Travel's Best Culinary Destinations

Food lovers make it their mission to experience mouthwatering meals -- and they're willing to travel far and wide to do so. From Sweden's flavorful shellfish to the fresh flavors of Bangkok street food, and the United States' hottest dining trends, our panel of experts has helped select Travel's Best Culinary Destinations. With their passports in hand and appetites in check, travelers can feast on the world's most memorable meals.

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Moab, Utah

Moab, Utah

Home to both Dead Horse State Park and Arches National Park, the resort-like town of Moab offers some of the most stunning red-rock scenery you’ll ever experience, says Anna Vawser of blog, The Legendary Adventures of Anna. Whether you’re a novice outdoorsman or seasoned explorer, there’s no shortage of exciting adventures to be had, including mountain biking, hiking and 4-wheeling. Vawser recommends “rock climbing among the gorgeous cliffs, touring the Hell’s Revenge Jeep Trail and whitewater rafting down the grand Colorado River.” 960 1280

Green River at sunset, Canyonlands National Park  

Black Hills, Dakotas

Black Hills, Dakotas

Want remote, rugged beauty with a heaping helping of Americana? Then head directly to the western Dakotas. “Mount Rushmore and the Crazy Horse Memorials are some of the largest mountain carvings ever, a testament to the United States’ ‘bigger is better’ motto,” says the Martin family of thatTripUSA.com. “Awesome day trips include the historic Wall Drug Store (a rustic mall for weary travelers), Minuteman Missile National Historic Site (an underground, nuclear-themed throwback to America’s Cold War) and the Enchanted Highway (home to rest stops decorated with a bunch of world-record sized scrap metal sculptures).” While you’re there, visit Theodore Roosevelt National Park, one of the Martins' favorites, for a chance to be surrounded by herds of buffalo, chattering cities of prairie dogs, deer, and herds of wild horses. 960 1280

South Dakota Tourism  

Joshua Tree National Park, California

Joshua Tree National Park, California

Remember what absolute silence sounds like? Most days, neither do we. That’s when we escape into the Mojave Desert to Joshua Tree National Park, a treasure trove of its namesake Joshua trees and rock formations like Skull and Arch Rock. Kinga Philipps, our resident National Parks expert, suggests “spending days bouldering among Martian-looking landscapes, exploring the palm-fringed oases, watching [fiery] sunsets and experiencing silence so golden that you can hear the rush of air through a bird’s feathers as it flies overhead.” 960 1280

Robb Hannawacker / NPS  

Crater Lake National Park, Oregon

Crater Lake National Park, Oregon

You can comb the states over and not come across a body of water more mind-blowingly beautiful than Crater Lake National Park in southern Oregon. “The lake is the purest shade of blue, surrounded by striking, 2,000-foot cliffs,” Vawser says. Formed in a dormant volcano’s crater, the magnificent blue lake is entirely filled from direct precipitation of rain or snow – the crater receives an average 44 feet of snow a year! “You can make your way down the Cleetwood Trail for a swim, try your hand at fishing, or have a relaxing picnic while enjoying the view,” says Vawser. Just don’t put off your summertime visit – Crater Lake’s first snowfall is often in September. 960 1280

Lonely Planet Images / Getty Images  

Nantucket Island, Massachusetts

Nantucket Island, Massachusetts

Just off the coast of Cape Cod, MA, Nantucket is full of New England charm, great restaurants, eclectic shops and truly stunning beaches – making it a summer island paradise. The Grey Lady [nicknamed for its mystical fog and weathered grey-shingled houses] educates and delights, says Travel Channel host Don Wildman. “The Whaling Museum provides the sea legs for future readers of Moby Dick and Great Point Lighthouse is a family expedition for the books.” 960 1280

Thinkstock  

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Pittsburgh in the summer? Hear us out on this one. Home to more than 39 colleges and universities, Pittsburgh is bubbling over with young people helping to redefine the city. Steel City has even become an arts destination thanks to institutions such as the iconic Andy Warhol Museum, as well as the Mattress Factory, a contemporary art museum with room-sized installations spread throughout a 4-story warehouse. “It’s not only one of the hippest cities in America, but also it’s located in the great expanse of western Pennsylvania,” Wildman says. “Spend the day in town at the Carnegie Museums, then head south to Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater to see an architectural wonder or to Ohiopyle State Park for thrilling whitewater.” 960 1280

