Culinary Vacations & Tourism
Your food and wine vacation
Eat, drink and be merry. It's a pretty great life mantra, but it's especially useful on culinary vacations. After all, everyone knows calories don't count away from home. And if you're a die-hard foodie, some things you have to taste right from the source. There's nothing quite like the smokiness of Memphis barbecue, steak frites in Paris, or a curbside slice of New York pie—let Orbitz help you get there.
Kansas City is a nexus of barbecue deliciousness, and home of Arthur Bryant's, the true temple of KC barbecue. Not to be outdone, Raleigh owns its title as the "Cradle of 'Cue" where pork is slow-cooked over an open fire. But nobody does beef like the Lone Star State, and Dallas offers a wide spectrum of regional recipes and rubs. Food vacations turn saucy in Memphis each May during the annual World Championship BBQ Cooking Contest.
From the wine angels to the nouveau creations, excess and innovation rule in Sin City where chefs go big or go home. Miami stands alone as a buzzing food vacation spot -- its mash-up of Nueva Latina meets Euro is shot with New York influence. Gastro pubs are the standard in London, and culinary vacations to Honolulu mean the freshest catch and Pacific Rim flair.
From the rarefied delicacies to the molecular gastronomy, Paris takes culinary travel to the highest peak. Rome is home to ancient artists of culinary decadence and la dolce vita, while Buenos Aires's glamorous epicenter is the jump-off point to the Mendoza wine trail. For a taste of local culinary tourism, Guadalajara is an unsung epicurean hotbed. And down under, New Zealand chefs are truly inspired, with fresh ingredients and sublime wine to match.
Local, seasonal and sustainable is the attitude of the ag-industry in Boulder, which boasts the second-largest organic acreage in the country. To the west, surfer culture and a huge student population make Santa Cruz an earthy, granola mecca. In San Francisco, Alice Waters kicked off a culinary revolution decades ago, and the city has been her proud standard-bearer ever since. Food tourism in Jamaica offers a spectrum of flavors from Blue Mountain coffee to fresh mountain yams.
Crabs boiled in beer paired with…more beer. Perfectly fried clams. New England lobster rolls and raw bars par excellence. With its two active ports and vocal foodie contingent, Boston has a never-ending list of simple, eminently satisfying seafood. In Seattle, fish famously take flight at Pike's Place Market; in Acapulco, fish gets fusion flair. Pink shrimp, spiny lobster and stone crab claws all have their season in the Florida Keys "Conch Republic."
French infusions lend irresistible color to the traditional recipes of the bayous. Start with etouffee and gumbo and round out the meal with coffee in the French Quarter. Smoked pork chops, cheddar grits and moonshine lemonade make a meal in Nashville -- and a full night of dancing burns it off. Enjoy elegant citified dining, or indulge in traditional "Low Country" plantation fare in Charleston.
Whether it's dubbed "New Mexico Cuisine," "Nueva Hacienda" or "New American," Santa Fe's cuisine weaves together Hispanic, Native American and Anglo influences. San Antonio favors are multi-faceted, with everything from Texican to Nuevo Latino and plenty of vaquero soul. Elegant or rough-and-ready, regional cuisine in Phoenix always turns up the heat, and Native American dishes get a world-class interpretation in the high desert of Albuquerque.
Manhattan's glitzy kitchens are the stuff of legend, lore and reality TV. Celebrity chefs are the rock stars of Las Vegas, a city built on flavorful excess. Further west, thanks to an influx of international big-name talent, dining no longer takes a back seat to LA celeb-spotting. If you've got the cash, London delivers an up-market version of any world cuisine and Paris thrives on its culinary dominance over all tres chic cuisine.
Tucked in the Californian mountains, Napa/Sonoma is an earthly heaven. The wine is bountiful, but the food pairings are delightfully nosh worthy. In SoCal, bask in Santa Barbara's State Street sunshine or kick your heels up in Santa Ynez. Prime soil conditions and plenty of rain nurture grapes and organic greens in Portland. For wine travel paradise down under, it's Buenos Aires for Malbec and Australia's Hunter Valley.