Fruit Loop Tour – Hood River, Oregon
Fall is just around the corner, which means fresh pears, apples and peaches galore! The Pacific Northwest is home to much of this fall fruit harvest – in fact, the region produces nearly 84% of the nation’s fresh pear harvest alone! One of the most popular destinations during harvest time is the Hood River region’s Fruit Loop Tour, a self-guided 35-mile scenic drive through the valley’s orchards, forests, farmlands, and friendly communities. Travelers can sample delicious fruits, visit wineries, savor delicious baked goods, and participate in numerous events hosted at Fruit Loop locations. Voted top adventure city, Hood River is only 60 miles from Portland International Airport (PDX). For more information, visit www.hoodriverfruitloop.com.
American Royal Barbecue Contest – Kansas City, Missouri
Kansas City, MO plays host to the world’s largest barbecue contest each year. With more than 300 grilling hobbyists and pros vying for $62,000 in cash and prizes, the competition is sure to heat up! The American Royal Barbecue Contest, now in its 27th year, is so popular it’s been dubbed the “World Series of Barbecue.” The smoky annual event attracts some 50,000 onlookers who come for the sport, the finger-licken’ samples, and the adjoining BBQ expo. This year’s contest is slated for Oct. 5-7. For more information, visit www.americanroyal.com.
Santa Fe School of Cooking – Santa Fe, New Mexico
If you love food, but have never mastered the skill of cooking, consider adding a culinary class to your next vacation itinerary! The Santa Fe School of Cooking is one spot to consider – here you can learn to master the flavors of the real Southwest with courses that reflect the cultural mix of the region. Numerous classes allow you to experience the menus of traditional New Mexican, Native American, Mexican, Spanish and contemporary Southwestern cuisine. Try your hand at making Southwest tapas, tamales and much more. The courses, taught by some of Santa Fe’s best chefs, are both entertaining and sure to enrich your travel experience. For more information, visit www.santafeschoolofcooking.com.