Carmine Sarazen / Visit Pittsburgh  

Everglades National Park, Florida

Everglades National Park, Florida

<a href="http://www.travelchannel.com/interests/road-trips/articles/everglades-national-park-florida">Florida’s Everglades National Park</a> has one of the most unique ecosystems in the US, a subtropical paradise of plants, birds and rare wildlife -- even manatees. But don’t just take our word for it. “Take an airboat tour and keep your eyes peeled for alligators and crocodiles – it’s the only place in the world where they coexist,” says Philipps. The Everglades offers an array of activities, from fishing, camping and hiking to biking, kayaking and canoeing. Explore the tropical mangrove forests and miles of sawgrass, says Philipps. “Just don’t forget the bug spray.” 
960 1280

Everglades National Park  

Bannack State Park, Montana

Bannack State Park, Montana

If you’re road tripping through southwestern <a href="http://www.travelchannel.com/destinations/montana/photos/experience-montana">Montana,</a> James Fisher, founder of <a href="https://roadtrippers.com/">Roadtrippers.com</a>, suggests pulling into Bannack State Park for a taste of America’s past. Just 2.5 hours south of Helena, “Banack State Park is not only gorgeous, but also a perfectly-preserved ghost town that you’re invited to explore,” Fisher says. Founded in 1862 after a major gold discovery on Grasshoper Creek, this massive abandoned mine town in Beaverhead County has 2 campgrounds and more than 60 buildings (most of which can be explored). Don’t miss “Banack Days” during the 3rd weekend in July, when you can see Bannack as a boomtown. The “historical reconstitution” revives gold rush times, with reenactments by miners and an old-timey breakfast served in the old Hotel Meade. 960 1280

John Elk / Lonely Planet Images / Getty Images  

Finger Lakes, New York

Finger Lakes, New York

The Finger Lakes region of upstate New York is known for its world-class wineries, gourmet restaurants and spectacular scenery, but there is a hidden gem located along Route 14, just 4.5 hours north of NYC. “You should detour to Watkins Glen State Park,” Fisher says. “It looks like a scene out of ‘Lord of the Rings,’ but it’s actually a breathtaking waterfall gorge.” With 19 waterfalls, and 2 miles of lush forest, crystal-clear streams and 200-foot cliffs, road trippers can camp, swim and hike along rim trails that overlook the awe-inspiring waterfall gorge. 960 1280

Lamar Gore / USFWS, flickr  

Washington DC Metro Area

Washington DC Metro Area

No childhood is complete without a visit to our nation’s capital. “The list of free or nearly-free attractions is virtually endless: The White House, Capitol Hill, Smithsonian Institute (we recommend the National Air and Space Museum and Museum of American History), Washington Monument, the Pentagon and Arlington National Cemetery, the Lincoln and Jefferson Memorials, Ford’s Theater, the National Archives and National Zoo; to name just a few,” says the Martins. Baseball fans can choose to root for 2 MLB teams, the Washington Nationals on the SW Waterfront or the Baltimore Orioles, whose throwback-style stadium is within easy driving distance from DC. The Martins say, “Another treat -- during the summer only -- is a free evening concert by the Marine Band and Bugle Corps (known as the 'President’s Own') as well as an awesome precision demonstration by the US Marines’ silent drill team (with rifles and fixed bayonets flying)!” 960 1280

Panoramic Images / Getty Images  

Take a Road Trip Through Belgium

Take a Road Trip Through Belgium

“Rent a car and don’t miss the vibrant university towns of Ghent and Mons,” say Kristin Henning and Tom Bartel of Travel Past 50. Along the way, stop in Bruges, which was made even more popular by the 2008 film In Bruges. It’s a picturesque city of scenic canals and bridges, art, relics, classic bell towers and historic civic squares. Another must-see is the gorgeous city square in Brussels, where you are never far from a fresh beer, chocolate and fantastic seafood and fries. “There is a whole world of history in Belgium,” Tom says. “Visit Bastogne’s Peace Forest memorial (think Band of Brothers) and the War Museum, newly updated for D-Day’s 70 year anniversary.”  960 1280

