Fall is a great time to indulge in gastronomic pleasures. There’s something about the mild, breezy temperatures and the changing leaf colors that stimulates the appetite, making us all just a little more hungrier. This season, Forbes Travel Guide has just the ticket to feed that inner gourmand. Attending at least one of these irresistible food festivals across the map will surely satiate your hankering for fine fare.
Wellfleet OysterFest, Cape Cod
October 18-19, 2014
If oysters are your pleasure, head to the town of Wellfleet, Massachusetts the weekend after Columbus Day to join the fun at this 14th annual shindig. In addition to feasting on oysters galore (a choice of raw, grilled, stewed, fried and more), revelers will have a chance to sample from the bounty of Cape Cod lobster and shrimp, imbibe on Samuel Adams and get their fill of Bloody Marys while enjoying arts and crafts, cooking demonstrations, walking tours, live music and a road race. Another festival highlight: the Oyster Shuck-Off competition, where men and women face off with 24 oysters each to see whose shucking technique reigns supreme.
Where to stay: Book the Aw’Shucks It’s Oysterfest package at the Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star Wequassett Resort and Golf Club and receive a one- or two-night stay, a tasting menu of beer and oysters for two at Thoreau’s, breakfast for two and transportation to and from OysterFest via the resort BMW.
Taste of Atlanta
October 24-26, 2014
For three days, Atlanta’s 13th annual foodie fiasco will take over 10 blocks of Midtown at Tech Square and feature nearly 100 area restaurants. Festivalgoers will have a chance to get up close and personal with celebrity chefs such as Ford Fry (King + Duke); Kristen Kish (Top Chef Season 10 winner); and Ron Eyester (contestant on the upcoming Top Chef Season 12 in Boston). There will be interactive demos and four live cooking stages, as well as a Throwdown Tent, where chefs will face-off in friendly competitions such as the Meat Brawl and Sandwich Smackdown. Best of all, this year marks the first time that eateries will be organized by neighborhoods, allowing attendees to pinpoint beloved treasures like Buckhead’s Seven Lamps, Alpharetta’s South Main Kitchen or Midtown’s The Spence.
Where to stay: After a strenuous day spent sampling Atlanta’s finest dishes, spend your night rejuvenating at one of its most elegant hotels — Five-Star Four Seasons Hotel Atlanta, conveniently located just blocks from all the fun.
Caribbean Food & Wine Fest, Turks & Caicos
Nov 6-8, 2014
Hosted by Grace Bay Resorts, the fourth annual festival is your ticket to flavor and fun in Turks & Caicos’ tropical sun. Things kick off on Thursday evening with a starlit five-course dinner at Blue Haven Resort’s Fire & Ice restaurant. On Friday afternoon, a Women of Wine luncheon pairs distinctive dishes created by local female chefs with various labels. That night, guests take a “Gourmet Safari” to five eateries on Providenciales, starting with innovative cocktails at Grace Bay Club’s Krave, moving on to an appetizer course at Coyaba Restaurant, dinner at Seven Stars Resort and The Regent Palms, and dessert at Gansevoort Turks + Caicos. Saturday offers an intimate food and wine pairing event, followed by a street food fair featuring grilled selections from local chefs, and culminating with Dinner with the Stars, an alfresco event held at Grace Bay Club. In addition to local talent, the festival will also spotlight guest toques such as Top Chef Season 5 contestant Leah Cohen and Manhattan Beach’s David LeFevre.
Where to stay: The Grace Bay Club is a fine choice for accommodation, but so too is The Somerset on Grace Bay, an all-suites hotel that fills each unit with a full kitchen, soaking tub, washer/dryer and nearly every other amenity to make you feel at home.
Savor Borgata Weekend, Atlantic City
November 7-8, 2014
After a few hands at Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa’s blackjack or poker tables, guests can try their luck with mixing and mingling with celebrity chefs Wolfgang Puck, Bobby Flay, Geoffrey Zakarian and others over the course of this tasty weekend. (Through the week, specially priced three-course menus will be offered at all of the resort’s restaurants.) Come Friday, the events really get cooking with a star-studded cocktail reception and four-course dinner orchestrated by Flay, Zakarian and Borgata’s own team. Saturday’s daytime appetizers include culinary demonstrations and book signings while the evening’s main course is none other than Street Eats, a smorgasbord of 20 food stations, kitchen tutorials, wine tastings, live music, games and more.
Where to stay: Everyone wins when they book the Savor Borgata hotel package, a promotion that includes a beautifully appointed Classic room and two tickets to Street Eats.