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HOW DOES MY MUSHROOM GROW & OTHER CULINARY ADVENTURES scopes out exciting interactive culinary adventures

Austin, TX -. Passing up beaches for berries, more than 27 million Americans have enjoyed culinary vacations in the last three years, according to a February, 2007 study released by Travel Industries of America (TIA) in conjunction with Gourmet and other magazines; nearly half of those seeking culinary getaways chose their destination for the food and wine experiences awaiting them. To respond to this trend, editors have searched for culinary escapes that go beyond cooking school classes. Find a bushel of packages below where B&B guests relish the relish, becoming an integral part of the culinary experience while enjoying relaxing getaways offered by members. No one knows food better than innkeepers; after all, breakfast is half their name. Unless otherwise stated, all rates are quoted per couple (double occupancy) excluding tax and gratuities, listed from west to east.

A full belly for more than just the fat duck in Walla Walla, WA: Come to the Fat Duck Inn, where owner-chef Charles Maddrey encourages guests to get to get "down and dirty." Monthly from May through October, Chef Maddrey takes a handful of guests to the local farmer's market to shop for such seasonal local specialties as sweet onions, asparagus, and berries, offering tips on finding the best. The group then brings their haul to the inn's kitchen and learns to prepare unique dishes that they then enjoy. The cost is $35 in addition the cost of the rooms ($125-185) and includes a Fat Duck chef's apron.

Olive picking in Arroyo Grande, CA: Late August through October, get your friends together and join Italian-born innkeeper Gina Glass, of the Abella Garden Inn, in an olive-picking adventure. Start by hand-picking olives in the San Luis Obispo area, then learn how to prepare them three different ways, using natural and genuine Italian methods. From there, sample and feast on Italian fare, learning preparation tips to keep the taste authentic. Five guestrooms must be booked for this package, including a two-night stay, the Italian dinner, and breakfast each morning for $645-848 per couple.

Chef for a Night in Jonesville, MI: Everyone becomes a chef for the night for a seven-course dinner party at Munro House. Up to seven couples participate; one is nominated as group leader to help develop the theme and menu for the dinner. Themes have ranged from French, German and Hawaiian to beefeater, seafood, and Americana. The culinary weekend starts with a casual dinner at Saucy Dog's Barbeque. The next day begins with a full breakfast and time to explore in the morning; in the afternoon, teams of two are each given recipes to prepare for dinner. In the evening, guests are seated while the chefs serve up their individual dishes for a great meal. This package includes two night's accommodations, dinner at Saucy Dogs Barbeque, plus the Saturday night dinner party for $439-539.

Jammin' with the Blackberry Ramble & Blueberry Scramble in Ararat, VA: From early June through mid-August, guests come for the stay-pick-and-jam package at Wolf Creek Farm. They'll be taken to the farm's blackberry or blueberry patches and offered tips on picking. Then the haul is taken back to the inn's country kitchen and guests take part in the canning/jamming process. Innkeeper Cindy Hoback will work with participants to design their own customized labels and guests take home their jams along with how-to's on jam-making. The two-night stay, country breakfast daily, snacks, and access to on-site fishing, swimming, hiking. and all jamming activities cost $385, offered June through August when fruit is ripe.

Finally, A Camp for Adults - Wine Camp in Long Island, NY: Located in the heart of Long Island Wine Country, with forty vineyards and wineries, guests of the Acorn Hollow B&B in Southold, NY can become amateur vintners in just four days during this wine immersion camp. Guests participate in seasonal vineyard work, then journey from the crush pad to the fermentation area to the cellar as they participate in blending their own reds and whites with a veteran North Fork vintner. Additionally participants are offered private tastings and seminars at eight Long Island wineries; a gourmet lunch is served al fresco at the vineyards each day. Lodgings for four nights, daily candlelight breakfasts, lunches at the vineyards, and the Wine Camp experience are included for $749 plus tax per person (double occupancy) for standard rooms. Wine Camps are scheduled during April, May, June, July and October.

"I'll Take some Beer with my Pretzels" Pennsylvania Dutch Tour: With 75 percent of America's pretzels made in the Lancaster County area, three feisty innkeepers decided to package a beer and pretzel tour. Guests will tour and taste their way through both hard and soft pretzel factories and two local breweries, ending with a dinner hosted by Bube's Brewery complete with a choice of Bube's locally brewed beer or wine. No need to worry about the designated driver; transportation is included. This package, offered on July 14,, 2007, is available for guests aged 21 or older at the Artist's Inn & Gallery, Sheep Hill Inn or Harvest Moon B&B, and includes all tours, lectures, tastings, a light lunch, dinner, and transportation for $250 per couple plus the cost of lodging ranging from $85-185 per night, depending upon your choice of inn.

