Barry Watson rose to fame portraying the eldest child on "7th Heaven." In his latest project -- the UP TV dramedy, "Date My Dad" -- the actor stars as Ricky Cooper, a widowed father of three girls, who tackles raising his young children with the help of his mother-in-law (Raquel Welch). A self-described homebody who loves being close to his own family, Watson, 43, says his "father-in-law's farm in south Wales (reminds him of home). As far away as it is, when I am there, I never want to leave." Born in Traverse City, Mich., Watson is based out of Venice, Calif. Fans may interact with him on Twitter (https://twitter.com/realbarrywatson) and Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/realbarrywatson).
Q. What is your favorite vacation destination?
A. Well, it's not just my favorite vacay destination. It is also my hometown, Traverse City. I loved growing up there and now I take my family there every summer. Grand Traverse Bay. Unsalted and shark free!
Q. To someone who was going there for the first time, what would you recommend that they do during their visit?
A. Get in the lake, eat cherry pie, get in the lake, go to Sleeping Bear Dunes (National Lakeshore), get back in the lake, go to John Cross (Fisheries) in Charlevoix, buy some white fish, go home and grill it with lemon and paprika, then get back in the lake.
Q. What was the first trip you took as a child?
A. It was to Grand Cayman Island. My mom was a scuba instructor and she got to bring her family on this particular trip. It was one of my first times on an airplane. I was 10.
Q. What's the most important thing you've learned from your travels?
A. To be spontaneous, flexible and curious. I have also learned that when something does not go as planned on a vacation, often that is when the most memorable experiences happen. A delayed flight, a wrong turn on a roundabout in France, 24 hours without your suitcase, as long as you stay open and flexible to what life is teaching you in those moments and have a sense of humor, all is well.
Q. Have you traveled to a place that stood out so much that you felt compelled to incorporate it into your work?
A. All roads lead back to Michigan for me. I like to incorporate (University of Michigan's) Maize and Blue in all of my wardrobe. Go Blue.
Q. Where are your favorite weekend getaways?
A. Ojai, because we have a second home there and San Francisco.
Q. If you've ever gone away for the holidays, which was the best trip?
A. Thanksgiving in Hawaii a few years back. We had sushi at (Masaharu) Morimoto's restaurant.
Q. What are your favorite hotels?
Q. What are your five favorite cities?
A. San Francisco, Auckland, Vancouver, Detroit and London.
Q. Where would you like to go that you have never been to before?
A. Africa, India, Japan and all of Southeast Asia.
Q. When you go away, what are some of your must-have items?
A. Camera, vitamins, socks, underwear and a toothbrush.
Q. What would be your dream trip?
A. Safari in Africa with my wife and children.
Q. What are your favorite restaurants?
A. Capo Restaurant (http://www.caporestaurant.com/) in Santa Monica, Tasting Kitchen (http://thetastingkitchen.com/) in Venice, Giorgio Baldi (http://www.giorgio-baldi.com/our-menu/) in Santa Monica, Vij's (http://vijsrestaurant.ca/) in Vancouver and the Red Coat Tavern in Royal Oak (Mich.).
Q. What is your guilty pleasure when you're on the road?
Q. What is your best vacation memory?
A. Best memory was when I had a two-week break in the middle of shooting a film called "When Strangers Appear." We were in the southern part of the north island of New Zealand. I drove to Wellington and took the ferry across the Cook Strait to Picton and drove around the entire south island of New Zealand. I saw glaciers, rain forests, their beautiful coastline and Queenstown.
(Jae-Ha Kim is a New York Times bestselling author and travel writer. You can respond to this column by visiting her website at www.jaehakim.com. You may also follow "Go Away With..." on Twitter at @GoAwayWithJae where Jae-Ha Kim welcomes your questions and comments.)(c) 2017 DISTRIBUTED BY TRIBUNE MEDIA SERVICES, INC.