14 Mar Three RV Trips For Foodies
Foodie road tripping has become something of a trend in recent years, and state tourism departments have been quick to pick up on it. Some states have even started to promote historic “food trails” in order to advertise famous dishes and culinary centers that are worth checking out.
RVing isn’t just for campers, anymore — if you’re a foodie looking to explore the incredible culinary variety of North America, it’s about time that you prepare for an extended trip in an RV motorhome or trailer.
When renting an RV for your next trip, try renting from a peer-to-peer RV rental platform like RVshare. Peer-to-peer rental platforms connect you directly with owners, leading to lower rates (and better rental offerings overall).
Though RV road trips are popularly associated with outdoors activities, such as hiking, camping, canoeing, they are also quite well-suited to food-focused and urban trips. There are several advantages to renting an RV, but perhaps the most obvious one for a casual road tripper is that the vehicle provides you with a consistent, personalized, and — depending on the RV model that you rent — even luxurious experience over the course of a long road trip. Instead of having to bunk up in hotel rooms of dubious quality, you can rest in the familiar, comfortable surrounds of your RV. After spending a long time on the road, being able to decompress as though you’re sitting “at home” can help you maintain a positive mental attitude and ensure that you enjoy the full length of your trip.
So, interested in going on a foodie road trip in an RV? Here are a few exciting trips for you to consider.
California Wine Country
Northern California’s wine country regions — Sonoma and Napa, in particular — are globally famous, not only for their world-class food and wine selection (the region is scattered with top rated vineyards and restaurants) but also for their incredible natural landscapes.
When going on an RV journey through Napa and/or Sonoma, attempt a longer and more scenic route, if possible. Start at the central coast and make your way north along the famous Pacific Coast highway. As you pass through the Bay Area, park your RV for a few days at a lot or campground near San Francisco to experience one of the best and most diverse food centers in the country.
After your camper rental in San Francisco, make your way further north a few hours into the wine country regions. If you’re up for some sightseeing, there are several great outdoorsy destinations to check out along the way, such as the Redwood Forest.
Wine country is where “California cuisine” was developed (at much-vaunted restaurants like French Laundry). Though New American restaurants across the country borrow quite heavily from the unique cuisine developed in wine country, you’ll almost certainly want to sample the original. With that said, bear in mind that most of the best restaurants in California wine country are upscale, so budget accordingly and be sure to book tables beforehand. On any given RV trip, there are a range of associated costs — gas, campground stays, and supplies, among others — but try to sequester a portion of your trip budget for a meal at one of the highly-rated (if expensive) restaurants in wine country.
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The Gulf Coast and New Orleans
The Gulf Coast — stretching from the Florida Panhandle all the way past New Orleans and into Texas — is an excellent choice for a more budget-oriented foodie road trip. In recent years, tourism numbers have dropped off due to the region’s poor image in the media (i.e., oil spills and natural disasters), but the acclaimed culinary tradition of major urban centers on the Gulf Coast (particularly New Orleans), the rich and varied cultures on display, fun party atmosphere, and coastal scenery make a Gulf Coast visit more than worthwhile. Given the tourism drop-off, you’re likely to find some great deals on RV campground stays in the region, so keep your eyes peeled for promotions!
As you make your way along the coast in your RV, you’ll want to stop off at one (or many!) of the numerous seaside food shacks that dot the landscape. Don’t pass through the region without sampling its famous seafood offerings. Fresh oysters (raw and grilled) are a must-try, of course, but make sure to order some Gulf Coast shrimp, whether in gumbo form or dressed up in a cocktail plate. According to local chefs, shrimp in the region tastes “cleaner” since the shrimp swim in with the tides.
New Orleans is the centerpiece of a Gulf Coast trip, and for good reason — it is perhaps the most exciting foodie city in the country, boasting a revived restaurant scene that has successfully brought a modern twist to Cajun and Creole cuisine, a hip street food culture, and budget food stalls and small family kitchens that plate some of the best traditional cuisine that the region has to offer.
Montreal and Rural Québec
Though not commonly seen as a top RV destination, the Québec province of Canada is actually very well-suited to RVing — the province has a similar ecology and climate to northern New England, and features a wealth of scenery and opportunities for outdoor activity (from maple syrup harvesting to ice fishing to watersports and skiing).
Most importantly for foodies, Québec is a gastronomical powerhouse. In Montreal, you can sample traditional French cuisine and diverse global offerings at some of the best-rated restaurants in North America, enjoy a bustling, late-night café scene, and chow down after-hours on some cheese and gravy-laden poutine.
Outside of the Montreal metro area, Québec has become known in the culinary world for its burgeoning rural food scene. Québecois chefs have taken “farm to table” to its natural conclusion — instead of just sourcing ingredients from local farms, many restaurants have been built on-premises at old farms and maple syrup plantations, far from either Montreal or Québec City. As such, your RV (assuming it is maneuverable enough) will allow you to explore the province and its exciting rural culinary offerings at your leisure.