Gothenburg, Sweden

CULTURE Sweden’s “second city” has become a hipster Mecca, with its vibrant street food scene and modernist design kudos. One of the best ways to see striking historic sights like the harbor and opera house is by taking a guided kayak tour. For a contemporary culture fest, head to Röda Sten, a former boiler house turned art exhibition hall.

SHOPPING Welcome to denim heaven – both Nudie Jeans and Dr Denim originated in Gothenburg and have their flagships here. It’s also the town for purchasing oh-so-cool Scandi interior design. Alvhelm and Artilleriet are two of the best emporiums for homewares, offering a mix of stylish brands and vintage items.

FOOD The buzzing Tredje Långgatan area is packed with dining destinations, such as Auktionsverket, an old auction house converted into several restaurants, a wine bar, café and bakery. In street food, Umami’s turquoise burger truck has a cult following; everything down to the pickles, Bloody Mary ketchup and truffle dips are homemade. Find it in the Magasinsgatan district.

COCKTAILS Through a little courtyard, margarita nirvana awaits at Tacos & Tequila, where agave-based specials are served by the glass or pitcher. If you’re more of a vino fan, one of Gothenburg’s finest wine bars is Olssons Vin on Tredje Långgatan. This white-tiled watering hole serves everything up to vintage Dom Pérignon.

WHAT’S HOT THIS MONTH Nobody does Midsummer like the Swedes. To mark the longest day, locals flock to the archipelago’s 8,000 islands for dancing, music, feasting on herring and strawberries, midnight swimming and general merry-making. This year, the big day falls on June 23.

Bordeaux, France

CULTURE A $90 million wine museum landed in Bordeaux last year and boy, is it impressive. La Cité du Vin immerses you all things winemaking through multi-sensory exhibits, regional tastings and digital guides, all encased in a stunning riverside structure that resembles a golden wine decanter.

SHOPPING For drinkable souvenirs, L’Intendant on Cours de L’Intendance is a wonder to behold with its countless bottles curving around a spiral staircase. Meanwhile, Place Fernand Lafargue is renowned as the city’s alternative shopping district, home to countless quirky boutiques, bookshops and vintage record stores.

FOOD In gastronomic heaven it’s hard to pick a favorite restaurant, but for a true taste of Bordeaux countryside fare, La Tupiña is much lauded. Settle in among the rustic furniture for a memorable feast of pot-au-feu, roast Bigorre pork and goose fat potatoes.

COCKTAILS St Pierre is the liveliest district come evening and here you’ll find pint-sized, Baroque-styled La Comtesse. Its mojitos are said to be the best in town. Santé!

WHAT’S HOT THIS MONTH The city turns into a vast outdoor restaurant for annual food and drink celebration, Les Epicuriales (June 9-24). Take part in a free cookery classes, dine at pop-up restaurants and rub shoulders with stellar winemaker


CULTURE There’s colonial and maritime history aplenty on this mid-Atlantic island. Founded in 1609, St George is the earliest English urban settlement in the New World and a UNESCO world heritage site. On a walking tour of its quaint cobblestone streets, peek inside an 18th century merchant’s house, the Tucker House Museum, and St. Peter’s Church, the oldest operating Anglican church in the Western Hemisphere.

SHOPPING Indulge in a fragrance made from the island’s flowers and citrus trees at The Bermuda perfumery’s two outlets; the company has been mixing scents since 1928. Alexandra Mosher’s dreamy jewelry boutique in Hamilton is another favorite for her signature pink sand collection, setting the island’s grains into sterling silver trinkets.

FOOD The fish sandwich is something of a Bermudian obsession. Art Mel’s Spicy Dicy in Hamilton counts the most fanatical following for its fresh, flash-fried snapper between doorstop wedges of bread. After a smarter dinner date? We rate the Caribbean-inspired and locally-sourced soul food at Marcus’.

COCKTAILS For the ultimate Rum Swizzle – Bermuda’s deliciously potent national drink – you should head to the place of its inception, The Swizzle Inn. Known as Bermuda’s oldest pub, its concoction of rum, Triple Sec, Angostura Bitters, Falernum and fruit juices will definitely get you in the holiday spirit.

WHAT’S HOT THIS MONTH Make sure you’ve got your sea legs on: June sees Bermuda host the 35th America’s Cup race, the pinnacle of international sailing.

Yellowstone, Wyoming

CULTURE From wagons to wolf skulls and Thomas Moran’s sublime watercolor sketches to snowmobiles – Yellowstone’s museum collection contains more than 720,000 items documenting the history of the park.

SHOPPING You probably won’t want to be trawling shops when you have such natural wonders on your doorstep, but those needing a retail fix will find Jackson Hole has the trappings of any upmarket ski resort: Designer clothing boutiques, antiques stores and souvenir shops.

FOOD As the name suggests, a scenic watery backdrop awaits at Lake Yellowstone Hotel’s 19th-century dining room. Emphasizing regional fare, the evening menu includes charcuterie with Montana cheeses, bison, quail and wild salmon, while vintages from California, Oregon, and Washington star on the wine list.

COCKTAILS After a long day of back country hiking, there’s nothing better than a refreshing glass at a rustic lodge. The king of inns around here is Old Faithful – which overlooks the eponymous geyser – and its Mezzanine Bar is a brilliant people-watching spot as crowds pass through the historic timber lobby.

WHAT’S HOT THIS MONTH June is one of the best times to spot wildlife in America’s oldest national park. Long-limbed elk calves are taking their first steps, grizzly bears are on the prowl and wildflowers bloom over the lower mountain slopes

Cusco, Peru

CULTURE Once the heart of the Inca Empire, high-altitude Cusco is the gateway to the Sacred Valley and the world-famous ruins of Machu Picchu. The city itself is crammed with archeological treasures, too. Clue up on Inca culture through Museo Inka’s collection of metal- and gold-work, pottery, mummies and queros (ceremonial Inca wooden drinking vessels). Then see the remains of Qurikancha, once the richest temple in the Inca empire.

SHOPPING If you buy one keepsake from your trip make it a traditional handwoven textile. At cooperative Casa Ecológica you can find pieces from 29 mountain communities from Cusco and Apurimac, and the Center for Traditional Textiles even holds shop-floor demonstrations of weaving techniques as well as artisanal souvenirs aplenty.

FOOD Cusco’s culinary scene is seriously thriving, whether you’re after a roadside stall selling roasted guinea pigs (a regional delicacy) or Michelin-starred ingenuity. One of the most feted restaurants is Chica, owned by Peruvian celebrity chef Gaston Acurio. He puts inspired twists on Andean recipes such as tender grilled octopus or flash-fried spicy sirloin.

COCKTAILS Welcome to the land of Pisco. To fully appreciate this grape-based spirit head to Museo del Pisco, a museum/bar mash-up where you can sip on all manner of Pisco cocktails, from the classic Pisco Sour to unusual combos featuring jungle fruit, spearmint and sour apple.

WHAT’S HOT THIS MONTH All aboard South America’s first luxury sleeper train. Launched just last month, the 68-passenger Belmond Andean Explorer lets you travel in style along one of the highest train routes in the world, from Cusco to Arequipa (a UNESCO World Heritage site).