13 Off The Beaten Path Destinations You MUST Visit This Summer
We can all name 10 or 20 popular travel destinations to visit this summer, but have you considered the less popular destinations? The under-the-radar, off the beaten path destinations where you can beat the crowds? We have, and we dug deep to discover the best summer destinations that aren’t on your bucket list. They’re not on your radar, but these places will surprise you with their stunning landscapes, amazing food, and wonderful people, all while beating those big summer crowds! Here they are, the 13 off the beaten path destinations you MUST visit this summer.
#13 OFF THE BEATEN PATH DESTINATION: ST JOHN’S, CANADA
Looking to get away to a place with an amazing blend of history and adventure? St. John’s is your spot. Visit this picturesque small town with colourful clapboard houses clinging to steep hills, full of scenic drives and hikes along coastal trials. Get up close and personal with humpback whales – only here during summer – or have close encounters with Newfoundland’s own Atlantic puffins and floating icebergs.
There’s even more action downtown. Go for a stroll along the coast or take a detour to the beautifully located Quidi Vidi, a brewery that prides itself on being different. Visit the Cabot Tower gracing Signal Hill, a site that pays tribute to John Cabot’s voyage of discovery, or take a boat and visit the rural communities of the neighbouring islands.
From night clubs, lounges and martini bars where you can indulge in port and wine tasting, St John’s has plenty to offer. George Street is the happening street, filled with bars and great music. If you love live music, every summer St. John’s hosts the Indie festival Lawnya Vawnya, where you can hang out at Quidi Vidi and listen to your favorite bands. The Masonic Temple is another unique venue for music lovers.
The Rocket Bakery and Fresh Food is the place to begin your day, while O’Reilly’s Irish Pub truly reflects the Irish influence in the region. There are plenty of seafood restaurants to try, or you can check out St John’s Fish Exchange right on Water Street, a unique spot that offers great value for money. And of course, don’t miss the fish-and-chips places and sushi restaurants lining the harbourfront.
Outdoor adventure, live music, shopping, beer tasting and beautiful scenery – St. John’s has it all.
#12 OFF THE BEATEN PATH DESTINATION: PORTO, PORTUGAL
If you’re a wine lover, Porto is probably already on your bucket list. But even if not, Porto is very backpacker-friendly as well, so when summer rolls around, the city becomes even more lively than normal.
June is a popular month for festivals in Porto. Fireworks, musical balls, boat regattas, and open air concerts, this is how the ancient port city celebrates the festival of Saint João.
With its lavish Baroque architecture, Porto will impress you with its grandeur and style. Begin with the magnificent Palácio Da Bolsa before moving on to the period churches and cathedrals, Clerigos Tower, São Francisco Church and the twin towered Sé Do Porto, a fortress-like cathedral. Modern marvels like the Casa Da Musica and the 12 storey-high irregularly-shaped building housing the Serralves Museum are equally extravagant. Cordoaria Gardens hosts an art and camera museum housed in an old prison, a must-visit for those curious about one of the world’s most complete collections of espionage cameras.
Stop by the sandwich shop Stash in the morning. You can also go along with the trend of having petiscos during the day. For Portuguese cuisine, Cantinho do Avillez is a good place. But book ahead if you want to eat at the popular restaurant and beer garden, Brasão Cervejaria.
Do take time to shop for antiques and souvenirs at A Vida Portuguesa, and then take a stroll across the Ponte de Dom Luís Bridge at night for some amazing views of the city and waterfront. Candelabro Porto bookstore café is also a must-do.
Of course, the best attractions of Porto are the wine tasting lodges located across the river in Vila Nova de Gaia. With brash names and neon signs, you just cannot miss them, and here’s a good guide to ensure you do it right. Caves Croft offers the best of Portuguese wines, with some amazing experiences like chocolate pairings, while Real Companhia Velha walks you on a tour from 100 years back with the Vintage Port Wine Museum. The Cave Sandeman has one of the best views overlooking the river. For elegant wine tasting and fabulous views, try Churchill’s, or Graham’s for a wide variety of Port wines.
