A Weekend in the Wild: 5 Vacations Where You Catch Your Own Dinner

Farm-to-table cuisine has become all the rage, and for good reason. With rising concerns about overly processed, GMO-ridden foods, comes a much-needed, overwhelming interest in finding fresh, local, organically grown fare. And what’s better than getting your paws on some fresh produce? Being the one who actually finds it, that’s what. Combining active adventures with experiences that let you fish or forage your own food, here are 5 of the best places you can eat your own catch.

1. Foraging by horseback at Smith Fork Ranch, Crawford, CO

Smith Fork Ranch

Smith Fork Ranch | Source: Smith Fork Ranch

A luxury guest ranch located on Colorado’s western slope, Smith Fork Ranch puts you in the driver’s seat, offering all the great adventures the Rocky Mountains have to offer. Reopening for the summer season on May 26, Smith Fork Ranch will be offering a “Horseback Riding & Foraging” experience for the first time ever. As a longtime local to the area, one of the property’s chefs is an expert in the region’s mushrooms, and this summer, he will take guests riding and foraging before returning to the ranch to craft a delicious meal inspired by the very ingredients picked by the guests.

2. Scalloping at the Plantation on Crystal River, FL

Located on the Nature’s Coast of Florida and the Gulf of Mexico, The Plantation on Crystal River is a 50 year old eco-friendly and green luxury resort hotel that puts guests in one of the largest aquifers in the state. Surrounded by the natural springs of Kings Bay, the area is home to more than 400 West Indian Manatees, and is well-known for scalloping — a season that occurs from July-September. Resort guests can take advantage of the hotel’s Scalloping Package and the Adventure Center Marine & Dive shop if they’re looking for an ideal spot to enjoy a scalloping experience at one of Florida’s most popular scalloping destinations. Whether you choose a guided or non-guided scalloping tour, return to the resort to have your findings shucked, cleaned, cooked and served up for dinner. Additionally, the Plantation also offers a cook-your-catch program year-round, in which the resort restaurant will cook your catch of the day and serve it to you that evening at their signature restaurant, West 82 Grill.

3. Forage for your Food with No Taste Like Home, Asheville NC

No Taste Like Home

No Taste Like Home | Source: No Taste Like Home

Finding your own food can be tricky, but when you book an experience with No Taste Like Home, you’ll know exactly what to look for. Unless you’re a true botanist, hunting for mushrooms can sometimes result in a poisonous batch, so going with an expert is advisable. Specializing in forage-to-table adventures, No Taste Like Home guests gather wild food that is then prepared by one of four top Asheville restaurants.

4. Catch your food with Wilderness North, Ontario, Canada

Catering to those who are truly seeking an authentic outdoor experience, Wilderness North, a wilderness fishing outfitter in Northern Ontario, gives outdoorsmen the chance to reconnect with nature, and reap the benefits of their days’ work on the water. Offering river-to-plate dining deep in the Canadian boreal forest, Wilderness North guests spend all morning on the water, followed by a shore lunch of freshly caught Walleye and Brooke Trout. The adventures begin with a flight to the lodges and outposts via float planes, followed by several days spent in a secluded wilderness, giving you a much needed chance to disconnect, rejuvenate, and reconnect.

5. Oyster Farming at Hotel Commonwealth, Boston, MA

Situated in Boston’s iconic Kenmore Square neighborhood, within steps of Boston University, Back Bay shopping and Fenway Park, Hotel Commonwealth offers a unique experience without leaving the city. Island Creek Oyster Bar, one of the hotel’s signature restaurants, is now offering hotel guests the opportunity to experience a farm-to-table experience of their own. With the “Aw, Shucks” package, guests can go out on the bay and pick their own oysters, followed by a two-hour private tour of the Island Creek Oyster Farm in Duxbury (including all you can eat oysters), a picnic lunch, and a 3-course dinner with oysters and wine pairings at Island Creek Oyster Bar.

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