Five best vacation spots for foragers and wild food enthusiasts

If you're getting bored of your local fair, try out these foraging hot spots.

If you're unfamiliar, foraging is a growing food craze in which lovers of fruits and veggies scour the wilderness, or the closest neighborhood park, for naturally occurring produce. It's the ultimate combination of grocery shopping and a scavenger hunt. While it's certainly easier to head to your local Acme or Giant, foraging has a few benefits of that most supermarkets don't. Most importantly, foraging is free. And while there are a few rules that would-be foragers are expected to adhere to, for the most part, if you find something, it's yours. On top of this, foraging gives you access to many new flavors and is a great way to spice up your meals if you're getting tired of the same old dinner routine.

When it comes to foraging, there are two distinct, but equally rewarding, disciplines. On the one hand, you've got wilderness foraging which is done in forests and fields. This is probably what came to mind when you thought about hunting down wild veggies. On the other hand, is urban foraging, which takes place in major cities. With the latter form, it's important to make sure the veggies you're picking are free of chemicals, as pollution–varying from dog urine to exhaust fumes– is much more abundant in large cities. That said, New York City has a burgeoning foraging scene, and it's definitely not impossible to find edible veggies in the concrete jungle. With the rebirth of foraging, both in the wilderness and urban areas, in mind, we've come up with a list of great vacation spots for adventurous eaters looking to add some exotic flavors to their pantries.

Istria County, Croatia

Croatia is a great place to forage for truffles

The first stop on our list is the Istrian peninsula, particularly Istria County located in beautiful, sunny Croatia. For foragers, the main point of interest in this Balkan state is the various truffles native to the region. There are several tours that allow visitors to hunt for these pungent delicacies, using dogs. The weather in Istria typically averages around 45 degrees in the winter and 75 degrees in the summer, making it a lovely vacation spot all year round.

Crystal River, Florida

If you're looking for scallops, Crystal River is a great location

Crystal River is about 90 minutes from Orlando, on Florida's west coast, and features some of the best foragings in the United States. The delicacy: scallops. If you're a snorkeler with an appetite for seafood, welcome to foraging heaven. Manatee Tour and Dive will take you out on an excursion for around $75, but if you have a fishing license, you can just grab a bucket and head out there on your own. The scallops only hide four to eight feet underwater.

Cornwall Peninsula, England

Wild fruits and veggies abound at the Cornwall Peninsula

The Cornwall Peninsula is a veritable cornucopia of various wild fruits, veggies, and wildlife. While the Fat Hen School offers a three-pronged, forage, cook, and feast tour, the abundance of easily accessible food sources make it an experienced forager's dream. There's an abundance of wild rabbits, shellfish, and all kinds of greens, and unlike most places, these foods are around all year long.

Hong Kong

Lantau Island has a lot to offer foragers looking for fruits and vegetables

Hong Kong's countryside, specifically Lantau Island, contains a luscious bounty of exotic fruits and vegetables. From Jamaican cherries to banana blossom, there's a seemingly endless supply of little-known flavors. Stir fry and salad ingredients abound, but be careful when foraging here, as many of the plants in the region are poisonous. If you are inexperienced, it's in your best interest to bring a guide, lest you accidentally eat a rosary pea.

Copenhagen, Denmark

The forests of Denmark are ripe with wild offerings

Hometown of Michelin Star chef and hardcore forager, Rene Redzepi, Copenhagen is the Mecca of the foraging world. Redzepi has recently created an app called Vild Mad (wild food) that can be used to guide foragers through the Danish wilderness. It also comes with recipes from the award-winning chef and is one of the best foraging resources currently on the market. Take the trip, you won't be sorry.

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The Best Museums in NYC

In honor of #NationalMuseumDay, here are the best NYC can offer.

While quarantine may keep museums shuttered for the summer, it will be more important than ever to return to them when they're re-opened.

Under normal circumstances, the sheer number of museums in The Big Apple can be overwhelming. Sure, the MET and MOMA are all well and good, but you'd be doing yourself a disservice if you didn't take the time to delve deeper into the city's bustling museum culture. In honor of #NationalMuseumDay, here are the best museums the city has to offer.

The Noguchi Museum

Noguchi Museum

A quaint and pristine Long Island City museum built by esteemed American-Japanese artist Isamu Noguchi, The Noguchi Museum is an oasis of abstractionism and eccentricity. Decorated with paper mache lamps across two levels of exhibition space, the museum also offers a secluded overflowing ivy garden. Akin to Noguchi's style, the art is often a collection of minimalist geometric sculptures that transfix the eye with their unique congruity. The works have only gotten more breathtaking as Noguchi's style has evolved over his 70 year career.

The New Museum

For those artsy-fartsy museum goers who require their art to be brash and bold, The New Museum will most definitely scratch that itch. They regularly champion up-and-coming modern artists, with little constraints on what they'll accept. From filmmaker Kahlil Joseph to Australian painter Helen Johnson, The New Museum is great at offering variety. Some exhibits are better than others, but the diverse, creative risks that The New Museum rewards tend to make the viewing experiences unfounded and unforgettable.

The Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum

the smithsonian

Located in a breathtaking 1900's Georgian Mansion, this Upper East Side museum promotes groundbreaking work in technology, architecture and design. From metalwork and sculptures to pottery, furniture, and advanced technology, the sprawling museum usually offers around 200,000 different pieces of captivating design from over the years.

