Best U.S. Resorts With Foodie Workshops

Sitting poolside or hitting the links isn’t for everyone. More and more resorts are expanding activity programs with amenities that cater to foodies.

Sitting poolside or hitting the links isn’t for everyone. More and more resorts are expanding activity programs with amenities that cater to foodies. Food is such a big part of travel and one of the best ways to learn about another region and its culinary gifts. So for the traveler who savors every bite, plans entire trips around a restaurant or just loves to try something new, these resorts are a must.

Sustainable Foodies
L.A.’s oceanfront Terranea Resort lives off the land and sea. The resort’s farm-to-table program, led by Executive Chef Bernard Ibarra, includes a sea salt conservatory that harvests salt from the Pacific Ocean. Guests can attend a salt workshop at the conservatory and learn about the salt-making process plus sample delicious cold-smoked and infused salts such as the resort’s signature citrus salt made with Meyer lemons grown on site. The tasting also includes a complimentary glass of ONEHOPE bubbly to wash it all down. Workshops are held the first Saturday of the month and reservations must be made in advance.

Farm to Table Foodies
Blackberry Farm is synonymous with chic, country living. They have a Farmstead tasting tour, hands-on farm activities, farm-to-table lunch demos, wine and whiskey tastings, cheese-making events and that’s just scratching the surface of food to-dos on property. As if that wasn’t impressive enough, the ultra-luxe, Tennessee resort ups the food workshop ante with an immersive day-in-the-life chef experience.

Global Foodie
Vermont’s Essex Resort and Spa doesn’t have cooking classes; they have an entire cooking school. But don’t let that intimidate you. The Cook Academy classrooms are intimate and low-key, where beginners can learn and advanced cooks can hone. The school’s classes offer a tour of the world in cuisine, from workshops on Italian pasta to a taste of Australia to NOLA classics. And the course list wouldn’t be complete without a demo and tasting of Vermont maple syrup.

Gourmet Foodies
The Wynn Las Vegas isn’t just about gaming. The resort’s Master Class series features workshops led by master chefs, sommeliers, bakers and artisans. Topics range from sushi-making to the world of sparkling wine, making these courses a great option for honeymoons or just a romantic date night.

Forage Foodies
Foodie workshops aren’t typically described as an adventure but that’s what they are at the La Tourelle Resort and Spa. Firelight Camps, the resort’s glamping site, makes travelers work for their food by taking guests on a 70-acre foraging expedition. The adventure ends with a hands-on feast where Food Network star Emma Frisch shows guests how to incorporate found-ingredients.

Spice Foodies
Learn the art of tea blending at New York’s Inns of Aurora. Laura Coburn, the resort’s Director of Serenity (coolest title ever) leads customized tea sessions at the property’s wellness space, The Loft. Coburn teaches guests about the healing properties of spices and herbs plus provides a unique, tailored tea recipe for each guest.

These Are America’s Favorite Cities for Food

Whether you’re hankering for crispy French fries, fresh fish, or the perfect slice of pizza, cities all across the United States are proving they can compete with international culinary powerhouses.

Whether you’re hankering for crispy French fries, fresh fish, or the perfect slice of pizza, cities all across the United States are proving they can compete with international culinary powerhouses.

Major metropolises like San Francisco and New York City have long been known as epicurean capitals — but this year, much smaller cities joined the ranks. According to locals, these are some of the best places in the nation to eat.

In our annual America’s Favorite Places survey, we ask Travel + Leisure readers to open up about about their hometowns — the place they grew up or have lived in and know better than anywhere else on Earth. Unlike the World’s Best Awards, which encourages readers to weigh in on travel experiences across the globe, the America’s Favorite Places survey is a way for locals to share what their hometowns do best.

Louisville, Kentucky
“Louisville has more gourmet-class restaurants than many cities twice or three times its size,” wrote one proponent of Louisville’s cuisine.

Scottsdale, Arizona
Local residents praised the high quality of life in a city with everything from fluffy pancakes to authentic Mexican food.

Portland, Oregon
One our readers put it simply: “Oh, the restaurants. If you’re a foodie, this is the place for you!”

New York City, New York
From Manhattan to Brooklyn to lesser-appreciated boroughs like Staten Island, New York City is teeming with some of the best food in the world. Locals recommend dim sum at Jing Fong in Chinatown, frozen hot chocolate at Serendipity, oysters at the Oyster Bar in Grand Central Terminal, and vegetarian burgers at Superiority Burger.

Chicago, Illinois
The home of some of the best hot dogs in the world, Chicago also has a thriving restaurant scene that rivals New York City and Los Angeles, with favorites such as Elizabeth for fine dining, Fat Rice for Macanese, and the theatrical dinner service at Next.

Santa Fe, New Mexico
Come here for unique, regional dishes (like the green chile cheeseburger) — and an entire festival dedicated to wine and chiles.

San Francisco, California
Head to the Mission neighborhood for some of the city’s best Mexican food, or stop by one of San Francisco’s dozens of Michelin-starred restaurants.

