Not far from one of the most beautiful places I’ve had the pleasure of experiencing is a really unique dining experience that goes by the name of The Nite Owl and the Back Room. I’ve toured around the US and I’ve visited places like the Grand Canyon, Zion National Park, Yellowstone and Grand Tetons, and none of those compare to the stunning beauty of Glacier National Park.
Among the most visited places in the world is Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming, and for good reason. Not only is it packed with natural beauty, geothermal wonders and is a window into wildlife and ecosystems that no longer exist across the country as they once had, but the park is absolutely stuffed with tourists. So much so, that surrounding towns have been transformed over time from the tourism, like that of Island Park, Idaho.
A short drive north from Yellowstone is the lovely little town of Big Sky, which is nestled in the mountains of Montana, sandwiched between the legendary parks of Yellowstone and Glacier National Park. My wife Leah and I toured Grand Tetons, Yellowstone and Glacier parks last month and we took an evening and ventured north from our Yellowstone campsite to Big Sky, where we had the pleasure of experiencing a truly great restaurant.
In the heart of the Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming sits Jackson Hole, a tiny town with fine dining, shops, wildlife, skiing and more. Nestled against the Grand Teton mountain range, Jackson Hole offers visitors beautiful views, opportunities to ski and explore the wilder areas surrounding it, and to eat very well. My wife Leah and I visited one of Jackson Hole’s finest restaurants in the Westbank Grill inside the Four Seasons Hotel.
For visitors to North America, Niagara Falls is among the most popular stops, and is up there with the renowned likes of the Grand Canyon and Yellowstone for a lot of outsiders. Niagara Falls is a natural wonder, consisting of three waterfalls that form at the Canadian-USA border in New York, where the Niagara River flows from Lake Erie into Lake Ontario. It’s a monumental sight that has unfortunately turned into quite a tourist trap, where on the Canadian side has been built up into a city surrounding the falls, though the USA side has been left a bit more undeveloped and is home of a lovely park and is home of the Cave of the Winds.
During my honeymoon in Maine, Leah and I were blessed with the opportunity to experience some of Maine’s premier cuisine at the Hurricane Restaurant in Kennebunkport, Maine. Kennebunkport is a fashionable, quaint and charming town, nestled along the rocky coast just south of Portland. The coastal town is home of the Rachel Carson national Wildlife Preserve, and is known for its long sandy beaches, rocky coastline, and for its history (dating back to 1653).
After experiencing the beaches, and the local wildlife, it’s customary for visitors to stroll the small town shops and boutiques, and then to stop at one of Kennebunkport’s many fine restaurants. Our stop was at the local favorite Hurricane Restaurant, which is located right along the main square of Kennebunkport, the Dock Square. Upon walking in, you’re greeted with a wall of fabulous wines, a small bar, and then as you venture to a table, views of the Kennebunk river come into view through every window. Leah and I found the whole scene to be a magical, and romantic spot.
Hurricane Restaurant offers fresh local seafood, locally grown produce and fine prime meats daily. In-house, Luanne MacDonald has employed a personal chef and pastry chef who customizes the menu each day with the finest and freshest product, and that came through in the rich flavors and in the quality of their seafood; but more on that later. Hurricane prides itself on top quality food as well as a diverse wine list that features over 130 selections by bottle and 60 by glass; which has won them Wine Spectator awards for over 15 years in a row.
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