This quaint coastal hub has more to offer than oysters and lighthouses—though visitors should absolutely slurp the former (Eventide Oyster Co. serves 12 local varieties) and Instagram the latter (Portland Head Light is postcard perfect). The beer scene is buzzing, thanks to upstarts like Allagash and Bissell Brothers breweries. Conveniently two of the best lobster rolls in town—Bite Into Maine Airstream and High Roller truck—are often parked outside. While you’re there, ride the Casco Bay Mailboat or visit Victoria Mansion, a landmarked house museum.
The excitement around Idaho’s state capital culinary scene has nothing to do with potatoes. Tour one of the area’s more than 30 wineries—like much-lauded Cinder and Split Rail—in the Snake River Valley. Book a room at the Modern, a former seedy motel turned hip hotel, and kick back and plot your next meal—try a Belgian breakfast at Waffle Me Up. (Get the recipe for their Liège Waffle HERE.) At night venture out to the Central Idaho Dark Sky Reserve, which offers some of the best stargazing on the planet.
This charming Upcountry hot spot saw nearly 30 restaurants open in 2017 (in a city of just 67,000), including farm-to-table The Anchorage and the third location of renowned chef Sean Brock’s Husk. There’s plenty to do once you’ve had your fill of Husk’s famous fried chicken. Stroll down picturesque Main Street—the city’s downtown is known for its walkability—and wind up in 32-acre Falls Park on the Reedy, where you can traverse the striking Liberty suspension bridge or catch an outdoor movie (Wednesday nights in May and September).
It’s no coincidence Top Chef chose to host its most recent season here. Diners can eat at newlycrowned James Beard award winner Alex Seidel’s Mercantile Dining & Provision one night and sit down in a former airport control tower at the quirky Punch Bowl Social the next. The city’s creative offerings aren’t only available on the table: Mike Whiting’s pixelated sculptures at the Denver Botanic Gardens (through Sept. 23) and the Chalk Art Festival, which welcomes 200 artists (June 2-3), are not to be missed.
The once-struggling city is undergoing a creative renaissance, with hip businesses like the Siren Hotel and restaurants like Chartreuse Kitchen & Cocktails, which gets its produce from local growers at Recovery Park. Historic buildings offer a peek at the city’s past, while the state-of-the-art Lexus Velodrome, which hosts bike races Saturday nights, hints at its future.
This foodie destination bounced back after last fall’s devastating wildfires. Let the pros show you around on a Savor Healdsburg food tour, and witness the farm-to-bottle process at DaVero biodynamic winery. Or plan your own itinerary of local favorites, like the two-Michelin-starred Single Thread or Duke’s Common street food, where nothing is over $10. When you’ve reached your vino limit, stop by home store-restaurant hybrid Shed to pick up a picnic lunch or take a pickling class.
Here, hot chicken and barbecue are still worth waiting in line for, but newer staples, like Pinewood Social and Biscuit Love, which just opened its third location, have made Music City the epicenter of cozy cuisine. This summer visitors can track down the best bites on four wheels at the new Food Truck City before heading out to Bonnaroo music festival (June 7-10) or while shopping down the 127 Yard Sale—the world’s longest—from Michigan to Alabama (Aug. 2-5).
The formerly industrial waterfront district has been reborn as The Wharf, a sprawling complex with more than 20 restaurants and an outdoor amphitheater that will host acts like Jack White and Leon Bridges. Take the ferry to Georgetown to visit chef José Andrés’s America Eats Tavern in its new location (opening this summer). Head downtown to Arepa Zone for tasty Venezuelan stuffed sandwiches, or check out Bad Saint in Columbia Heights for outstanding nouveau Filipino dishes. Get the recipe for Arepa Zone’s arepas HERE.
New York-based chef David Chang gave H-town an unexpected boost as it bounces back from a direct hit by Hurricane Harvey last August. His Netflix docuseries Ugly Delicious introduced America to its next foodie fascination. Viet-Cajun, a mashup of Vietnamese flavors and classic Deep South dishes is at its best at Houston’s Crawfish & Noodles and Nam Giao. Visitors should stop by recently redeveloped Midtown Park, which features a native bayou landscape that’s part of the city’s new stormwater infrastructure. And when you can’t stand the summer heat any longer, cool off at the excellent Museum of Fine Arts or NASA’s Space Center.
This laid-back Midwest destination holds a wealth of to-die-for—or at least to-travel-for—eateries. Pastry chefs Diane Yang at Spoon and Stable and Michelle Gayer at the Salty Tart whip up some of the country’s tastiest desserts at a finedining restaurant and a simple market kiosk, respectively, while Revival‘s signature fried chicken has fans lining up on the street. Apart from the food scene, the Weisman Art Museum’s striking Frank Gehry-designed building is an attraction in itself. Inside, an exhibit on the city’s most famous native son, Prince, runs through June 17.