While most prefer to spend summer at the beach, savvy vacationers look to take the road less traveled. Try something new this July, from songwriting sessions in a bona fide writer’s studio to Broadway-style shows under the stars — all with luxurious lodgings to retreat to after the fun.
West Coast flair comes to the Hub with the grand opening of Encore Boston Harbor on June 23.
The first legalized gaming casino in the city, the $2.6 billion resort boasts 3,123 slot machines, 144 table games, 15 restaurants, a 26,000-square-foot spa and a spectacular art collection — look for installations from Jeff Koons and Preston Bailey.
In a nod to the signature style of Wynn Resorts’ Las Vegas and Macau locations, the property is meticulously landscaped with more than 55,000 flowers and nearly 1,000 trees across the expansive grounds.
But unlike its more established counterparts, this East Coast casino is home to the six-acre alfresco Harborwalk outfitted with bike paths, picturesque gazebos and viewing decks for soaking up those historic waterfront vistas.
Treat your tiny toque to a weekend of epicurean excitement with Four-Star The Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island’s Kids Chef Week.
From July 28 to 31, children can join the hotel’s talented chefs in the kitchen for three days of menu planning, cooking classes and photo opportunities. The experience culminates in a family dinner prepared by your very own budding cook.
While little ones are busy with pastry class and pizza making, you can unwind with tennis, golf, horseback riding or a couple’s massage at the Four-Star seaside spa.
Get inspired in Music City with Hutton Hotel’s new Writers Retreats. Offered July 11 through 14, the first of these weekend jam sessions includes country-chic digs at the Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star property and quality time with industry professionals (including a songwriter and sound engineer) in the onsite Writers Studios. These creative spaces were given an authentic rock-star touch by country singer Dierks Bentley and OneRepublic frontman Ryan Tedder.
Before composing your next masterpiece, fuel up on elevated diner fare at Mane & Rye Dineraunt with a $250 food and beverage credit. Grown-up milkshakes like the Fat Elvis (banana ice cream, peanut butter and whiskey) are sure to get those creative juices flowing.
The Wasatch Mountains come alive with the sound of music on July 18 when Sundance Summer Theatre debuts its 2019 production, Mamma Mia! Presented by Utah Valley University, the beloved Broadway musical set to the songs of Swedish pop group ABBA gets a dose of mountain magic thanks to its alfresco setting at Sundance Mountain Resort’s outdoor theater.
After the show, return to the Forbes Travel Guide Recommended escape for more tunes at Four-Star Tree Room restaurant (catch acoustic sets every Saturday night through August) and cozy cabin accommodations.
Master the art of self-care this summer with Five-Star Fairmont Grand Del Mar’s Way of Wellbeing workshop. On July 13, enjoy a roster of restorative sessions, from yoga led by renowned teacher Eddie Stern to a biomechanics lesson (learning the optimal way to move) with a local chiropractor.
A meditation session and interactive masterclass (“Living in Flow”) taught by entrepreneur Poonacha Machaiah rounds out the morning of mindfulness.
The enlightening event ends at 1:30 p.m., leaving you plenty of time to continue your wellness journey at the Five-Star spa or by one of the resort’s four sparkling pools.
History comes alive on the shores of Lake Erie when the Cleveland Tall Ships Festival takes over the waterfront this month. From July 11 to 14, you and your crew can watch 11 towering schooners sail by. You can even board these gigantic vessels for a tour.
If you don’t have your sea legs yet, there’s still plenty to do on land while the ships are sailing, from culinary delights and craft beer tents to live music and street performers.
Located less than a mile from the venue, Four-Star The Ritz-Carlton, Cleveland makes for a chic spot to decompress after you’ve disembarked. Before going to bed, end your night the sailor’s way with a Black Old Fashioned (Johnnie Walker Black Label, black walnut bitters) at Turn Bar + Kitchen.
When you need a break from sprucing up your summer wardrobe in Beverly Hills, go to 468 North Rodeo Drive for a different kind of window shopping. On display through September 15, “Louis Vuitton X” is an immersive exhibit honoring the storied fashion house’s 160-year history.
Spanning two floors are more than 180 iconic items, including 20th-century trunks, art-deco-style perfume bottles and specially commissioned pieces by artists like Yayoi Kusama and the late architect Zaha Hadid.
Once you’ve finished exploring, head for Philippe Starck-designed SLS Hotel at Beverly Hills, A Luxury Collection Hotel just 10 minutes from Rodeo Drive. Among the highlights at this Forbes Travel Guide Recommended retreat are the culinary offerings from celebrity chef José Andrés — don’t miss tapas at The Bazaar or liquid nitrogen cocktails at Bar Centro.