While many summer travelers head to larger capital cities, often filled with tourists and long lines, the world’s most rewarding and best-kept secrets are also the most affordable. Below, save some money with these less-traversed gems and pair with your favorite wine. San Juan, Puerto Rico Dubrovnik, Croatia Vancouver, Canada La Paz, Bolivia Karpathos, Greece
After Hurricane Maria devastated the island, there’s slowly a return to its bright colors and charm. Stroll along Old San Juan’s blue cobblestoned streets, see where rum is made and visit the lush El Yunque National Forest. Cool off with a refreshing coconut paleta (flavored ice). To stay, drop your bags at the small, tidy 20-room Decanter Hotel. Bonus points: U.S. citizens don’t need a passport.
Pair Your Adventure: Diamond Collection Pavilion Chardonnay
With its old world charm, massive stonewalls and Adriatic coast, Dubrovnik largely remains under-travelled. Spend your days touring the baroque and renaissance monuments and the Gothic-flared Rector’s Palace. And, if you’re in the market for medieval fortresses towering over the city, look no further than Bokar. At night, stroll the well-manicured gardens and stay in the charming 400-year-old Bokun Guesthouse.
Pair Your Adventure: Directors Cut Cabernet Sauvignon
For a dose of diversity, head to Canada. The bustling friendly city of Vancouver, features cobbled streets and boutiques that line the historic Gastown neighborhood. To stretch your legs, hop on a bike and check out over 800 miles of bikeways (or explore the leafy Stanley Park). For an arty stay between Chinatown and Gastown, check out Skwachàys Lodge or nearby the Fairmont Pacific Rim offering reasonably-priced luxury.
Pair Your Adventure: Directors Cut Chardonnay
For those looking for outdoor time in South America’s winter (now though October), La Paz has superior slopes for skiing. For those looking for a peek into the country’s rich past, Museo del Oro exhibits precious jewels while the Witches’ Market (don’t let the name scare you) is stocked with locally handcrafted wares and natural folk remedies. At night, check in to the sleek, modern Casa Grande Hotel.
Pair Your Adventure: Diamond Collection Malbec
Offering the same chic landscape of Santorini, this island dates back to the 5th century BC and offers archeological sites and museums. Of course, you came to here for the white-sand beaches and water sports—fishing, sailing and scuba diving. There’s also plenty of Mediterranean cooking inside the rustic-coastal tavernas dotting the countryside. End your long days with at the Alimounda or a design savvy Airbnb.
Pair Your Adventure: Directors Cut Merlot
While many summer travelers head to larger capital cities, often filled with tourists and long lines, the world’s most rewarding and best-kept secrets are also the most affordable. Below, save some money with these less-traversed gems and pair with your favorite wine.
San Juan, Puerto Rico
La Paz, Bolivia