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14 Food Trails Worthy of Packing an Extra Pair of Comfortable Pants (March 2019)

Exploring Algiers Point, New Orleans' Second Oldest Neighborhood (January 2019)

Postcard from Bristol Tennessee/Virginia (January 2019)

21 "Spirited" Stays Throughout The South (October 2018)

Checking In for the Night: Nine Bed-and-Breakfasts Throughout the South (October 2018)

Rhythm is Deep during Cumberland Caverns Live at Cumberland Caverns (September 2018)

Postcard from Panama City, Florida (August 2018)

Take a Tour of The Lewis Ranch (July 2018)

Reservations, Please! New and Upcoming Properties in the South (July 2018)

Off-the-Beaten-Path: Four Very Different Museum in One Place on the Mississippi State University Campus (July 2018)

Explore Revolutionary War Sites in the South (July 2018)

So Cool, It's Hot: Southern Summer Bucket List (June 2018)

"It's Ours!" Tennessee Town Reclaims Long Island Iced Tea (June 2018)

In a Travel Slump? Find Some Getaway Inspiration with These Four Destinations (June 2018)

Remember and Honor: Seven Military Museums to Visit Year Round (May 2018)

Postcard from Tupelo, Mississippi (May 2018)

Off-the-Beaten-Path: Seven Museums (and a Bonus) Not to Miss in New Orleans' French Quarter (May 2018)

Relax, Recharge and Refresh at Coldwater Gardens in Milton, Florida (April 2018)

Let's Go! Reconnect and Create Memories at These Seven Family Fun Destinations (March 2018)

So Many Reasons to Visit Nashville, Tennessee (February 2018)

Gowns, Costumes and History: 11 Museums (and a Bonus) That Highlight Mardi Gras (January 2018)

Take a Retro U.S. Road Trip with "Addicted to Americana" (January 2018)

Experience Valhalla Resort Hotel in Helen, Georgia (December 2017)

Shop Local: Nine Places to Find Distinctive Gifts (November 2017)

Pose, Snap, Post at Any of These Top Seven Instagrammable Georgia State Parks and Historic Site Locations (November 2017)

A Quick Peek Inside the Omni Hotel at The Battery Atlanta (November 2017)

It's Coming! Great Wolf Lodge in LaGrange, Georgia to Open at the end of May 2018 (October 2017)

Take the Scenic Route: Three Drives not to Miss in the South (October 2017)

Postcard from Winston-Salem, North Carolina (September 2017)

Go, See, Do, Stay: Exploring Three Destinations in the Ozark Mountains (August 2017)

Edgar Degas and the Degas House in New Orleans (August 2017)

Find Unique Experiences in the South (and America) with "100 Things to Do in America Before You Die" (July 2017)

Dive in Gulf County, Florida with Daly's Watersports' "Discover Scuba Diving" (June 2017)

Unpacking the Unclaimed Baggage Center in Scottsboro, Alabama (June 2017)

Get Out(side) and Explore Seven of North Alabama's Natural Attractions (May 2017)

10 Things Not to Miss When Visiting Dollywood (May 2017)

Let the Concierge be Your Guide for Adventure in Gulf County, Florida (April 2017)

Discover Farmview Market in Madison, Georgia (October 2016)

Postcard from Natchitoches, Louisiana (October 2016)

Discover the Essence of the Florida Panhandle at State Parks (October 2016)

Experience Fayetteville, North Carolina (October 2016)

Nine Fun Ways to Enjoy Fall Foliage in Georgia (October 2016)

Postcard from Lexington, Kentucky (September 2016)

Get Out and Explore: Six States, 16 State Parks (September 2016)

Checking In...The Henderson in Destin, Florida (September 2016)

What to Do in Blowing Rock, North Carolina (September 2016)

Postcard from Baton Rouge, Louisiana (June 2016)

From Alligators to Whale Sharks: 10 Aquariums in the South to Explore (May 2016)

