2014 Travel Awards: Best Foodie Destination

Mar 4, 2014
Outside Magazine
Belgium Benelux bicycle race competition East Flanders Province Europe Flanders Region Meerbeke Ninove race racing sports Western Europe

04 Apr 2010, Ninove, Belgium --- Cycling: 94th Tour of Flanders 2010 Illustration Illustratie / Matti BRESCHEL (Den)/ Muur Geraardsbergen Grammont / Wall / Public Publiek Spectators Fans Supporters / Brugge - Ninove (262,3 Km)/ Ronde van Vlaanderen / Tour de Flandre / (c) Tim De Waele --- Image by © Tim De Waele/TDWsport.com/Corbis    Photo: Tim De Waele/Corbis

Winner: Flanders and Wallonia, Belgium

Most European tours focus on Italy’s Chianti or France’s Beaujolais. That leaves Europe’s beer capital—not to mention meals like wild boar and venison for dinner, cro­quettes for lunch, and, of course, a waffle or eight at breakfast—for the rest of us. The guides at Massachusetts-based Ciclismo Classico stitched together a nine-day, 250-mile spin through Flanders and Wallonia that takes you past World War II sites, moody castles, and the canals of Bruges, with plenty of stops along the way at places like Orval Abbey, one of just ten Trappist breweries left in the world ($4,495; ciclismoclassico.com).

Runner-Up: Southern Louisiana

Étouffée. Gumbo. Jambalaya. Oysters on the half shell. And the most enthusiastic and gloriously irreverent foodies in America. For a DIY gourmand’s ramble, there’s no place better than Louisiana. Start at Lake Charles, about 250 miles west of New ­Orleans, and piece together stops along the Seafood Sensation route, a collection of nine Cajun restaurants and seafood shacks (visitlakecharles.org). Big Lake Guide ­Services rents homes on the shores of Calcasieu Lake (from $225; biglakeguideservice.com), where you can cast for redfish and then blacken it on the grill.

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