2014 Travel Awards: Best Foodie Destination
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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.