#11 OFF THE BEATEN PATH DESTINATION: CHIANG MAI, THAILAND
Built as the mighty capital of the Lanna Kingdom over 700 years ago, Chiang Mai has never been one to forget its roots. The iconic moat, once the city’s primary defense, is now dotted with fountains twinkling joyfully beneath the starlit sky. During holidays, locals light and release thousands of floating lanterns to pay homage to the Lord Buddha, a jaw-dropping spectacle that can be seen for miles. And with over 300 ancient temples within the city limits, Chiang Mai truly earns its title: The Rose of the North.
Begin by paying homage to the magnificent 700-year-old Buddhist temples, which house gigantic statues of Buddha in emerald, marble, crystal and even jade. From the top of Doi Suthep, the mountain overlooking the entirety of Chiang Mai, climb a few hundred more steps to Wat Phrathat for an even more spectacular view.
For a cool respite from the heat, visit Doi Inthanon, Thailand’s highest peak boasting 360-degree views of the surrounding rice and banana farms: it’s the closest you’ll get to heaven in a very long time. Or, set among the thickly-forested mountains just a few kilometres outside of Chiang Mai is Huay Tung Tao Lake, the secret afternoon getaway for locals. Hike the never-ending mountain trails in the afternoon, and then retire to one of a hundred or so stilted lake huts for a freshly-prepared sunset meal on the water.
In Thailand, street food is just as prevalent, or even moreso, than restaurants, so venture to Warorot Market to savour the local Thai dishes at cheap prices. AUM Vegetarian is a favourite amongst locals and travelers alike, as is NORI Sky Terrace. Take the glass elevator up, start with the edamame, and let the scents of soy and salt mix into the sweetness of the evening breeze. If you’re within the Old City, try out the beautiful Graph Table or re-energize at its perfectly-tiny sister café Graph Café.
The Nimmanhaemin neighbourhood is where Chiang Mai’s hipsters and entrepreneurs hang out, so of course there’s no shortage of coffee. 8 Days a Week, sitting down a quiet Nimman alley, is an architect’s dream — quite literally, in fact. Designed by architecture students at the nearby Chiang Mai University, concrete wall greys contrast with rustic tabletop browns to form a palette that will have your palate coming back for more. There are seats for fourteen in the off-the-radar SS1254372 Café, but everyone knows which two fill up first: the sills in the larger-than-life circular windows. Each month brings a fresh showcase of local art in the connected gallery, or if you’re hungry, try the avocado grilled chicken. A few steps away, Khao Soi 13 is another great choice for the iconic northern Thailand noodle dish.
Though the used-tires-turned-new-fashions brand is sold around the world, each one of Rubber Killer’s products is made right here in Chiang Mai. The showroom itself is a bit hard to find — navigate past the Harley-Davidson and old VW van parked in the driveway — but inside it’s full of pleasant surprises.
Other top breakfast spots include Overstand, The Hideout, The Larder, and Blue Diamond, while favourite coffee shops include The Barn Eatery & Design, Ristr8to, My Secret Café in Town, Khagee, and Food4Thought.
When you think of the word paradise, there’s a good chance that something close to Veranda High Resort comes to mind. Boardwalk trails wind through swampy rice terraces, rocky outcrops offer unique lookouts, and an infinity pool skies above it all. No luxury is spared here.
Southeast Asia is known for its markets, but none of them are quite like Chiang Mai’s South Gate Evening Market next to the iconic moat. As the sun sets along the city’s south wall, a bustling food market appears, full of locals buying and selling dishes prepared before your eyes. Cross the outer moat and you’ll find a local’s goods market of handmade clothing and accessories, Thai cooking supplies, and, of course, another round of delicious food.
#10 OFF THE BEATEN PATH DESTINATION: DUBLIN, IRELAND
On top of being named one of the top 12 beer cities in the world in 2016, summer in Dublin is a celebration filled with the proverbial Irish charm and classic local humor. The Festival of Curiosity, the Dublin Garden Festival, Midsummer Literary and Arts Festival, the Photo Ireland Festivals, various music festivals (depending on which month you’re there), and the annual summer signature festivals of Dublin, the literary Bloomsday and the culinary Taste of Dublin. Phew!
