Food can tell you a lot about a place.
Museums and driving tours are wonderful, but there’s no travel experience more personal and impactive than getting to know a destination by sampling its signature cuisine.
On these Travel Alliance Partners tours, guests can discover the incredible culture and history of each region by dining on famously delicious food.
Philly Food Tour
All American Tours
When Italians ventured to Philadelphia in the late 19th century, the immigrant community began to miss their homeland’s cuisine. In response, shops to cater to the new population quickly opened on Ninth Street.
Guests can taste the city’s Italian flavors on All American Tours’ one-day Philly Food Tour. The guaranteed departure trip explores the Italian Market and its more than 100-year history. A local guide walks groups through the market, where they can shop for a variety of fresh foods.
South Philly is considered a foodie paradise not only for its Italian roots, but also for its history of outstanding comfort food. Groups can sample some of the area’s hot spots at iconic restaurants like DiBruno Brothers, Fante’s Kitchen Shop and Anthony’s Chocolate House.
Participants can choose their own culinary adventure during a lunch on their own at Reading Terminal Market. The 114-year-old institution remains a vibrant public market with more than 75 independent businesses. Groups can opt for a cheesesteak, a hoagie or another Philly favorite.
Afterward, visitors can walk through the 40-foot-high Chinese Friendship Gate at the entrance to Philadelphia’s Chinatown neighborhood. Groups can tour a fortune cookie factory to learn how the ubiquitous snack originated.
New Year’s in Vieux Carre
Guests can enjoy a Cajun buffet lunch in a 19th-century plantation cottage on Talbot Tours’ New Year’s in Vieux Carre trip. The tour explores the long-heralded New Orleans cuisine with stops in the city and the surrounding scenic plantations.
Groups begin the four-day tour at a quintessential Southern plantation: Oak Alley. After admiring the site’s alley of 300-year-old oak trees and mansion, guests can dine in the plantation’s cottage on a selection of Cajun and Creole dishes.
Participants spend New Year’s Eve at a gala in the Astor Crowne Plaza Hotel. Music, dancing, cocktails and scrumptious food carries travelers into the new year.
On New Year’s Day, the group meanders through the French Quarter. An optional hop-on/hop-off tour takes guests to the area’s main highlights.
The third day offers groups a choice between a tour of the National World War II Museum and Pontoon Bayou Swamp Tour or the New Orleans School of Cooking and Mardi Gras World.
For those who want to bring home the skills to prepare their own New Orleans-style meal, the New Orleans School of Cooking presents a culinary demonstration with lunch.
The tour ends with a farewell dinner at one of the city’s finest restaurants: Arnaud’s.
Durgan Travel Service
Life moves a little more slowly in Italy, which means people take more time for excellent food. Groups can delight in Italy’s heavenly meals on Durgan Travel Service’s nine-day Delicious Sicily tour.
Sicily has the highest value of travel in Italy because the cost is low, but the quality of food is legendary. Since the agriculture-based economy of Italy has linked Sicily’s cuisine with its history, the tour combines both for a satisfying experience. Diners enjoy healthful farm-to-table meals filled with fresh fish, meats and pasta.
The trip begins in Palermo for a stroll through the city’s well-known food market and the Duomo, which comprises a Benedictine abbey, the Royal Palace and spellbinding mosaics. Next, groups wander through Erice, a charming medieval town where groups sample almond pastries.
Lunch in a salt museum, wine tasting in Marsala and lunch in a local farmhouse also entertain before visitors arrive at Taormina, one of the most popular towns in Sicily. Guides lead a walking tour of the town’s narrow streets past the ancient Greek Theatre, boutique shops and small restaurants. There are plenty of opportunities for gelato treats along the way.
From there, groups discover Siracusa’s Baroque buildings, Catania’s fish market and Mount Etna’s active volcano.
All Things Crabby: Maryland’s Diners and Dives
Mid Atlantic Receptive Services
Mid Atlantic Receptive Services offers Maryland’s culinary highlights and hidden gems on the seven-day tour All Things Crabby: Maryland’s Diners and Dives.
The tour begins in Baltimore, recently known as the location for the television show “Charm City Cakes.”
Groups start with a meat course at Chap’s Pit Beef, which originally opened in a compact shack. More than 20 years later, the restaurant attracts customers and frequent features in food-themed shows like “Man v. Food.”
The tour also includes Cross Street Market shopping, Baltimore’s Little Italy, the National Aquarium and a progressive meal in an eclectic Baltimore neighborhood.
The rest of the trip travels along Maryland’s Eastern Shore. St. Michaels’ Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum highlights the area’s rich oyster- and crab-collecting history. On a boat cruise, passengers experience the crabbing culture themselves by grabbing a pot and catching crabs with a captain.
In Crisfield, visitors sample cake, cruise around Tangier Island and dine on a typical Eastern Shore lunch at Hilda Crockett’s. After a crab processing tour, the trip culminates with a meal at the Red Roost, listed as one of the largest crab houses in the region.
Winding antebellum streets, moss-draped live oaks and cuisine that melts in the mouth entice visitors to join Wade Tours’ Southern Porches tour. The seven-day itinerary invites groups to experience the hospitality and authenticity of life along South Carolina and Georgia’s coast.
Guests stay in Beaufort, South Carolina, the second-oldest city in the state. The tour’s convertible minibus ensures 360-degree views and access to the area’s backroads. The vehicle uses a retractable roof when off the main roads so riders can smell the salty tidal air and feel the fresh breezes.
Beachcombing, ecotours and a lowcountry shrimp boil introduce participants to the area. At the Sea Island Center, a local storyteller interprets the region’s history.
To get an appreciation for South Carolina’s shrimping culture, groups visit shrimp docks, where a local shrimper demonstrates how to catch shrimp. The docks served as a filming location for the film “Forrest Gump.”
Once in Savannah, Georgia, a 90-minute driving tour showcases the town’s church steeples, Spanish moss and historic district. Other highlights include playing cricket at the Estate of Noble Jones, exploring the Port Royal Sound Foundation Maritime Center, riding in a horse-drawn carriage in Beaufort and searching for wildlife on Captain Dick’s Beaufort River Tour and Dolphin Watch.
From Rockwell to Rockefeller: Art, Food and History
Twin Travel Concepts
The Hudson Valley and Berkshire Mountains in New York and Massachusetts feature prominently in American history. From the area’s opulent Gilded Age mansions to quintessential New England towns, a wide range of history and culinary delights await on Twin Travel Concepts’ five-day tour From Rockwell to Rockefeller: Art, Food and History.
The trip begins with a tour of Kykuit, a Rockefeller estate along the Hudson River known for its remarkable gardens, art and history. After a stop at the U.S. Military History Museum at West Point, guests return to elegant surroundings for a dinner at Rhinecliff Restaurant. Along with dinner, Oliver Kita, a master chocolatier, presents diners with a special chocolate tasting.
The history lessons continue at the Vanderbilt Mansion and the Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum. Guests end the day dining on a meal prepared by the great American chefs of tomorrow at the Culinary Institute of America.
At the Norman Rockwell Museum, visitors gaze at the world’s largest collection of Rockwell’s art. An in-depth tour gives visitors an overview of the famous illustrator’s life and inspiration.
On a day wandering through Massachusetts’ Berkshire Mountains, guests tour the Hancock Shaker Village for a look at a simpler lifestyle. Interested groups can book a traditional Shaker dinner for a memorable experience.