Postcard from LaGrange, Georgia (April 2016)

Nine Experiences to Enjoy in Bowling Green, Kentucky (March 2016)

Postcard from Middleburg, Virginia (February 2016)

Go, See, Do: Six Getaway-Worthy Southern Destinations (January 2016)

16 Things to Do in the South in 2016 (January 2016)

Rider or Not, There are Many Reasons to Visit Smoky Mountain Harley-Davidson (October 2015)

The Great Georgia Escape: Discovering (and Enjoying) Big Canoe (September 2015)

Quick Glimpse into Birmingham, Alabama's Growing Culinary Scene (August 2015)

Discover the Vast Musical Side of the South with the Americana Music Triangle (June 2015)

Take Grilling to the Next Level with Grillocracy.com (June 2015)

True Cajun Experience Found at Crawfish Haven/Mrs. Rose's Bed and Breakfast (May 2015)

Experience Acre in Auburn, Alabama (May 2015)

Experience the Mississippi Delta with These Four Destinations (January 2015)

Four Days, Three Destinations: Exploring Columbia County and Augusta, Ga., and Aiken, S.C. (January 2015)

Finding the Perfect Southern Destination for Your Next Getaway (January 2015)

So Many Fun Ways to Spend Your Holiday Gift Cash in the South (December 2014)

Behind the Scenes: The Personal Collection (and Memories) at the Gone With the Wind Museum: Scarlett on the Square (December 2014)

Spending a Day or Weekend in Bardstown, Kentucky (September 2014)

"Celebrate" Your Getaway to The Pearl on Rosemary Beach (September 2014)

College Football Hall of Fame Debuts in Atlanta (August 2014)

Discover Alabama's Varied Culinary Side during Alabama Restaurant Week (August 2014)

Get Out and Enjoy Scallop Season (and Scallops) on St. Joseph Bay in Gulf County, Florida (August 2014)

Bringing the Past and Present Together in Rock Hill, S.C. with "75 Years, Still One Gear" (July 2014)

Four Reasons to Plan a Getaway to Sunny Isles Beach, Florida (July 2014)

So Many Ways in the South to Make This Summer One to Remember (June 2014)

Amp Up Your Doughnut Making (and Eating) Experience with Sublime Doughnuts' Kamal Grant's Cookbook (May 2014)

Streamsong Resort: A Golfing Resort Beyond the Ordinary in Florida (April 2014)

In the Kitchen with Chef Douglas Olsen (March 2014)

Celebrating Farmers and Farm Life with the Farm Star Living Website and App (March 2014)

In the Kitchen with Chef Sam Lodovico, The Resort at Glade Springs (February 2014)

Checking Out Charleston's Culinary Scene with Charleston Culinary Tours (February 2014)

Discovering Downtown Birmingham, Ala. with Alabama Road Trips (January 2014)

Season Two of "Emeril's Florida" Highlights Culinary Gems of South Walton (January 2014)

Chatting with Barbecue Champion and Restaurateur Melissa Cookston (November 2013)

"Cast Iron Chef" Competition to Heat Up the 3rd annual Brooks County Skillet Festival (October 2013)

Crowd Pleasing Recipes to Amp Up Tailgating (September 2013)

Discovering Georgia's Lake Oconee Area (July 2013)

Honoring the Man in Black: Johnny Cash Museum (June 2013)

Experience Sonesta Resort Hilton Head Island (June 2013)

Build Your Own Memorable Experience in Columbus, Georgia (May 2013)

South Walton’s Art Culture: People Behind the Creations (May 2013)

Louisville, Kentucky Beyond the Derby (May 2013)

City Insider: Mark Wyant, owner, The Saint Hotel in New Orleans (February 2013)

Dining Out at Osteria Tulia (January 2013)

Discover Florida's Charm with Emeril's Florida (January 2013)

Taste Nostalgia (and Fun) with Pure Sodaworks (December 2012)

