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Summer Vacation Ideas: The Jetsetter’s Guide to Long Weekends Around the World

Summer is just around the corner, and now is the time to decide where you’ll be spending those precious sunny days. To help you with your list of summer vacation ideas, here are the best long weekend destinations from four of the world’s top cities—but a trip to any of these places can also be extended for a longer getaway.

Contact Indagare to plan a long weekend getaway or extended summer vacation to any of these destinations and beyond. Our expert team can secure reservations at top hotels and restaurants and book activities tailored to your interests.

If Your Base is New York City

The Hamptons, New York

A go-to weekend destination for New Yorkers, the Hamptons has several charming towns, all of which are experiencing a boom in tourism that has resulted in many new openings. Boutique arrivals including Montauk’s surfer-cool Hero Beach Club and Journey in East Hampton are giving the classic properties a run for their money. Another big debut this summer will be Shou Sugi Ban House, a 13-room wellness hotel opening in Water Mill.

Newport, Rhode Island

For a seaside getaway that combines New England tradition with historic glamour, look no further than Newport. The summer destination of choice for families like the Vanderbilts, this idyllic town is especially suited to architecture lovers, who can explore the extravagant mansions on the three-and-a-half-mile Cliff Walk trail from a home base at The Vanderbilt, Auberge Resorts Collection. Those seeking a younger scene will find one at Gurney’s Newport, an outpost of the popular Montauk establishment, which opened in 2017 just outside the town center on its own island. The property’s seaside Pineapple Club, with its splashy restaurant and bar, is the place to party during the day, while its Scarpetta restaurant welcomes families and couples alike for dinner.

Reykjavik, Iceland

Just a five-and-a-half-hour flight from New York’s major airports, Reykjavik is the perfect entry point for an extended weekend trip through Iceland. With the opening of a new property from Edition Hotels later this year, as well as the recent awarding of the first Michelin star to the New Nordic restaurant Dill, the capital has received a healthy dose of style. After two nights in the city, weekenders will want to head to the Retreat at Blue Lagoon, a stylish spa hotel that opened last year and has won loyal fans thanks to its private access to the otherwise overcrowded geothermal baths.

Related: The Best Things to Do in NYC: Spring and Summer 2019

If Your Base is Los Angeles

Big Sur, California

A classic American experience is a road trip, and no route is lovelier than Highway 1 between Carmel and Big Sur. Better still, the drive’s beauty is matched by top-notch luxury hotels; the Lodge at Pebble Beach is the top choice for families, thanks to its plethora of amenities, while couples and friends will enjoy the pampering at the adults-only Post Ranch Inn and Ventana Big Sur. In addition to taking in the spectacular coastal and mountain scenery on hikes, be sure to take a tour at Hearst Castle, and consider adding on a night or two in Santa Barbara. Here, foodies can visit vineyards and gourmet restaurants, while beach lovers can chill out at the stylish new Hotel Californian.

Big Sky, Montana

If your ideal summer weekend is one spent surrounded by pine trees, silent mountains and glacial lakes, Big Sky is the destination for you. With access to the Rocky Mountains, Glacier National Park and the northern edge of Yellowstone, this area has become increasingly popular among outdoor adventurers and celebrities alike. You can plan your own weekend of camping, hiking, biking, fishing and horseback riding using one of the low-key lodges in the area as your base—or enjoy these activities (plus phenomenal accommodations and cuisine) from a luxury lodge such as the Ranch at Rock Creek.

National Parks

L.A. locals looking for epic landscapes can reach a number of national parks in under five hours driving, with our favorite picks being Yosemite, Death Valley and Joshua Tree. Those who wish to go further afield can catch a one-hour flight to Las Vegas or Phoenix to access the Grand Canyon and Sedona. Whether you prefer to set up camp outside or to indulge in a top property like Miraval, Mii amo or Amangiri, the national parks of the Southwest provide a great balance of activity and relaxation.

Related: The Top 10: America’s National Parks

If Your Base is London

The Cotswolds and Hampshire, England

Within a two-hour drive or train ride of London are a variety of idyllic countryside towns with charming atmospheres and knockout estate hotels. The Cotswolds are known for their style and English elegance—as well as properties like Soho Farmhouse, The Wild Rabbit and Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons—while Hampshire is home to the sophisticated Heckfield Place. In addition to horseback riding, falconry, trips to the spa, tea time and long walks outside, weekends in the English countryside can include day trips to historic yet energetic cities like Oxford and Bath.

Paris, France

Thanks to the Chunnel, Paris can be accessed from London in just over two hours. For a more local experience—away from tourist crowds—hop across the Seine to the arrondissements of the Left Bank, where the palatial newcomer Hôtel Lutetia or the boutique J.K. Paris can become home for the weekend. Plus, seaside cities rich in history, art and architecture—like Le Havre, Rouen and Caen—are just a few hours’ drive away for a dose of fresh air.

Amalfi Coast, Italy

The three-hour flight from London to Naples and short drive to the Amalfi Coast is worth it for stunning cliffside views, fresh Italian cuisine and days spent at beach clubs like Villa TreVille and Capri’s iconic La Fontelina. Not to mention top hotels like elegant Le Sirenuse, peaceful Monastero Santa Rosa and family-friendly Belmond Hotel Caruso. Before flying back home, stop for a Naples specialty, pizza, at 50 Kalo or Sorbillo.

Related: From City to Country: Exploring the Cotswolds with Fashion World Darling and Farm Girl Amanda Brooks

If Your Base is Hong Kong

Japan

Host of the 2020 Olympics, Japan is about to have a major moment—so we recommend visiting before the crowds begin. Tokyo and Kyoto are go-tos, but travelers who have been to Japan before should try a new region. Koyasan is a spiritual destination a where you can learn about Buddhism, Hokkaido is revered for its excellent hiking (and skiing, in the winter) and Kanazawa has incredible architecture (it was not bombed in World War II) and gardens. For an intimate, relaxing experience, Guntu is a ryokan-style boat hotel that cruises the Seto Inland Sea and has 19 water-view rooms, a tea room, a gym and sauna and a restaurant.

Bangkok, Thailand

One of Southeast Asia’s most dynamic cities, Bangkok is a great stop for a long weekend. Several new hotels—including a Four Seasons and Rosewood—are opening this year, and up-and-coming neighborhoods like Soi Nana Chinatown are bursting with cool bars and galleries. Round out a few nights in the city with visits to temples, tickets to a Muay Thai match and a street food tour with an expert guide.

The Philippines

A two-hour flight from Hong Kong, Manila provides a convenient access point to a variety of barefoot-luxury, private-island resorts. Two to know are the newly reopened Nay Palad on the island of Siargao, which is rapidly garnering attention as a prime surfing destination, and the Rosewood Hermana Mayor, a groundbreaking property that will open on an uninhabited island in 2023.

Related: Niseko, Japan: The Ultimate Travel Guide

Contact Indagare to plan a long weekend getaway or extended summer vacation to any of these destinations and beyond. Our expert team can secure reservations at top hotels and restaurants and book activities tailored to your interests.

– Elizabeth Harvey on May 6, 2019

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