Despite its intimate size, Dublin has plenty of historical draws. The two cathedrals, Christ Church and St. Patrick’s, the Dublin Castle and the iconic Spire of Dublin towering over the city are all architectural wonders to behold. Take a tour of the artsy National Museum at Collin’s Barracks and get a glimpse of Irish martyrdom at Kilmainham Gaol. Visit the famous Trinity College, and make sure to stroll along the happening neighbourhood of Temple Bar.
If you’ve had a cultural overload of the senses, hit the beaches near the city or take a hike to the Dublin Mountains. If you feel adventurous, go mountain biking or bouldering. From cycling to walking tours and summer marathons, Dublin pulsates with energy. Shop on the Moore Street, catch a show at its many theatres or listen to popular music bands.
Evenings are best at Dublin when you can indulge in beer-sipping at Dublin Village Tavern, the popular The Brazen Head or the Coco Cabana. For a more soulful experience hang out at the rooftop bar at Fitzsimons hotel for great views; travel up to Johnnie Fox’s pub and restaurant in the Dublin Mountains or listen to traditional Irish music at O’Donoghues,O’Shea’s Merchant Bar.
The huge Guinness St. James Gate Brewery, founded by Arthur Guinness in 1759, is a rare journey into the beer heritage of the region. A guided tour of the hi-tech Guiness Storehouse is a not-to-miss sensory experience.
#9 OFF THE BEATEN PATH DESTINATION: KRAKOW, POLAND
This former royal capital of Poland is steeped in legends and if you believe, founded on the defeat of a dragon. Head out to the Wawel Castle or the Wawel Cathedral. Both have royal connections and are regal displays of Renaissance architecture. Take a stroll to the legendary Rynek Główny Town Square, the largest medieval town square in Europe, and have fun feeding the pigeons. Savor history at its most charming by visiting Krakow’s many churches, museums, and the seven synagogues. While in the area, take a sip at the Alchemia, an unpretentious tavern in the narrow streets of Jewish Quarter. In the neighbourhood is the Plac Nowy, where the hip and trendy hang out. This is where cozy cafes jostle for space with hip bars and swanky restaurants.
The Charlotte Bistro and Bakery is a great place to have breakfast or brunch. If you want to try the local cuisine, Kuchnia u Babci Maliny is the place to go. For Mediterranean and Italian food, the popular choice is Trattoria Mamma Mia. Check out the small craft brewer Tap House Pracownia Piwa i Przyjaciele for its great ambience. The night life in Krakow is with an amazing selection of pubs and bars, many of them in cellars, the most favored being Piec Art which often hosts the Jazz night.
As a culture capital, Krakow has musical events lined up almost every day. In summer, you can expect colorful festivals that are great crowd pullers, All the more reason you ought to visit Krakow. So check out this event calendar to plan your trip.
#8 OFF THE BEATEN PATH DESTINATION: LA PAZ, MEXICO
If peace and bliss are on your summer calendar, then La Paz may just be what you need. Whether you are looking for a romantic getaway, a quick downtime or a gung-ho sporty fun, La Paz has it all sans the crowd of touristy places. Summer is also when La Paz comes to life with festivities, like the La Paz Foundation Day, the San Antonio and Buena Vista festivities. With endless resorts to choose from, you can craft your La Paz stay to suit your needs and wallet.
The endless white unspoiled beaches are ideal to bathe and while away your days. Stroll along the waterfront or beachcomb the tranquil bays. Tease your photographic and nature-loving senses. Capture beautiful sunsets and colorful vistas. Jog along the promenade. Puerto Balandra, a saltwater lagoon, has some wonderful unexplored beaches. The Playa Tecolote and Tecolote Beach are equally popular .
When you want to get back to humanity, visit museums, shop for Mexican crafts, check out cave paintings, and pristine offshore islands. The city itself is a laid out in a grid, graced with ancient laurel trees and palms, creating a picturesque contrast with the surrounding desert landscape.
