What’s Hot Abroad

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

Berlin, Germany

CULTURE: A walking tour of Berlin immerses you in the 20th century’s darkest hours as well as bright spots of creativity and freedom, taking in Checkpoint Charlie and the Holocaust Memorial and graffiti-covered fragments of the Berlin Wall.

DINING: Nouveau vegetarian cuisine is served with flair (and a Michelin star) in a trendy loft-style dining room at Cookies Cream, while bijou restaurant Glass serves a five-course menu of mouthwatering Middle Eastern dishes and wines.

COCKTAILS: With a floating deck on a tree-lined canal and excellent sound system, Club der Visionäre comes alive in summertime, keeping the cocktails flowing until the early hours. Beckett’s Kopf, on the other hand, is all clandestine appeal; ring the doorbell to descend to a dimly lit lounge where the drinks menu is presented in a Samuel Beckett book.

SHOPPING: Berlin is king of the achingly cool concept store – Andreas Murkudis, Voo and Baerck are among the trendsetters displaying high-end fashion and accessories in gallery-like spaces.

WHAT’S HOT THIS MONTH: Marvel at the flexibility and flair of performers at Dance in August (Aug. 10 – Sept. 12), one of Europe’s most important contemporary dance festivals. Forget stuffy tutus and classical orchestras; this is where you’ll see cutting-edge choreography blending everything from hip-hop to digital art.

Portland, Oregon

CULTURE: Find your Zen among the koi ponds, ornamental cherry trees and a ceremonial teahouse at Portland’s Japanese garden, more stunning than ever following renowned architect Kengo Kuma’s expansion project. Embark on the 4T loop – a trail, tram, trolley and train in one well-guided tour – up to the city’s highest point to enjoy incredible panoramas.

DINING: You’ve touched down in one of America’s hippest foodie cities, with an exciting medley of global influences. Tiffin Asha tantalizes the taste buds with delicious dosa (Indian crepes stuffed with spicy fillings) and Kachka is a powerhouse of Russian dumplings.

COCKTAILS: Craft breweries can be found on every corner in Portland – we’d recommend sampling the all-organic beers and Survival Stout (made with local Stumptown coffee) at Hopworks. If rum’s more your thing, Hale Pele serves the best tiki drinks this side of Hawaii, in a wonderfully colorful, kitsch bar.

SHOPPING: Animal Traffic is an eclectic shrine to American craftsmanship, selling vintage clothing, home goods and items hand-picked for an active lifestyle. Bookworms can’t miss the chance to pay their respects at Powell’s, the world’s largest new and used bookstore, with more than one million editions within its walls.

WHAT’S HOT THIS MONTH: Bite of Oregon at Waterfront Park is an annual celebration of Portland’s food, wine and craft beer producers. Watch Iron Chef competitors cooking up a storm, listen to live bands and taste your way around the enticing stands.

Canouan, Grenadines

CULTURE: Make your way up Mount Royal, the highest point on the island at 900 feet, to experience 360-degree views across turquoise water to the Grenadines and even as far as St. Lucia on a clear day. The dramatic landscape also makes for an incredible championship golf course, considered one of the world’s top 10, which rises from sea level to the rim of an extinct volcano.

DINING: Mangrove is a relaxed beachside spot, where you can listen to the waves lapping the coast as you feast on classic Caribbean dishes – think: goat curry, conch fritters and lobster.

COCKTAILS: For artfully crafted cocktails and fine wine, settle yourself in the Hamptons-esque setting of Turtles Bar. Cool jazz tunes, a view of Godahl Beach and maritime touches add to the inviting atmosphere.

SHOPPING: You won’t find much in the way of shopping on this tiny island except for yacht supplies in Charles Town; for retail therapy head to larger neighbors St. Vincent or Barbados.

WHAT’S HOT THIS MONTH: One of Canouan’s staple crops is celebrated in August, with the Breadfruit Festival. A variety of dishes made from this huge, starchy fruit are showcased by local farmers, from quiche to candy and even drinks, while traditional drumming and dance performances make for a fantastically festive spirit.

Bristol, U.K.

CULTURE: Bristol’s engineering and seafaring heritage are writ large around the vibrant city, from Clifton’s iconic suspension bridge to Brunel’s groundbreaking SS Great Britain. M Shed, a free museum, teaches about Bristol’s past in innovative displays of film, photos and objects. Be sure to also check out the city’s vivid street art scene, starring mischievous murals by Banksy.

DINING: The all-you-can-eat ‘Bottomless Brunch’ at Brace & Browns has achieved legendary status locally, offering such delicacies as smoked mackerel and guacamole bagel or American pancakes with banana and rum syrup. For dinner, Casamia marries Michelin-starred food with homey hospitality (chefs sometimes bring dishes to the table). It was recently voted the U.K.’s best restaurant outside London

COCKTAILS: A hidden gem in the historic harborside, Milk Thistle is a stylish Prohibition-style bar offering imaginatively named tipples. Anyone for a Coffin Dodger?

SHOPPING: The upmarket Clifton neighbor is full of charming independent shops. You can scour for precious antiques at Focus on the Past, purchase beautiful stationery at Papersmiths or vintage designer clothing at Jemima Rose.

WHAT’S HOT THIS MONTH: Is it a bird, is it a plane? No, it’s a hot-air balloon. The Bristol International Balloon Fiesta (Aug. 9-12) sees over 100 of the contraptions sail over the city in Europe’s largest hot-air balloon gathering. Back on terra firma, the crowds enjoy fairground rides, food stalls and fireworks.

Niigata, Japan

CULTURE: Peaceful and beautiful shrines await exploration in this port town, the most iconic being Minato Inari which has received the prayers of sailors and their families since the Edo Period. Then there’s the Northern Culture Museum, housed in an Edo Period (1603-1868) mansion with beautiful gardens and excellent collections of calligraphy, lacquer ware and manuscripts.

DINING: In a city famous for its rice, sake and seafood, you can guarantee you’ll eat well. Pluck sublime sashimi from the conveyor belt at Kaitenzushi Benkei, feast on the nigiri platter at Sushi Yasu or see a Michelin-starred sushi master crafting rolls at Nakahisa Hoshino.

COCKTAILS: You’ll soon see where Bar Owl gets its name from – a huge collection of ceramic birds behind the bar. At this quirky and cozy spot the classic cocktails at top-notch. Or settle down in one of the private rooms at Kura no Ma and sign up for the premium all-you-can-drink menu.

SHOPPING: For edible souvenirs, Niigata Furusato Village is a vast duty-free emporium where you can pick up classic Japanese treats in cute packaging – like senbei (rice crackers), tea leaves or sake – as well as ceramics and textiles. For contemporary clothing, Bandai City Billboard Place is a slick mall with some familiar brands such as Birkenstock and Marimekko.

WHAT’S HOT THIS MONTH: A visual art festival like no other, Echigo-Tsumari Triennale (July 29 – Sept. 17) sees global artists collaborating with local communities to create dazzling in-situ installations. The artworks can be found dotted around the regions scenic terraces, villages and forests.