Buffalo, New York
If Buffalo wings weren’t your favorite food before coming to this New York hub, they will be after. Check out Anchor Bar, where the Buffalo chicken wing was reportedly born — but don’t count out new newcomers to the scene like Craving and Marble and Rye.

Norfolk, Virgina
Order the brisket at Belmont House of Smoke, and continue your evening at one of the city’s many breweries. Locals are especially fond of O’Connor Brewing Company and Smartmouth Brewing Co.

New Orleans, Louisiana
Want to experience the No. 1 city in the nation for food? Travelers can check out classic standbys like Café du Monde for beignets, or try more trendy options such as Sylvain, in the French quarter.

“If you know our city, you know the souls of its people are what fuels that spirit and provides its unique magnificence. That food and that music is powered by that spirit and these people,” wrote one incredibly proud reader.

10 Hidden Wine Regions Around the World

Many wine-growing regions remain under the radar because they don’t export their product, or they’re overshadowed by more established counterparts.

Many wine-growing regions remain under the radar because they don’t export their product, or they’re overshadowed by more established counterparts.

 

 

Cape South Coast, South Africa
South Africa’s Cape South Coast doesn’t have the same international reputation as Stellenbosch and Paarl, but it’s certainly one to watch. While Swartland, just north of Cape Town, is often mentioned as an overlooked wine region, so are the lush vineyards to the south, found in Elgin and Hemel-en-Aarde (Heaven on Earth).

A cooler environment than South Africa’s other wine growing areas lends itself to Elgin’s Sauvignon Blanc and pinot noir wines, with some of the best produced at Paul Cluver. Of the almost 20 wineries, make time to visit Catherine Marshall Wines, Downes Family Vineyards and Iona Wine Farm. Meanwhile, Hemel-en-Aarde excels at pinot noirs and Chardonnays and offers 15 wineries for sampling. Hamilton Russell (pictured) is the oldest, but don’t miss Creation and Ataraxia.

Cafayate, Argentina
Cafayate is found in a remote part of the Salta province, defined by red rocks and verdant vineyards ringed by imposing mountain ranges. Its high altitude and little rain make for notable Malbecs and Torrontés, a dry white wine specific to Argentina. What may be surprising is Cafayate’s wine industry is just as old as the famed Mendoza region, with the gorgeous Bodega El Esteco (pictured) dating back to the 19th century.

At the other end of the spectrum is the newer Piattelli Vineyards, which has become a popular spot for its sweeping views and quality wines. Finca Las Nubes is another favorite — it’s a bit further than the other wineries, but you’ll be rewarded with organic wines and an authentic experience. The wide-open Calchaqui Valleys views aren’t too bad either.

Moldova
Though it’s Europe’s poorest country, the small Eastern European nation of Moldova is a mighty producer of wine. This fact is mostly unknown in the U.S. since Moldova mainly exports to Russia, Belarus and the Ukraine — and it just started exporting to the United Arab Emirates — but its reds and whites are worth seeking out. The country possesses an ancient winemaking history, and today its vineyards are centered in the regions of Valul lui Traian, Stefan Voda, Codru and Balti. Be sure to visit Purcari, an award-winning winery that’s been around since 1827.

Chateau Vartely might be newer, but has quickly established a reputation for its wines. Perhaps even more famous than Moldova’s wineries are its wine cellars. Milestii Mici holds the Guinness World Record as the world’s largest collection, and the cellar is so cavernous that you need a car to explore it.

Okanagan Valley, Canada
About a four-hour drive from Vancouver, the Okanagan Valley is defined by carpeted rolling hills reminiscent of the Cotswolds. While the wine region is one of the furthest north in the world, the Okanagan enjoys less severe weather than the rest of Canada, and wines like pinot gris and Viognier do well here.

Plan ahead since most wineries are only open April through September. According to Wines of British Columbia, there are 172 licensed wineries in six different regions in the Okanagan Valley, notably Kelowna and Naramata Bench. Mission Hill Winery is one of the best-known wineries — so well known, in fact, that the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge visited during their 2016 Canadian tour.

Valle de Guadalupe, Mexico
Good Mexican wine might sound like an oxymoron, but the Valle de Guadalupe region is quietly changing that perception. Less than two hours from the Tijuana border on the Baja California peninsula, you’ll find more than 100 wineries and a developing wine scene that’s exploded in the past decade.

The roads are dusty and the wineries can be hard to find, but that level of authenticity is also a large part of the appeal. Well, that, and excellent wines, especially those made from Nebbiolo grapes. Las Nubes, Clos de Tres Cantos and Finca la Carrodilla are among the wineries worth visiting. Adobe Guadalupe (pictured) provides the extra benefit of luxurious lodging and horseback riding wine tours through its vineyards.

Ticino, Switzerland
Switzerland brings to mind chocolate, skiing and watches, but wine? Not so much. That’s because only about one percent is exported and not in the U.S. The Swiss and tourists are the prime beneficiaries of world-class wine, with the Lavaux region being the most famous. Tourists visiting the Ticino region, a little known Italian-speaking section near the Italian border, will find a bigger secret involving Merlot, the area’s most commonly grown grape.

