If you love exploring regional cuisine and are looking for your next culinary travel adventure, consider taking a trip to one of America's seaside communities. Each one of the following destinations has a unique ambiance rich with local flavor. Whether you prefer dining al fresco on a sun-warmed boardwalk, holed up in a hotel with room service on the foggy Oregon coast, or dining with the glaciers on a dinner cruise in the far north, there's a table with your name on it somewhere near one of the following 9 beaches:

Homer, Alaska

Located on the tip of Alaska's Kenai Peninsula, Homer is known as the "Halibut Fishing Capital of the World." Homer is where to go if you want to find freshly caught halibut on the menu. Dinner cruises in Homer are particularly enthralling because they take place on small ships that can get quite close to the majestic glaciers found in Alaska's waters.

Orcas Island, Washington

Mussels and clams are popular menu items on the San Juan's most outermost island. The island's mild maritime climate provides an ideal growing environment for a variety of culinary herbs as well as berries -- many restaurants maintain their own herbs gardens, and there's always a berry patch close by no matter what part of the island you're on.

Newport, Oregon

Located on the rocky central Oregon coast, Newport is deep in the land of smoked salmon, craft beer, gourmet coffee, and award-winning Oregon wines. The weather is often stormy and moody, and the occasional blue summer day is stunning.

Arcata, California

Eclectic Arcata is home to many talented culinary professionals. You can expect to find health, organic food here with a gourmet twist. Local sourcing is an important part of this community's culinary concept -- you'll find lots of seafood such as sea bass, tuna, and abalone served with freshly picked and tossed raw salad ingredients.

South Padre Island, Texas

If you thought Tex-Mex food was just a culinary myth, South Padre Island will convince you that it's real. Borrowing from the best of both worlds, Tex-Mex is family-friendly fare because its use of ingredients such as ground beef and melted cheese appeals highly to children. Because of its long summer, South Padre Island is an excellent choice for a coastal vacation among those who want summer in October.

Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

Shrimp, oysters, crab, bluefish, whitefish, and too many other fish to name make up the base of South Carolina's regional cuisine. Black-eyed peas, grits, and rice are among the other Lowcountry staples you'll enjoy during a visit to Myrtle Beach. For the most authentic experience, ask your hotel desk clerk or places like http://www.myrtlebeachresorts.com/ to recommend the places where the locals go.

Chincoteague, Virginia

Lowcountry culinary traditions continue north into Virginia, with special emphasis on seafood dishes that include flounder and oysters. Virginians love their oysters, and you'll find them prepared in every possible way. As an added bonus, the islands off the Virginia coast have wild ponies! You can take a short dinner cruise while enjoying the beautiful scenery and watch the wild ponies in their natural state.

Milford, Connecticut

Classic Connecticut cuisine includes a substantial amount of staples borrowed from Native American food traditions, such as the use of maple sap, corn, beans, and squash. Shellfish, scrod, and cod also feature prominently in menus along the Connecticut shore. Connecticut also has a rich diary tradition that throws a fabulous array of artisan cheeses into its culinary mix.

Portsmouth, New Hampshire

With only 18 miles of coastline, the people of New Hampshire make every single inch count. Its sandy beaches are ideal for the numerous sandcastle competitions that occur, and the larger beaches feature fireworks, free concerts, and many fine seafood restaurants. Crab cakes, New England cod, and lobsters are found in abundance here.

Accommodations at each of the above destinations range from rustic beach cabins to resort hotels, so you and your traveling companions will be sure to find just the right option.