Find Serenity (and More) at Red Horse Inn (December 2012)

In Tall Cotton: Chef Cory Bahr and Restaurant Cotton (November 2012)

Under the Grand Chapiteau with Cirque du Soleil’s Totem (November 2012)

Feelin’ Presidential: Presidential Sites Throughout the South (October 2012)

Eight Cool Southern College Towns (September 2012)

Mark Your Calendar... Fabulous Southern Fall Music Festivals (September 2012)

In the Kitchen with Chef Eric Fulkerson (August 2012)

Visiting The Inn at Magnolia Oaks (August 2012)

Journey to New Orleans Plantation Country (August 2012)

Turn Your Vacation into an Experience at the Plantation on Crystal River (July 2012)

Dazzle Your Summer with Fata Morgana (July 2012)

Coming Home to Hightower Creek Vineyards (July 2012)

Exploring I-95 in the South with Barbara Barnes, Author of What’s Great About I-95: Maine to Florida (July 2012)

Timeless Experiences Await You at High Hampton Inn (June 2012)

Discover Cummins Falls, Tennessee's Newest State Park (June 2012)

See Savannah on a Segway Tour (June 2012)

Newest Addition to Biloxi, Mississippi - Margaritaville Casino & Restaurant (May 2012)

Coming Home: Chef David Guas set for New Orleans Wine & Food Experience (May 2012)

Experience Southern Sweetness with South Carolina's Firefly Distillery (May 2012)

The Running of the 71st Iroquois Steeplechase (May 2012)

100 Years and Counting: Riding the African Queen (May 2012)

Get Into the Wild with Safari Wilderness Ranch (May 2012)

Discover Another Side of Spartanburg with the Underground Guide to Spartanburg (April 2012)

Get Out and Explore National Parks During National Park Week (April 2012)

Glide Through Downtown Memphis on the Segway Experience of Memphis Tour (April 2012)

Congratulations to Our "Adventure Time Getaway" Winner (April 2012)

The Tennessee Aquarium, 20 Years Later and Still Going Strong (March 2012)

Fashion Weeks Show Off Stylish South (March 2012)

What to do When You’re Not Breathing Baseball During Spring Training in Florida (March 2012)

Tables are Set for Restaurant Weeks in the South (January 2012)

Congratulations to our Couples Comedy Getaway Winner (December 2011)

Discovering South Florida’s Three Distinctively Different Kimpton Hotels (November 2011)

Congratulations to our Back To Nature Getaway Winner (November 2011)

“Fall” for the Outdoors and More in Wilmington, North Carolina (October 2011)

Festivals, Football, Foliage and Fun: The Many Reasons Fall is Great in the South (October 2011)

The New Must-Do’s in Raleigh, North Carolina (September 2011)

Culinary Delights and Cultural Gems Await You Along SW Alabama's Culinary Trail (September 2011)

Exploring Seaside with the Seaside Walking Tour (September 2011)

Ending the Summer with a Bang: Labor Day Weekend Fun in the South (September 2011)

Celebrating Food and Music at The Shed in Ocean Springs, Miss. (August 2011)

Extend Your Summer with an Outdoor Concert (August 2011)

Discover Southern Charm and Hospitality at Fairview Inn in Jackson, Mississippi (August 2011)

Living History (and More) Awaits You at Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill (August 2011)

Exploring New Orleans’ Culinary Scene During COOLinary (August 2011)

Celebrate Hampton Bear and Teddy Bears at High Hampton Inn (July 2011)

Fireworks, Parades and More: 25 Ways to Have a “Blast” This 4th of July Weekend in the South (July 2011)

Simply Southern...James Madison Inn in Madison, Ga. (June 2011)

Fun and Free (or Inexpensive) Ways to Celebrate Dad this Father's Day (June 2011)

Congratulations to Our Simply Delightful Getaway Winner (June 2011)

Discovering One of Florida’s Surprises: Paddling the Suwannee River Wilderness Trail (April 2011)

