From San Francisco to Barcelona, the kickoff to summer is full of design-centric excuses to pack your bags
5. Washington, D.C.
Despite chaos over at the White House, the nation’s capital is undergoing a design renaissance. And June 21–24, the inaugural By the People Festival will combine art and activism with a series of interactive art installations, ballet performances, concerts by punk bands, talks by high-profile speakers, and an augmented-reality art hunt. Ready to join the festivities? Book a room at the LINE DC, the city’s hippest new hotel, set in a renovated church with 220 rooms, a radio broadcasting studio, and dining and drinking options by acclaimed chefs Erik Bruner-Yang and Spike Gjerde.
4. Porquerolles, France
Forget Cannes—aesthetes and art lovers will be flocking to the under-the-radar island of Porquerolles off the Côte d’Azure this summer to see the new Fondation Carmignac, which opens June 2. For the first time, the general public will be able to ogle Édouard Carmignac’s incredible collection, which includes works by Jean-Michel Basquiat, Roy Lichtenstein, John Baldessari, Willem de Kooning, Alexander Calder, Andy Warhol, Jeff Koons, and many others. A 15-hectare garden features additional works. The island lacks the five-star hotels common on the mainland, but Le Mas du Langoustier is a nice option with a great location, alfresco dining, and a pool.
3. San Francisco
Happening June 7–15, San Francisco Design Week will gather the Bay Area’s most innovative minds for a thought-provoking series of talks, workshops, and events touching on everything from design ethics to AI and immersive design. Luckily for visitors, San Francisco has never had better hotel options. From the Japanese-inspired Hotel Kabuki in Japantown to the Proper Hotel with its eclectic design by Kelly Wearstler, there are lots of great places to stay. We’re especially excited for the opening of the Phoenix Hotel, a midcentury motor lodge with a rock-and-roll past—now being redeveloped by hitmaking hotelier Liz Lambert.
Gaudí’s playground proves its penchant for avant-garde thinking is still alive and well during Barcelona Design Week. This year’s edition takes place June 5–14 and challenges participants to re-evaluate outdated models of urban planning, architecture, and design. While in town, be sure to visit Gaudí’s Casa Vincens, which opened to the public for the first time last fall. Stay at the gorgeous Cotton House Hotel—located in the 19th-century headquarters of the Cotton Textile Foundation and restored by acclaimed designer Lázaro Rosa-Violán—or the Majestic Hotel & Spa, a member of Leading Hotels of the World with an impressive art collection counting more than 1,000 works.
1. Valletta, Malta
The Mediterranean island of Malta has been celebrating its status as 2018 European Capital of Culture all year, but for travelers who want the full experience, the best time to go is this summer. Starting June 29 and running through July 15, the Malta International Arts Festival will take over the island with site-specific installations, concerts, dance and opera performances, film screenings, and interactive events. Plus, you can enjoy perfect weather and soak up the Mediterranean sun. Check into the stately Phoenicia Malta, a member of Leading Hotels of the World with a history dating back to 1566 and 7.5 acres of gardens.