There are thousands of awesome cities to get away to this summer, and we understand that it's tough to settle on the one or two you want to visit. Fortunately, we’ve got a few ideas for you. These trending cities promise to surprise you with their unique attractions, culinary delicacies and beautiful landscapes. All you have to do is book your flight and pack your bags.
France’s third largest city is just two hours from Paris, but its unique character and cultural attractions make it very much its own. The city seamlessly blends old and new architecture. The 2,000-year-old Ancient Theatre of Fourvière is a must-visit destination, as is the thoroughly modern architecture in Confluence, which sits between the Rhône and the Saône in the southern part of the city. Lyon has more restaurants per capita than anywhere else in France and is renowned as a mecca for local cheeses, produce and prestigious French cuisine.
An affordable destination that is just making a name for itself with tourists, the up-and-coming city of Yerevan is a thriving metropolis with trendy eateries, great public transportation and loads of historical treasures. The capital city of Armenia is relatively small and totally walkable, and bonus for you coffee lovers — Yerevan is full of cafes with amazing coffee. You could spend days walking the city, exploring art museums and relaxing in the many green spaces, but you are also within a day’s drive of some of Armenia’s most incredible natural and historical attractions, including Lake Sevan and the monasteries of the Aragatsotn region and Lori.
While most travelers head to Cusco in hopes of visiting Machu Picchu, high in the Andes Mountains, the city is also a mecca for tourists and backpackers. We would never suggest that you head to Cusco without visiting Machu Picchu, but we definitely recommend sticking around to give the city a bit of attention as well. Cusco is considered the party capital of Peru, with lots of trendy nightclubs that provide music and dancing seven days a week until the wee hours of the morning. Cusco is also home to a number of incredible ruins, including the Temple of the Sun — considered the crown jewel of the Inca empire, and the breathtaking fortress ruins of Sacsayhuaman.
Portland, Maine, United States
It’s not just the gorgeous harbor views and lobster dinners that make Portland, Maine, a new hotspot for travelers to New England. The city has grown and prospered over the last decade, and now boasts a lively music, food and art scene that entwines with the maritime heritage of a thriving seaport. Highlights of this beautiful coastal city include shopping in the historic Old Port District, free breweries tours at Portland’s many craft breweries and day cruises to one of the coastal islands in Casco Bay. Be sure to stroll along the Eastern Promenade right on the water and spend at least an afternoon at the Portland Museum of Art. Lobster dinners are still a must during your visit, and there are dozens of unique restaurants to get your fix of Maine seafood.
The ancient capital city of Kyoto is one of Japan’s greatest treasures, famous for elaborate Japanese gardens, Buddhist temples, gorgeous Shinto shrines and traditional tea houses. Kyoto is a mysterious paradise — the heart of cultural and historic Japan, and it’s the perfect destination for a couples getaway or a solo retreat. Outdoor escapes abound in and around the city, including Enryaku-ji, where you can explore dark forests and numerous temples on top of a mountain, and 17 UNESCO World Heritage sites, which consist of breathtaking temples and their flourishing gardens. The city is small, very walkable and has amazing public transportation to help you travel between different districts.