For the more adventurous, there is a wide range of things to do in La Paz. Golfing, sportfishing, snorkeling with sea lions, scuba diving and kayak tours for close-ups with dolphins and whales, are some mentions. Or take a cruise in the crystal blue water of the Sea of Cortez.
Grab a table at Terraza del Perla have fish tacos at Bismarksito. Stop for coffee at the Café Choya. Have brunch at Pronto Dalicatessen or the Café del Mundo. Discover great French food at Chez Moustache.
La Paz is a gourmet’s delight where seafood and fresh fish restaurants abound. For authentic Mexican food, check out Las Tres Virgenes, La Pax Restaurant, the La Paz Mexican Food, the Tailhunter with 3 floors of ocean views or the Kalakitas Mexican Food n´Drinks.
Dance the night away at the many hotspots or hang out at the Club De Yates Palmira.
#7 OFF THE BEATEN PATH DESTINATION: CASTELSARDO, ITALY
A great summer family destination away from the crowd is Castelsardo, an ideal place for exploring a rugged village while taking in some leisure activities by the sea. Castelsardo is a charming coastal village whose place in history was that of a strategic defense post. The jagged coast is marked with imposing cliffs, rocky reefs overlooking the sea and sandy beaches
The old town is perched on a hill, with historical places of interest. On the top is the chief attraction of Castelsardo, the Castello dei Doria, or the castle of the family of Doria. Walk up to the castle through a quaint maze of narrow alleys, where restaurants and souvenir shops vie for your attention. The castle currently houses the Museum of Mediterranean Weaving, but is betters known for the extraordinary views of Castelsardo and the sea. Next, take a short walk to the 14th century cathedral of Sant’Antonio Abate and the Medieval church of Santa Maria delle Grazie. Grassy slopes descend down to the rocky seashore, a sight to behold.
The new town is where the hotels are located, stretching right down to the sea, while restaurants are on the upper reaches of the town. Use the local bus service to get around town, visit the castle or go to the nearby resorts.
When in Castelsardo you must visit the Nuraghe sites. They are tower fortresses built of rocks dating back to the Neolithic Age. The Elephant Rock is the most popular site in Castelsardo, that you cannot miss.
While small cafes abound, you can dine out on local food at the Bianco – Massimo, Spezziga Gisella, or the Posadino – Tania. Not much of night life here, as the number of inhabitants are small, which marks this as a tourist village. From beautifully perched rental cottages to resorts like the Castelsardo Resort Village, there are great places to stay and dine with your family.
There are many spectacular beaches, including a little beach on the seafront road close to the Castelsardo hotels, a popular spot for tourists wanting to soak up some sun. The waters here are safe for children, and ideal for windsurfing. Make sure to rent a boat and go sailing.
And if you are lucky, you can be on time for the Ampurias Summer Festival.
#6 OFF THE BEATEN PATH DESTINATION: EL NIDO, PHILIPPINES
What’s summer without beaches and crystal clear blue waters? With more than 50 secluded beaches, enchanting lagoons, 30 dive sites and a scattering of lush islands, El Nido is a magical paradise waiting to be explored. What’s more, it makes available all that the remote Caribbean islands offer, but at a fraction of the cost.
You can do El Nido at a backpacker’s budget or savor the hospitality of luxury resorts at comparatively low prices. Chartered flights from Manila, Philippines airlines from Puerto Princesa and roads from Palawan (5-7 hours) take you to El Nido. With its largest marine sanctuary housing many protected and endangered species of flora and fauna, El Nido swears by sustainable tourism. This is visible in its crystal-clear blue waters, scenic beauty, scores of quiet white beaches and lagoons amid dense forest.
You can take your choice of activities from several operators or DIY. Cliff climbing, cave exploring, diving, waterfalls and kayaking are some of the outdoor fun lined up for you. Take a bike and explore the northern stretches or go windsurfing. Or check out the popular mainland beach, Marimegmeg. If you go early to one of the islands, you can be lucky to have some of those beaches all to yourself.
If you want to splurge, then stay at the El Nido group of sustianble island resorts. Or stay at the El Nido town and book island hopping tours. The town is also a great getaway for those who love to just lounge by the beach, or indulge in massage at one of the centers dotting the town. Don’t forget to check out local handicrafts at souvenir shops in El Nido.
