Summers are made for venturing out, winding down, whisking away, and (finally) living it up! Looking for your next happy place? Here are BELLA’s very best venues to wine, dine, mix, mingle, or make a splashor mad dash with winners in 17 categories!
Best Dining View
For dinner and drinks with an extraordinary view, head over to Sanctuary Camelback Mountain Resort & Spa in Paradise Valley, Arizona. The resort’s signature bar serves up jaw-dropping views of Scottsdale from Camelback Mountain—where the resort is perched—that can’t be seen from anywhere else. Plus, Food Network star, Executive Chef Beau McMillan, creates sensational farm-fresh American cuisine with Asian accents.
SANCTUARY CAMELBACK MOUNTAIN RESORT & SPA
PARADISE VALLEY, AZ
Best Rooftop Pool
With a great beach resort atmosphere in downtown Nashville, there is no better place that feels like an island paradise in the heart of Music City than at Margaritaville Hotel Nashville. Soak up the sun and take in fantastic views of the skyline from the fourth-floor pool deck. With its beach-bar vibe and an extensive collection of boat drinks, brews, and—of course—namesake margaritas for which they’re known.
Best Street Art
Richmond has one of the largest street art collections in the country with over 100 murals on vibrant, colorful walls popping up all over the city, painted by local and international artists. The annual RVA Street Art Festival is a homegrown celebration of street art in the region, transforming and invigorating neglected areas of the city with murals and paintings by local, national, and global artists, benefitting local arts charities and conducting arts outreach in underserved communities.
Best Comfort Food
In all the hustle and bustle of Jersey City, you’ll find this gem right in the center of the up-and-coming food scene. City Diner is a seasonal, from-scratch kitchen with a full bar. They have been serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner with specialty cocktails in Jersey City since 2010. From mouth-watering burgers to the perfect Eggs Benny, it’s the ultimate spot to devour all the classic comfort dishes and experience all-day delicious.
JERSEY CITY, NJ
Best Place to Play
The Playhouse is a bar, vintage arcade, and burger joint (Swillburger) housed in a historic 1890 former baptist church. Known for serving up some of the most delicious burgers and fries (as well as occasional specialties, such as “Garbage Tots,” vegan sandwiches, even a lobster roll), the Playhouse brings food and fun together with original pinball machines, Big Buck Hunter, Pac-Man, Donkey Kong, and other old-school games lining the walls. The backlit and colorful bar serves up beer, wine, and cocktail specials all evening long.
Best Rosé Cocktail
The “Hair Toss (Check My Nails)” is one of the most popular seasonal cocktails on the menu at The Katharine, a French restaurant in downtown Winston-Salem, NC. It’s made with Titos Vodka, Bouvet Sparkling Rosé, Strawberry-infused Simple Syrup, and lemon juice. They don’t serve Frozé because they say, well, this….is simply better! Flash shaken with crushed ice. Baby, how you feelin’?
Best Boozy Elixer
If you’re seeking the ultimate summer sip, look no further than Spiro’s Restaurant and Lounge, a must-stop if you’re heading out east to The Hamptons. The Watermelon Basil Smash is a spectacular elixir, and the cocktail is created with GREY GOOSE Essences Watermelon & Basil Vodka, Golden Falernum, fresh muddled watermelon, and basil, topped with champagne. It’s instantly refreshing!
ROCKY POINT, NY
Best Summer Bite
Once you have a bite of a fresh, in-season Georgia peach, there’s no going back. Most of the peaches you see in the grocery store are picked too early, resulting in a mealy, bland taste. The Georgia Peach Truck works with a 120-year-old peach farm in Georgia to provide the East Coast with fresh, ripe peaches. Whether you meet them at a Farmers Market in Atlanta or on their summer road trip to over 120 locations, the Georgia Peach Truck ensures you have the best bite of the summer season.
GEORGIA PEACH TRUCK
Best Luxury Lean-to
The hand-crafted luxury lean-tos at Whiteface Lodge are great spots to enjoy a cocktail and cigar under the starry Lake Placid sky. These structures are unique to the Adirondacks and the epitome of rustic elegance. Sheltered on three sides and open to stargazing, they are furnished with cozy soft seating, bright throw rugs, and fire pits that provide a dreamy setting for a warm summer evening. Cocktails, cigars, and snacks are a phone call away thanks to a dedicated line to access concierge services, making for a magical experience.
