, Central America is the first name in green travel and Costa Rica is the capital of such travel. With insanely beautiful beaches and amazing native fruit and vegetables, Costa Rica not only has a ton of green locations at which you can kick off your shoes, it even has vegetarian hotels and resorts. And the best part of all: It’s super affordable!
Eco Must-Do: Stay at Lands in Love eco-vegetarian resort
Galápagos Islands – Hands down one of the neatest places you’ll ever see, next to Machu Picchu and the Egyptian Pyramids, is the Galápagos Islands. You don’t have to be Charles Darwin to appreciate the fantastic wildlife found here and the sheer beauty of the area. Outside of the air travel (of which you can buy carbon offset credits to clear your conscience) getting in and around the islands, as well as where you stay, can be green all the way. Talk about once in a lifetime!
Eco Must-Do: Stay at the Finch Bay Eco Hotel and take its many tours
Exuma Cays, Bahamas – It is tough to find a secluded destination in the Bahamas that isn’t thronged by tourists. So if you want to avoid the typical nightmare of the tourist trap, this bay is the best island destination for you, especially if you love spending time in the water. To its north, the Exuma Cays Land and Sea Park awaits for great snorkeling. Fishing is banned here at this 176-square-mile marine sanctuary, which totally rocks! On the island, you can also swim with and touch sharks and capture them in a cool photo.
Eco Must-Do: The Exuma Cays Land and Sea Park
Maasai Mara, Kenya – One of my most favorite places in the world is the Maasai Mara in Kenya. Not only will you be within arms length of some of the most magnificent animals you will ever see, you will experience a countryside unlike any other. The Maasai tribe’s people are some of the coolest people you will ever meet. With a variety of terrains from oceanside to desert, there are a number of eco-lodges and tours that will take you into a world that will ultimately change yours.
Eco Must-Do: Take a Maasai walking tour with Basecamp Explorer
Alaska – Like a little chill with your sun? This one is for water rafters who are extremely mad about sport adventures. Boasting Class IV rapids flanked by towering glaciers, rafting the Alaskan rivers is the best adrenaline booster and a majestic view giver. If you’re an animal watcher, hike here to spot bears, moose, eagles, and goats.
Eco Must-Do: Eco-kayak and hiking tours in Kachemak Bay through the Alaska Ridgetop Inn
Join us next week for the top vegan spring break foodie trips!