In urban centers and remote outposts near and far, there are new ways to eat (and drink) your way to a deeper understanding of your meal.

Grape Camp, Sonoma, California
Credit: George Rose/Courtesy of Sonoma County Grape Camp

Sure, crossing a remarkable restaurant off your bucket list is satisfying. But many people are looking for more than a good meal: they want to forage for ingredients, understand how those ingredients are connected to the land and sea, and take part in the creation of their dishes.

Alaska, which provides some of the most dramatic scenery and wildlife in the world, is also an unexpected culinary treasure trove. Access Trips, a food-focused tour operator, has created an eight-day itinerary around the state’s bounty of fresh seafood and seasonal vegetables. Starting in Fairbanks, travelers can partake in a range of activities, from taking cooking classes with James Beard Award–nominated chef Laura Cole at 229 Parks, her restaurant outside Denali National Park, to tasting organic birch syrup in Talkeetna and watching an oyster harvest in Kachemak Bay.

For wine nerds, Sonoma County Winegrowers’ three-day celebration and wine-immersion program is the perfect way to understand what’s inside the bottle. In addition to extraordinary alfresco meals during fall harvest, participants can attend seminars on blending, go on cave tours, and pick their own grapes.

In South America, Colombia’s burgeoning food scene is gaining international attention. The specialists at Amakuna are experts in planning trips to the country, with personal access to top local chefs like Laura Londoño and Carmen Angel, who will take you to markets in Medellín and Cartagena. Coffee obsessives, meanwhile, can get exclusive access to some of Colombia’s best coffee-growing estates.