10 Places to Go This Summer

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Looking to get away this summer but not sure where to go? Our 10 can't-miss destinations for summer 2014 span the globe, from the World Cup in Brazil to the Vienna Jazz Festival. Or, if you're looking for something closer to home, we've got the scoop on the Aspen Ideas Festival, the new Glacier Skywalk in the Canadian Rockies, and hot restaurant openings in Nashville. But with several new hotels on the horizon, including an Aman Resorts property in Croatia and Istanbul's Raffles Hotel, you might not even want to leave your room.

by Kathleen Squires

A serial traveler who often lets a country’s cuisine dictate her itineraries, New York City-based writer Kathleen Squires has visited all 7 continents and over 60 countries, with stints living in London, Tokyo, and Buenos Aires. Her work also appears in The Wall Street Journal, Saveur, Cooking Light and National Geographic Traveler.

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BRAZIL

Football fans will be flocking south as the 2014 FIFA World Cup kicks off on June 12, with matches running through July 13. Brazil's national football team has taken the Cup home five times (the most in the sport), and its home country will be hosting matches in 12 different cities. Between matches in São Paulo, check out the art of coffee cultivation at historic Nossa Senhora da Conceição Farm. Dining at Alex Atala's world-famous restaurant D.O.M is also a must. If in Bahia, explore the colonial African/European city center of Salvador, and make time to relax on one the lovely coastal beaches, such as Trancoso. If you prefer to be a bit more off-the-beaten path, Manaus, deep in the jungle, reveals the history of the “rubber barons” in places such as the elaborate 1896 Teatro Amazonas. Bookend the trip with a river cruise aboard the Amazon Clipper.

Where to Stay: The contemporary design earns Hotel Unique its name and reputation in São Paulo. In Trancoso, the Bahia Uxua Casa is made up of restored fisherman cottages outfitted with modern comforts. In Rio de Janeiro, stay in pousadas or favelas.

PLAN YOUR TRIP: Visit Fodor's World Cup Guide

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ASPEN

The Aspen Ideas Festival (June 24–July 3), an open exchange among the best and brightest journalists, politicians, artists, entrepreneurs, musicians, and many more leaders, celebrates its 10th anniversary this summer with various programs, seminars, and tutorials. The end of June also sees the kick-off of the Aspen Music Festival (June 26–August 17). Now in its 35th year, this season celebrates “The New Romantics” with performances such as Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin and Philip Glass’s The American Four Seasons. Later in the summer, the city's new Cooking School of Aspen will open, while Chefs Club by Food & Wine will feature the cuisine of Matthew Gaudet of Boston’s West Bridge and Chris Shepherd of Underbelly in Houston. The brand-new, environmentally-sustainable Aspen Art Museum, designed by Shigeru Ban, unveils 12,500 square feet of gallery space on August 1.

Where to Stay: The luxury boutique style of Hotel Jerome, which dates to 1880, combines rustic Western touches and historic elegance. Modern tastes will love the playful ambiance of The Sky Hotel and its custom-designed bicycles for loan.

PLAN YOUR TRIP: Visit Fodor's Aspen Guide

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CAVTAT, CROATIA

Let the crowds battle for hotel rooms in Dubrovnik during the 65th Annual Dubrovnik Summer Festival, which includes music, Shakespearean performances, dance, and much more (July 10–August 25). The quiet coastal town of Cavtat, just 10 miles away, offers easy access to the Dalmatian hub along with an under-the-radar art scene, waterfront restaurants, beaches, and boating activities.

Where to Stay: This summer, the grand opening of the Aman Resort is reason alone to visit Cavtat. The views, especially from the rooftop infinity pool, seem endless at the well-regarded Hotel Cavtat.

PLAN YOUR TRIP: Visit Fodor's Croatia Guide

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ISTANBUL

The opening of the Zorlu Center brings a fresh new face to the banks of the Bosphorus. The complex includes a performance arts venue, an upscale shopping center, and a brand-new Raffles Hotel, opening at the tail end of summer. The opening concert (and a host of others) at the annual Istanbul Music Festival (May 31–June 27) will take place at the Zorlu, while the harmony continues into the summer, with the Istanbul Jazz Festival following quickly on its heels, starting July 1.

Where to Stay: A St. Regis Istanbul is set to open September 1; until then, the chic Marti Istanbul offers a terrific location and a top-floor spa.

