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Are there any non-urban vacation areas in the United States with full-service kosher food available? I realize that the following are not hard to find:

  • Kosher restaurants in some urban centers.
  • A few kosher bed-and-breakfasts that provide kosher breakfast.
  • Kosher cruises.
  • Kosher groceries in every supermarket in the country.

But what if I wanted to take a full-fledged vacation, including not having to shop for and cook meals, somewhere close to nature or in any case not inside a big city or on a boat? Does this exist in the US, or do I basically have to go to Israel?

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I think there are places that can send kosher meals on dry ice just about anywhere? –  Shalom Mar 15 '10 at 15:52
    
That's not really what I have in mind. Non-kosher-eaters can book a flight to Yehupitzville, book a hotel there, plunk down, and worry about each meal approximately when they get hungry - no shopping, cooking, or washing dishes - just go to the hotel restaurant or another local one. I know this isn't possible in every Yehupitzville; I'm just wondering if it's possible in any in the US. –  Isaac Moses Mar 15 '10 at 16:14
    
What do you define as "non-urban" and what do you define as "vacation"? –  WAF Mar 15 '10 at 17:53
    
I'm interested in information relating to whatever definition of non-urban you prefer. For "vacation," see my previous comment in this thread. –  Isaac Moses Mar 15 '10 at 18:26
    
There are also many kosher hotels in the Catskills, but if being surrounded by frum Jews doesn't feel like vacation, then you might have a problem. –  Jeremy Mar 16 '10 at 15:02

8 Answers 8

up vote 9 down vote accepted

Chabad of Lancaster had a guesthouse which they plan to reopen in 2012.

Central PA Koshermart Has a variety of options.

There is the Farbreng Inn in Richmond VA.

Jackson Hole Wyoming Has some options.

Postville Iowa is pretty rural.

I don't know if the New Arlington Hotel in the White Mountains in New Hampshire is still open.

There are still some options in the catskills. The Castskills do seem to be the go-to option most kosher consumers use when they want to get away to the country.

Still, your theoretical Yehupitzville vacation is hard to find. I think any kosher travel going out into the boondocks away from urban locations and maybe the Catskill region is going to involve, at very least, advance meal planning and probably will involve some cooking and/or meal preparation.

Here is a kosher meal service for tourists in Cape Cod Massachusetts.

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There are dozens that sprout up around the country this time of year, but are typically quite expensive, and many don't allow gebrechts.

For the rest of the year, I recommend Bangor ME. There is a kosher bagel shop and deli (at least there was 10 yrs ago), and lots of nature.

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Thanks! I'm not particularly interested in Passover travel. chowhound.chow.com/topics/625333 It seems from here that the restaurant in Bangor may be no more, but there is a B&B. –  Isaac Moses Mar 16 '10 at 14:41
    
that thread reminded me of the kosher B&B in Newport, RI. I've never been, but have heard great things about the town wrt vacation, and also of course there is the famous Touro Synagogue, which has davening on shabbos. AND there are direct flights from BWI-PVD via Southwest –  Jeremy Mar 17 '10 at 17:34

Unfortunetly, I'm afraid you're doing to be disappointed if you're looking for a rural area far from many other kosher eating Jews. With the cost of eating a meal at a strictly kosher restaurant more expensive than that of a non-kosher one, unless there are many kosher eaters around an area it's just not good business to open one. Kosher eaters, as well as Shomar Shabbat Jews tend to stay near the big cities.

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I'm afraid you need to get out more. –  Seth J Apr 30 '13 at 13:16

You can also adjust what you mean by close to nature. The area surrounding the urban center of Las Vegas has tons of nature/outdoors activities--Red Rock Canyon, Valley of Fire National Park, Mt. Charleston, rafting down the Colorado River etc. Also only a few hours drive to many other nature centers like the Grand Canyon and Zion National Park. Lots of kosher restaurants in the area and plenty of minyanim. Plenty of places that will deliver the kosher meals fresh to you, and motels in the suburbs with kitchens available, not for cooking if you don't want to but for just warming up a meal or keeping things cold in the fridge.

