Check out our recommendations for what to do, where to go and what to eat in some of Cayman’s favorite overseas destinations this September.
Hermanus, South Africa
CULTURE: Clue up on the town’s maritime heritage at the Whale House Museum, then explore the gnarled cottages around the old harbor. To experience a different aspect of local culture (the daily lives of many South Africans) try a walking tour around nearby Zwelihle township, receiving a warm welcome at typical shops, ethnic restaurants and even private homes.
SHOPPING: Browse Lemm’s Corner market for local arts, crafts and edibles. With dozens of stalls, you can find all sorts of unique souvenirs, from traditional beaded jewelry to hand-painted tablecloths.
FOOD: An 1860s thatched cottage draped with nets, Fisherman’s Cottage makes for an atmospheric, intimate dinner spot. The menu is focused on seafood, and you can’t go wrong with the fresh catch of the day.
COCKTAILS: Above the Old Harbour, Coco’s Island Grill & Cocktail Bar has 10 naturally brewed craft beers on tap, well-trained mixologists and delicious regional wines. Even better, the grandstand position means you watch whales from its windows as you drink.
WHAT’S HOT THIS MONTH: At this time of year, Hermanus is considered the world’s best land-based location for whale-watching, as pods of Southern Rights fill the bay. Hermanus Whale Festival (Sept. 29 – Oct. 1) makes the most of this amazing wildlife experience, adding live music and ocean-themed family activities.
Okanagan Valley, Canada
CULTURE: Blessed with orchards and wineries aplenty, this corner of British Columbia is fast gaining a reputation for its delicious Pinot Noirs and Rieslings. Vineyard tours and tastings are how visitors spend most of their time, but a visit to working goat’s cheese farm Carmelis is not to be missed either. Kelowna’s beautiful lakeside park is perfect for afternoon strolls.
SHOPPING: Delve into the Sonora Room at Burrowing Owl winery and ask the experts to recommend the best bottles to take home as souvenirs.
FOOD: Tap into the thriving farm-to-table scene with a meal at RauDZ Regional Table, where noted chef Rod Butters has built a temple to Okanagan produce. Located in Kelowna, the bistro’s airy, open dining room is the backdrop for a seasonal menu of sharing plates.
COCKTAILS: Join the local vintners at industrial-styled wine bar Mile Zero in Penticton, where there are always 10 regional vintages on tap and dozens more available by the glass. Friday evenings have an especially spirited atmosphere with live jazz music playing.
WHAT’S HOT THIS MONTH: September sees a flurry of harvest celebrations, reflecting the region’s rich agricultural heritage. Between the Fungi Festival (Sept. 21-24), wine tastings at the Fall Festival (Sept. 28 – Oct. 8) and grape stomping at Festival of the Grape (Oct. 1), you can eat and drink to your heart’s content.
CULTURE: This history-steeped port city on Ireland’s rugged Atlantic coast has a lively bohemian vibe driven by its large student population (comprising a quarter of the city’s 75,000 citizens). Absorb a concise history of the area through Galway City Museum’s innovative displays, before taking in a thought-provoking play at the Druid Theater, where many Irish directors and writers have cut their teeth.
SHOPPING: The bustling market in Church Lane has been trading for centuries and is well worth perusing. Bibliophiles will be in their element at the labyrinthine Charlie Byrne’s Bookshop – look for well-thumbed editions by Irish authors Beckett, Joyce or Yeats – while the magpies among us are drawn to Thomas Dillon’s Claddagh Gold, Ireland’s oldest jewelry shop.
FOOD: Kai is a delightful little spot with flagstones and wooden beams, where local ingredients are put to imaginative use in dishes, such as Connemara crab with pickled cucumbers, or silver hake and yellow beetroot.
COCKTAILS: Put away the martini glasses; it’ll be pints of Guinness all round, thank you. Brightly-painted pubs heave with live music all around the city, so you’ll have plenty of opportunity to sample a proper Irish boozer – favorites include Tigh Neachtain, Murphy’s or the Gaelic-speaking Club Áras na nGael.
WHAT’S HOT THIS MONTH: The crack of shells and smell of brine fill the air as the Galway International Oyster and Seafood Festival returns for its 63rd year from Sept. 22-24. Three days of events pay tribute to this delectable shellfish. Time to get shucking…
CULTURE: With more than 80 museums around the city, culture vultures will be in their element. The Munich Documentation Centre is harrowing yet impressive; built on the site of former Nazi headquarters, it chronicles the rise of National Socialism in unflinching detail. Get the best views from the tower of St Peter’s Church (62 miles on a clear day), and join locals for a traditional spa experience at art nouveau bathhouse Müller’sche Volksbad.
SHOPPING: On the hunt for haute couture? Then trot along to Maximilianstrasse Boulevard for a seemingly endless line of luxury designer stores. Alternatively, for more eclectic finds and independent boutiques, follow the students and creative types to the vibrant Schwabing district.
FOOD: Treat yourself to a sumptuous supper at the three Michelin-starred Dallmayr, which specializes in modern presentations of continental classics. For more modest budgets there is also a fantastic on-site food hall, where you can sample traditional delicacies like Bavarian Weisswurst (white veal sausage) and German cheeses.
COCKTAILS: Sophisticates in search of well-crafted cocktails have been descending on Schumann’s Bar for a quarter of a century now. Ranked in the world’s 50 best bars, its eponymous owner created several now-famous concoctions such as the Swimming Pool and Flying Kangaroo. You’ll also need to visit some old-school beer halls: Augustiner-Keller is one of the most popular and dates back to 1812.
WHAT’S HOT THIS MONTH: Is that the sound of an oompah band tuning up? Pull on your lederhosen and grab a tankard for the riotous Oktoberfest (Sept. 16 – Oct. 3). More than six million people descend on the city to consume 7.7 million liters of beer.
CULTURE: The cobbled lanes and sophisticated galleries of Eivissa (Ibiza Town) are a far cry from this Spanish island’s “sunburn ‘n’ Stella” image. The Museo Puget showcases two of Ibiza’s most famous painterly talents, Puget Viñas and Puget Riquer, in a beautiful old palace setting, while the sleek white MACE gallery is a feast of international contemporary art.
SHOPPING: Atzaro Boutique is a real Aladdin’s Cave for luxurious trinkets and gifts, crammed with everything from candles to Ibizan rock salt and books to bracelets. Galeria Elefante also offers an array of unusual treasures, which are largely ethically sourced through NGOs.
FOOD: There are few prettier places to dine than the courtyard of La Brasa, converted stables where fairy lights are strung between the trees. Order the legendary paella, add a bottle of Tempranillo and you have yourself a magical evening.
COCKTAILS: Whether you’re seeking Champagne extravagance at iconic beach clubs like Blue Marlin, or chilled hippy vibes, the White Isle has scores of bars for all tastes. Seek out world-class mixologist Chris Edwardes at the Hidden Bar, where the quirky surroundings include vintage lampshades, giant chess and garden gnomes.
WHAT’S HOT THIS MONTH: The hedonists make the most of Ibiza’s closing parties, with epic nights out as the sun sets on another summer of DJs and dancing. Pete Tong at Blue Marlin, Craig David and Armin van Buurenare are among the high-profile acts going out with a bang in the second half of September.