Gonzalo Azumendi/ The Image Bank/ Getty Images  

Explore Utah’s Surreal Parks

Explore Utah’s Surreal Parks

In southern Utah, five parks are close enough to string together: Bryce Canyon, Zion, Canyonlands, Capitol Reef, and Arches (home of the much photographed Delicate Arch). Spend a couple days in each. Bryce is home to surreal sandstone spires and some peaceful picnic and camping areas. “Zion hosts a spectacular hike up the Virgin River canyon,” says Kristin Henning and Tom Bartel. “Use walking sticks and prepare to get wet to your thighs. Reaching the Delicate Arch can be a long hot trek, but it’s rewarding.” 960 1280

Aaron Meyers/ Moment/ Getty Images  

Go Off the Beaten Path in Italy

Go Off the Beaten Path in Italy

After you’ve seen Italy’s big 3 — Venice, Rome and Florence — go off the beaten path in Northern Italy. The “Cinque Terre is magical: beautiful scenery, good accommodations, easy access and several travel options between the villages that make it suitable for all fitness levels,” say Alison Armstrong and Don Read of Adventures in Wonderland. The 5 tiny, colorful villages clinging to Liguria’s rugged coastline are a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site, and very few cars are allowed, but you can easily get around by ferry, foot or train.  960 1280

Amoklv/ iStock/ Thinkstock  

Adventures at Sea in Beaufort, SC

Adventures at Sea in Beaufort, SC

Find solace in a Deep South filled with towering oak trees strung with Spanish moss, genteel mansions, and tranquil waterways in the picturesque town of Beaufort, SC, known as the "Queen of the Carolina Sea Islands." “The area's 64 islands are perfect for exploring by boat or kayak, and the area's plentiful population of birds and sea life make it a top destination for aviary enthusiasts and anglers,” says Valerie Conners of Retire There. “Travelers will encounter horse-drawn carriages winding through the downtown historic district and more than 300 acres designated a National Historic Landmark.” 960 1280

Snikeltrut/ Getty Images  

Roadtripping in Western National Parks

Roadtripping in Western National Parks

Two weeks of rugged scenery, abundant wildlife watching and adventure for all ability levels make this Western national parks road trip unforgettable. “Begin by exploring the hiking trails, glaciers and lakes of Glacier National Park,” says Donna Hull of My Itchy Travel Feet. “Of course driving the engineering marvel, Going-to-the-Sun Road, is a must do.” Next, visit America’s version of the Serengeti where bison, wolves and elk roam vast Yellowstone National Park and don’t miss the geyser watching at Upper Geyser Basin where Old Faithful puts on a show. “A float down the Snake River in Grand Teton National Park completes this western road trip,” Donna adds. 960 1280

Wyoming Office of Tourism  

Discover Why Paris Is Always a Good Idea

Discover Why Paris Is Always a Good Idea

“Paris may seem like a surprising haven for retirees, but its manageable size, level terrain and superb transportation system make it a remarkably senior-friendly destination,” Lynne Martin of Home Free Adventures says. “Add fabulous food, art, history and undeniable beauty, and you’ll discover why it’s become (my) favorite European destination.” 960 1280

Iakov Kalinin/ iStock/ Thinkstock  

Make Memories on a Un-Cruise in Alaska

Make Memories on a Un-Cruise in Alaska

“Swap ports for the quiet bays of Alaska’s Inside Passage with an expedition cruise that’s about doing rather than seeing,” says Donna Hull. “You’ll bond [with loved ones] while kayaking in Thomas Bay, riding a jet boat up the Stikine River or floating with icebergs in LeConte Bay.” 960 1280

State of Alaska/ Brian Adams  

Find Out Why People Fall in Love With San Miguel de Allende

Find Out Why People Fall in Love With San Miguel de Allende

An easy flight from most parts of the country, this UNESCO World Heritage Site in central Mexico has become a frequent stop for retirees. “It is not uncommon for tourists to visit and then purchase property within 3 days of arriving in San Miguel,” Alison Armstrong and Don Read say. Chalk it up to the welcoming people, mild climate, rich cultural opportunities, beautiful colonial architecture, safe environment and world-class shopping. They add, “We often wondered if we were in Mexico or Europe, until we saw some fabulous giant puppets at a Mexican wedding celebration.”  960 1280

