Something about summer’s stellar weather gets people in the mood to travel. While the allure of gorgeous beaches and iconic urban scenes is undeniable, overtourism in some of the world’s most popular destinations has become a serious concern for locals and visitors alike. According to the World Travel & Tourism Council, of the 1.4 billion international tourist trips in 2018, more than 36 percent (or half a billion) included a visit to one of the globe’s 300 most popular cities. Translation: a lot of people are vacationing in a lot of the same places.
With culinary celebrations (Barbecue Festival, July 26-28), marquee concerts (Jennifer Lopez, August 4) and pyrotechnic shows (International Fireworks Festival, August 18-19) on the seasonal calendar, the timing couldn’t be better for a visit to the Russian capital.
After venturing around the city, reflect on your day from an unexpected spot: at an alfresco bar just steps from the Kremlin. Four Seasons Hotel Moscow’s Moskovsky Bar Summer Terrace is a hot spot for cocktails and snacks any time of day — the trendy lounge is open from 9 a.m. to 2 a.m. daily through September with DJ-spun tunes after nightfall.
Pull up a seat to savor seasonal treats like housemade peach sorbet, fresh grilled fish or burrata with sweet tomatoes, all washed down with a Moscow Mule. Dine later in the afternoon to snap enviable photos of iconic Red Square during sunset’s golden hour.
With its gorgeous urban greenspaces and year-round 60-degree temperatures, Colombia’s capital makes for a sensational summer getaway. August is an especially prime time to visit, when Bogota Carnival (August 5-6), the Bogota Wine and Food Festival (August 15-17) and myriad outdoor concerts (check out Colombia al Parque music festival on August 31 and September 1) bring the city to life.
Find a chic respite from the festivities when you check into Grand Hyatt Bogota. Just 10 minutes from both the airport and the city’s historic center, the luxe hotel boasts two sleek restaurants and a serene spa, but its best feature might be sweeping Andes views that are best enjoyed from a mountain-facing room.
While most New Englanders flock to the Cape when the weather warms, those seeking a more peaceful escape head for New Jersey’s bucolic countryside. Bask in a classic bed-and-breakfast vibe at Forbes Travel Guide Recommended The Bernards Inn, where live tunes and Sunday brunch are weekend mainstays.
Before settling into your four-poster bed, spend a night out in historic downtown Somerville. Every Friday night during the summer, a parade of classic cars cruises down Main Street for you to ogle. Snag a few selfies with a bright red Thunderbird before heading back to the inn for a nightcap at the lively Piano Bar.
July and August bring winter weather to South Africa, meaning lower temps and rain are more frequent. But don’t let drizzly days deter you; this is when indoor food markets (Oranjezicht City Farm Market, Elgin Railway Market) bustle and reservations at popular restaurants and wineries are easy to come by.
This is also the best time of year to book a whale-watching excursion. Take a scenic day trip about two hours southeast of Cape Town to Hermanus, where southern right whales migrate for mating season from June through September. The playful mammals are so active, you can even see them breach the waves from the surrounding cliffs.
After a day of adventures, check into city-center stay Taj Cape Town to soak up spectacular views of the skyline and nearby Table Mountain from the comfort of your bed.
Hungary’s largest city is brimming with beautiful bridges and towering cathedrals that easily inspire wanderlust. See these iconic landmarks in a new light during a St. Stephen’s Day (the country’s August 20 national holiday) fireworks display over the Chain Bridge.
Before sundown, be sure to peruse the Street of Hungarian Flavors. This outdoor food fest, held at Várkert Bazaar on the upper bank of the Danube river throughout the holiday weekend (August 17 to 20), is where to grab local treats like stuffed cabbage and a slice of Hungary’s birthday cake — a national competition determines each year’s flavor.
Between bites, head across the river to Corinthia Hotel Budapest, a Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star hotel tucked within a refreshed Neoclassical property. Work off all those festive sweets with a few laps in the Royal Spa’s stained-glass-roofed pool.
Kick off a summer jaunt to this Great Smoky Mountains city with a self-guided tour down the Knoxville Ale Trail. See what more than 20 local breweries have on tap and don’t forget to have your bartender stamp your official Ale Trail Passport to document your progress.
Between pints of Abridged Beer Co.’s Captain Crush Lime, Black Horse Brewery’s Barnstormer red and other local pours, grab a casual bite at buzzing Market Square, where you’ll find everything from burgers to sushi.
When you’ve had your fill of samples and sips, head back to Southern-chic The Tennessean Hotel (the property offers complimentary car service to and from Market Square and downtown) to watch the sun set over the mountains from a leather-clad armchair in The Drawing Room — Smoked Ol’ Fashioned in hand, of course.
Looking for Labor Day plans? Head for this waterfront Washington city from August 28 to September 2 to savor its 40th annual Pig Out in the Park festival. Hosted in beautiful Riverfront Park, the six-day extravaganza features live music on four stages, 57 food vendors and four alfresco bars to help you say goodbye to summer with a bang.
When you need a break from the crowds, stroll a half mile south of the festivities to rest your head at Four-Star The Historic Davenport Hotel, Autograph Collection. The regal hotel boasts Old World comforts (custom mahogany furniture, fabric window treatments), deep-soaking tubs and a Four-Star spa that encourage R&R between concert sets.
For a wellness retreat, head to this Japanese tropical paradise. Often called the Hawaii of Japan, Okinawa offers a secluded location, white sand beaches and a low-key lifestyle that make it a destination for rejuvenation.
To recharge in sumptuous style, check into The Terrace Club at Busena. With its blend of classic beach luxuries (plush cabanas on a private stretch of sand), locally sourced cuisine (try green papaya and mozuku seaweed) and Wellness Thalasso’s ocean-inspired treatments (like the algae- and marine-mud-packed body wrap), this Forbes Travel Guide Recommended getaway just might add a few years onto your life — just ask the large population of centenarian locals.