Rubin Museum of Art

Rubin Museum of Art

The Chelsea-based art museum contains an extensive array of art from the Himalayas and India. With over 38,000 pieces from the past 1,500 years, the sculptures and installations provide a fascinating look at Himalayas rich culture. From photos by legendary photographer Henri Cartier-Bresson, to sculptures and renditions from Tibet's Lukhang Temple, The Rubin offers an experience unlike any other.

National Museum of the American Indian New York

National Museum of the American Indian

The National Museum of American Indian was erected in the middle of a bustling Manhattan intersection to share the stories of over 1,200 indigenous cultures. From authentic ceremonial objects to gorgeous wood carvings and detailed pottery, the groundbreaking museum is one of the most important in the city to helping preserve the legacy of indigenous culture.

The Tenement Museum

The Tenement Museum

Located on the Lower East Side, the Tenement Museum is located in a historical tenement house, and offers authentic tours of the working-class apartments that helped house immigrants. The tour, which recreates each tenement with stirking detail, encompasses the housing evolution of LES, and how its budding immigrant residents shaped it into one of the most densely populated neighborhoods in the city.


10 Endangered Animals to Weep Over

Celebrate Endangered Species Day.

An endangered species is not a tragedy, because if a species is endangered, then they aren't yet extinct.

Sadly, there are millions of endangered species across the world, all facing threats that mostly stem from human activities. Still, it's not too late. Take a gander at these majestic animals, and then donate to a wildlife fund or environmental activism group of your choice.

Of course, nature doesn't need saving—humans do—and climate change and environmental destruction are threats to humans as well as animals, but if you need a reminder of the beauty and fragility of the natural world, check out these extraordinary species.


Do Non-Melatonin Sleep Aids Really Work?

Objective makes a chocolate square.

I Can't Sleep.

I truly cannot remember the last time I had a good night's rest. Even before the stay-at-home orders, I was just a little ball of nerves.

But lately, it's been awful. I toss and turn, it's always too hot or even too cold, sometimes I make myself tea and read for a bit, but when I'm still up at 1 a.m., I reach for my phone and then I'm up until 3. My sister and I have a weekly call, and our small talk about our exhaustion turned into an hour long conversation about sleep.

I Thought I'd Tried Everything. Even Melatonin.

My sister asked why I hadn't gone for the old staple, melatonin and I reminded her about the time we traveled abroad, and it gave me the weirdest nightmares (the horrible kind where you wake up in your dream and you're still in a dream). Chamomile tea didn't work, nothing worked.

She said she had a friend who swore by something I definitely hadn't heard of.

They Were NOT Pills, Teas or Anything I'd Seen Before.

A company called Objective makes Fast Asleep, a sleep solution delivered as chocolatey treats. They're created with saffron and GABA. If going to sleep was as easy as eating a piece of these chocolatey, minty delights every night, I'd be sold.

What Exactly Was In It?

Cocoa contains caffeine, so I didn't know how this would help me sleep. After talking with my sister, I went online and saw that the calming, sleep-supporting ingredients cancel out any of the very little caffeine content.

Saffron, the spice, is apparently known to help with staying asleep, and their GABA is a fermented version of the neurotransmitter that's known to help you relax and fall asleep faster. In a study, 100% of customers saw improvement in their sleep quality thanks to saffron. One hundred percent!

Do I Try It?

A bag of 30 pieces was only $40, and they had a money-back guarantee.

They're keto-friendly and only 30 calories a piece, so not too decadent before bedtime.

They were chocolatey-minty, which is my favorite flavor, so I was sold. I ordered a bag to try.

The First Night, I Wasn't Impressed.

I took one piece (super yummy!) - 30-60 minutes before bedtime is recommended - but when I climbed in, I didn't notice a difference. I was worried I'd wasted my money.

However, once I fell asleep, I stayed asleep until my alarm went off, which hasn't always been the case for me.

I checked the site again, and noticed that many people didn't notice a real difference until the third or fourth night - it builds up in your system over time, so I decided to keep an open mind the rest of the week.

The Second Night Was Completely Different

Without doing anything differently from the first night, my second night was amazing. I felt calm and sleepy as I was getting ready for bed, and once I hit the pillow, I was out the whole night.

It had to be these sweet treats. The next day, I even felt more balanced and relaxed - Fast Asleep helps boost serotonin levels and reduce cortisol (the stress hormone), and I definitely noticed a difference in my overall mood and alertness.

I Already Ordered More.

Just In Case! There's nothing habit-forming about this product, so it's completely safe to take every night, and I honestly always want to keep it in the house. I'd also love to offer it to anyone staying over in the guest room, whenever we have guests again.

Now that I'm getting a healthy 8 hours of sleep every night, I feel more equipped during the day to tackle the things I need to do and deal with some of my daytime stressors. I finally had the energy to clean the kitchen, which had been bothering me so much for the past few weeks.

With Objective's Fast Asleep, I get real sleep and balance my levels, so I don't have to feel tired during my waking hours. Sleep in the form of chocolate squares sounds so weird, but oh my goodness, do they work.

Our partners at Objective Wellness are currently offering a 25% discount if you use the coupon code STAYHOME. Check them out here!