All over the world, people celebrate warm weather with music, food, cocktails, art and theater. Whether you want to see the latest avant-garde plays, indulge in local delicacies or listen to your favorite bands, there’s something with your name on it to be found on this international lineup of must-visit summer festivals.
Do as L.A. locals do and head to Pasadena’s Santa Anita Park for this annual street food extravaganza on June 29.
Though the official vendor list has yet to drop, expect succulent samples like fresh fish bites from Ceviche Stop, vegetable-packed tamales with jalapeño from Vegan Tamale Company, New Orleans-style barbecued shrimp tacos from Rock N’ Fish and so much more.
Wear comfy, stretchy clothes and come hungry — it’s a feast of all the flavors that make up Southern California.
Where to Stay: You don’t have to venture far from the fest for fabulous accommodations. Less than 20 minutes from the park is The Langham Huntington, Pasadena, a Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star retreat perched on 23 gorgeous acres. Continue soaking up the L.A. sun poolside or duck indoors for more foodie finds — The Royce Wood-Fired Steakhouse serves up prime cuts in surprisingly light and airy surroundings.
Barcelona heats up this summer with the 10th edition of this massive Parc Del Fòrum arts festival. From July 3 to 6, catch show-stopping musical performances (headliners include the Black Eyed Peas, Bastille and Kylie Minogue), a handful of political and social justice discussions, comedy shows and a slew of installations and artistic performances all over the park.
Where to Stay: Take a break from the fray and make a beeline for the beach by staying Four-Star Hotel Arts Barcelona. Just a 10-minute car ride from the festival, this sleek high-rise offers plenty of its own attractions, including the new sea-facing infinity pool, the immaculate 43 The Spa and Catalan coastal dining from renowned Spanish chef Paco Pérez’s Enoteca Paco Pérez.
Anything you ever wanted to know about booze, cocktails, mixology and the drink industry’s top experts can be found at the 17th edition of this New Orleans libation celebration. From July 16 to 20, sit in on seminars teaching you about Italian aperitivi and digestivi, learn how to upgrade classic champagne traditions and absorb all you ever wanted to know about vermouth.
Between lessons, shop the whole line of Barfly Mixology Gear and visit the Bookstore and Bitters Market for tastings and to pick up some liquor-tinged literature.
Where to Stay: Less than two blocks from the festival is Four-Star Windsor Court Hotel, New Orleans, an English-inspired retreat with Mississippi River views. Take a break from the tipples with afternoon tea, or continue your cocktail education at Waterman Poolside Bar.
Get ready to hear some of the best beats around during this Chicago gathering, running July 19 to 21. The minds behind popular online music magazine Pitchfork know their stuff, which you can hear first-hand as heralded bands such as HAIM, Belle and Sebastian, Stereolab and Charli XCX take the stage throughout the weekend.
For its 14th year, the Union Park event expects some 60,000 fans to partake in performances and other highlights like the CHIRP (Chicago Independent Radio Project) Record Fair, Renegade Craft Fair, Book Fort (a pop-up bookstore) and more.
Where to Stay: For a stay as carefully curated as your musical experience, check into Four-Star Waldorf Astoria Chicago. Inspired by the enigmatic Coco Chanel, this art-deco gem is chic and sumptuous, boasting white marble baths and tricked-out wet bars in the rooms, and Chicago’s first eatery from celebrity chef Michael Mina, Margeaux Brasserie.
If magnificent architecture, the royal family and a ton of history aren’t enough reasons to head to England this summer, then the annual Glastonbury Festival of Contemporary Preforming Arts in Pilton, a village roughly 125 miles from London, should be.
The fete features five days (June 26 to 30) packed with shows from international favorites like The Lumineers and Ms. Lauryn Hill (June 28), Janet Jackson and Wu-Tang Clan (June 29), and The Cure and Miley Cyrus (June 30). Overall, there are roughly 2,800 performances stretched across 79 stages.
Aside from delivering more bands than you can possibly see, Glastonbury boasts other events that range from yoga classes and live radio shows to dinner and dancing at the popular Rocket Lounge.
Where to Stay: There aren’t a ton of non-camping options, but you can book accommodations nearby. Email the festival’s hospitality team for local house rentals here.
Since 1965, the quaint town of Yarmouth, Maine, has brought droves of people out on the third weekend in July (July 19 to 21 this year) to down thousands of clams, lobster rolls and lime rickeys. But just because it’s named after the local bivalve and there’s an official clam-shucking contest, it doesn’t mean this festival is merely focused on food.
The Carnival on the Midway, the 38th annual Pat’s Pizza Clam Festival Classic race and the Antique Auto parade will draw their share of crowds, too. Tots will have an especially good time with dedicated events like a kid’s bike race, a family fun run and fireworks.
Where to Stay: Yarmouth lies about 12 miles north of Portland, putting the cozy comfort of Forbes Travel Guide Recommended Portland Harbor Hotel within easy reach. Right in the historic Old Port District, this charming property has everything you need to unwind after long day of feasting fun — namely an extra-large soaking tub.
Over the last two decades, the Lollapalooza music fete has grown from a single event in Chicago to seven festivals all over the world. The City of Light’s installment takes place July 20 and 21 at the Hippodrome ParisLongchamp. Marquee names like Twenty One Pilots, Martin Garrix, The Strokes, Ben Harper and Bad Bunny are slated to perform this year.
Come for one or both days — just make sure to wear comfortable shoes as you stand, sway and seek out as many bands as possible.
Where to Stay: Peel off your festival wear and step into the lap of luxury at Five-Star Hôtel de Crillon, A Rosewood Hotel. Named to Forbes Travel Guide’s 2019 World’s Best Rooms List, this palatial 8th-arrondissement property is fit for music royalty — few things feel more rock star than a black-and-white marble bathroom and a private wine-paired dinner in La Cave.
The world’s largest arts festival happens each year in Scotland’s capital. Last year, more than 55,000 performances took place over 25 days in 317 venues. You can bet 2019 will be even bigger.
From August 2 to 26, see burlesque, comedy acts, drama, horror, interpretive dance and just about anything else you can imagine. With more than 3,500 shows, you won’t be able to do it all, but you’ll have a blast trying your hardest. Reserve your seats online in advance and pick up tickets from one of the five box offices located all around Edinburgh.
Where to Stay: The towering, baronial-style The Balmoral, a Rocco Forte Hotel seems like the dramatic backdrop for one of the plays you just witnessed. Your role in the production will consist of spending the night, having a glass of whisky (SCOTCH bar boasts more than 500 drams) and popping into The Gallery to take in even more art, but in a much calmer environment.
From August 8 through 18, thespians from around the world will flock to the beautiful medieval city of Kilkenny to partake in Shakespeare, traditional Irish music with a modern flair and classical assembles.
The 11-day event is an observance of Irish culture with visual art exhibits, beautiful gardens, dance, literature and a host of panel discussions.
One of the highlights of this year’s fete will be Irish actor Ciarán Hinds (of Game of Thrones fame) in The Soldier’s Tale, a piece based on a Russian fable about a soldier who trades his fiddle to the devil in exchange for what he thinks is great riches.
Where to Stay: If you’d like to stay close to the festival, book a room at the venerable Butler House & Garden. The historic property features a stunning Georgian garden, a fresh yet classic design aesthetic and an ideal location near the city’s center.
But since Kilkenny is only about 90 minutes southwest of Dublin, consider retreating to the Irish capital for the night. The old-world feel of Forbes Travel Guide Recommended The Shelbourne Dublin, Autograph Collection would make any post-festival drive worth it. Or elect for a countryside locale just outside of Dublin at the sprawling Four-Star The K Club.