Visit-worthy getaways within easy reach of Seoul, Tokyo, Los Angeles, Florence and Mexico City.
Stay: Hotel Jeonggwanru: Located on Namiseom Island. Choose a cottage with a western-style bed or sleep on the floor in one of the Korean-style villas modelled on a hanok, with views of Bukhan River.
Dinner: Drivers’ Restaurant: South Koreans put plenty of faith in the food recommendations of taxi drivers and Gapyeong is no different. The marinated grilled pork – the main thing on the menu at this modest diner – attracts plenty of drivers and locals.
+82 31 582 3411
Drinks: Lounge & Bar, Ananti Penthouse Seoul: This discreet hilltop retreat quietly opened its restaurant and bars to the public towards the end of 2018. Take a seat at the elegant Lounge & Bar for a signature cocktail called the Forest: a mix of crème de cassis and cinnamon.
Buy: Munhori River Market: Munhori village puts on an outdoor market on the third weekend of each month. An array of stalls, lined up along the banks of Bukhan River, sell crafts and organic produce.
+82 10 5267 2768
Visit: Unaksan Mountain: Hiking up to the top of this mountain, one of the most renowned in South Korea, offers above-the-canopy views of the whole Gapyeong region and is only a short distance from bustling Seoul.
Culture: Hyeondeungsa Temple: Set on the slopes of Unaksan Mountain, this tranquil 6th-century temple was built by a Silla king for an Indian Buddhist priest. The two Asian countries’ unlikely shared history saw the South Korean first lady go on a personal visit to India at the end of 2018.
+82 31 585 0707
Stay: Kumu: Kanazawa’s traditional culture is given a contemporary twist at this 47-room hotel, which includes private tea lounges and works by artists such as Nerhol.
Breakfast: Hirami Pan: Ease into the morning at this cosy bistro. Breakfast is a choice of croque madame or quiche, while the freshly baked canelé, tarts and scones make for sweet souvenirs.
Coffee: Higashide Coffee: Perched alongside the busy Omicho Market, this kissaten (coffee shop) serves about 20 in-house roasts. Take a seat at the counter and watch the master at work.
Lunch: Sarashina Fujii: Head to this restaurant, located around the corner from the 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, for a refreshing meal of handmade soba – and don’t leave without trying the seasonal tempura.
+81 (0)76 265 6870
Drinks: Kanazawa Music Bar: Rather than just another lobby bar, Kaname Inn and music producer Shinichi Osawa have created a listening experience. Wind down with a drink as crackling vinyls play.
Buy: Benllys & Job: New meets old in Shintatemachi, where this select shop offers an abundance of tools for the home, office and outdoors. Leather goods are made in the workshop upstairs.
Culture: Ishibiki Public: Visit this bookshop to stock up on monthly magazines and publications covering everything from architecture to music. You’ll also find small press titles and a risograph printing studio.
Visit: Sai River: Stretch your legs on a riverside run alongside the Sai, taking in views of the mountains as you head out of the city.
Stay: Thacher House: This historic five-room guesthouse – founded by Calvin Zara, who moved here from Los Angeles – overlooks a lush estate and exudes a relaxed elegance. A glass of local Californian wine, pickled homegrown vegetables and homemade cheese await you on arrival.
Dinner: Nocciola: Italian native Pietro Biondi and his wife Julie Hara serve homemade pasta, such as wild-boar pappardelle, and other northern Italian classics at the old craftsman’s house turned restaurant and bar in the town centre.
Buy: In the Field: This bohemian boutique was the first of its kind when it opened in Ojai in 2014, displaying a selection of mindfully manufactured brands from clothing to restored furniture, including intricate kaftans, and tables and chairs by Swedish designer Bruno Mathsson.
Culture: Porch Gallery: Located in the historical John Montgomery House, dating from 1847, this gallery showcases emerging and established contemporary artists in a relaxed and inviting setting. The gallery is best visited of a Sunday morning when its curators join visitors for informal art talks over a cup of coffee out on the gallery’s porch.
Visit: Ecotopia Natural Hot Springs: A 8km trail through Matilija Canyon leads to these natural hot springs, ideal for a post- hike swim.
Stay: Olimagio: This countryside farmhouse offers rural luxury just 3km from the centre, with private cottages available and an on-site restaurant that sources ingredients from its fields.
Lunch: Osteria La Brocca: An easygoing restaurant for locals serving the fisherman’s speciality of fettuccine alla trabaccolara, as well as other scrumptiously prepared regional dishes.
+39 0584 184 8202
Dinner: Il Lunedì dello Studio: A former marble atelier tucked away in a quiet backlot, this restaurant is the best place to soak up the spirit of the town’s creative denizens.
+39 0584 793 930
Drinks: B’art: Facing out on Igor Mitoraj’s bronze Centaur sculpture, this eclectic gallery and bar is the cocktail destination of the city’s artists and art lovers.
+39 328 448 6975
Buy: Mac: This shop is a treasure trove for womenswear and vintage furniture from hard-to-find Italian, French and Japanese designers.
Visit: Nimbus Surfing Club: Surfing and windsurfing are easy to learn on the Tyrrhenian’s bantam-sized waves. Nimbus offers lessons and a slice of southern California vibes in Tuscany.
Stay: La Casa Rodavento: This seven-suite hotel in the centre of town is a charming place to rest your head. Floor-to-ceiling colonial-style windows overlook a leafy courtyard and pool.
Lunch: Restaurante Paraíso: Specialising in seafood and overlooking the lake, with a good-value set lunch and large patio, this convivial restaurant is a wonderful spot for a sun-downer.
+52 726 262 4731
Drinks: Mestizo: A rooftop bar filled with parasols and party-goers that serves a dangerously long list of locally distilled liquors.
Buy: Venado Azul: A contemporary-art gallery that’s a suitable starting point for window-shopping along Calle de Joaquín Arcadio Pagaza.
Visit: Alaventura: A certified paragliding school offering spectacular tandem glides.