Pop into the Wine Museum Matasci in Tenero to learn about the area’s wine history dating back to the Roman Empire, then follow the Mendrisiotto Wine Route for a good overview of Ticinese wine. Don’t forget to visit Tamborini for its impressive selection.

Wairarapa Wine Region, New Zealand
Beyond the spotlight of Marlborough and its heavyweight Sauvignon Blancs, you’ll find the young Wairarapa wine region. Though small, it’s earning global attention for its pinot noirs. Martinborough is considered the center, a cute village an hour away from Wellington. Most of its 30 wineries are within walking distance of each other.

Poppies Martinborough is beloved for its wine tastings (called cellar doors) and tours, as well as for its restaurant. One of the oldest, Ata Rangi, makes an acclaimed pinot noir, as does Te Kairanga (pictured). Palliser Estate, Muirlea Rise and Margrain Vineyard should also be on your radar.

Kakheti, Georgia
The Republic of Georgia is trending thanks to new flights and the under-visited capital of Tbilisi, but Georgia is also attracting attention for its wine. A small country bordered by Turkey to the west and Russia to the east, its winemaking tradition can be traced back some 8,000 years, when early attempts at wine were buried underground in clay jars, called qvevri or kvevri. This technique is still alive and well among the country’s winemakers.

Base yourself in the fairytale town of Signagi (also spelled Sighnaghi) since it’s considered the epicenter of the wine region. Swirl and sip at Pheasant’s Tears, an American-owned winery that adheres to the qvevri tradition, or venture an hour out to Schuchmann Wines, which offers a hotel, wine spa and restaurant.

North Fork, New York
When it comes to wine, Long Island’s North Fork tends to get overlooked in favor of the Finger Lakes upstate, a larger and somewhat older viticulture. The area also gets bypassed in favor of the Hamptons, its glitzier neighbor to the south. But that means missing out on farmland dotted with fruit stands and 36 wineries, where many are producing high-quality wines that don’t need any comparison to Napa and Sonoma.

Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc are among the wines you’ll find here. Shinn Estate makes an excellent Malbec, while Croteaux, whose tasting area resembles the south of France, is known for its rosés. You can’t beat the combination of award-winning wines and Long Island Sound views from Kontokosta Winery.

Margaret River, Australia
If you know anything about Australian wines, you’ve likely heard of Barossa Valley and McLaren Vale, both heavy producers of Shiraz. The newer wine-growing region of Margaret River, found on the Southwest coast just south of Perth, is quickly catching up on the international scene.

Thanks in part to its Mediterranean climate, you’ll find more than 200 wineries producing reds and whites, especially excellent Cabernets and Chardonnays. Vasse Felix is one of Margaret River’s first wineries, and in 2017, Wine Enthusiast named it “New World Wine Maker of the Year.” With more than 100 cellar doors (tasting rooms), consider visiting Leeuwin Estate, one of the area’s first and now one of the most famous. Also, visit the equally famous Voyager Estate.

Places to Eat Poke in Hawaii

What better way to eat your favorite seafood than deliciously raw in a traditional poke bowl?

What better way to eat your favorite seafood than deliciously raw in a traditional poke bowl?

Umeke’s, Island of Hawaii

If getting the best poke bang for your buck is in order, head to Umekes in Kona for ahi, tako or shrimp poke, all scooped to order with, yes, an ice cream scoop. It’s great for folks who are dining with non-poke loving friends since they offer beef and pork bowls that come with a choice of starch and one of seven just as delicious side dishes. Grab a lemonade and find a seat, if you can, on their patio.

The Fish Market, Maui

More fish and less of the other stuff, that should be the motto at this poke spot. Don’t let the strip mall location fool you: they are serving the best of fresh seafood every day. On the right side, the fish market serves up all the poke you could possibly want, with chunks of fresh tuna in lighter sauces so you really get the full flavor of the fish. Not in the mood for the raw stuff? The left side of the market features tacos, sandwiches and deep-friend favorites. Your best bet is to try both.

Koloa Fish Market, Kauai

While the best poke bowl can depend on who you ask, you can’t go wrong at Koloa Fish Market on the South Shore. There are over half a dozen types of poke to choose from so the only choice will be how you like your ahi. It’s served by the pound over rice but be sure to get here before the lunch rush when they often sell out.

Ono Seafood, Oahu

Don’t let the lack of parking deter you from visiting this poke spot where your best bet is to plan on taking a portion to go. The menu is super clear: eight poke options with varying sauces. Regulars love the spicy ahi, which is coated in a creamy mayo-based sauce. If you can handle the heat, try the shoyu ahi poke bowl for a nice kick.

Lana’i ‘Ohana Poke Market, Lanai

Come early so you don’t miss the good stuff at this fish market that is known to sell out early. They open at 10:30 a.m. and close once the poke pickings are gone. They sell simple, delicious poke bowls without a lot of fluff. The prices might be higher than other spots (often $17 per pound) but it’s worth it for the texture of the fish alone.