Rediscovering old Florida at the Florida House Inn (March 2011)

Sip and Taste at the 26th annual Hilton Head Island Wine & Food Festival (March 2011)

Congratulations to our "Savannah's Best" Getaway Winner (March 2011)

Let’s Play Ball! Spring Training in Florida (February 2011)

Getting Back to Nature: Touring Bon Secour National Wildlife Refuge (February 2011)

Spotting Winter Wildlife (and Possibly Whales) in Virginia Beach, Virginia (January 2011)

Congratulations to our “Let’s Just Go” Getaway Winner (January 2011)

Finding “Treasures” on Jekyll Island, Georgia (January 2011)

Yo, Ho Ho: Exploring the Life of Pirates at the Pirate and Treasure Museum (January 2011)

It’s All About Experiences This Year in the South (January 2011)

Holidays are Hot at Hotels Across the South (December 2010)

It’s Nice on Ice–Where to Go Ice Skating in the South This Holiday Season (December 2010)

Congratulations to our Private Island Getaway Winner (December 2010)

Celebrating the Holiday Season in Williamsburg Virginia (December 2010)

Discovering Nu Wray Inn in Burnsville North Carolina (December 2010)

Thanksgiving Day Chef Competition at Ritz-Carlton Lodge, Reynolds Plantation (November 2010)

Many Reasons to Celebrate the Holiday Season at Gaylord Opryland (November 2010)

Discover the Birdhouse Trail in Monroeville Alabama (November 2010)

Congratulations to Our Casino Giveaway Winner (November 2010)

Get Out This Saturday for VISIT FLORIDA’s Great Beach Walk (November 2010)

Nathan Beaver set to Return to Perform in Madison Georgia (November 2010)

Fall for Fishing Along North Carolina’s Coast (October 2010)

Savor the Flavor in Polk County, Florida One Bite at a Time (October 2010)

Congratulations to Our Beach Giveaway Winner! (September 2010)

Discovering Mississippi's Culinary Trail (August 2010)

Going Coastal…Now is the Perfect Time to Visit the Florida Panhandle (August 2010)

Ways You Can Support the Recovery Effort in the Gulf (June 2010)

Get Out and Go to Alabama’s Gulf Coast (June 2010)

Soak in the Sun (and Fun) Along Florida's West Coast Beaches (June 2010)

It's New - The Titanic Museum Attraction (June 2010)

Celebrate Dollywood and Dollywood's Splash Country in 2010 (June 2010)

Tell Orlando (and the World) Why the City Makes You Smile (June 2010)

Fun Awaits You Along the Mississippi Gulf Coast (June 2010)

Staying Current on the Oil Spill in the Gulf (May 2010)

Where to Go for the Latest on the Nashville Floods (May 2010)

Keeping Current with the Oil Spill (May 2010)

Published: March 2019
14 Food Trails Worthy of Packing an Extra Pair of Comfortable Pants  

Everyone knows the South loves its food, especially its regional specialties. Not only are there year-round festivals devoted to certain delicacies but also trails highlighting them that are accessible year round.

Tantalize your taste buds as you set out on a culinary adventure exploring some of the South's tastiest food trails.

Between Austin and San Antonio, Texas, lays the Texas BBQ Trail. Made up of five cities, it focuses on family-owned places that produce award-winning, mouthwatering barbecue.

One of the stops on the trail is Lockhart, a.k.ka the “Barbecue Capital of Texas,” a title bestowed upon the city by the Texas Legislature in 2003. It’s home to such places as Kreuz Market and Smitty’s Market, serving up brisket, sausage, pork and more. Order what you want, how much you want and any sides. Meat is served up on butcher paper, making it an easy cleanup.

If you are hungry after visiting any of any joints along the trail, you did something wrong.

Lockhart is home to the Chisholm Trail Roundup BBQ Cook-Off held in June.


