For the Northern Hemisphere at least, it’s almost summertime and the living is getting easy. Who doesn’t relax a bit when the sun starts to shine all week long and the nights are balmy? Still, the trick to getting the most out of summer is doing some planning and having lots of options for weekend getaways, instead of saving it up for that one precious two-week vacation. Whether your ideal trip involves sandy beaches, rock ’n’ roll or artisanal cuisine, this list of June escapes will capture the imagination.
Did you ever wish you could have rocked out to Jimi Hendrix at Woodstock? Well, the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame has unveiled a clever new exhibit called “Common Ground: The Music Festival Experience” (through January 2015) that re-creates some of the most thrilling performances over the past five decades, promising an immersive experience with sound and video that will make you feel like you’re a part of a crowd at Glastonbury or Coachella. After that musical trip down memory lane, make the five-minute drive to Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star The Ritz-Carlton, Cleveland. With club-level suites and a concierge at your every beck and call (let’s not forget the opening act of a private lounge with all-day nibbles and beverages), you’ll feel like a rock star all weekend.
Bermuda is known across the globe for its white sand beaches. Ask someone in the world of watersports and he’ll tell you that the stunning locale also happens to be the destination for sailors competing in the 49th Newport Bermuda Race. Though the journey ends on the island, the contest actually starts June 20 at Castle Hill, near Castle Hill Inn, a luxurious 19th-century-inspired resort with beachfront cottages and expansive rooms overlooking the harbor. The property has been practicing the art of fine service since 1875, and we’re guessing the area’s love of boating goes back at least that far.
Chef Frank McClelland leads something of a double life. In the evenings, he runs the kitchen at Four-Star L’Espalier, one of Boston’s most acclaimed restaurants specializing in exquisite plates composed of seasonal produce. By day, McClelland is a farmer and proprietor of Apple Street Farm out in Essex, where he tends to chickens, goats, herbs and fields of produce. Summer brings his series of evocatively named epicurean events; they start on June 13 and 14 with the Summer Solstice Dinners; followed by the Firefly Festival July 11 and 12; and the Brandywine Bash August 8 and 9. You’ll stroll through the fields, cocktail in hand, before sitting down to a five-course dinner paired with wine.
We think the Four-Star Bacara Resort & Spa, with its dreamy ocean views and romantic rooms, is worth a trip to Santa Barbara all on its own this month. But when we heard about the Santa Barbara Food & Wine Weekend (June 6-8) taking place at the 354-room property, it sounded like almost too much deliciousness. Though a number of events sound tasty over the weekend, Saturday’s session is packed with everything from a cheese and pinot noir pairing and tastings of locally made olive oil to a five-course dinner with master sommelier Brian McClintic and a screening of the 2012 comedy Le Chef. A portion of the event proceeds will benefit The Julia Child Foundation for Gastronomy and the Culinary Arts.
If you are unable to attend the 2014 Wimbledon Championships in London, The St. Regis Atlanta is serving up one of the best options on this side of the pond. In honor of the tennis tournament, the Four-Star hotel is offering guests and locals the opportunity to enjoy Wimbledon-inspired tea and tennis-themed treats during the entirety of the famed sporting event (June 23-July 6). Pastry chef Michael Craig has created a variety of sweets such as gingerbread tennis racket cookies and tennis court cupcakes for you to sample. These smashing snacks will be available every day from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. in Astor Court, the upper lobby lounge in the hotel. Adults who join in on the foodie fun will also nosh on items such as coronation chicken salad with pumpernickel and sip on a glass of champagne.
If you’ve ever wanted to learn to sail a boat, rather than just be a passenger, head to the Tides Inn, near the Chesapeake Bay, most Saturdays from June 14 to August 30. Imagine the thrill you’ll get gliding through the waters of the Rappahannock River or Carters Creek while guiding a keelboat. Instructors from Premier Sailing School offer one-day courses that include lunch out on the water. If you’d prefer diving into something a little more involved, tackle the four-day class that ends with a basic keelboat certification. You’ll likely be worn out with all that work, so take advantage of Tides Inn’s Learn to Sail package, which includes deluxe accommodations, breakfast and two days of sailing lessons for a couple.
Photos Courtesy of Bacara Resort & Spa and Castle Hill Inn