By Jean Strauber, Travel Editor
Trafalgar Tours has launched something new for the discriminating traveler. Their new ‘Taste of America’ program invites guests to learn about food specific to a destination, as well as indulge in some of the continent’s most delicious dishes. “Gourmet travel is a rapidly expanding market with more and more Americans looking to try different regional cuisines with local foods that give them the
freshness of the farm-to-table experience,” says Paul Wiseman, President of Trafalgar USA. “With the Taste of North America program, we wanted to show Americans that they don’t have to travel far to taste delicious local specialties – some of the best cuisines are in their own backyard, whether it’s Louisiana’s spicy Creole cooking or Vermont’s flavorful cheeses.”
The new USA & Canada brochure features four gastronomic itineraries: San Francisco and Wine Country Delights, Wonders and Flavors of the Golden State, Tastes and Sounds of the South, and New York Zest and New England’s Best. • New York Zest and New England’s Best On the 11-day New York Zest and New England’s Best tour, guests get a taste of the east coast’s most delicious foods, from savory seafood to tasty ice creams. Arriving in New York City and departing from Boston, the trip stops off in Newport, Cape Cod, Nantucket, New Bedford, North Conway and Essex in between.
With two nights in New York, travelers have plenty of time to explore the flavors of the culturally diverse metropolis, and also join a food-themed local specialty tour to sample the tastes of the city. In New Bedford, guests go on a guided bog tour at a cranberry farm, experiencing the production of one of the area’s famous fruits. As the group travels through Vermont, you’ll spend a day trying local specialties at the family-owned Cabot Creamery (pictured above), which is known for its tasty cheeses; a cidery where you’ll learn about the craft of making apple cider; and a stop at Ben & Jerry’s, the famous ice cream makers whose original flavors have taken them from one store to worldwide fame.
On the trip to Boston, stop at Moonlight Meadery for a special “Be My Guest” experience and learn about making wine from honey, and feast on a lunch made from local New Hampshire ingredients. • Tastes and Sounds of the South Some of America’s best flavors live in the Deep South, and Trafalgar’s 10-day Tastes & Sounds of the South tour lets travelers discover the foods that the region is famous for. Starting in the country music capital of Nashville and ending in colorful New Orleans, guests visit Natchez, Graceland, Memphis and Lynchburg. In Lynchburg, you will be introduced to a local specialty and America’s favorite whiskey with a guided tour of the Jack Daniels factory (pictured below left). With two nights spent in Memphis, passengers take a day’s excursion to see the home of The King in Graceland, and are also treated to Trafalgar’s new “Your Choice” dining program that lets you select from one of four of Memphis’ favorite restaurants.
The feast continues in Natchez at a renaissance revival mansion, where you get a guided tour of the elegant southern home, then sit down to a specially prepared ballroom dinner. Finishing off the trip in New Orleans, enjoy a fun and interactive cooking class at the New Orleans School of Cooking (pictured above) before sampling their culinary creations at lunch. The trip wraps up that night with a farewell dinner at the famed Court of the Two Sisters. • Wonders and Flavors of The Golden State The 14-day Wonder and Flavors of The Golden State is the perfect trip for food-lovers looking to get a taste of California’s fresh produce and delicious culinary treats. Starting in LA and finishing in San Francisco, guests get the best of the Golden State as they visit Palm Springs, Santa Barbara, Monterey, Sequoia National Park, Bass Lake and Napa.
After a couple of nights in lively Los Angeles, head to Palm Springs and stop in the Coachella Valley to cool down with a tasty date shake on a local farm. That night, sit down to a dinner in the mountains at the top of the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway (pictured right). Moving on to idyllic Santa Barbara, delight in a “Be My Guest” lunch with a local chef and author, who will share local, seasonal foods for the ultimate farm-to-table experience.
After a few days sightseeing in Monterey, visiting Sequoia and Yosemite National Parks and sampling award-winning cheeses at the Hilmar Cheese Company, it’s on to San Francisco to spend Saturday morning exploring the Ferry Plaza Farmer’s Market on a food-tasting adventure. In Sonoma you will visit an olive press and learn about the harvesting process for making olive oil. The trip wraps up with a wine tasting at a Napa winery and a farewell dinner aboard the Napa Valley Wine Train, (pictured below) traveling through the beautiful vineyards. Trafalgar travelers can save between 5 and 10 percent on 2013 North America vacation with Trafalgar when they book and pay in full at least six months in advance. For more information, contact me at Travel Center (800) 870-9345 or TrvlWritr2@aol.com.