Make time for Florida thyme: In Monticello, set in unspoiled northwest Florida, guests at the Cottage B&B and Restaurant will team with chef-owner Martha Cravanzola to learn about growing and using fresh herbs. Each participant will plant his own container herb garden, learning the ideal uses of savory herbs, then work with the chef to pick from the inn's onsite herb garden for a customized gourmet dinner. Fresh food in unusual Mediterranean-classical surroundings will finish off this package including two night's accommodations, herb seminar, container garden and specialty dinner with wine for $375 per couple.

Fun for Foodies Vacations: Six inns have joined forces to create culinary adventures ranging from cheese making to lobster harvesting. The itineraries vary from inn to inn, ranging from extraordinary epicurean adventures offered year round, to seasonal selections, plus everyday bites offering a selection of foodie-favorite places for individuals to visit independently. All packages put the guest in the center of a regional food experience. Book three Fun for Foodies vacations and get a free insulated wine tote. Experience all six and you're treated to a $150 gift certificate good at participating inns and a choice of others. Participating inns: Birchwood Inn, Lenox, MA; The Captain Lord Mansion , Kennebunkport, ME; Hancock Inn, Hancock, NH; Hartstone Inn, Camden, ME; Jacob Hill Inn, Providence, RI; and Stone Hill Inn, Stowe, VT.

Lobster Tales in Camden, Maine: No visit to Maine is complete without lobster. Stay two nights at the Blue Harbor House in Camden ME, June through October, and join an experienced local lobsterman and participate in hauling traps. Learn all about the lifespan of the lobster along with local history and life as a lobsterman. Catch your own lobster, and bring it back to the inn for an interactive cooking experience! Savor the day's catch as part of this inn's legendary three-course lobster dinner. This package includes two night's accommodations, daily breakfast, lobster boat experience, and three-course lobster dinner (whether you catch it or not) starting at $390 per couple.

No one's cryin' the blues in Fryeburg, Maine: August is Blueberry Month in Maine and to celebrate, the Admiral Peary House is putting on a blueberry extravaganza celebrating Maine's native fruit. Spend a leisurely day touring local blueberry farms (maps provided) where you can pick-your-own, either large, cultivated (high-bush) varietals or the famous wild ones (the little guys). Then return to the inn for a special Blueberry Appreciation evening, where you'll learn more about blueberries while sampling some award-winning Maine blueberry wines accompanied by a selection of mouth-watering appetizers. (These are not your traditional fruit wines!) A packet of signature blueberry recipes tops it off. This package, offered throughout August, includes two nights' lodging in your choice of room, full breakfast each morning, maps and directions to six local blueberry farms, the Blueberry Appreciation evening and all taxes, starting at $361 per couple including tax.

What do oysters, cheese, berries, salmon and mackerel have in common? They're all included in the list of eco-tours offered by Hôtel Paulin in Caraquet , New Brunswick, Canada. Karen Mersereau and Gérard Paulin are not only innkeepers but chefs, food stylists, and specialty food eco-tour leaders. The list of customized tours reads like a menu, including wild mushroom and wild coastal berry picking, cheese making at local farms, day excursions to a wild oyster farm and museum, or wild salmon fly fishing, mackerel jigging, and even crab and lobster fishing on the Baie des Chaleurs. Guests are encouraged to bring their day's bounty back to the hotel's kitchen and learn signature dishes from professionals in a cooking-class setting. Packages start at $450 Canadian including daily breakfast, a gourmet three-course wine-tasting dinner and two night's lodging in a standard room; customized cooking classes are additional.

For additional culinary packages and cooking schools, visit and click the link to Food Glorious Food in the lower left-hand corner of the page. Learn more about these inns and nearly 6,400 others on, the leading online bed and breakfast Internet directory and reservation network worldwide. A variety of search functions and extensive maps enable inngoers to find the perfect B&B. Travelers can make reservations online, purchase gift certificates welcomed at over 3,500 U.S. bed & breakfast inns, subscribe to free newsletters, read and write independent reviews, and post questions on expert-hosted message boards. is the exclusive B&B aggregator for Expedia, Inc. and Expedia serves as's exclusive online travel agent. See for details.

Additionally, for information on a range of independently-owned distinctive lodging, visit's sister site,

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