1. See Some of the World’s Best Photography
Founded in 1970, Les Rencontres d’Arles is to photography what Fashion Week is to couture. Every summer, shutterbugs and gallery owners from around the world converge on this Provençal town—where van Gogh painted some of his most famous works—to check out emerging talent and trends. Even folks whose interest in photography is limited to Instagram will get a charge from shows like the one pictured, held in the usually shuttered Church of St. Blaise. July 6–September 20, rencontres-arles.com. —Lisa Trottier
2. Visit Japan’s Secret Shore
Morgan Collett, cofounder of Saturdays Surf NYC, has caught waves everywhere from Costa Rica to Indonesia. He makes one destination a routine, though: Kamakura, Japan. It’s not just the perfect water conditions that have appealed to him. Only an hour away from Tokyo, the beaches of this city offer an experience you can’t get anywhere else. “You feel so completely hidden away,” Collett explains. “The beach has dark black sand and is lined with all of these coves and rolling hills. Then, in the distance, you can see Mt. Fuji.” There’s more than just the outdoors to explore in Collett’s paradise: Travelers can visit shrines such as the 13th-century Kencho-ji and fill up on handmade soba noodles from Nakamura-an, an institution locals swear by. —Jennifer Flowers
3. Sail Around the World
Fall cruises transport you to dreamy destinations without the crowds. For sunsets and vintage wine, opt for SeaDream’s 112-person voyage (Oct. 23 to Nov. 1) from Rome to Malaga, hosted by a champagne pro from France’s Bollinger vineyard. From $4,950, seadream.com. Book any of Celebrity’s Iberian cruises and you can tack on five days to explore Kenya’s greatest national parks, including Lake Nakuru, home to giraffes, rhinos, and flamingos. From $8,000, celebritycruises.com. Instead of doing the drive up Oregon’s coast, try a steamboat ride along the Columbia River. American Queen’s itineraries offer views of snow-capped mountains. From $3,780, americanqueen.com.
4. Feed Your Creative Spirit in the Bahamas
The beauty of the just-opened Island House in Nassau is that it feels like a small community of creative local minds. The 48-seat cinema screens films made in the Caribbean. Bahamian musicians perform live sets. Even the pottery throughout the 30 rooms was made by ceramicists in town. There are plenty of ways to stay active, too: The hotel has a squash court and an anti-gravity yoga studio, and, of course, the beach is mere steps away. From $550, the-island-house.com. —Jen Murphy
Photo by Burcu Basar.
This appeared in the June/July 2015 issue.