Beyond Your Backyard

Veteran travel personality Erik Hastings ("Erik the Travel Guy") loves to inspire viewers to get up, get out, and experience the world. His series, Beyond Your Backyard, highlights destinations visitors can travel to with ease. Down-to-earth, funny, smart and full of infectious energy, Hastings reveals the “soul” of historic cities, including Gettysburg, Key West, Chicago. Every episode digs deep to educate viewers on the history and culture, unique experiences, delicious food, famous attractions and off-the-beaten-path local haunts.

Distributed by: The National Educational Telecommunications Association (NETA)
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Erik Hastings

Erik Hastings

Beyond Your Backyard host Erik Hastings ("Erik the Travel Guy") LOVES to travel, spending an average of 30 weeks on the road each year.

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Montgomery County, VA

Episode #102 · Beyond Your Backyard travels to Montgomery County, Virginia to learn about some cutting-edge scientific research going on at Virginia Tech. Erik will also show you how to make the perfect Bison Burger and visits a hidden gem that serves the best fish tacos in the state!

Key West, FL

Episode #103 · "Fun in the Sun" is given a whole new meaning in this episode as Erik The Travel Guy takes you down to Mile Zero to set sail and get some step by step snorkel instruction. He catches the island vibe on Duval Street, learns how to play a conch shell and shows you how to make an authentic Key Lime Pie with a local celebrity, Kermit.

PA's Great Outdoors Region

Episode #104 · The Pennsylvania Great Outdoors Region is bursting at the seams with outdoor recreation for the whole family. In this episode, Erik learns more about the timber industry, how to make Moonshine and meets the world's most famous weather-predicting groundhog!

Colonial Williamsburg, VA

Episode #105 · Beyond Your Backyard goes back in time and learns about American life in Colonial Williamsburg. Erik The Travel Guy steps into the shoes of an early American settler in this historic triangle where he takes up arms and learns all about the proper way to fire a musket, ax-throwing, the honest slave story, and how to make delicious ginger biscuits.

The Bahamas

Episode #106 · Step off the beaten path in the breathtakingly beautiful Bahamas. Erik The Travel Guy shows you the best beaches, where the locals go to get fresh Conch fritters and steps in the kitchen to show you how to make mojito chicken!

Washington, DC

Episode #107 · Washington DC is a true "company town" and that company is the federal government. Erik tours the monuments, learns why DC is a district and not a US state and gets in the kitchen with a chef who shows us his own brand of soul food!

New Orleans, LA

Episode #108 · In this episode of Beyond Your Backyard, Erik travels to New Orleans, Louisiana to uncover the secrets behind the distinct vibe synonymous with amazing food, live music and fun.

Bryan-College Station, TX

Episode #109 · The episode travels to the heart of Texas to feel the warmth of the friendly locals. Erik learns how to shoot trap and uncover the secrets to this quaint yet vibrant destination including the George HW Bush Presidential Library, Texas A&M and more!

Chicago, IL

Episode #110 · Chicago is home to a number of firsts including the invention of The Tootsie Roll, the world's first Ferris wheel and so much more. Erik will see it all, as well as show you how to grill the perfect dry-aged steak with simple ingredients and time-honored cooking techniques.

Northern California

Episode #111 · Get ready to explore a gorgeous part of the United States! Erik and the crew start at Lake Tahoe and work their way south to Yosemite National Park. Outdoor recreation and panning for gold are part of the fun!

Thanksgiving

Episode #112 · Beyond Your Backyard travels to Plymouth to learn more about "the first Thanksgiving" and to Naperville, Illinois to go behind the scenes at Butterball University!

Christmas

Episode #113 · 'Tis the season on this special edition of Beyond Your Backyard. The show travels to Michigan to visit the world's largest Christmas store. In addition, Erik visits a world class resort to learn how to make delicious holiday treats!

Cozumel

Episode #201 · In this episode, Erik travels to the Mexican island destination of Cozumel to learn more about Mayan Culture, through the food, the archeological sites and deep below the ocean surface. Dive deep as he shows you how easy it is to fall in love with scuba diving, deep breathing and introspective reflection.

Little Rock

Episode #202 · Erik explores the capital of Arkansas in this episode of Beyond Your Backyard. Diversity in unique neighborhoods, a thriving downtown district and outdoor recreation are all part of the fun. He learns more about the Clinton Presidential Center, the significance of the "Little Rock Nine", takes a pottery class, samples farm-to-glass spirits and learns how to make a succulent pork chop recipe.

Scottsdale

Episode #203 · In this episode, Erik learns the difference between "the new west" and "the old west" in Scottsdale, Arizona. The show takes time to learn more about the breathtaking scenery, the influence of native Americans and the visual and performing arts. Erik soars high above the valley floor in a hot air balloon and dines with an owner/chef specializing in authentic southwestern cuisine.

Boone

Episode #204 · Travel to the hill country of the mid-Atlantic to unlock the secrets of Boone, North Carolina. Rustic scenery, fascinating frontiersman history, Bluegrass music and delicious country-chic comfort food are all on the menu. Erik steps back in time at MAST General Store, gets close to the Blue Ridge Mountains via a Canopy tour and explores a charming downtown scene with vibrant, youthful energy.

