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BY DANIEL BETANCOURT
Let Food & Drink Trails Be Your Travel Guide
It seems like almost every destination, big and small, has an eating or drinking trail where you can immerse yourself in the local flavors. These trails make for quite a tasty trip and can help you live your foodie bucket list. So the next time you’re planning your vacation itinerary, look to these four lesser-known food and drink trails to fill the day’s activities in South Carolina, Arizona, Oregon, and Tennessee.
1. The South Carolina Coastal BBQ Trail
Sink your teeth into authentic southern barbecue on the South Carolina Coastal BBQ Trail. The Palmetto State is one of only a few states in the nation where you'll find all four basic types of barbecue sauce: vinegar and pepper, mustard, light tomato, and heavy tomato.
Drop by the Bar-B-Que House on Surfside Beach for a taste of all four varieties of barbecue sauce. This family-friendly restaurant features a hefty selection of hickory-smoked ribs, chicken, and more. If you’re craving that distinct slow-cooked, smoky flavor, step inside Brisket in North Myrtle Beach. Here you’ll find not only their famous brisket, but also low-and-slow pork butt, chicken, turkey, and ribs. In Charleston, discover award-winning pork, slow-cooked over wood-chopped embers, at legendary Rodney Scott’s Whole Hog BBQ.
2. Arizona Wine Trails
You might not expect it in Arizona, but there are three distinct grape-growing wine regions in the Grand Canyon State. Tour the Arizona Wine Trails in Verde Valley, Sonoita, and Willcox.
Find hundreds of vineyard acres surrounded by mountains and national forests in Verde Valley. There are more than 25 wineries on this trail, most within 45 minutes of Sedona. Enjoy Spanish and Iberian varietals at Winery 1912. In southeastern Arizona, explore the hillside vineyards of the Sonoita wine region. Take a shuttle from Tucson and visit Charron Vineyards & Winery, one of the oldest wineries in the area. You'll also find Willcox Wine Country in southeastern Arizona. Travel to Golden Rule Vineyards for locally-grown pistachios and more than 10 varieties of wine.
3. The Oregon Cheese Trail
The Oregon Cheese Trail is your ultimate guide to tasty travels in the Pacific Northwest. Visit more than 20 artisanal cheesemakers and bite into the exceptional quality that put this cheesemaking region on the map.
Sample award-winning goat cheese at Rivers Edge Chèvre, just 25-minutes from Newport. This sustainable homestead offers a monthly selection of fresh cheeses. In Portland, stop by Elephants Delicatessen. Their cheese counter features more than 100 cheeses and a variety of artisanal products. Just outside of Portland, find farm-to-table dairy and cheese products at the TMK Creamery. Take a tour and learn more about the significance of dairy in the cheesemaking process.
4. The Tennessee Whiskey Trail
Discover 30 distilleries and 800-miles of scenic Tennessee terrain on the Tennessee Whiskey Trail. The route is separated into three regions: East, Middle, and West Tennessee. You can traverse the entire trail end-to-end or stick to one region.
In the east, visit the Tennessee Legend Distillery in Sevierville. This distillery captures the essence of the Smoky Mountains with flavorful moonshines and whiskies. Sample the Salted Caramel Whiskey for a sweet taste of smooth, golden whiskey. Journey to Middle Tennessee to find a region teeming with award-winning spirits. Make a stop at the Corsair Distillery, the first craft distillery opened in Nashville since prohibition, and try the Corsair Triple Smoke American Single Malt Whiskey. In the west, enjoy artisanal spirits at the Old Dominick Distillery in Memphis, a family-owned, 1920s-era distillery.