San Sebastián, Gipuzkoa, Spain
Jazz on the BeachTake a lovely cityside beach and combine it with a free festival stage featuring jazz greats, and you have the recipe for a world-famous festival, right? Well, only in understated San Sebastián is this still a relatively well-kept secret.
For those visiting in late July, Jazzaldia is one of the city's most beloved festivals, in part because it's so democratic. Jazz, at any hour. Jazz, on various stages. Only the most private and privileged spots charge an entry fee. The shows on the Zurriola Beach, which have hosted everyone from Gloria Gaynor to Jackson Browne to James Vincent McMorrow, are free, along with side stages featuring less famous but equally fascinating jazz groups.
So tuck into a Heineken (the famous brewing company sponsors of the festival, so the beer is everywhere) and lay out your picnic blanket to watch the sunset and hear some jazz.