Louisiana is blessed with not one, but two boudin trails: the Cajun Boudin Trail and the Southwest Louisiana Boudin Trail.

For those unfamiliar with this specialty sausage, boudin (pronounced “BOO-dan”) is a mixture of rice, pork (however, sometimes crawfish, shrimp or alligator meat is used instead), onions, parsley and dry seasonings, and is steamed to warm it up. Boudin can be eaten as a snack or meal. You can even add a side of cracklins with of Steens as a dipping sauce for the ultimate flavor experience.

As for the trails, the Cajun Boudin Trail highlights meat markets and local shops in Lafayette and the surrounding area. Among those include Johnson’s Boucaniere, where you can sink your teeth into a Parrian Special, a boudin ball grilled cheese sandwich.

Snack on more boudin when you return to Lafayette in October for the annual Boudin Cook-Off or the Scott Boudin Festival (“Boudin Capital of the World”) in April.

Similarly, the Southwest Louisiana Boudin Trail hones in on over 30 spots throughout Calcasieu and Cameron Parishes. One happens to be Famous Foods in Lake Charles, whose boudin lineup includes a cornbread boudin (cornbread is substituted for rice), served cold.

In October, Brimstone Museum in Sulphur hosts Boudin Wars.

Authenticity is what the newly-formed Cajun Bayou Food Trail is about. Highlighting Lafourche Parish, ‘Louisiana’s Cajun Bayou,’ about 45 minutes south of New Orleans, you’ll be introduced to more than food, but also culture and tradition.

Featuring over 15 restaurants off-the-beaten-path and in the communities, enjoy such delicacies as Thibodaux's Fremin’s Seafood Napoleon or Catfish Chips at Spahr’s Seafood in Des Allemands. The culture part comes in when you added to your itinerary experiences such as bayou tours and nods to food festivals and food-related events the parish hosts year-round.

The Mud Bug Boil Off in Thibodaux and Louisiana Gumbo Festival in Chackbay are two of the many culinary events that Lafourche Parish hosts throughout the year.

Things are “hot” in the Mississippi Delta and that isn’t a nod to the weather, but to the Mississippi Delta Hot Tamale Trail.

It may seem odd that “the most southern place on earth” has quite the reputation for tamales, but it does; in fact, the food has been immortalized by blues singers in songs (yes, tamales have their own Blues Trail marker.) While there isn’t a firm consensus on how the tamale got to the Mississippi Delta, many believe Mexican migrant workers in the early twentieth century introduced the food to locals and they, in turn, adapted it.

Mississippi Delta tamales differ from its Latin counterparts in size (they are smaller) and preparation (they are simmered instead of steamed.)

The trail, created by Southern FoodwayAlliance and Viking Range Corporation, makes it way from Tunica to Vicksburg, and along the way, you can discover spots like at Abe’s Bar-B-Q in Clarksdale and try an order of their tamales.

And don’t forget to mark your calendar for the Delta Hot Tamale Festival held every October in Greenville.

Mississippi Seafood Trail stands apart from the others because it covers the entire state instead of honing in on a particular area. A brainchild of the Mississippi Hospitality and Restaurant Association, the primary purpose of the trail is to focus on the 80-plus restaurants across the state that serve fresh Gulf Seafood.

Download the app to discover shrimp and grits at Purple Parrot Cafe in Hattiesburg, or lump crab meat rémoulade at Mary Mahoney’s in Biloxi, among other places and dishes.

Don’t miss the Biloxi Seafood Festival in September.

If you have yet to try barbecue in Alabama, here’s your opportunity to sink your teeth into some ‘cue as you travel along the North Alabama BBQ Trail.

Regardless of if you are a rib person or prefer some pulled meat, you are guaranteed to find ample amounts at any of the over 20 locally owned establishments. Swing by Big Bob Gibson’s, in Decatur, home of the Alabama White Sauce, for their ribs and much more. Guarantee you finish every bite.

