By Jenna Blumenfeld of Ovenzest.blogspot.com
Being a vegetarian can be hard enough in the United States. But eating can be even more daunting when traveling if your diet excludes meat. But fear not. With little effort, vegetarianism does not have to end when vacationing begins.
The most important step to ensure you will be able to not only find something to eat, but to enjoy it, is to do your research prior to departing for a trip. Countless websites handled by devoted vegetarians compile directories of tried-and-true meat-free restaurants. Below are some of my favorites.
A social network for vegetarians, Happy Cow tops my list. Traveler reviews, Google-pinpointed maps and even photographs are included in restaurant searches, so you can plan out your culinary trail prior to leaving home. Advertisements are kept to a minimum, keeping the website streamlined and headache-free to navigate. And if reading about these restaurants gets you hungry, Happy Cow has a recipe page as well.
A clean, easy-to-read and navigate site, Veggie Places is impressively comprehensive. Detailed descriptions of meatless eateries are depicted clearly, complete with mile distances, reviews, addresses and yes, even telephone numbers. What is more, the site contains a page devoted to useful vegetarian links, articles and blogs, all the more to inspire you during a holiday.
Although the site itself is very busy with advertisements and it focuses only on the United States, Vegetarian USA provides very helpful and accurate content. Searches for restaurants are conducted by location, either by state or major city. Extra nice is that not only restaurants, but co-ops, local vegetarian publications, natural gift shops, and even regional spa and retreat companies come up on a search.
So do your homework, plan ahead, make reservations. And your vacation will not be ruined by a growling stomach.