The restaurants offer various cuisines, catering to all palettes. Seafood, Fillipino and French food, vies with panoramic views and entertainment (billiard, karaoke, music and dance). The Balay Tubay restaurant plays classic western favourites. The Florlit’s serves Filipino favourites from dawn to dusk. Dine at La Salangane’s terrace for French food. If you are going out to the islands, have a hearty American breakfast at Lonesome Carabao and carry take-outs. You can dine at any of the popular beachfront resto-bars – Marbers, Sea Slugs or the Og Resto Bar. Artcafé and Squidos Restaurant are other restaurants offering local and European food. Wrap with an eveing listening to the live bands at Balay Tubay, Phukka Bar, Sea Slugs and Artcafe.
From being a sleepy island El Nido is fast emerging a treasured find of the rich and famous. So go ahead and head out to El Nido before it becomes crowded and expensive.
#5 OFF THE BEATEN PATH DESTINATION: INNSBRUCK, AUSTRIA
Looking for a summer destination in European Alps far away from the madding crowd? Why not the less known but beautiful Austrian city of Innsbruck? A perfect combination of big-city luxury and small-town historic charm, Innsbruck is a unique mix of alpine natural encounters and urban experiences.
Sight-seeing in Innsbruck city includes the Imperial Palace, the 67 meters tall City Tower, St. Anne’s Column, Ambras Castle, Golden Roof Museum, Tirol Panorama Museum and the Tyrolean Folk Art Museum. Churches to visit are the Court Church, St. James’ Cathedral and the Wilten Abbey Basilic.
Memorable takeaways from Innsbruck’s modern architectural wonders are the Bergisel Ski Jump and the Hungerburg funicular railway station. Take the funicular railway up to the Karwendel Nature Park, or a Stubai tram ride for breathtaking 360° views! Ride a horse-drawn carriage. Stroll along the Maria-Theresien-Strasse, and stop by the outdoor cafes and indulge in some retail therapy.
Visit the Alpine Zoo at Innsbruck, the highest zoo in Europe. Hit the trekking trails along the south of the Inn valley. Take your pick of the many water sports laid out for summer visitors.
Walks around on foot and take a bus or hire a car when visiting neighboring villages. Stop for coffee or tea at the Cafe-Restaurant Martin. Best to buy the ‘Innsbruck Card’ that includes fees at museums and other attractions, as well as rides on buses and cable cars.
Innsbruck has a pulsating night life, with resto-bars, café-bars, music bars, casinos, discos and pubs. Listen to music while sipping beer at the Hofgarten Café or visit the 360° Cafe Winebar Lounge whose glass windows open to fabulous views. The Dom Café is a Gothic-styled bar with an out-of-world romantic setting. The Moustache Café-Bar buzzes with live music and games, Machete – Burrito Kartell is a bar cum Mexican soul food restaurant. The Prometheus Keller, Cafe-Bar Kapuziner and Kaiserstube are other popular resto-pubs.
If you are lucky, you can be in time for the annual Dance Summer Festival and the classic Innsbruck Festival of Early Music.
#4 OFF THE BEATEN PATH DESTINATION: PALMA DE MALLORCA, SPAIN
Yes, Malasaña, Madrid was just named the 4th coolest neighbourhood in the world, and yes, Bilbao ranks as the 8th most creative city in the world, but if you’re looking for Mediterranean sun and adventure by day and themed parties by night, the place to be this summer is Palma de Mallorca.
Small, sophisticated and trendy, Palma de Mallorca is the island Mallorca’s capital city on the shores of the Mediterranean. The action lies on the waterfront, where narrow medieval lanes house quaint cafes and shops, bars and pubs with al fresco dining. Walk around this traffic free zone along the tree-lined promenade, hire a bicycle, scooter or Segway.
Head out to the closest urban beach near the promenade. Go further east for long stretches of golden sand, at Portixol, Ciudad Jardin and Playa de Palma. To the west, are the sheltered beaches with calm blue waters (Illetas, Cala Mayor, Portals Nous). In the south-west of Mallorca, lie the best beaches, Cala Falco and Cala Portals Vells.
