Home to a variety of cuisines and delicacies, the USA really is a dream destination for food-lovers and adventurous amateur chefs. When you take a food trail road trip, you’ll have the chance to explore the spectacular scenery and stunning attractions while sampling a range of epicurean delights.
Whether you’re heading to the USA at the height of summer or you’re planning a winter break, you’ll want to ensure that you’re fully prepped for your trip. From completing your visa waiver application with esta-america.com to booking your flights and arranging car rental, there are lots of things to do before you start packing your bags. With the right amount of preparation, however, you can enjoy the trip of a lifetime.
To start planning your next American adventure, take a look at these six food trail road trips you won’t want to miss:
Pacific Coast Highway
Starting in San Diego and ending in San Francisco, this road trip will take you along the Pacific Coast Highway and through some spectacular locations. In San Diego, you’ll find top-class Baja-style Mexican restaurants, while Santa Cruz is home to the Love Apple Farm, where you can learn more about how locally sourced food is grown. When you reach San Francisco Bay, be sure to experience a fantastic array of local foods. Well-known local foods proponent, Alice Water, has a restaurant here, Chez Panisse, which is well worth a visit.
If you’re a fan of wine, a road trip down the Pacific Coast Highway will also give you the opportunity to stop off in the iconic Napa Valley. With more than 1,700 wineries in Napa and one of the world’s best restaurants, French Laundry in Yountville, it’s the perfect location for foodies!
Bayou Bounty Trail
Known for its Creole and Cajun heritage, it’s not surprising that the food in Louisiana is about as good as it gets, and the Bayou Bounty Trail is the ideal way to explore the area. Starting out at Houma and taking you through to Lafayette, the trail itself isn’t too long but you’ll want to leave plenty of time to stop off at the mouth-watering eateries you’ll find along the way.
To be featured on the Bayou Bounty Trail, every restaurant must serve genuine Louisianian cuisine, so you’ll be treated to gumbo, jambalaya, étouffée, crawfish, shrimp, catfish and much, much more!
New England Coastline
Head to the east coast and you’ll find an array of tantalizing dishes and local specialities, which is why the New England Coastline is a great choice for a foodie trail road trip. Acadia National Park is a great place to start, as you can combine spectacular surroundings with exquisite local fare. There are plenty of places to stay within the Park, so it’s a great location for an overnight stop.
Travelling along the US-1 to York Harbour, you can take in the Atlantic coast and sample regional specialities from local stands and food bars along the way. Clam chowder, lobster rolls, Maine Black Bear ice cream and whoopie pies are must-try foods here, so don’t leave until you’ve tried them all!
Great Wisconsin Cheese Trail
Producing more than 600 different varieties, Wisconsin is the place to go if you want to treat yourself to some of the most delicious cheeses in the U.S. A trip along this trail usually takes 2-3 days to complete and there are plenty of things to get involved with.
Start out in Madison and visit the local artisan stores to try regional specialities and take a stroll around the largest producer-only farmers market in America. Then, move on to Green County where you can take part in lessons on cheesemaking or tour the factories. Taking in Prairie du Sak, Sauk City, Plain before finishing up in Spring Green, the Great Wisconsin Cheese Trail is a fun – and delicious – trip.
Texas BBQ Trail
Head to Texas and you’re sure to find delectable BBQ food nearby. Known for its slow-cooked meats, dry rubs and barbacoa, Texas is a carnivores’ paradise! What’s more – its endless roads and scenic views make it the perfect place for a road trip, so buckle up and get ready for everything the Lone Star State has to offer.
Depart from Taylor and finish your road trip in San Antonio if you want to visit some of the most popular BBQ eateries in the state. Along the way, you’ll drive through Elgin, Austin, Driftwood and Lockheart, all of which are home to acclaimed restaurants and food stores. From brisket and pork shoulder to racks of ribs, spices, seasonings and homemade marinades, a trip along the Texas BBQ Trail is one you won’t forget.
New Hampshire Ice Cream Trail
If you have a sweet tooth, the New Hampshire Ice Cream Trail is probably at the top of your bucket list. With plenty of dairy farms still operating in the state, there are endless options if you want to sample locally sourced desserts and ingenious flavours.
The Trail takes you to 42 ice cream shops but there are even more stands and stores that sell your favourite flavours too. As well as satisfying your sweet tooth, you’ll have the opportunity to see ice cream being made and be able to visit some of the dairy farms that produce the milk and cream used to create New Hampshire’s iconic ice cream.
From black raspberry, Wild NH Black Bear, cotton candy and coffee to grapenut, maple walnut, pumpkin, ginger and ‘moose tracks’, you’ll find an array of exciting flavours to enjoy.
Planning Your Food Trail Road Trip
Like all road trips, you’ll want to plan your food trail excursion in advance to get the most of your adventure. Whether you’re heading out overnight or spending a few days on the road, be sure to take all the essentials with you. Similarly, do your research in advance and ask the locals where to eat if you want to find the best dishes and delicacies.