Summer travel isn’t all about sand and surf. There are a slew of other things to do and see to celebrate the season. Art, fashion, history, food, golf and more fare — here are six events worth traveling for in July.
Even those who have a lukewarm affection for art will fall in love with Pageant of the Masters. This one-of-a-kind show is a “show” in the truest sense — held in an outdoor amphitheater (the Loge Center) in Laguna Beach, masterpieces are literally recreated into living pictures thanks to real people made up to tell a story with breathtaking likeness of original art pieces such as Édouard Manet’s Music in the Tuileries. To celebrate the local event, which runs nightly from July 9 to August 30, Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel is offering a few packages, including the Behind the Velvet Rope Experience that gives you a backstage tour of the big show, a picturesque ocean-view room and much more.
This summer, head to Asia for an exclusive taste of French fashion, thanks to Five-Star Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong teaming up with the venerable Chloé fashion house.The special Chloé Moments Exhibition (held in the hotel’s Clipper Lounge) showcases rarely seen sketches and photos from the design house’s archives. Through August 31, guests can take in the exhibit during a Chloé-themed afternoon tea or — better yet — indulge in the Get Carried Away with Chloé promotion, which includes a room with a gorgeous Victoria Harbour vista, a copy of Chloé: Attitudes and, of course, a limited-edition handbag — the beautiful Mini Baylee.
The volatile Civil Rights era has been displayed and dissected in great southern museums in Memphis, Birmingham, Greensboro and other places. Though Atlanta’s Martin Luther King Jr.’s Center for Nonviolent Social Change will forever be respected for its contributions to the discussion, the city’s cultural scene needed a jolt. Thankfully, it has found one less than two miles away at the Center for Civil and Human Rights, a $100-million treasure trove of rarely heard March on Washington speeches, lunch counter re-creations, hands-on galleries and a collection of Dr. King’s prized documents and artifacts. On the third floor of the contemporary gem that opened June 23 at Centennial Olympic Park, you’ll find powerful human rights exhibits that clearly illustrate how the trials and triumphs of mankind go well beyond the Deep South’s tumultuous 1960s.
Now is the best time of year to visit the Windy City, when Lake Michigan is dotted with sailboats, the beaches are packed and dining outside is local sport. On that note, the finest way to try many of the city’s famous dishes is to hightail it to the Taste of Chicago. Held in Grant Park from July 9 to 13, this event is perennially packed for a reason — more than 60 restaurants and food trucks will offer a slew of different options from deep-dish pizza (we’ll be in the Lou Malnati’s line) and gourmet burgers to Vietnamese and barbecue. This year’s lineup of musical guests (Janelle Monáe, Aloe Blacc) is a delicious one, too. Book a room at the Forbes Travel Guide Recommended JW Marriott Chicago, so you can easily walk to and from the Taste — and burn some of those calories off.
Sweet Summer in Various Places
Not that we need an official month to indulge in cool treats, but July is National Ice Cream Month and you can bet a slew of spots will be scooping up frozen goodness with aplomb. To wit, Four-Star Loews Atlanta Hotel’s Bar Eleven is serving ice cream-inspired cocktails in flavors such as mint chocolate chip and cookies and cream. Southern California’s Rancho Valencia is marking the month with four weeks of its own specials, including a sinful rendition of an ice cream sandwich made with shortbread and gourmet vanilla bean ice cream, as well as an adult version of a root beer float. Las Vegas gets in on the adult-friendly fun at Monte Carlo Resort & Casino’s BLVD Creamery, a spot dishing out four unique ice cream flavors this month, including Black Cab (made with blackberries and cabernet) and Suds Sorbet (Shock Top beer and orange zest). At Five-Star Trump International Hotel & Tower Chicago, you can get a taste of summer at the spectacular 16th-floor The Terrace at Trump by trying the pastry chef’s special: a fruit raspado made with vanilla ice cream, berries, shaved ice and exotic syrups.
Liverpool will be a runway of khaki shorts this summer when the Royal Liverpool Golf Club hosts the British Open for the first time since 2006 when Tiger Woods nabbed the trophy. (Call it long shot, but the world’s most popular player could do it again now that he’s fresh from back surgery). From July 17 to 20, the British city will host fans gathered to watch Woods, Adam Scott and others try their best to snatch the claret jug from ’13 Open winner Phil Mickelson. In between rounds, we’d like to hole up at the Hillbark Hotel, a luxe little spot near the course that oozes with English charm.
Photos Courtesy of Center for Civil and Human Rights, Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group and Loews Atlanta Hotel