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5 Tropical Summer Festivals that are Worth the Trip

From Key West to Croatia, these parties are back and better than ever.

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Beach Bay Hvar Hotel
Opening its doors in July, Beach Bay Hvar Hotel will instantly become one of Croatia’s most popular spots. Beach Bay Hvar Hotel

Talk to travel agents right now and they’ll tell you that one of the biggest trends on the books this summer is people traveling for experiences as much as the destinations where those experiences are taking place. And that especially includes (raises wristband-covered arm) festivals.

So, it’s a good time to break down some of this summer’s most enticing parties that are worth traveling to—then lingering on longer, of course, in order to explore some seriously scenic destinations.

Lavender Festival—Hvar, Croatia 

Mark your European summer travel calendar for July 15-16, 2022, and the annual Lavender Festival in Hvar, where you can plan your day’s schedule around live concerts and siestas during a seaside stay at the fully revamped Riva Marina. The hotel is opening its doors June 1, 2022, in an enviable location overlooking the city’s yacht marina. 

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Hvar’s first ever sustainable hotel is also coming to the city this summer when the Beach Bay Hvar Hotel opens in July. And Moeesy Blue & Green Oasis Hotel is a great option close to the city’s historic fortresses and cathedrals with a nice pool to cool off in after festival’ing. 

Kapalua Food & Wine Fest—Maui

Loosen your belt for the Kapalua Food & Wine Fest, the longest running food and wine event that plays out for the 41st time in Maui July 9 -12. The stroll-around gathering showcases the flavors of the islands and bounty of the surrounding oceans. Do the festival in style with a stay at Hotel Wailea, where you can arrive flying private with evoJets and enjoy a seven-course treehouse dining experience complete with—wait for it—a “Bubble Bus” champagne dispenser. 

St. Lucia Carnival 

After a two-year hiatus, St. Lucia Carnival is back July 14-21, and ready to paint the palm-lined streets of the lush island with all the colorful costumes, foods, and revelry that are the event’s signature. