This summer’s top spots to visit are hot, but not necessarily because of the rising mercury. July has a slew of special events that we’re crazy about, from surfing with a renowned chef in California to exploring the Canadian Rockies. All that’s required of you are a piece of carry-on luggage and a few dabs of suntan lotion.
Immerse yourself in the Southern California lifestyle at the stunning Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star Park Hyatt Aviara Resort. The scenic property just launched the Aviara Wellness Academy, a program made up of several different wellness-related retreats that can be added on to your stay for a fun- and fitness-focused getaway.
Next Wave of Surfing with the Chef includes making and eating meals with the resort’s executive chef, Pierre Albaladejo, followed by a surf lesson with the skilled cook, who also happens to be a prolific wave rider. The whole experience is topped off with a visit to legendary surfer Greg Noll’s surfboard workshop.
The Golf Academy is just that — a one- or two-day program that involves private lessons, custom club fittings and some inside info on golf myths and theories.
Tennis Camp is another one- or two-day session that includes private lessons from renowned pro Steve Halverson, complimentary court time and a copy of the book Tennis for Life.
Finally, the VeraVia option is a one- to three-day curated retreat that is customized to meet your wellness goals and includes activities like hikes, nutritional seminars and guided meditation sessions.
You might have heard our neighbors to the north are celebrating their 150th anniversary this year. What better way to mark the occasion than with a trip that explores Canada’s majestic landscapes and culturally diverse cities? You’ll get that (and more) when you book the Great Canadian Railway Adventure with Fairmont hotels.
Along the way, you’ll stay in several grand Fairmont hotels — including Four-Star Fairmont Hotel Vancouver and Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge — and spend a few nights on the train, too. The trip can be customized, and there are four different suggested start dates this month: July 5, 12, 19 or 26.
One of summer’s most-anticipated new hotels is now open: Waldorf Astoria Beverly Hills had its ribbon-cutting ceremony on June 28.
Check into the 12-story hotel adjacent to sister property The Beverly Hilton to revel in vistas of the Hollywood Hills, Century City and more from every room; Villa Suites that have their own private garden terraces; Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s debut West Coast restaurant; a more casual rooftop eatery from the chef with 360-degree views; and a La Prairie spa.
The opening marks Waldorf Astoria’s first new-build property on the West Coast.
On July 5, the rustic but sophisticated hotel’s J&G Grill Park City will host an exclusive Opus One wine dinner featuring rare vintages from the Napa Valley winery. The four-course event — you’ll dine on savory specialties like wild boar belly, quail, smoked lamb rack and Wagyu New York strip steak — will also preview the coveted Overture by Opus One, a pour that will hit the Utah market for the first time this fall.
You don’t have to travel all the way to Maui to dine on great barbecue this summer, but the eats at the first Fire It Up! festival will surely be worth the trip. Held at the Grand Wailea, a Waldorf Astoria Resort, the event will feature top chefs and pitmasters from around the country cooking up Hawaii’s bountiful seafood, produce and meats all over a live fire on the beach.
Expect dishes like wild boar chili, rotisserie goat, octopus, Korean ribs, adult s’mores and a whole lot more. Celebrity chef Hubert Keller will DJ the event, which will also feature local musicians.
You’ll get more than food at this Hawaiian-style cookout, too, as wine, beer and bourbon will be flowing aplenty.
The July 8 event’s tickets are $150, unless you spring for the $250 VIP passes, which will get you entry to the party 30 minutes early, access to the VIP area and a swag bag.
Head to Calistoga, the northernmost city in Napa Valley, for a healthy dose of what this town is known for — its healing spas. At the Five-Star Solage, An Auberge Resort, channel all of your energy toward Four-Star Spa Solange when you participate in Full Moon Aqua Vibrations on July 10 (yes, during a full moon).
That evening, try out aqua vibration therapy, which includes gentle movements, sound vibration and floating meditation in geothermal pools that are filled with water from local mineral springs.
Go early to experience the luxurious bathhouse filled with amenities like outdoor showers and state-of-the-art sound chairs.
New York City
While visiting the Vatican’s Sistine Chapel is a one-of-a-life time experience, getting jostled by the claustrophobic crowds doesn’t allow for much time to take in the art and study its beauty. But you can examine it more closely at the Santiago Calatrava-designed Oculus at Westfield World Trade Center.
The Oculus hosts the new exhibit “Up Close: Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel,” which features 34 near-life-size reproductions of the iconic master’s work, including The Creation of Adam and The Last Judgment. Survey the detailed photographs in depth in a way you can’t in Rome.
The New York City exhibition kicks off a national eight-city tour. You can see it here through July 23.
If you venture to the city to see this exhibit, book a room at Smyth – A Thompson Hotel. The Four-Star hotel is just an eight-minute walk from the Oculus, and its midcentury-chic vibe and excellent Little Park restaurant make it a great home base.