When beehives were legalized in New York City in March of 2010, there was some disbelief—why was this necessary? But experienced travelers have long known that local honey makes a great gift, for you or loved ones at home, anytime of the year. Whether you’re drizzling it on oatmeal, stirring it into tea, or serving it with fine cheeses, quality honey is the perfect souvenir to make those sweet memories of your trip stick. Here are some of our favorites from around the nation:
Bee Raw Honey (Englewood, Colorado): This sweet and fragrant honey comes in a variety of flavors and consistencies, ranging from a brown sugar tone to almost clear—pause and appreciate the cinnamon notes. Founder Anne Becker was one of the first artisanal honey producers in the country, and remains an institution in the beekeeping community.
Honey, Let It Bee (New York, New York and Hastings-on-Hudson, New York): Husband and wife team Charles Branch and Christine Lehner keep hives in both the city and the country, where their bees enjoy both the view of the Hudson River and the excitement of the Upper East Side.
Red Bee Honey (Weston, Connecticut): Beekeeper Marina Marchese became fascinated with honey while working in the fashion industry, when a stint in China introduced her to its healing properties. She now creates artisanal honeys from different hives around the country ranging from Florida to Pennsylvania.
Savannah Bee Company (Savannah, Georgia): Native Georgian Ted Dennard has been raising bees since he was 12 years old, learning to harvest “swamp honey” in the humid patches of southern Georgia and northern Florida. Now he packages his Tupelo Honey (made world famous by singer Van Morrison) in elegant, long-necked glass bottles perfect for giving.
Honey Ridge Farms (Brush Prairie, Washington): As the food revolution hit the Pacific Northwest, Leeanne Goetz began producing the high-quality artisanal honey her family has enjoyed for years (her son, who works for the company, is the fifth generation of beekeepers) for sale, beginning with their Wild Blackberry flavor and expanding from there. If you’re sticking to the cities, they wholesale locally and online.