St. Pete / Clearwater

Episode #205 · In this edition of Beyond Your Backyard, Erik The Travel guy seeks educational fun in the sun in St. Pete / Clearwater, Florida. This virtually undiscovered gulf coast destination is bursting at the seams with artistic flair. Erik dives into the mind of Salvador Dali, takes a colorful downtown walking tour, learns the art of glass blowing and samples BBQ from an iconic pit master.

Laurel Highlands

Episode #206 · In this episode, Erik The Travel Guy explores the Laurel Highlands of Pennsylvania. This region's rolling hills are home to revolutionary war sites, charming towns and so much more. Erik and the crew make a splash as they go white water rafting, learn how to make the perfect breakfast sandwich, visit an amazing luxury resort and walk in the footprints of an educational icon.

Little Rock Part 2

Episode #207 · Erik returns to the capital of Arkansas in this episode of Beyond Your Backyard. Diversity in unique neighborhoods, a thriving downtown district and outdoor recreation are all part of the fun. He learns the significance of the "Little Rock Nine", tours a WW2 submarine, visits a museum dedicated to the contents of a ladies purse, and learns more about the farm-to-table culinary scene.

Jamaica

Episode #208 · In this edition of Beyond Your Backyard, the show visits the island nation of Jamaica. Erik learns the history of the culture while exploring grottos, riding horseback in the ocean and sampling Jamaican style culinary offerings.

The Azores

Episode #209 · In this episode, Erik travels across the Atlantic Ocean to learn what all the fuss is about in this undiscovered, island paradise. He learns more about the history and culture by talking with the locals, exploring on foot through the terrain and shows you how viewers can explore for themselves.

Staunton, Va

Episode #301 · Erik the Travel Guy travels to a small Virginia town with a big Virginia past! In this episode, he explores Staunton's historic architecture, visits a Presidential birthplace and library, learns a little Shakesperian stage magic and enjoys a delicious farm-to-table dinner! Big fun in small-town Virginia.

The Olympic Peninsula

Episode #302 · Puget Sound the alarm! Erik the Travel Guy and Crew travel to a breathtaking National Park on the Pacific West Coast. Join them as they explore the natural beauty of Hurricane Ridge, learn about Native American culture by carving a totem pole and try their hand at shucking some of the country's finest oysters!

At The Helm

Episode #303 · Get your sea-legs ready, landlubbers! Erik the Travel Guy steps aboard Carnival Horizon for exclusive behind-the-scenes access with the ship's captain and crew. He'll visit the crew-only areas, explore the ship's bridge and engineering, as well as witness first-hand how the crew feeds thousands of meals each week.

A Return to Pennsylvania's Great Outdoor Region

Episode #304 · A return visit to this region of Pennsylvania proves to be even more fun for the whole family! Erik learns more about the French and Indian war, discovers a wild Elk herd and so much more. He also explores Cook Forest State Park, gets behind the gears of a missive piece of machinery and samples delicious rustic cuisine. So much to do we had to shoot part two!

Bemidji, Mn

Episode #305 · Grab your swim trunks, Erik the Travel Guy heads to the land of 10, 000 lakes! A charming enclave in Northern Minnesota is the setting for this episode. Erik explores the downtown arts, shopping and dining district. He learns more about the region's lakes and state parks, plays a little golf, eats a surprisingly famous hot dog and casts his line in hopes of catching Lake Bemidji's biggest fish.

The Outer Banks

Episode #306 · Erik and his crew explore the northern end of this legendary and popular destination on North Carolina's Atlantic coast. Join him in one of the few places in the United States where wild horses still run free! Erik discovers how a beach vibe, tide and some historic lighthouses shaped this unique destination. All that, and plenty of fun and fresh seafood for all in a destination unlike any other.

Muskogee, Ok

Episode #307 · Join Erik as he finds out why so many people are "Proud to be an Okie from Muskogee." He and the crew travel to this quaint Oklahoma town to learn about the history of the Girl Scouts, the Trail of Tears and the local country music connection. Erik also explores the artistic public spaces, learns about the annual Renaissance festival, tours a WW2 submarine and attempts to learn the guitar

St Augustine, Fl

Episode #308 · Lather on the SPF 50 and join Erik as he heads down to Florida's Historic Coast! Erik visits a centuries old military fort and has coffee with the town's most famous Gilded Age millionaire. He takes years off his life by drinking from the Fountain of Youth, enjoys an amazing, hands-on dining experience, and even tries his luck on one of the most iconic holes in golf, Hole 17 at TPC Sawgrass.

Mackinac Island, Mi

Episode #309 · Time to grab the oat bag and saddle up, folks! Erik and the Crew are hopping on a ferry and heading to a place where horses replace automobiles, and time truly slows down. They'll explore the island's breathtaking natural beauty, visit the famous Grand Hotel, fish in Lake Huron, stroll downtown enjoying great food and live music and even attempt a little fudge making.

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