Take a trip away this November. Check out our recommendations for what to do, where to go and what to eat in some of Cayman’s favorite overseas destinations.

Reykjavik, Iceland

iceland-churchCulture: The country that spawned the quirky megastar Bjork has enjoyed a tourism explosion over the last few years. Tour the city and take in the sights while following in the footsteps of the Vikings.

Shopping: Get a lopapeysa (Icelandic woolen sweater) to keep you warm and have you blending with the locals. Raven-themed items can be found in many shops, a bird that features prominently in Icelandic traditional beliefs. Laugavegur St. is a must for the coolest stores.

Food: For the adventurous, whale and fermented shark can be found on the menu. Visit Laekjarbrekka restaurant which occupies one of the oldest buildings in the city for a variety of classic recipes. Save room for the Icelandic pancakes as dessert.

Cocktails: Book a space at the famed Blue Lagoon where you can swim up to the same bar where celebrities like Kim Kardashian have been before. We recommend a nighttime dip just for the atmosphere. You must buy a ticket in advance at www.bluelagoon.com.

Must do this month: November is one of the best months of the year to see the Northern Lights and it gets dark early. Drive out of the city for a more intimate experience and to avoid the light pollution from more populated areas.

 

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Paradise Island, Bahamas

water-slide-atlantis-paradise-islandCulture: Take a journey through Rawson Square and bask in the Colonial charm, pink buildings and English Georgian-style architecture of Government House and Parliament Square. Or visit the Educulture Junkanoo Museum for a fascinating glimpse into the history and culture of the beautiful Bahamian islands.

Shopping: Although Bay Street is known for its high-end shopping, eschew the designer brands and head to the world-famous Nassau Straw Market and Festival Place instead. They are home to handmade Bahamian crafts, as well as Bahamian sweets and treats, coffees and teas.

Food: Virgil’s Real Barbecue is a restaurant in Atlantis resort, where gargantuan platters of piping-hot, sauce-soaked barbecued meat flow from the kitchen with alarming frequency. Chow down on a side of Trainwreck Fries with an ice-cold locally brewed Bush Crack beer.

Cocktails: Try the unique Coconut Breeze – a refreshing concoction – at Dune, while overlooking the ocean. Later, take a walk around the impressive gardens, modeled after Versailles, and the grounds where Daniel Craig filmed “Casino Royale.”

Must do this month: Stay at the Atlantis Resort to experience the water park, the world-class casino and the “Battle 4 Atlantis” college basketball tournament happening from Nov. 23-25.

See www.atlantisbahamas.com for more information.

 

Lincoln Memorial Washington DC

Washington, D.C.

Culture: Culture is quite varied in the nation’s capital. One of the more significant cultural places is the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, where artists perform different shows every day. Another important institution in D.C. is the Smithsonian Institution, which works with more than 10 public museums in the city.

Shopping: The Georgetown shopping hub features a little bit of everything, from indie specialty shops to high-end boutiques. Scout out new accessories from Tory Burch, or for more casual shopping, consider Second Time Around and Ella Rue for consignment scores. Head to the Book Hill area where you’ll find antique shops, funky boutiques and specialty stores.

Food: Where does the politically ambitious populous hold power lunches? For a Cayman connection, visit one of Chef José Andrés’ famous restaurants – Jaleo – which brings Spain to the Americas. Enjoy authentic tapas and Paellas, and definitely order the gambas al ajillo – shrimp sautéed with garlic.

Cocktails: Lord knows, everyone will probably need a stiff drink after the Presidential election. Those in the know head to 2 Birds 1 Stone on 14th St. The casual, often crowded bar is known for its original concoctions and reimagined classics, such as its frozen Aperol spritz, thanks to award-winning bar director Adam Bernbach.

Must do this month: No matter who takes the White House at the end of Nov. 8, this ground zero city will certainly be alive and a-buzz with activity that day. Take a tour of the landmarks that celebrate presidents who have gone before, including the Lincoln Memorial, and reflect on the history of the country.

 

auckland

Auckland, New Zealand

Culture: Visit the Auckland Museum to see an impressive range of world-class galleries, interactive displays, visiting exhibitions and the world’s largest collection of Māori taonga (treasures). The New Zealand Maritime Museum explains how the sea has shaped New Zealand’s history and cultural identity.

Shopping: Stop by Smith & Caughey’s, one of the oldest and best loved department stores in the country; or for amazing vintage finds, seek out COUCOU in Britomart. If you’re in the mood for market shopping, grab your basket and prepare to be dazzled by fresh food stalls with local arts and crafts found throughout the city.

Food: New Zealand is known for is its oysters, so it would be criminal to visit without dining at Depot Eatery and Oyster Bar on Federal Street. Order oysters and clams from the raw bar, get an NZ meat board, or choose from a slew of other classic dishes. Wash it down with a glass of fabulous New Zealand wine, another country celebrity.

Cocktails: Cocktails are an art form at Mea Culpa, an established Ponsonby Road favorite. A New York style ‘hole in the wall’ venue, the intimate narrow bar, with rustic interior and an eclectic music selection to boot, have made it a popular with locals for years now. It’s a true neighborhood gem and one you’d be crazy to miss.

Must do this month: Get tickets for Taste of Auckland from Nov. 17-20. Discover the best tastes, sights, and entertainment Auckland has to offer; from the city’s top restaurants, to artisanal producers, to sumptuous craft beers along infamous Brew Street and boutique vintages by renowned wineries.

 

pyramid-mexico-city

Mexico City, Mexico

Culture: Walk ash-tree-lined streets, while ogling Art Deco and neo-Colonial homes; see world-class modern art at Kurimanzutto (Gob. Rafael Rebollar 94); explore the great urban park Bosque de Chapultepec (Constityentes).

Shopping: Cana Miel in Colonia Santa Fe and 180° Shop in Colonia Roma Norte are highly recommended stops. The former sells Latin American designer-wear, while the latter sells bicycles, home accessories and clothes. There’s a Rockola (vintage jukebox) on site and the counter is made of old videotapes.

Food: Mexico City has become known for its seasoned, spit-roasted pork tacos al pastor. Watch chefs masterfully shave meat and pineapple into tiny corn tortillas, then add your own onions, cilantro and salsas. El Vilsito, an auto-repair shop by day and taquería by night, and El Borrego Viudo are two lively late-night spots serving excellent al pastor.

Cocktails: For mezcal cocktails, aguardiente (firewater), and local microbrews beneath an undulating brick ceiling and Edison bulbs, wait your turn for a seat at Roma’s most recent hot spot, La Nacional.

Must do this month: Drive about 50km out of the city to Teotihuacan to see the extraordinary Pyramids of the Sun and Moon, found along the Avenue of the Dead. The Pyramid of the Sun is the third largest ancient pyramid in the world.

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