Mark your calendar for Hartselle’s Cotton Pickin’ BBQ Cook-Off in July and Decatur's Riverfest in September.

The Georgia Grown Trail 37 is the state’s first officially branded agritourism highway. Winding its way through south Georgia, the trail spotlights everything from oil farms to daylilies.

One of the 29 places on Georgia Grown Trail 37 is White Oak Pastures. The over a century old family farm in Bluffton offers farm tours, workshops and more. You can even stay overnight.

They also have an on-farm dining pavilion serving lunch featuring White Oak products. Burger fans, this is the place to get one. Finish up your experience by heading to their general store in downtown and purchasing some items to take back home.

Create a progressive dinner (or lunch) along the South Carolina Pecan Trail.

The trail emphasizes restaurants in Florence and the surrounding area that uses pecans in their dishes or drinks. Start your journey with a pecan scone at Top Hat Special-Teas in Florence and end at Victors, also in Florence, indulging with a Pecan Pie Martini.

The South Carolina Pecan Trail awards you for your efforts, too. Pick up a passport at any of the participating places or the Florence Convention and Visitors Bureau, receive a stamp and turn it in or send it in to collect swag. Pecan-flavored dishes and a t-shirt or pecan-related item, it’s a win-win.

Florence hosts the South Carolina Pecan Festival in November.

For the dessert lovers out there, the Surry Sonker Trail in Surry County, North Carolina, is for you.

Now, you may ask yourself, “what is Surry Sonker?” Similar to a pot pie or a cobbler, it’s made by blending fruit or sweet potato, and unshaped dough.

The trail includes six places throughout the county, including a smokehouse and brewery in Mount Airy that makes and serves this sweet treat.

Be sure to return in October for the annual Sonker Festival.

Winston-Salem North Carolina, is home to three Moravian Culinary Trails: cookies, chicken pie and sugar cake. Each trail guides you to places that keep the recipes and traditions alive in the 21st century.

Along the cookie trail, you can pop in Mrs. Hanes’ Moravian Cookies in Clemmons. Selected in 2010 as one of Oprah’s “Favorite Things,” the old family recipe makes six flavors: ginger (the most popular), lemon, chocolate, butterscotch, black walnut and sugar cookies. All cookies are handmade and packed by hand.

The chicken pie trail directs you to places like The Tavern in Old Salem with their freshly baked chicken pie. While in Old Salem, check out Winkler Bakery for a Sugar Cake, and complete your journey along all three trails.

There’s ham, and then there’s Kentucky ham; and yes, for the uninitiated out there, there’s a difference.

Now, if ham is your go-to pork product, then you’ll savor exploring Kentucky’s Country Ham Trail. The seven stops throughout the state are a mix of restaurants and general stores that have been producing ham for over 100 years.

One such place is Beaumont Inn in Harrodsburg, where they’ve been using the same hame curing process for five generations. Order a plate in either the main dining room or at Old Owl Tavern.

Don’t miss the Marion County Ham Days in Lebanon during September.

Even though oysters may come from the same state, they aren’t all the same. The Virginia Oyster Trail highlights eight oyster regions along both the eastern and western shores with the taste profiles range from salty to creamy to sweet.

The Virginia Oyster Trail also features oyster companies with facility tours and other agri-artisans such as wineries/breweries/cideries/distilleries that include oyster pairing and more.

For a small state, West Virginia provides a cornucopia of international flavors. It is possible to enjoy a taste of Italy, Germany and more in the Mountain State.

It isn’t a food trail, per se, but a Food and Taste Tour guide that suggests the top restaurants for authentic dishes like the pepperoni roll, West Virginia’s state food, found in Fairmont.

all photos are from personal collection, with the exception of  Seafood Napolean at Fremin's in Thibodaux, Louisiana, courtesy of Louisiana's Cajun Bayou and Pecan Scones at Top Hat Special-Teas, courtesy of Florence (SC) CVB.