THE WHITEFACE LODGE
LAKE PLACID, NY
Best Gilded Age Getaway
As one of only 12 remaining Gilded Age mansions in the Berkshires constructed at the turn of the 20th century, Blantyre Country Estate provides a timeless ultra-luxury experience enhanced by specialty features and services. The Relais & Châteaux resort continues to redefine bespoke New England travel with innovative offerings and exclusive guest amenities, including the new permanent residency of Michelin-starred chef Daniel Boulud’s Café Boulud at Blantyre.
BLANTYRE COUNTRY ESTATE
Best Caviar Tasting
The Caviar Co.’s exciting new caviar and champagne tasting room is a top-notch spot to treat yourself to some posh wining and dining. The hot spot features fantastic caviar flights (with a build-your-own option), caviar bites, bubbles, and champagne by the glass and bottle—the champagne vending machine is a huge hit! Menu items include black truffle grilled cheese with caviar, burrata, smoked trout roe dip, and more.
THE CAVIAR CO CAVIAR AND CHAMPAGNE TASTING ROOM
Best Wellness Escape
If you’re looking to escape to the Catskills and focus on self-care, YO1 Health Resort recently launched a Restorative Wellness Package designed to help you decompress from stress and enhance your overall well-being. Situated on 1,400 acres of lush forest and surrounded by lakes, it includes your choice of massage (Swedish, aromatherapy, or hot stone), as well as a mud therapy session and hydrotherapy session, luxurious lake view suite accommodations, three vegan and vegetarian meals a day, and more. It’s a spectacular way to reconnect!
YO1 HEALTH RESORT
Best Strawberry Shortcake
Nothing screams summer like a classic, fluffy strawberry shortcake, and South Florida’s Lilly Cakes is hard to beat. Marsha Daly-Martorano started the homegrown dessert brand in 2011 from the pastry kitchen at Café Martorano’s Fort Lauderdale. Lilly Cakes feature the freshest ingredients in its one-of-a-kind homemade desserts. Besides the delicious strawberry shortcake, signature Lilly Cakes desserts also include lemon cupcakes, chocolate chip cookies, butter cookies, and red velvet cake.
FORT LAUDERDALE, FL
Best NYC Skyline Views
Atop 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge, Harriet’s Rooftop is an open-air garden and bar with unparalleled panoramic views of the Manhattan skyline and Brooklyn Bridge. It’s the perfect place to chill this summer and enjoy handcrafted cocktails, sustainable wines, and local beers, paired with light bites spotlighting local and seasonal ingredients.
HARRIET’S ROOFTOP & LOUNGE
Best Pool Bar
Located between waterfalls in a rustic cave setting, the Grotto Bar at the Hyatt Regency Maui Resort and Spa offers a unique place to grab a drink and light pub fare. A truly cool spot to enjoy happy hour, you can swim up to the bar for an exclusive menu of frozen and traditional cocktails, as well as TVs that stream the day’s gaming action. Set on 40 acres on Ka’anapali Beach, the Maui resort is a getaway paradise.
HYATT REGENCY MAUI RESORT AND SPA
Best Rental Villa
This Balinese-style retreat is nestled unassumingly in a quiet, upscale residential area of the Encino neighborhood in Los Angeles—a modern hideaway that will transport you to another world. Refurbished with custom furniture and interior decor imported directly from Bali, this Nimbali Villa was created by the owner’s own inspirations of travel for a “permanent-vacation” feel and escape to her favorite Southeast Asian country. Designed with comfort, style, and of course, great photos in mind, no expense was spared in making this feel like an authentic Bali vacation.
LOS ANGELES, CA
Best Hamptons Whisk-Away
Wings Air has curated the best day ever in the Hamptons. The experience begins with a private helicopter flight from Manhattan to East Hampton, where a luxury sedan awaits to take you to a nearby Hamptons beach picnic spot. A fully catered picnic is already arranged beautifully with blankets, pillows, and fresh flowers to match the mood. You’ll enjoy your favorite foods and drinks while being waited on by an attendant. After a two-hour oceanside picnic, you will be driven back to East Hampton Airport and conclude the day with a smooth helicopter flight back to Manhattan.
EAST HAMPTON, NY
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