JD Estevao/ iStock/ Thinkstock  

Aspen, Any Time of the Year

Aspen, Any Time of the Year

Part of the appeal of an Aspen retreat in the Rockies is that while it’s located smack in the middle of Colorado, it’s slightly off the beaten path. “The attraction in winter is, of course, the skiing and winter sports–both at Aspen Mountain and nearby Snowmass, says Kristen Henning. “But the rest of the year, especially autumn, is equally stunning.” Maroon Bells Wilderness area, home to bear, moose, beaver and brilliant Aspen trees, offers hiking for all levels as well as bike trails that wind along rivers, connecting parks, neighborhoods and towns.  960 1280

Barrett Friel  

Premiere Golfing in Naples, FL

Premiere Golfing in Naples, FL

Well-heeled Naples has long been a popular haven for retirees and families and with good reason. “The small town along Florida's postcard-perfect Gulf Coast lets retirees enjoy a charming downtown filled with upscale shopping and dining, as well as cultural attractions,” says Valerie Conners. Still, this self-proclaimed, “Golf Capital of the World" draws scores of experienced and novice golf fans to play on the region's 70-plus greens, many designed by golf icons like Jack Nicklaus and Arnold Palmer. 960 1280

Jeremy Sterk/ Getty Images  

Hermitage Bay - Antigua

Hermitage Bay - Antigua

"Hermitage Bay, a true barefoot luxury all-inclusive resort, has 25 cottages nestled in 16 acres of lush tropical gardens and fronted by a gorgeous beach. The resort provides informal dining where every meal feels privately catered to the guest’s specifications and desires. Don’t miss out on the Garden Spa, where the treatments are influenced by the ancient Eastern concept of chakra." -- Anthony Melchiorri, Hotel Fixer, Hotel Impossible 960 1280

Hermitage Bay  

Beaches - Turks and Caicos

Beaches - Turks and Caicos

"The all-inclusive Beaches resort is the perfect destination for a fun-filled family beach vacation, with endless distractions for kids of all ages. Tots, tweens and teens can enjoy fun games with Sesame Street characters, 'Sizzlin' teen disco and the Pirates Island Waterpark. Adults can relax at Red Lane Spa and enjoy sumptuous meals at the resort’s 19 restaurants." -- Anthony Melchiorri, Hotel Fixer, Hotel Impossible 960 1280

Beaches Resorts  

Amanyara - Turks and Caicos

Amanyara - Turks and Caicos

"This resort won my wife and me over with its attention to detail, great food choices and access to a variety of activities. Amanyara was the perfect choice for our wedding and for a recent 24-hour retreat from the kids. Couples can indulge in a spa day or a private dinner on the beach. We loved returning to our room each night to discover the small, thoughtful gift the Aman team left for us during the turndown service." -- Shane Green, Hospitality Consultant 960 1280

Amanresorts  

Hayman Island - Great Barrier Reef, Australia

Hayman Island - Great Barrier Reef, Australia

"Hayman Island provides access to a variety of wildlife, including exotic fish, a 400-pound grouper named 'Jacko,' wallabies and kookaburras. Hayman provides the perfect combination of activities and indulgences for both water sports enthusiasts and foodies like me. Visitors should not miss the chef’s table or the private dining events hosted under the stars by world-class winemakers and chefs. This island retreat holds a special place in our hearts, as we lived here for 2 years, overseeing the reimagination of the resort." -- Shane Green, Hospitality Consultant 960 1280

Hayman  

Howie's Homestay - Chiang Mai, Thailand

Howie's Homestay - Chiang Mai, Thailand

"At Howie's Homestayin Chiang Mai, guests check into a house with exquisite gardens and antique-filled rooms that has been featured in Architectural Digest. The owners, an American expat and his Thai wife, tailor the experience to your interests based on their insider knowledge, taking you on elephant treks, temple visits and shopping expeditions or leaving you to lounge by the pool as you like. Only one group, family or couple can book at a time, so the house is truly a luxury hideout of your own in Southeast Asia." -- Melissa Biggs Bradley, Founder of Indagare.com 960 1280

