Lobster lovers come from across the globe to sample Maine’s most famous crustacean. At the legendary White Barn Inn, Auberge Resorts Collection, in the charming town of Kennebunk, enthusiasts take their lobster knowledge to a new level by lobstering with a local expert.
A private tour along the coast includes an education about the lobster fishing industry and its sustainable future, and the main event comes when first-timers try their hand at emptying lobster traps. Once back on dry land, participants meet with the resort’s chef and select the lobsters to cook, then move on to a lobster cooking class with the chef to earn their lunch.
Some of the Maldives’ most notable resorts tempt with fun, food-focused activities. In the South Malé atoll, COMO Cocoa Island gives guests a try at the traditional local sunset pastime of reef bottom fishing for humpback snapper and grouper. Visitors can also hop aboard the resort’s sports fishing boat for game fishing adventures, with the guaranteed excitement of fighting bluefin trevally, snappers, and dogtooth tuna. After these activities, the fresh catch can be cooked by the resort’s chefs for lunch or dinner the next day.
Soneva Fushi, a luxury resort hidden among dense foliage within the Baa Atoll UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, provides a unique dining experience at its Shades of Green, a 20-seat plant-based restaurant located in the resort’s organic garden. To begin the experience, visitors are guided through the garden and encouraged to examine, pick, and taste the herbs, vegetables, and fruits grown on the land, ultimately choosing which ingredients should be used in their meal.
Minaret Station Alpine Lodge’s heli-fishing and seafood adventure is a must for any thrill-seeking epicurean visiting New Zealand’s rugged West Coast. After a scenic helicopter ride, the crew collects crayfish pots from the frigid waters using the helicopter while participants wait on the beach; the bounty is then prepared into a gourmet picnic lunch with a spectacular mountain backdrop.
One of the country’s most lauded luxury resorts, Kauri Cliffs, might be best known for its jaw-dropping ocean views and championship golf course, but it also impresses with foodie activities such as land-based fishing. Guests join a local guide at one of the property’s private beaches to test their skill at hooking snapper or kahawai; the fresh catch can be brought back to the lodge, where the chef will prepare it for dinner.
Hidden among 2,500 acres of native forest in Rotorua, Treetops Lodge & Estate offers a Maori food trail in which guests slip into the wilderness in search of native plants and herbs, while learning about the nutritional and medicinal properties, as well as ties with Maori cultural traditions. Participants sample what they find, fresh from the land, and harvest it for the chefs to use at the resort.
Hawaii Island’s most acclaimed luxury resort, Four Seasons Resort Hualālai, offers a sustainable fishing experience exclusively to its guests. After a private, marine biologist-led tour of a state-of-the-art Kanpachi farm, participants board the resort’s Ribcraft boat to view the open-ocean pens and a fish feeding session. On the way back to the resort, adventurers work up an appetite by snorkeling with Hawaiian sea life, then finally settle in for a customized, five-course wine dinner in which the Kanpachi is prepared in various ways.
Over on Kauai, The Lodge at Kukui’ula, a Destination by Hyatt hotel, offers up the Mahealani, a 35-foot fishing boat used for expeditions in Kauai’s well-populated waters. Ahi, mahi, and marlin are the typical catches of the day for guests, many of whom are all too happy to offload their bounty to the resort’s culinary team, which then transforms the fish into a delicious feast. There’s also a kayak fishing adventure in which participants drop a line into the water and bring the fresh catch back to be prepped at the resort.
Canada’s maritime provinces are the source of fresh, world-class seafood year round. Gourmands exploring the heart of Central Newfoundland are wise to visit Indian Falls Chalets, which offers salmon fly fishing and smoking workshops. Guests spend a day on the Indian River mastering the art of fly fishing for Atlantic salmon and brook trout, then take part in a smoking workshop in which they learn a time-perfected technique for how to prepare and smoke local salmon from start to finish.
In New Brunswick, Cielo Glamping Maritime invites active types to harvest their own oysters while on a stand-up paddleboard in the Bay of St. Simon. After harvesting and shucking, participants get to taste the difference between those harvested at water temperature, served on ice, and charbroiled to perfection.
Prince Edward Island’s Tranquility Cove Adventures delights bivalve lovers with its clam digging tours to the deserted island of Boughton. All the necessary gear is provided, letting first-timers safely dig in sand bars for giant clams. After enough clams are harvested, the party moves to the beach, where the clams are steamed in salt water. The experience also includes the chance to haul a lobster trap, crab pot, and mussel sock, plus a crash course on each fishery.
Halfway between the tourist magnets of Phuket and Krabi lies the less crowded island of Koh Yao Noi, home to the chic Cape Kudu Hotel. A must for any seafood lover, the hotel supports its local community through joining local fishermen to forage for shellfish, the types of which vary due to the tides and seasons. After taking a calming boat trip around the island, during which guests can scour the beaches for shellfish, their haul can then be taken back to the hotel for the culinary team to prepare a delicious meal.
Set along Phang Nga Bay, one of Thailand’s most spectacular seascapes, travelers will find the serene Six Senses Koh Yao Noi, a luxury wellness retreat offering various gourmet experiences. Participants take a classic long-tail boat to visit a local floating fish farm and select their own fresh catch for chefs to prepare back at the resort. Thai cooking classes feature an interactive tour through the resort’s organic vegetable garden.
Foodies have been flocking to Istria, the westernmost region of Croatia, to try their hand at truffle hunting. The specific scent that comes from truffles in damp soil, mostly in oak woods, is impossible for humans to discern, so trained dogs are used to assist the hunt. Karlić Tartufi, Pietro & Pietro, and Prodan Tartufi, a trio of family-run businesses, share their traditions while letting visitors enjoy both the challenge of finding truffles in the wild, preparing said truffles, and sampling a range of truffle products and delicacies.