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Prof K, Welcome to mi.yodeya, and thanks very much for the advice! I'll be sure to look into it. Please consider clicking on "register," above, to create your account. This will give you full access to mi.yodeya's features and will allow you to take full credit for your contributions. –  Isaac Moses Mar 21 '10 at 21:08
    
Denver is also a good staging area with lots of nearby National parks and wilderness areas. –  follick Sep 11 '11 at 15:35

Not in the US, but Montreal has a hotel with a kosher restaurant. Toronto has lots of restaurants, but no hotel in close walking distance to a shul. Niagara Falls, and the Buffalo area, has good kosher resources in the summers, not so much in winter.It's generally a great vacation area, day-trip wise.

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Laya, Welcome to mi.yodeya, and thanks very much for the advice! For right now, I'm going to be confined to domestic locations, but I'll definitely keep your Canadian ideas in mind for the future. Please consider clicking on "register," above, to create your account. This will give you full access to mi.yodeya's features and will allow you to take full credit for your contributions. –  Isaac Moses Mar 21 '10 at 22:45

San Juan, Puerto Rico is a great place to go. The Chabad delivers kosher meals to the various hotels in Isla Verde, whether for weekday or Shabbos meals, and they even have a pizza cafe there on Saturday nights (operating on a seasonal schedule) and run an Israeli-style Kosher take-out shop in Old San Juan, open Sunday-Thursday. Staff is wonderful.

In addition, since it is a U.S. territory located not far from the mainland, you can get standard, American, packaged food products in the local grocery store located about a 7-10 minute walk from the main hotel strip in Isla Verde/Carolina, including familiar breakfast cereals, as well as shelf-stable milk with a Kof-K Hechsher (many hotel rooms are equipped with a mini-bar and refrigerator, which can be used to chill the milk and keep it fresh after opening).

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@msh210, I can vouch for the food delivery service. It was a very convenient service; we found it reasonably priced (consider it part and parcel of the cost of vacationing - probably cheaper than going out to eat every night); and the food wasn't bad, either. –  Seth J Apr 30 '13 at 13:00
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(I also added some more convenience-food information.) –  Seth J Apr 30 '13 at 13:09

I'm of the opinion that one of the most Kosher-convenient, family-friendly, and yes, exciting, but overlooked, vacation destinations for observant Jewish families in the US and Canada, is Buffalo, NY.

  • (Greater) Buffalo has a Mariott Residence Inn, which has affordable suites with kitchenettes, across the street from the Young Israel of Greater Buffalo.
  • Tops International Supermarket, open 24 hours and located about a mile up the road from the Residence Inn and YIBuffalo, has a Kosher bakery, which produces fresh-baked bread, bagels, and other baked goods (bread is Path Yisrael); Tops also has a Kosher Deli counter, which packages and seals its meats for sale after the deli counter closes. (When I was there a few years ago, there were also tables and chairs available to sit and eat.)
  • It is a short drive to the US side of the Niagara Falls, and easy to get over the border, with proper identification, if you want to check out the Canadian side.
  • On the Canadian side, in addition to having the better view of the Falls, there are many additional attractions that are friendly for families, and there is more Kosher food available, including a hot dog and falafel stand (only open for summer season) and a bakery/carry-out store.

For more information on Kosher food options, Daf Yomi schedule, and Davening times, as well as more tourist options, visit the YIBuffalo website.

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Q: What do you call someone who doesn't eat Path Yisrael? A: Off the derech. –  Double AA May 1 '13 at 2:38
    
@DoubleAA youtu.be/RP4abiHdQpc?t=23s –  Seth J May 1 '13 at 2:48
    
I prefer youtube.com/watch?v=UjXi6X-moxE I'm convinced this will make anyone smile no matter what the situation. –  Double AA May 1 '13 at 3:10
  • Anchorage, AK, has a kosher shwarma/falafel shop. (Does this count as urban?)
  • Hershey Park in Hershey, PA, has a kosher meat place (But why meat in a milk chocolate paradise?)
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