Howie's Homestay  

Mii amo Spa - Sedona, Arizona

Mii amo Spa - Sedona, Arizona

"My favorite American spa is really better described as a 16-suite wellness resort because you can pursue whatever kind of ‘well-balance’ you are looking for -- whether that is based on losing weight, getting fit, reducing stress, reconnecting with nature, bonding with friends or kick-starting a healthier lifestyle. The 3-, 4- and 7-day programs include both group classes like cooking, tennis and yoga, as well as personalized services such as facials, massages and psychic healing." -- Melissa Biggs Bradley, Founder of Indagare.com 960 1280

Mii amo Spa  

NIZUC Resort and Spa - Cancun, Mexico

NIZUC Resort and Spa - Cancun, Mexico

"Nizuc Resort has been the most luxurious resort in Cancun since it opened in September 2013. There are 274 rooms, suites and villas, many of which come equipped with private infinity pools. Within the resort complex, there are 6 high-end restaurants, the gorgeous indoor/outdoor ESPA spa with a detoxifying hydrotherapy circuit, a secluded beach and plenty of privacy. The resort -- tucked within lush foliage along a stretch of mangroves and beach -- offers a terrific all-inclusive Endless Indulgence package." -- Jimmy Im, Travel Personality 960 1280

NIZUC Resort and Spa  

Travaasa Hana - Maui, Hawaii

Travaasa Hana - Maui, Hawaii

"Acquired by new owners in 2011, Travaasa became the first resort in Maui to offer an all-inclusive package, which includes fitness classes. It's not common to find all-inclusive hotels in Hawaii -- so I love it here. This hotel has rustic cottages (no TVs or clocks) and a spa with an outdoor lava-rock whirlpool. In addition to its cool, retro Hawaii décor, Travaasa provides unique experiences for its guest. Where else can you do yoga in the morning while humpback whales do a backflip in the distance right before your eyes?" -- Jimmy Im, Travel Personality 960 1280

Travaasa Experiential Resorts  

Grand Resort and Spa - Fort Lauderdale, Florida

Grand Resort and Spa - Fort Lauderdale, Florida

"Experience the relaxing atmosphere of gay-owned-and-operated Grand Resort and Spa. In addition to its spacious rooms, this resort provides guests with a variety of amenities, including an oversized heated pool for swimming laps, a fitness center, an award-winning spa and a courtyard for nude sunbathing. Splurge on 1 of their 5 all-inclusive packages, like the Romance by the Sea Package, which provides 2 lucky lovers with champagne/wine upon arrival, a choice of 50-minute couples’ massage and more." -- Kwin Mosby, Managing Producer, Travel Channel 960 1280

Kwin Mosby  

ME Cancun - Cancun, Mexico

ME Cancun - Cancun, Mexico

"ME Cancun is an adult-oriented luxury resort that only allows guests to book accommodations as a ‘complete experience’ package. This resort’s 417 rooms all have breathtaking ocean or sunset lagoon views. All-inclusive services and facilities include 2 adults-only pools, a 24/7 fitness center, an E-space with library, the Beach Club, a world-class YHI Spa and more. All food, drinks, entertainment and activities are included in the price you pay." -- Kwin Mosby, Managing Producer, Travel Channel 960 1280

Meliá Hotels International  

Sandals Grande Antigua

Sandals Grande Antigua

We have a fan favorite winner and it’s… Sandals Grande Antigua! Our fans voted for this romantic resort as their pick because it offers guests the best of 2 worlds -- the authentic seaside Caribbean Grove and the 6-star, all-suite Mediterranean Village -- in one all-inclusive vacation. In addition to its great location on Antigua’s best beach (Dickenson Bay), this Sandals resort has 7 bars serving premium liquors, 11 specialty restaurants, butler service, 6 pools and the award-winning Red Lane spa. We clearly understand why this resort won your vote. 960 1280

Sandals Resorts  

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