I have a day trip planned to Deep Run, NC (where the cookbook Deep Run Roots is based), a few days in Charleston and a visit to a Shaker Village in KY. Any other ideas? Thanks so much.
For early summer, try the California Strawberry Festival in Oxnard (just north of Los Angeles) https://castrawberryfestival.org/
This is the website of Jane and Michael Stern, who have traveled the US for decades in search of regional cooking. You may find some interesting suggestions there.
How far do you want to travel? I can answer the question from the Northwest, not the South.
we took a road trip through new mexico (santa fe to las cruces) and if you like chilis (red and or green) this is the place. chilis on hamburgers and all other types of food new mexican to american. new mexico is full of air and space and wwii museums and we loved the socorro area for the bird wildlife and large array satellites. new mexican cuisine is not mexican cuisine although there is plenty of mexican to be found. we come from the salad bowl and were pleasantly surprised to find great fresh salads and fresh veggies. we use trip advisor for things to do and where to eat. hatch new mexico is home of the peppers. don't expect a tour or "place" for the chiliis but their little museum in the planning office is pretty nice and staff was extremely knowledgeable about the marketing, growing of the chilis, etc. really fun trip christmas to new years.
Depends not only on regions, but what foods interest you.
Seafood, ice cream, barbecue, garlic, grapes, orchard or stone fruit and so on...
Or, you could even explore the Isogrits map of the USA...like weather Isobar for differentiating regions of barometric pressure.
Only this one differentiates where you are automatically served either grits or hashbrowns with a diner breakfast...(grits or toast, fill in the blank).
Many times when we travel, we look for food tours. So we've already chosen the destination but then we learn about the food and more. We were in Madrid on business and took a 4 hour walking food tour. We got architecture, culture, history, politics and food! At the end we went to a Turkish Bath to relax. On another business trip to Vancouver, BC we took a food truck tour but same - local politics, history etc. took a cooking class in charleston. In the Outer Banks we went out on a shrimp boat at 6am for 2 hours. We got to keep all the shrimp and crabs and spent time with a very interesting waterman and his son. If you look, you can find something interesting everywhere!
I love food walking tours. Although, I grew up on LI/NYC I've done many food walking tiurs in NYC. It's a great way to take in some history about the neighborhood and sample lots of restaurants, Google to find out more. I've done Chinatown, the Village, Little Korea and Chelsea. Great suggestion, MMH!
I enjoy attending food festivals whenever I can. I've been to the Gilroy Garlic festival, CT chili and oyster festivals, buffalo wing in Upstate NY etc. My local casinos always have food related event going on and Miami and NYC is a hot destination for food fun. Here's a listing by state for festivals but also visit food and travel magazine websites promoting food events as well. Have fun!
road trip companion is going to massacdusettes and we got used book showing location of lobster shacks. he's going to do a road trip with taste testing lobster shack lobsters as the theme.
Jolene - If your focus is on the US South might I also suggest trips to New Orleans, Atlanta and Birmingham. Athens, GA also has some great places as well. And from what I understand The Research Triangle and Nashville are also worth exploring.