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  • Restaurants line the streets in Midtown Atlanta
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    Kick Off Your Trip with a Food Festival in Atlanta, Georgia

  • Finlay Park and the Columbia, South Carolina skyline
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    International Flavors and Local Favorites in Columbia, South Carolina

  • Diverse cuisine readily available throughout Charleston, South Carolina
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    Wining, Dining and Doughnuts in Charleston, South Carolina

  • Shrimp and grits, a South Carolina staple in coastal communities like Beaufort
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    Home Cooking and Fancy Food in Beaufort, South Carolina

  • Harbour Town in Hilton Head, South Carolina
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    In Hilton Head, South Carolina, Seaside Dining and Local Favorites

  • The Olde Pink House Restaurant in Savannah, Georgia
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    Sophisticated Southern and Seasonal Fare in Savannah, Georgia

  • Dining at Palmer’s Village Café on St. Simons Island, Georgia
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    In Golden Isles, Georgia, Savor the Sunsets and Seafood

  • Fine dining at Marco Ristorante Italiano in Macon, Georgia
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    Find the South’s Heart and Soul in Macon, Georgia

Dining at Silverman’s Restaurant in Atlanta
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For the Love of Southern Food

  • Route distance:
    1278.00 km
  • Suggested Time:
    5 days

Letting appetites guide a tour of the Southeast

George Bernard Shaw once said, “There is no sincerer love than the love of food.” One of the best ways to experience that love is through the savory, delectable flavors of the South. Some of the world’s best-known chefs and sommeliers live in Georgia and South Carolina, offering cuisine at festivals and restaurants that can’t be missed.

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Restaurants line the streets in Midtown Atlanta
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Kick Off Your Trip with a Food Festival in Atlanta, Georgia

Whatever you’re in the mood for, Atlanta’s mix of international cuisine, Southern techniques and farm-fresh, locally sourced food will deliver it, so prepare to chow down, especially in late May or early June. You’ll drive from Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport to the Loews Atlanta Hotel, the base for the Atlanta Food & Wine Festival in Midtown. Here, the South’s best chefs, sommeliers and beverage innovators offer close to 200 tastings, seminars and demonstrations, plus over 100 classes on everything from the wines of Chile to new Southern flavor secrets. Tastings abound, ranging from the South’s finest fried chicken to Ole Smoky's Apple Pie Moonshine. You can buy a day pass, a three-day pass or tickets for individual events. Eat as little as possible before the festival to save your appetite for the savory Southern flavors that await you. Find a way to clear your palate before moving on to Charleston.

345 km
4 hours by car
02
Finlay Park and the Columbia, South Carolina skyline
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International Flavors and Local Favorites in Columbia, South Carolina

It’s a college town, it’s a melting pot, it’s an outdoor lover’s dream – South Carolina’s capital city of Columbia has a little bit of everything, including a wide-ranging dining scene. Like many cities around the U.S., Columbia is seeing a surge in the popularity of food trucks. These restaurants on wheels offer something for every palate: sweet (sugar-infused Liege waffles at the Belgian Waffle Truck), savory (German sausages at the Wurst Wagen), south of the border (authentic Mexican flavors at Tacos Nayarit) and stuffed (2 Fat 2 Fly Stuffed Chicken Wings).

On the brick-and-mortar side, the upscale Motor Supply Company Bistro has been at the forefront of Columbia’s local-vore movement since 1989, featuring a farm-to-table menu that changes twice daily. Of course, let’s not forget that we’re in the South; barbecue is a must, with Southern Belly BBQ lauded as some of the best in the country. Order a sandwich with the Carolina-style Midas mustard sauce, and finish it with a locally brewed beer. For an updated take on Southern comfort food, head over to Mr. Friendly’s New Southern Café. The menu is regularly updated with fresh seafood and meats, as well as an award-winning wine list, small-batch bourbon and local microbrews. It's plenty to keep you satisfied while you make your way to Charleston.

193 km
2 hours by car
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Diverse cuisine readily available throughout Charleston, South Carolina
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Wining, Dining and Doughnuts in Charleston, South Carolina

Known for its seafood, tradition of home cooking and love of pork, Charleston’s food scene has been revving up in recent years. If you have a sweet tooth, start your day with a gourmet, made-from-scratch doughnut from Glazed; with flavors like chocolate-orange-ginger and strawberry-champagne, it’ll be hard to stop at just one. Do a proper brunch to sample a menu full of Southern favorites like chicken and andouille gumbo, sweet potato hash, fried green tomatoes and buttermilk biscuits; visit The Glass Onion for all that and more. There’s a little something upscale and well-styled about Charleston culture, and that extends to its food and drink. Cocktails count as much as manners do. It’s only right to have a pre-dinner drink at a place like Bin 152, which offers over 30 wines by the glass and more than 130 by the bottle. A standard Charleston dinner might include bouillabaisse, buttermilk fried chicken, or shrimp and grits; find them all at Hank’s Seafood, named Best Seafood Restaurant for 16 consecutive years by the locals. For a nightcap, settle in downtown at charming FIG (short for Food is Good), where the bourbon and rye whiskey menu is short and sweet. Wake up ready to take on Beaufort.

