Check out our recommendations for what to do, where to go and what to eat in some of Cayman’s favorite overseas destinations this July.
Rhode Island, USA
CULTURE The oceanside stately homes of Newport are something to behold: like 70-room Italian Renaissance mega-palace Breakers and faux-English manor Rough Point, which is crammed with the art collection of heiress and philanthropist Doris Duke.
DINING Buffeted by salty Atlantic waves, seafood doesn’t get much fresher than Rhode Island’s. Get shucking at Matunuck Oyster bar, where seafood is farmed in front of the restaurant and organic veggies are grown in the neighboring field.
COCKTAILS Speakeasy bar Justine’s has a pretty memorable entrance: through a lingerie shop, no less. Sip cocktails such as the Charlie Chaplin (apricot brandy, sloe gin, and lime) out of vintage glassware and revel in the 1920s-style glamor.
SHOPPING Newport’s historic waterfront shopping district is home to many an antique store, as well as apothecary-style all-natural beauty boutique Farmaesthetics. Equally unique is Rib & Rhein’s “anglo-indo-waspy” range of clothing (Carven, Charlotte Olympia, The Row).
WHAT’S HOT THIS MONTH What could be more salubrious than a summer’s evening listening to world-class orchestras in the gardens of a Gilded Age mansion? That’s what Newport Music Festival (July 4-22) is all about. If sport is more your bag, July is also the time to watch ATP World Tour pros competing in the Hall of Fame Tennis Championships (July 15-22).
CULTURE The prize for most famous Corsican has to go to Napoleon. Well, he did conquer half of Europe. Visit his birthplace, La Maison Bonaparte in Ajaccio, now a national museum. Then stroll around the tangled medieval lanes of Bonifacio citadel, admiring the incredible views from its ramparts and 16th-century drawbridge.
DINING At charming, cottage-style Auberge de la Restonica, perched on the dramatic gorges outside Corte, dine on rustic Corsican specialties such as Filet Restonica – tenderloin beef with sweet Corsican cheese flambéed in brandy – and boar stew with pasta.
COCKTAILS Wine bar Aux Vents d’Anges stocks more than 1000 bottles, many from Corsican vineyards, and proprietor/sommelier Christophe is as knowledgeable as they come. Or get dressed up for a night at iconic Chez Tao in Calvi, established by an exiled Russian aristocrat in the 1930s. Many a Martini and Champagne flute has been quaffed beneath its vaulted ceilings.
SHOPPING Casa di l’Artigiani’s raison d’être is showcasing local artisans and crafts, so the store is filled with beautiful leatherwork, honey, jewelry and even musical instruments. More unique finds, in particular hand-forged cutlery, can be found at Paese Nostru, while bookworms will be in their element at Librairie La Marge.
WHAT’S HOT THIS MONTH Up to 10,000 food fans will descend on Montegrosso to pay tribute to the mighty olive in mid-July. Against a backdrop of sun-kissed olive groves, you can sample hundreds of delicious oils and learn all about production.
San Diego, USA
CULTURE Much of life in San Diego revolves around the beaches, so pull on your swimmers and hire a board or book a surf lesson if you’re new to it. Balboa Park is the city’s cultural powerhouse, a lush urban oasis where world-class museums sit beside famous San Diego Zoo.
DINING San Diego’s restaurants run the gamut of global cuisine. Newcomer Maestoso has been getting rave reviews for its modern Roman street food, while at ramen institution Menya Ultra, the broth and noodles are both scratch-made in-house.
COCKTAILS With the Mexican border just down the highway, the city has a strong suit in agave-based drinks and Cantina Mayahuel is one of the best, listing more than 300 bottles of mezcal with a mean margarita.
SHOPPING Scour the Ocean Beach Antique District for hundreds of antique dealers, just a block from the Pacific Ocean. Style mavens should try upscale mall Fashion Valley for brands like Armani and Hermes.
WHAT’S HOT THIS MONTH Whether “Doctor Who”, “Star Wars” or “Stranger Things” are your obsessions, Comic Con (July 19-22) is a massive pop culture celebration that bridges sci fi, fantasy, superheroes and more. You can hear from the creatives and actors behind the franchises and catch previews of upcoming movies.
CULTURE A medieval castle clinging to a rocky cliff above an emerald-green water, Lake Bled is the stuff of fairytales. Ride out by gondola to tiny Bled Island, clamber up the 99 steps and explore the baroque Church of the Assumption.
DINING Thanks to Netflix series “Chef’s Table,” Hiša Franko has become a global culinary Mecca. Run by Ana Roš (voted World’s Best Female Chef 2017) and her sommelier husband, this stunning Soca Valley inn is well worth the journey – should you be able to catch a table.
COCKTAILS Apros’ sunny terrace is the perfect spot to enjoy a cocktail or two. With an extensive list of over 30 cocktails, you’ll be spoiled for choice.
SHOPPING A shop dedicated to salt? Sure, it’s niche, but Piranske Soline makes the white stuff into a must-have. There are bottles of Slovenia’s famous Piran salt, along with salted chocolates, mills and bath scrubs from the Lepa Vida natural beauty range.
WHAT’S HOT THIS MONTH The castle and lakeshore promenade make beautiful backdrops for the Okarina Ethno Festival (July 26 – Aug. 5), when the hills really do seem alive with the sound of music. Now in its 28th year, it attracts dozens of international folk and world music acts.
CULTURE Mongolia’s nomadic culture is renowned – visitors can take a tour into the rugged, open countryside to sleep in a herder’s ger (traditional felt yurt) and ride horses. Follow the trail of Genghis Khaan at Tsonjin Boldog, where a 40m-high glistening silver statue of the legendary warrior stands atop an impressive museum of Mongol artefacts.
DINING At Khara Khorum you can sample a fine dining interpretation of traditional Mongolian dishes, such as tsuivan, a noddle and meat stew, and pan-fried khuushuur dumplings filled with minced lamb. North Indian fare is also popular in this region, with Namaste and Hazara being two of the best options in Ulaanbaatar.
COCKTAILS Indulge in rum-based specialties and tiki drinks at stylish Mojito Cocktail House, or ascend to 17 Sky Bar on the rooftop of Central Tower for wonderful views and well-made cocktails.
SHOPPING You can pick up oh-so-soft cashmere, yak- and camel-wool products at Fairtrade shop Marta & Mary, or the historic State Department Store. Erdenet carpets and horse-riding gear are other popular keepsakes from the Mongolian markets.
WHAT’S HOT THIS MONTH A parade of athletes, musicians, monks and soldiers kicks off Nadaam Festival at the national stadium. Rooted in the nomad wedding assemblies and hunting extravaganzas of the Mongol Army, it then sees high-octane games of horse riding, archery and wrestling – the three sporting passions of Mongolians – unfold over two days.