BLOG HOP, DAY TWO: In this second installment of my Gluten Free Dining and Travel Series, I wanted to cover the subject of gluten free DOMESTIC travel opportunities. I'll be covering international locales in another post.
When it comes to locations in the U.S. that afford gluten free travelers plenty of safe dining options, there's no better place to start than our annual contest winners. Each year, GlutenFreeTravelSite awards one particular location the title of “World’s Most Celiac-Friendly Destination.” The contest recognizes locations that offer a wide range of dining choices for people following gluten-free diets. The results are determined by tallying the number of user-submitted dining and travel reviews received throughout the year for each location on GlutenFreeTravelSite. Here's what I'd recommend if you want to if you want a true "vacation from worry." These destinations have so many GF dining options, you'll want to extend your trip!
2008 Winner: New York
Not surprisingly, New York was the winner in the first year of our contest. New York -- especially Manhattan -- is a great place to visit if you have Celiac Disease. Awareness is good, and restaurants are eager to cater to the increasing number of local and visiting GF patrons. Gluten Free diners have their pick of many regional and national chain restaurants with gluten-free menus, as well as numerous independent neighborhood restaurants throughout the state -- some with gluten-free menus and others willing to tailor just about anything on their menu, within reason. You'll find many small, independent restaurants that offer GF menus -- many times as a result of a family member or friend being diagnosed with Celiac. Scan our page of New York reviews or better yet, enter a specific town or zip code on our Search/Mapping page.
2009 Winner: Florida
Florida was the winning destination our second year, due in large part to the numerous reviews submitted for the Disney properties. So if you have kids (or just love theme parks), you really ought to consider a trip to Disney World. It's become the “gold standard” in terms of catering to guests with special dietary needs. Disney takes this job seriously, and they do a great job of making everyone feel welcome at their restaurants, parks, and resorts. There are gluten free options available on the menu at almost any Disney-operated restaurant, and the chef or manager will personally discuss safe menu options with you. Plus, the entire Orlando area and other Florida cities are also home to many national restaurant chains that have developed Gluten Free Menus. Read Florida reviews or enter a specific town (Lake Buena Vista for Disney) or zip code on our Search/Mapping page.
The Washington, DC metro area had a particularly impressive showing in 2010. Reviews of many independent restaurants as well as chain restaurants offering gluten-free menus give visitors to the D.C. area a wide a range of “safe” choices. No matter what type of food you desire -- haute cuisine or casual family dining, Italian or Ethiopian -- you can always find plenty of places offering great gluten-free options. Read Washington DC reviews or enter a specific zip code on our Search/Mapping page.
2011 Winner: California
Californians have always been at the forefront in the areas of health and wellness. Northern Californian restaurateurs, in particular, have risen to the challenge once again and met the demand for gluten-free options. Visitors to this state will typically be met with knowledgeable and accommodating chefs that are aware of the gluten-free diet and its importance. When dining at a restaurant, just be sure to let the server, manager, or chef know that you require a gluten-free diet out of medical necessity, since there are many celebrities in California (and elsewhere) who follow a gluten-free diet by choice. Scan our California reviews or enter a specific town or zip code on our Search/Mapping page.
Happy Traveling...we look forward to hearing about your journey -- and receiving your reviews of the places you discover!
Have a comment on today's post? If so, leave it below and you'll receive one entry into our giveaway of a $25 P.F. Chang's gift card, to be selected at random from all entries received by May 18, 2012, the last day of our Blog hop. Each person is allowed one entry/comment per day for each of the 10 days of posts (May 7-11 and May 14-18), for a total of 10 entries on THIS Blog. You have the same opportunity for entering a total of 10 times for the giveaways on the other 9 Blogs. The giveaway is limited to U.S. residents who are 18 years or older. The Giveaway begins May 7, 2012, and ends at 11:59 pm Eastern Time on May 18, 2012. No purchse is necessary. Odds of winning are based on the number of entries. The winner will be randomly chosen and contacted by email. The winner will have 48 hours to respond. If the winner does not respond, a new winner will be randomly chosen.
Would you like to get more great gluten-free tips on baking, dining out, and kitchen tips? Check out today's posts from other Blog Hop participants:
Getting Started - Linda at The Gluten-Free Homemaker
Resources – Wendy at Celiacs in the House
Eating Out – Heather at Gluten-Free Cat
Frugal Tips – Janelle at Gluten Freely Frugal
Cooking – Carrie at Ginger Lemon Girl
Baking – Jules at Jules Gluten Free
Kids – Lynn at Lynn’s Recipe Adventures
Lunch Boxes – Tessa at Tessa the Domestic Diva
Shopping – Laura at Gluten Free Pantry