Special interest travel has become extremely popular in the last few years. Time is at a premium and, for many, money is tight. People are looking for added value in their vacations and one way they get it is by incorporating their hobbies and passions into their travel. Nowhere is this more evident than among devoted foodies. You know who you are; your television is firmly tuned to The Food Network and you’d rather have a new cookbook than a new car. Here are five ultimate destination vacations for foodies just like you.
New York City
New York City is known as the “Melting Pot” and that generally refers to a melting pot of peoples. To foodies, though, New York is a melting pot of cuisines. Not only can you find virtually any global cuisine in New York, you can also usually find it at any time of the day or night. By visiting neighborhoods such as Chinatown, Little Italy, Yorktown (German and Jewish), Harlem and many more, you can “travel” the globe in a weekend.
What foodie doesn’t dream of Paris? The City of Light is considered foodie mecca and for good reason. Sample the infamous French restaurants, check out the new garde of modern bistros and roam the morning markets like a local. You can even take one or three day cooking classes at none other than the legendary Le Cordon Bleu.
The Tuscan region of Italy is known for its incredible landscapes, centuries-old farmsteads and delicious, garden-fresh food. Food oriented bed and breakfast-type vacations have become very popular here and in a wide range of prices. You can spend a week or two in an ancient farmhouse or winery while you learn the secrets of Tuscan cookery.
This destination is great for both foodies and their kids. For one week every October, Epcot hosts the Food & Wine Festival. You can walk around the World Showcase (miniature, yet surprisingly realistic versions of nine countries) sampling the cuisine of more than 25 countries. There are also cooking classes and demonstrations with both Disney and celebrity chefs and seminars on everything from wine pairings to hydroponic vegetable gardening.
London and England in general used to take a lot of ribbing for their lack of diversity and quality in dining options. However, those days are long gone. Londoners became more interested in high-quality restaurant food and chefs got tired of the jokes about uninspired cuisine. Visitors to London can now find traditional English fare that has been elevated far above greasy fish and chips and flavorless roasts. There are a number of great options for truly imaginative New English fare, as well as a huge variety of ethnic restaurants. London is a hub for so many cuisines and they’re all represented well in the city’s restaurants. Whether you crave English, Italian, German, French, Indian or Moroccan fare, you can find it in London’s vibrant new restaurant scene.
If checking out new restaurants and cuisines is an important part of every vacation for you, maybe it’s time to plan your vacation around the food!
Michelle Cleary is a travel writer for Australian Travel Cover (www.australiantravelcover.com) who have been arranging travel insurance for travelers since 2008.