Catch the summer Festival of Sant Joan in June, with the ‘Night of Fire’ adding to the fun. Celebrate with bonfires, street parades, firework displays and rock concerts. Gastronomic events, sport events, annual opera and ballet festivals galore, what more could you ask?
Palma’s signature Gothic architecture is best showcased in the La Seu Cathedral that towers over the fishing harbor. Visit the impressive Almudaina Palace and the modernistic Palma Town Hall in the backdrop of the blue Mediterranean. Up and away from the seafront, lanes widen into modern arcades, with trendy boutiques and arty cafes.
Feeling adventurous? Go golfing, play football, sail in a yatch, or go cliff jumping and diving in the crystal clear waters. The coast offers a rich diving experience, with different dives to choose from – walls, caves, shipwrecks, tunnels and arches.
Santa Catalina is a popular market to soak in the local ambience. For local cuisine, check out old cafes, or check out the popular steakhouse Mercado Provenzal. Tapas bars and restaurants abound. Ombu, Tast Avenidas, Sa Juguetería, Tast Avenidas are some popular places for Mediterranean and local food and wines.
Wine bars, jazz clubs, night clubs, the city pulsates with music and summer fun.
#3 OFF THE BEATEN PATH DESTINATION: GUILIN, CHINA
If your travel plans this summer include a quick getaway to foreign shores sans the hassles of visa, then Guilin beckons you. Look this up for an idea of visa-free travel from your country. What’s more, holiday at Guilin will not be as heavy on your wallet as a trip to Beijing, recently named the third most creative city in the world.
Guilin is the most beautiful places in South China, with scenic landscapes and magical landforms of the karst. Streets are lined with the fragrant osmanthus trees, after which the city is named. Stay at the upper reaches for cool weather and sweeping vistas. Karst caves like the Reed Flute Cave are a unique experience, with magnificent lighting showing up the reeds inside.The best however is the Li watershed with the river snaking through farms and rice fields and along the slopes.
The Karst hills and caves are naturally forged, with ancient inscription dating to the 8th century Tang Dynasty, when most of the area was submerged under the ocean. Do not miss the amazing Elephant Trunk Hill in downtown Guilin.
Take the classic Li River cruise by luxury boats or bamboo rafts. Let loose the photographer in you with the sweeping green landscapes of Yangshuo and terraced rice fields of Longshen.
Shop for South Sea Pearls, Chinese landscape ink paintings and handicrafts made by the local tribals. Yangshuo West Street is the Guilin’s happening street, where you can pick up souvenirs or simply stroll around absorbing the culture of South China.
For an exclusively Chinese food adventure, try the Taste of Guilin, Guilin Restaurant, Gui Lin Me Fen, Guilin Zai and the Classic Guilin Rice Noodles restaurant. If you do not much care for Chinese you can have Western food at the Rosemary café. Some local must-haves are the Roasted Suckling Pigand Beer Fish, and amazing desserts like Water Chestnut cake, Water Glutinous Rice cake, Zongzi – Rice Pudding.
Night life in Guilin is all about culture and color. Two shows to watch are the Dreaming on Li River Show, and the very unique Impression Sister Liu Light Show. This will be one of your lasting impressions of Guilin, if not the meandering Li River and terraced landscapes.
#2 OFF THE BEATEN PATH DESTINATION: ISLE OF SKYE, SCOTLAND
If you want to get away from civilization and treat yourself to some R&R, then visit the Isle of Skye. Summer at Skye is usually sunny and dry, when you can take long walks and do sight-seeing on your own time. You can also take in the unique music festivals and marathons held each summer,
The Isle of Skye is known for its rugged landscapes, dramatic coastlines, narrow lochs and castles against a backdrop of snow-capped mountains. It is also a world destination for walks and climbs. Reach Skye by road across the bridge from Kyle of Lochlash, visiting the picturesque Eilean Donan Castle on the way. Or go by train from Fort William, take a ferry from Mallaig and get enthralled by the breathtaking views.
