Travel is booming this summer in the United States. According to the US Travel Association, 47.7 million Americans are expected to travel on Independence Day, 40% more than last year and the second-highest number of all time after 2019.
If you are one of those who want to hit the road, Forbes travel guide have found the best places to travel in July, ranging from a unique new park in New York to a James Bond-themed dinner in London.
As Italy reopens to vaccinated Americans (unvaccinated tourists must prove they have contracted COVID-19 and have recovered or provide a negative COVID-19 PCR test or rapid antigen test done within 48 hours following departure), we can’t wait to return to Florence.
A few steps from the famous Ponte Vecchio, Lungarno Hotel – Lungarno Collection welcomes families with summer activities like Renaioli boat rides in the Arno, hot air balloon rides ending with a champagne toast and picnics in the Tuscan hills. Another incentive to stay here is the Family Getaway Special, which gives you a second bedroom for half the price, or reserves an entire floor for your brood.
Hudson River Park recently introduced Little Island, a 2.7-acre green space made up of 132 uniquely shaped concrete tulip structures springing from the water. The free park requires a programmed entry to discover its 350 species of flowers, trees and shrubs, and the outdoor amphitheater on the waterfront with 687 seats. Artist-in-Residence PigPen Theater Co. will host a lineup of New York songwriters, musicians, poets and performers for the Storytelling Festival (July 21-25).
Stay in Walker Greenwich Village Hotel, which is less than a mile from Little Island. After a day at the park, retreat to the boutique hotel’s sunken lobby with light-filled staircases, the intimate Society Café for fresh American cuisine, or your inviting bedroom with art deco flowers.
Cool off with the family this summer at Baha Mar Resort’s new Baha Bay, a beachfront water park that opens on July 2. But you must be a guest of Baha Mar rosewood, Grand Hyatt or SLS if you want to hurtle down 24 waterslides, go on a dueling roller coaster, take raft rides or catch the current in the 500,000 gallon wave pool. When you want to dry off, play Gaming Pavilion at Baha Bay, the world’s first outdoor casino inside a water park.
Plan your visit for the Grand Hyatt’s Marcus Grand Opening at Baha Mar Fish + Chop House on July 17, celebrity chef Marcus Samuelsson’s restaurant serving locally-caught and sustainably-caught seafood and premium dry-aged cuts . It will also unveil Marcus Up Top, a rooftop cocktail bar with beach views and live music.
If you want to expand, escape to the 8,000 acre Biltmore Estate in the Blue Ridge Mountains. A summer ticket will give you access to the largest house in America (built by George Vanderbilt, it has 35 bedrooms and 43 bathrooms); access to pristine 80-acre gardens and over 20 miles of trails; free tastings at the cellar on site; and more.
Although you cannot stay in the Biltmore house, The Inn on Biltmore Estate is the next best option. The furnishings and decor of the 210 rooms are inspired by Biltmore’s grounds, gardens, art and architectural details. Don’t miss the elegant Dining room at the Inn on Biltmore Estate, a gastronomic experience featuring local ingredients raised at the estate.
The city comes back to life with the return of summer festivals. Enjoy the beloved classical concerts of the Grant Park Music Festival (July 2 to August 21), country music and barbecue from Windy City Smokeout (July 9 to 11) and the more than 170 bands of Lollapalooza (from 29 July to August 1).
Favorite attractions are also back. The Skydeck Chicago at Willis Tower, the tallest observation deck in the United States, recently reopened after a major renovation with a new Chicago-themed lower-level museum and a renovated 103rd floor with interactive stations and Instagrammable backgrounds.
Embark on a river cruise with popular architecture with The Langham, Chicago. The Architecture Langham Loves Chicago package includes two Chicago Architecture Center-led tour passes plus a stay at the five-star hotel, which itself is a mid-century modern landmark of architect Mies van der Rohe.
Don’t worry if you haven’t made any plans for July 4th yet. Head to Vegas for a vacation show. At 11 p.m. PDT on July 4, a coordinated fireworks display will be launched from the rooftops of ARIA Resort & Casino, Caesars Palace Las Vegas, Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino, the brand new Resorts World Las Vegas, The STRAT Hotel, Casino & Skypod, The Venetian Resort Las Vegas and Treasure Island Las Vegas.
For a unique perspective, take Maverick Helicopters’ Stars & Stripes flight on July 4th. You’ll fly over the Strip in a luxury helicopter and land 2,900 feet above the valley for sweeping views of the fireworks.
The long weekend will also mark the return of live entertainment with Dave Chappelle on stage at the MGM Grand Garden Arena, Bill Burr making him laugh. The cosmopolitan of Las Vegas and Miley Cyrus making the crowds dance at Resorts World.
While the new Rosewood Le Guanahani St. Barth won’t debut until October, it offers a glimpse of its Caribbean paradise in Paris.
Hôtel de Crillon, a rosewood hotel hosts the Plage Concorde Le Guanahani, a summer pop-up on its bright terrace with sand, chic beach chairs, colorful towels, fruity drinks and refreshing treats like homemade ice cream and sorbets; vanilla ice cream sandwiches with pecan cookies and salted caramel dipped in dark chocolate and served on a stick; and affogato (ice cream drizzled with espresso).
On July 3, the Institute of Contemporary Art will launch ‘Virgil Abloh: Figures of Speech’, the first museum exhibition dedicated to the work of artist and designer Virgil Abloh, founder and creative director of the fashion brand Off-White and director artistic Louis Vuitton menswear.
See the exhibition like a VIP with the help of Four Seasons One Dalton Street Hotel, Boston. Her New Boston: Art + Fashion Experience package includes a pair of ‘Figures of Speech’ tickets, a limited edition exhibit sweatshirt, two art-inspired cocktails at the Trifecta Hotel Lobby Bar, and accommodation in the elegant property.
SingleThread Farms Restaurant is one of the hardest reservations to land in Sonoma. But there’s another way to experience exquisite farmhouse cuisine: head to San Diego.
Fairmont Grand Del Mar will host a SingleThread and Relais & Châteaux pop-up on July 16 and 17. Chef William Bradley, who oversees Grand Del Mar’s Addison Restaurant, will collaborate with SingleThread Chef Kyle Connaughton and Co-Owner / Head Farmer Katina Connaughton on an eight-course tasting menu that highlights Californian seasonal ingredients including tomatoes, Japanese greens and fruit from the orchard of the SingleThread summer harvest.
If you can’t wait for the 25th 007 film to release in October, attend The Milestone Hotel & Residences‘The Art of Bond Dinner Series. Each installment pays homage to a different film of James Bond’s work, and July 17th will be “An Evening with Dr. No”. Start with champagne and canapes, listen to movie trivia, and follow a masterclass with the five-star hotel’s head mixologist to learn how to make three iconic Bond cocktails, including a shaken, un-stirred martini. Next, you’ll move on to a five-course menu inspired by Ian Fleming’s spy novels.
If you can’t attend this month, roll the dice at the “Casino Royale” dinner on September 25th.
In the 1860s, the first Archbishop of Santa Fe built a chapel and pavilion on a plot of land. It later served as the Pulitzer family home and hosted several US presidents over the years. On July 1, it debuted as Bishop’s Lodge, Auberge Resorts Collection, a refuge that spans 317 acres and sits next to the Santa Fe National Forest.
Enjoy the great outdoors with the hotel’s horseback riding and fly fishing offers. Or tap into Santa Fe’s artistic tradition with a walking tour of the Canyon Road Galleries or Artist-in-Residence outdoor painting events, ceramic classes and interactive experiences with chefs, winemakers, songwriters, authors, naturalists and other art experts.