Where to Eat

Adventure Like A Foodie With These 6 Culinary Experiences

Discover and savor tasty hidden gems wherever you go

The Vacationeer
An outdoor dining table set near a vineyard at sunset in Tuscany, Italy

Food and travel go hand-in-hand. The World Food Travel Association found that 53% of travelers are food tourists, or travelers who prioritize food and drink while on vacation.

While big city destinations like New York City and Las Vegas are renowned for their sophisticated culinary scene, foodies and hungry travelers can find delicious experiences wherever they go. In fact, food tourists willing to venture off the beaten track will discover plenty of hidden gems and local cuisine just about anywhere they go.

Here are six tasty things to try on your next vacation, plus some recommended destinations if you’re still wondering, “Where should I go to eat?”

Palm trees along Poipu Beach in Kauai, Hawaii 

Eat Like A Local

What better way to find the best restaurants than with a walking food tour? These tours are often led by locals and take participants on a tour of the food scene and sometimes even dive into local history. Prepare to hop from restaurant to restaurant and try new things without worrying about reviews or reservations. Most locations offer some sort of tour, so it’s a great way to discover new favorites to revisit during your stay.

Where to try: Avoid tourist traps and start sampling local favorites with a food tour of Kauai, Hawaii, by Tasting Kauai. Prepare to try Hawaiian favorites like poke and taro burgers and learn about the cultural history of the area from passionate guides. Tasting Kauai hosts tours around the island (including one three miles away from The Point at Poipu, a Hilton Vacation Club). 

Whiskey pouring into a glass with ice on a wooden table 

Enjoy A Nightcap

Similar to a food tour, on a drinking tour adults can sample unique cocktails and imbibe on local specialties at vineyards, breweries, distilleries and more. These tours are a great way to try something new and get a behind-the-scenes peek behind how certain drinks are made.

Where to try: Scotland’s national drink is whiskey. With so many distilleries around the Highlands, it can be difficult to know which ones to stop at. Take the guesswork out of your itinerary with Whiskywheels Tours, complete with a guide and designated driver. If you prefer craft beers and ales, Cairngorm Brewery offers tastings of their locally made brews.

End a day trip to the Cairngorms National Park at the brewery and return to a cozy Suite at Craigendarroch Suites, a Hilton Grand Vacations Club.

Farmland and fields on a foggy morning in Tuscany, Italy 

Take A Cooking Class

Sometimes the best souvenirs aren’t a physical trinket you take home. Bring back recipes and techniques from your favorite destination by taking a cooking class. Not only do you get a scrumptious meal, you can treat your friends to a taste of your trip.

Where to try: One Hilton Grand Vacations Owner attended a private cooking class from Arianna & Friends while on vacation in Tuscany, Italy. Read about her bucket list trip here.

Plus, you can practice your new favorite meals with a fully stocked kitchen in your Suite at Borgo alle Vigne, a Hilton Grand Vacations Club.

Colorful stucco buildings of La Placita Village in downtown Tucson, Arizona 

Shop Like A Chef

French chef and Michelin-star restauranteur Alain Ducasse recommends stopping by local farmers’ markets while on vacation to taste the best seasonal goods, enjoy a freshly made meal or shop for edible souvenirs.

Where to try: Tucson, Arizona, may be a desert town, but it’s home to a thriving farmers’ market scene. There’s a reason Tucson is the first city in the United States to be recognized as a UNESCO City of Gastronomy. Shop for sustainably grown produce, desert delicacies like prickly pear fruit and seasonal products like autumn apple cider.

Stay in either Sedona or Scottsdale — an up-and-coming foodie destination itself — and explore all of Southern Arizona.

Aerial view of a pier along the shore of Virginia Beach, Virginia  

Eat What You Catch

Anglers know the joy of cooking their catch after a long day of fishing. Everyday travelers can enjoy the fun without the fishing poles at a restaurant that will let you choose your fish. Of course, the freshest fish is best paired with a stunning ocean view.

Where to try: Virginia is known as the oyster capital of the East Coast, and Virginia Beach is home to Lynnhaven oysters. Join Pleasure House Oysters for a boat tour of oyster farming, see how to harvest the briny bivalves and learn about conservations efforts to keep sustainably farming oysters. Plus, the tour includes the chance to enjoy freshly shucked oysters straight from the water.

Fall asleep to the sound of waves at Ocean Beach Club, a Hilton Vacation Club, or Oceanaire, a Hilton Vacation Club.

A forager wearing rain boots carries a basket with foraged goods, including mushrooms and berries 

Forage Like A Pro

More people are looking to travel sustainably, foodies included. Fortunately, there’s a growing movement where foragers take tourists on excursions to search for seasonal edibles, plants and fungi. Uncover culinary treasures like truffles and berries with the help of expert foragers. Check out Eat the Planet to find local foraging tours and other resources.

Where to try: While foraging can take place in even urban destinations, try something off the beaten path. No Taste Like Home, found in Asheville, North Carolina, hosts forage-to-feast tours where you can find and sample foods like acorns, black walnuts, fairy potatoes, persimmons, chanterelle mushrooms and more. Use your Hilton Honors™ Points so you don’t have to venture far for a tasty experience.

Check out “4 Foodie Vacation Destinations To Add To Your Travel Bucket List” for more must-try foodie vacation spots.

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The Vacationeer

The Vacationeer is a collective of Hilton Grand Vacations storytellers whose goal is to inspire travelers to go further. We're always on the lookout for new destinations to explore, useful travel tips, and unique ideas to help you plan the most memorable vacations possible.

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