111 km
2 hours by car
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Shrimp and grits, a South Carolina staple in coastal communities like Beaufort
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Home Cooking and Fancy Food in Beaufort, South Carolina

A coastal Lowcountry community, Beaufort has a romantic seaside village feel, where every meal, low to high, is enjoyed with a view. Waterfront restaurants, gracious inns and charming downtown eateries make up the scene here. Letting your meal unfold in a leisurely way is key, so go for starters at a place like Emily’s Restaurant & Tapas Bar, where the 46 items on the menu will warm up your appetite before dinner. Urban sophisticates, take advantage of the range of upmarket dishes available here at restaurants like Saltus River Grill or Breakwater Restaurant and Bar, where sushi and steak are represented alongside fare like house-made pimiento cheese and Southern sampler platters. You can’t do Beaufort without getting a down-home Southern food fix. In early June, head to the High on the Hog BBQ Festival, where Friday night is all about shrimp and chicken, and Saturday is devoted to barbecue. Lick your fingers clean before cruising south to Hilton Head.  

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66 km
1 hour by car
05
Harbour Town in Hilton Head, South Carolina
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In Hilton Head, South Carolina, Seaside Dining and Local Favorites

As a resort town steeped in Southern hospitality, Hilton Head Island celebrates the coast in its menus, which offer skillfully prepared seafood and all of the staples of Lowcountry cooking, often with a gourmet take. But a peek behind the white-tablecloth dining reveals delicious finds. Sit on the dock and feast on steam pots, a mixed boil with corn, clams, mussels and shrimp.  Mouthwatering hush puppies, cornbread, fried okra and alligator are on menus throughout the island. Be surprised by daily fish specials, which you’ll savor paired with Southern sides like collards, cheese grits and green beans; try the unpretentious Sea Shack for down-home cooking. Hilton Head’s upscale offerings provide everything else you might have a hankering for, from tapas to steaks. For gourmet salads and comfort food done in high-style, with a dose of music tossed in, try The Jazz Corner. You may want to skip dessert, as next-stop Savannah is practically around the corner.

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61 km
1 hour by car
06
The Olde Pink House Restaurant in Savannah, Georgia
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Sophisticated Southern and Seasonal Fare in Savannah, Georgia

This quintessential Southern town is beloved for its eccentric character, history and charm. Savor all three through its food. The ambience here is hard to beat, so join in. Start with a sophisticated dinner at Olde Pink House. Housed in an 18th century mansion, the menu here reflects what’s classically great about Savannah cuisine with items like fried green tomatoes, pork tenderloin and pecan pie making appearances. Give yourself over to a chef’s tasting menu for a culinary adventure; the sage grits, Georgia shrimp and coastal grouper you might find on the seasonal menu at Elizabeth on 37th will make you glad you did. When you’re ready for that fried chicken, homemade biscuits, okra gumbo and savory barbecue you’ve heard so much about, make time to eat at Mrs. Wilkes Dining Room or Wiley’s Championship BBQ. Before you leave for Golden Isles, head to Ellis Square’s Goose Feathers Café and get some bread pudding for your drive.

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134 km
2 hours by car
07
Dining at Palmer’s Village Café on St. Simons Island, Georgia
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In Golden Isles, Georgia, Savor the Sunsets and Seafood

The ocean provides all the best ingredients on these four gorgeous marshland and hammock islands, the perfect next stop for your culinary journey. Start on St. Simons Island and go straight to Halyards, which captures local, fresh flavors in a seasonal menu peppered with specialties like wild Georgia shrimp and cane grits. On the same island, reserve lunchtime for oysters and wine; locals like the ones at The Half Shell. If you’re in town in early June, don’t miss the Georgia Sea Island Festival on St. Simons Island.

You’ll definitely want to make time to eat the seafood here the way nature intended: on the water. For that, head to Echo and sample the sea scallops while you watch the sunset. On Jekyll Island, you’ll find family-friendly fare that reflects the beachy vibe and outdoor dining options that run the gamut from docks to courtyards. Find four different eateries inside Jekyll Market or sit by the water at Latitude 31 Restaurant & Rah Bar to take full advantage of the scene here before heading to Macon.

369 km
4 hours by car
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Fine dining at Marco Ristorante Italiano in Macon, Georgia
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Find the South’s Heart and Soul in Macon, Georgia

If music is food for the soul, food is the music of life in Macon. Start with some soul food at the iconic H&H Restaurant, where you’ll enjoy meat-and-three-sides lunches, fresh squeezed lemonade and trademark Southern charm. Just down the street, Downtown Grill serves the city’s best steak, lamb or fresh fish, and a humidor bar features the finest in cigars and bourbons. Around the corner, find farm-to-fork fare with a new Southern twist at Dovetail, which is above a favorite neighborhood bar and grill, The Rookery. Grab lunch at Nu-Way Weiners, one of the nation’s oldest hot dog stands, established in 1916, before driving to Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport to catch your flight home.

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