Travel Inspiration: Follow Your Stomach to 7 Delicious Destinations

Family Travel on 11.09.11
Contributor bio | twitter

Photos:Britt Reints

When planning your next family vacation, let your stomach be your guide. Spend a weekend exploring the many good eats in these tasty cities, or stay for a week and make plans to workout when you get home.

1. New York City

new york bagels

This monster metropolis offers a lot more than big apples; it's the ideal destination for adventurous eaters. Our family favorites include the dumplings in Chinatown, dessert at Crumbs, lunch at the halal carts, and random oddities from the numerous food trucks. You can spend anywhere from $5 to $500 on a meal in New York City and sample cuisines inspired from every corner of the globe. Do not leave the city without a genuine New York City bagel.

2. Savannah, Geor.

Savannah comfort food

The food scene in this southern river town isn't as diverse as others, but it's not any less mouthwatering. Meals here are focused on comfort and butter. Experience true family-style dining at Mrs. Wilke's or grab a slice of pizza at Vinnie Van Go-Go's, a lunchtime favorite of locals. If it's atmosphere you're after, take the family to The Pirates' House Restaurant, one of the city's many haunted hot spots.

3. New Orleans, Loui.

new orleans food scene

Eating may be the most popular past time of the Crescent City. The food here is truly unique thanks to a blend of Cajun, Southern, and French influences. Wait in line at Mother's for a bountiful lunch of Southern fare that won't empty your wallet, then stroll over to the French Quarter for dinner, well, just about anywhere. (If you wander into ACME Oyster House, try the grilled oysters.) Head towards the water for dessert at Cafe du Monde, home of the world's most perfect donuts.

4. Memphis, Tenn.

memphis bbq

Rumor has it you can find something besides barbecue in Memphis, but I'm not sure why you'd bother. You could spend several days BBQ joint hopping without repeating a restaurant or a meal. The dry ribs at Rendezvous are legendary, while Interstate BBQ is the place to go for wet ribs. When you've had your fill of ribs, drive over to Central BBQ and order the BBQ pork nachos. Get a full size for yourself because you will not want to share this ooey gooey masterpiece.

5. San Diego, Cali.

san diego scenery

Why here? Because seafood tastes better when it's eaten in front of a beautiful view, and San Diego specializes in beautiful. You can't find bad sushi here, but I personally recommend Roppongi as superior, if spendy, dining experience. Head out to the historic Hotel del Coronado for casual cafe dining or an upscale meal at one of their fine restaurants, any of which will include a beautiful view of the grounds and a soundtrack of ocean waves.

6. Chicago, Illi.

chicago skyline

Everything in here is made with pride and confidence that it's done better than anywhere else in the world. Whether that's true or not, the rest of us can enjoy the effort. The Chicago-style hot dog will blow your mind and those ballpark franks out of the water, deep dish pizza will be worth the incredibly long wait, and the steak is so flavorful and tender it will bring tears to your eyes. Chicago manages to make Midwestern fare taste exciting.

7. Albuquerque, New Mexico

Albuquerque new mexico

Some like it hot, and they should head to central New Mexico for breakfast, lunch, and dinner infused with red and green chile. Make your first stop at El Pinto Restaurant and Cantina to set the bar high and consider wearing pants with an elastic waistband. Take a break from playing tourist in Old Town at Church Street Cafe, and order your breakfast with Christmas - a combination of red and green chile. You'll leave New Mexico with a new love for Mexico nuevo cuisine.

Where's your favorite place to grab meal after meal after meal?

Top Articles on Family Travel Destinations
10 Best Ski Slopes for Families
3 Surprisingly Great Cities Worth Visiting
5 of America's Most Haunted Family-Friendly Cities