PLAN YOUR TRIP: Visit Fodor's Istanbul Guide

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QUITO AND GUAYAQUIL, ECUADOR

Summer 2014 marks the maiden journey of the revamped Tren Crucero, which crosses the Andes from Quito to Guayaquil along the scenic Avenue of Volcanoes. And there's plenty to do in each city before boarding the restored, 100-year-old locomotive, as the season includes many holidays. In Guayaquil, June 29 marks the San Pedro and San Pablo fishermen's festival all along the coast, kicking off with a bonfire and continuing with food, music, and celebrations. The birthday of national hero Simón Bolívar is celebrated all over the country on July 24 with military parades, music, and dancing in the streets.

Where to Stay: In Quito, Casa Gangotena sits in a gorgeously restored mansion. Hotel Oro Verde is a popular European-style stay in Guayaquil.

PLAN YOUR TRIP: Visit Fodor's Ecuador Guide

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MELAKA, MALAYSIA

A busy summer for “the historic state” in the southern Malay Peninsula begins with the Melaka River Invitational Festival, a celebration of water sports that includes a Float Parade and the Melaka Parade Competition. On July 7, history is the focus when the city celebrates its anniversary as a UNESCO World Heritage Site with a food and culture festival right in the middle of town. Melaka also celebrates its Portuguese heritage during the San Pedro festival, June 23–29.

Where to Stay: One of the newer hotels to open, Mio features spacious, modern rooms. The Mediterranean-inspired Casa del Rio has fantastic views, waterfront dining, and a convenient location.

PLAN YOUR TRIP: Visit Fodor's Malaysia Guide

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NASHVILLE

Yes, it's known for its music scene, but this summer, Nashville is poised to become a hot food destination, too, as celebrity chefs are swooping in. Charleston chef Sean Brock started the trend last year with his Husk Nashville, and now Chopped judge Maneet Chauhan is on the verge of opening Chauhan Ale & Masala House in July. Legendary chef Jonathan Waxman of NYC's Barbuto will expand with Adele's by Jonathan Waxman in early summer. What's spurring this influx? The opening of the new, half-billion-dollar Music City Center last year, for one, as well as the resurgence of neighborhoods such as East Nashville and Hillsboro Village.

Where to Stay: The grandeur of refurbished, turn-of-the-century rail station is awe-inspiring at the Union Station Hotel. The newly-minted Hyatt Place Nashville Downtown is just one block from the Music City Center.

PLAN YOUR TRIP: Visit Fodor's Nashville Guide

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VIENNA

Vienna has been voted the world's most livable city for five years in a row by the independent consulting firm Mercer, but ”The Imperial City” is just as wonderful for a temporary stay. The Sisi Museum, located inside the Imperial Palace, celebrates its 10th anniversary with a special look at the divine clothing of Empress Elizabeth through the remainder of the year. Celebrations continue with the Vienna Jazz Festival in various venues all over the city, with headliners such as Sinead O'Connor, Dr. John, and Al Jarreau. Beginning June 28 and running through the end of August is the open-air Vienna Film Festival Rathausplatz, which doubles as a food festival and is expected to draw a crowd of 700,000.

Where to Stay: The Michelin-starred restaurant, luxurious spa, and palatial setting make guests feel like the imperial family at Palais Hansen Kempinski. Shoppers are steps away from all of the high-end boutiques, from Prada to Louis Vuitton, at the sophisticated Park Hyatt Vienna.

PLAN YOUR TRIP: Visit Fodor's Vienna Guide

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GLASGOW

This year, Glasgow hosts The Commonwealth Games, the third largest multi-sport event in the world, which includes competitors from the entire Commonwealth of Nations (July 23–August 3). The games have spurred the redevelopment of the Pacific Quay and Clyde Waterfront near the Scottish Exhibition and Conference Center, with a brand new arena, park expansions, and new river boat cruises that shuttle visitors to the Glasgow Science Centre and the Riverside Museum, which was named the 2013 European Museum of the Year.

Where to Stay: citizenM offers easy access to all waterfront pleasures, while the Radisson Blu is a chic stay in the financial district.

PLAN YOUR TRIP: Visit Fodor's Glasgow Guide

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ALBERTA, CANADA

There's no special equipment needed in order to walk the just-opened Glacier Skywalk smack in the middle of the Canadian Rockies. The walkway leads to a glass cliff-edge promenade with stunning views of the alpine terrain. The nearby Glacier Discovery Centre shows off its new renovation and is the starting point for the Glacier Adventure, which leads visitors right onto the Athabasca Glacier. Access via the Icefields Parkway is considered one of the more scenic drives in the world.

Where to Stay: It's hard to find a more convenient place to rest than the Glacier View Inn on the third floor of the Discovery Centre. The Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise is worth the drive for its lake and mountain views, along with all manner of luxury services.

PLAN YOUR TRIP: Visit Fodor's Alberta Guide

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