13 Incredibly Cool Food Trails You Can Visit in the U.S.

West Virginia's pepperoni trail, South Carolina's pimento cheese trail, and more off-beat food adventures you should add to your itinerary.

Assorted caramel apples; pepperoni rolls; Grandma's pizza; barbecue

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We believe that the best vacations are planned around eating, and food trails are one of the best ways to do that. Exploring a state's regional cuisine through food trails lets you taste some of the best food that region has to offer, while also gaining a sense of its background and history. From Sonoran hot dogs in Arizona to South Carolina's pimento cheese trail, these thirteen gourmet food trails are the coolest way to explore America.

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West Virginia Pepperoni Roll Trail

Pepperoni rolls

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This trail celebrates West Virginia's official state food, this humble yet ingenious combination of bread and pepperoni: the pepperoni roll. The pepperoni roll has been a state favorite since the early 1900s, when Italian immigrants working in coal mines needed a convenient snack to eat on the job. Among the trail's highlights is the Country Club Bakery in Fairmont, which first began selling pepperoni rolls in 1927 and now produces up to 900 dozen a day.

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New Jersey Pizza Trail

Grandma's pizza

Newsday LLC / Getty Images

Last year we declared New Jersey as the best pizza state in the country. While you may have strong opinions on that, the state’s pizza trails showcase ten must-eat stops. From a Sicilian-style thick square crust at Ferazzoli's to the best thin-crust pizza at The Original Thin Crust Pizza Company, the New Jersey’s pizza trail is a can’t miss.

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Pennsylvania Fermented Food Trail

Pickle Lovers, Rejoice: Pennsylvania Now Has a Trail for Fermented Foods

The nearly 100 stops on this Pennsylvania fermented foods trail include everything from sauerkraut to kombucha and even fermented chocolate, teas, and cheese. Not only does this trail boast the bounty of wonderfully diverse fermented foods, but it's also part of the state's drive to showcase Pennsylvania's culinary history and preserve its foodways in the process.

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South Carolina Pimento Cheese Trail

Pimento Cheese

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The first recipe for pimento cheese was published in a local cookbook in 1912 and has played a significant role in Columbia, South Carolina's culinary scene ever since. As of 2019, Columbia has been celebrating pimento cheese through a food trail passport that lets visitors explore the city’s many different takes on pimento cheese. There are 17 restaurants participating in this year's passport, reintroducing fan favorites and sharing the most recent renditions of the dish.

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Arizona Sonoran Hot Dog Trail

hot dogs and a coca cola
Courtesy of Visit Tucson

Tuscon's signature Sonoran hot dogs combine Mexican and Arizona flavors with bacon-wrapped hot dogs, pinto beans, and plenty of toppings. Their signature Sonoran hot dog trail features 14 different must-try dogs from various food carts and restaurants.

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Mississippi Barbecue Trail

Barbecue pulled pork

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Barbecue is a big deal in Mississippi. It’s such a big deal that the region has a barbecue trail that showcases classics and innovative takes on barbecue staples like brisket, pulled pork, sausage, and ribs. Check out the over 100 stops on this trail, which includes food at traditional barbecue joints, gas stations, trucks, and more.

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Northern California Taco Trail

Concord, California has a taco trail
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This taco trail boasts over 40 family-owned taquerias in the small California city of Concord. With Michoacan-style fare, Yucatan favorites, and Jalisco staples, the Concord taco trail offers traditional family recipes from all over Mexico.

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North Carolina Surry Sonker Trail

Mixed Berry Sonker with Vanilla Frozen Custard

Dhanraj Emanuel

The Surry Sonker trail in North Carolina is a delight. Surry County is the only place in the world that calls cobbler “sonker," and to celebrate that, the state has an eight-stop sonker trail for visitors to enjoy. Have a scoop of Miss Angel's Heavenly Pies moonshine ice cream with peach sonker (or whatever fruit is in season) or at Prudence McKay Confections where the dessert is coated with a golden butter-and-sugar crust.

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Ohio Doughnut Trail


Along the 80-mile Ohio Donut Trail in Butler County, there are more doughnut shops per capita than any other place in the U.S. Sounds too good to be true, right? Well, believe it. You will be able to track the 13 mom-and-pop donut shops through a trail passport (and even get a sweet t-shirt after visiting them all).

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Minnesota Caramel Apple Trail

Assorted caramel apples

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For something much more niche, on the paved Lake Wobegon Trail in Central Minnesota, the Caramel Roll and Caramel Apple bike ride trails take place twice a year. On the first leg, in the summer, small towns provide their best caramel rolls for riders to sample at rest stops along the way (free with registration) in the summer. As for the second, the town showcases caramel apples in the fall.

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North Carolina Oyster Trail

Oyster drink

Paul Manley

To protect their oysters, North Carolina went to war in the late 1800s. As a result, oyster farmers have committed themselves to maintaining the supply of oysters that are showcased on their oyster trail across the state. Check out Saltbox Seafood Joint in Durham owned by James Beard Award-winning chef Ricky Moore or take a tour of Oysters Carolina at Harkers Island to explore the bounty of bivalve mollusks.

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Wisconsin Cheese Trail

assortment of cheeses
Shana Novak / Getty Images

It's no secret that Wisconsin is known for its cheese, and the sheer number of stops on this trail (over 30) spanning over six counties (Madison, Green County, Prairie du Sac, Sauk City, Plain, and Spring Green) is truly incredible. Whether you're looking for restaurants, tours, markets, or cheese-forward lodges, there’s a cheese fix for everyone on this trail.

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Buffalo Wing Trail

Buffalo Wings

Matt Taylor-Gross / Food Styling by Amelia Rampe

Buffalo is not only credited with inventing the buffalo wing, but also for perfecting it. There are 14 unique stops along the Buffalo Wing Trail that serve secret family recipes that can't be found anywhere else. Check out Elmo's Bar & Restaurant's double-dipped wings or get them made classic at Cole's. Whatever you do, don't forget the blue cheese.

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