Travel Picks: Top 10 seafood spots for July 4

Fri Jul 1, 2011 2:56pm EDT
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NEW YORK (Reuters) - July 4 is the ultimate summer weekend - long days, warm weather, fireworks and the beach are all part of what makes American Independence Day special. In honor of this great American holiday online travel adviser Cheapflights ( offers its top 10 locations for lobster, crab, oysters and other melt-in-your-mouth delicacies. Reuters does not endorse this list:

1. Chesapeake Bay, Maryland

Each summer the Eastern Shore of Maryland draws thousands of tourists nostalgically eager to swim, sail, kayak and - possibly most important - eat. Crab houses line the shores of the Chesapeake, offering East Coasters a chance to crack and pick at the freshest crabs in the country. At neighborhood favorites like Waterman's Crab House in Rock Hall, brown paper-covered tables set the scene for sun-kissed families to maneuver mallets and crackers to get to the good stuff. Those less enthused about manual labor should stick to the award-winning crab cakes - broiled or fried - prepared with lump crab meat and intricate spices.

2. Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Between swamp tours of the Bayou and Saturday morning visits to the Red Stick Farmers Market, visitors to Louisiana's capital indulge in the city's culinary claim to fame: crawfish. The freshwater crustacean is traditionally prepared down south in a crawfish boil, combined with potatoes, corn on the cob, garlic, sausage and cayenne pepper. It's the crawfish étouffée though - similar to a gumbo - that lures visitors 40 minutes west of the city to Joe's Dreyfus Store Restaurant in Livonia for a taste of the best.

3. Seattle, Washington

Way before Starbucks staked its claim, Seattle was known for seafood. And though some tourists visit solely for the caffeine, the Northwest hub continues to reel up and serve some of the finest filets in the world. More than 10 million people annually visit Pike Place Market, a massive public market that's satisfied locals for more than 100 years. Bring your camera and capture the excitement of merchants tossing the latest catch among the countless stalls before placing orders for fresh salmon, Dungeness crab and other shell fish.

4. Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada

All the biking and walking you'll be doing in Nova Scotia is bound to leave you hungry for delicious meals. You're in luck - the tiny Canadian province is renowned for its top-notch food from the sea. After exploring the working lighthouse and views of Peggy's Cove - situated just over 20 miles southwest of Halifax - stop in Shaw's Landing for out-of-this-world fish and chips, seafood chowder or lobster jambalaya. The restaurant, run by a seasoned chef and retired lobster fisherman, serves up the freshest catches of the day against views of operating wharves. Needless to say, it's authentic Nova Scotia.   Continued...