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Tour de Fork
By Kara Franker | March 7, 2016
Hit the road in pursuit of the region’s best local cuisine at these food and wine festivals.
HILTON HEAD, S.C.
One of the largest outdoor tasting events on the East Coast, the Hilton Head Wine & Food Festival, is March 7 to 12. Showcasing signature low-country cuisine like smoked chicken gumbo, the six-day festival takes place near the iconic red-and-white-striped Harbour Town Lighthouse overlooking picturesque Calibogue Sound.
The Details: Individual event tickets from $45, @hhiwinefoodfest
Where to Stay: The Sea Pines Resort, overnight rates from $224, @sea_pinesresort
Featuring the infamous Sunday Gospel Brunch with Robert Randolph, grand tasting tents and live music, the Austin Food + Wine Festival is April 22 to 24. The Lone Star State’s brightest chefs will cook up their finest dishes at Republic Square Park in the heart of downtown Austin.
The Details: Two-day weekender tickets from $250, @austinfoodwine
Where to Stay: Hotel Van Zandt, a Kimpton Hotel, overnight rates from $279, @hotelvanzandt
MIRAMAR BEACH, FLA.
Offering the ideal backdrop for a beach getaway, the South Walton Beaches Wine & Food Festival takes place in Northwest Florida April 28 to May 1. Perfect for wine connoisseurs, this year’s event will include an appearance by French winemaker Ronan Laborde of Château Clinet, plus more than 800 delectable wines.
The Details: Individual event tickets from $85, @sowalwine
Where to Stay: Hilton Sandestin Beach Golf Resort & Spa, overnight rates from $179, @sandestin
AMELIA ISLAND, FLA.
Nosh on Florida’s freshest seafood dishes at Omni Amelia Island Plantation Resort’s third annual Fish to Fork festival May 6 to 8. In partnership with the James Beard Foundation, six talented chefs, including Atlanta’s own Joey Ward from Gun Show, will debut their finest culinary creations inspired by the ocean.
The Details: Individual event tickets from $95, @omni_aip
Where to Stay: Omni Amelia Island Plantation, overnight rates from $299, @omni_aip
Taste fiery Creole cuisine and sip outstanding wines at the parade-style Royal Street Stroll, the signature event of the New Orleans Wine & Food Experience, happening this year Memorial Day weekend, May 26 to 29. Following the crowning of the King of Louisiana Seafood at the grand tasting event, head to the afterparty for burlesque performers at The Big Gateaux Show.
The Details: Grand tasting tickets from $225, @nowfe
Where to Stay: New Orleans Downtown Marriott, overnight rates from $229, @nolamarriottcc
Kick off summer by indulging in a staycation at the Atlanta Food & Wine Festival in Midtown June 2 to 5. Along with local top talent, the region’s best flavors will be featured at a variety of tasting trails, including barbecue, bourbon, chicken, craft beer, seafood and more.
The Details: Tasting tent tickets from $100, @atlfoodandwine
Where to Stay: Loews Atlanta Hotel, overnight rates from $329, @loews_hotels
Tantalize the taste buds with comfort food and farm-to-table fare at the Asheville Wine & Food Festival Aug. 19 to 20. Leading up to the Grand Tasting in downtown Asheville in August, don’t miss Asheville Cocktail Week May 1 to 8 and sip on handcrafted concoctions from the Southeast’s best distilleries.
The Details: Grand tasting tickets from $65, @avlwinefoodfest
Where to Stay: Hotel Indigo, overnight rates from $150, @avlindigo151
Top recording artists and superstar chefs collaborate for the Music City Food + Wine Festival in downtown Nashville Sept. 17 to 18. Fill your plate at an outdoor barbecue feast during the day, and once the sun sets, party the night away with performances by stars of Nashville’s legendary music scene.
The Details: Single-day tickets from $150, @musiccityfw
Where to Stay: Union Station Hotel, Autograph Collection, overnight rates from $224, @unionstationnsh
ST. SIMONS ISLAND, GA.
Experience Southern hospitality at its finest at the St. Simons Food & Spirits Festival on one of Georgia’s most pristine islands Oct. 5 to 9. Highlights include a chef showdown, oyster roast, pier crawl and an artisan market.
The Details: Individual event tickets from $50, @ssfsfest
Where to Stay: The King and Prince Beach & Golf Resort, overnight rates from $249, @kingandprince
SAVANNAH & JEKYLL ISLAND, GA.
Participate in the World’s Largest Lowcountry boil featuring wild Georgia shrimp and all the fixins’ at the Savannah Food & Wine Festival Nov. 7 to 13. New this year, the festival’s founders are leading up to their fall blowout by hosting a Whiskey, Wine & Wildlife festival on Jekyll Island April 22 to 24.
The Details: Individual event tickets from $49, @savfoodwinefest
Where to Stay: Mansion on Forsyth Park, overnight rates from $224, @mansionforsyth