Nikki Goth Itoi

Hidden Gems in the Hudson River Valley

Next time you find yourself in New York City with a day or two to spare, head north to the Hudson River Valley. You can hop the train, rent a car, or even ride your bike. Whatever your mode of transportation, seek out the back roads, and there is a good chance you will discover something new—a farm stand, a winery, a trail, a memorable meal, or a romantic inn to spend the night.

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Visiting Baja Mexico’s Bahía Magdalena

At the western edge of the Magdalena plain on the Pacific coast, a long string of barrier islands protects a series of shallow bays that fill with gray whales during calving season, from January–March. Sheltered Canal Gaviota links the two largest bays in the system, Bahía Magdalena and Bahía Almejas, to create some of the best kayaking and windsurfing conditions anywhere on the peninsula. Visitors here enjoy paddling the bay, climbing 30-foot sand dunes, bird-watching, and gray-whale encounters.

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My Favorite U.S. City: Davis, CA

Until Nikki Goth Itoi moved there, Davis was simply an exit off I-80 on the way to Lake Tahoe, albeit one with an In-n-Out Burger. Since then, she’s acquired a bike trailer for hauling kids around town, joined the local food co-op, and found herself buying Italian heirloom eggplants at the weekly farmers market.

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Moon Guides Author Spotlight

Moon author Jason Frye

Jason Frye (Moon Great Smoky Mountain National Park)

Raised deep in the mountains of West Virginia, Jason Frye first fell in love with North Carolina as a kid during family vacations to the Outer Banks. In 2002, he swapped his mountains for sand dunes and his river for an ocean when he moved to Wilmington to pursue a master of fine arts in creative writing. There, his love for North Carolina deepened into a longing to stay, settle, explore, and be a part of the people, culture, and history of the state.

Along with his wife, Lauren, Jason has kayaked the marshes and waterways near his home; hang glided off the Outer Banks; explored the cityscapes of Charlotte, Raleigh, and Winston-Salem; and wandered the woods and wilds around Asheville.

A member of the Society of American Travel Writers, Jason has contributed stories to VisitNC.com, AAA’s Go Magazine, Our State magazine, Southern Living, Salt, the Charlotte Observer and Raleigh News & Observer, and acts as a culinary critic for the Wilmington StarNews.

Keep up with Jason on Instagram @beardedwriter.