With splendid views all around, what better way to begin your stay than walking along Elgol boulder strewn beach? Visit Dunvegan Castle and carry a takeaway from the Dunvegan Castle MacLeod’s Tables Cafe. Walk the Quiraing, climb the Cuillin summit or wander around the hills of Fairy Glen. If you feel like indulging your wild side, go for ‘wild swimming’ in the Fairy Pools of Glen Brittle.
Further away, book a seat on the Seal Boat Trip. Gett up-close with seals on the rocks in Loch Dunvegan . Watch Whales at Rubha Hunish.
Feeling lazy? Stroll along the hidden bays or laze in the white sands of Coral Beach. Swim in the sea and watch the sun set. Or have a picnic at Coral Beach. Head back for a typical fish and chips session. Wind up with a massage at the Isle of Skye Day Spa.
Treat yourself to the ultimate luxury. Book a seat for a tour of Skye aboard a seaplane.
Although eating places are spread across the island, most of them are in the capital Portree. Skye is known for its award winning high-end The Three Chimneys, the Loch Bay Seafood Restaurant and the signature restaurant of famous cookery writer, the Kinloch Lodge. Many are bistros like the Dulse & BroseAros, Heritage Centre, Red Skye Restaurant, Stein Inn, and Creelers, while others have lodging too (Toravaig House Hotel, Duisdale House Hotel) Try the Cafe Arriba for homemade food.
#1 OFF THE BEATEN PATH DESTINATION: HAVELOCK, NEW ZEALAND
Tired of the heat? Then head out to Havelock for an incredible encounter with changing weathers, where the fall enthralls you with its beauty and winter unfolds before your eyes. If you love seafood and wine, this is definitely the place to go, where seafood and wine heritage is celebrated with gourmet festivals. After all, Havelock is the green-lipped mussel capital of the world!
Formerly a fishing village, Havelock has emerged as a historic coastal town, where you can take hiking trails in the crisp cool air, or soak in the charm of a place that seems on the other side of the world! You can have your fill of sea adventure, with boat charters, cruises, fishing trips, guided sea kayaking or independent paddle boats. At the same time, have the most unforgettable culinary experience at neighborhood Marlborough. Have a romantic outing. Take the Greenshell Mussel Cruise, where you can sip the crisp Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc and eat freshly cooked green lipped mussels. Marlborough’s own Pinot Noir and the famous Marlborough cheese are other must-haves.
There is plenty to do. Not much crowds too at this time. Hire water taxis or charter boats at the marina. Go fishing, cruising or sailing the endless bays. Or relax and enjoy the splendid views.
While at Havelock, you must take one of the guided trip that let you soak in the sounds of sea nd wwildlife – the Pelorus and Kenepuru Sounds, and the Milfor Sound. Havelock is a nature lover’s paradise. Visit the amazing Pancake Rocks. Stargaze at night at Lake Tekapo. Visit Nelson Lakes National Park, and the Franz Josef Glacier. Tongariro National Park is not for the faint-hearted, but the exhilarating walk up to Mt Doom (from the The Lord of the Rings trilogy) is worth the experience.
Have breakfast and dinner at Havelock’s famous Mussel Pot Restaurant and Café, or savor succulent mussel pies at Inlet Bakery & Café. Order a sample platter for lunch at the award winner Slip Inn, where the waterfront views are splendid. Try Captain’s Daughter when returning from Nelson. Soak in the old-world charm at the tiny Apples for Charlotte. Dine at the Pelorus Bridge Café. And if you’re really liking what New Zealand has to offer, make the trip to Christchurch, the 4th most creative city in the world and just an afternoon’s drive from Havelock. You’ll be glad you did.
Working holiday, backpacking or honeymooning, Havelock is the ideal destination to beat the summer crowds.
Which of these places are you going to check out this summer? If off the beaten path destinations don’t matter to you and you’d rather just hit the hottest spots of the summer, definitely check out our guide to the 11 best cities to visit this summer. Or if you’re just itching for an ice cold brew, why not take a look at our search for the best beer in the world in the top 12 beer cities of 2016? The travel opportunities are endless this summer, so just promise yourself one thing: you’re going to go somewhere.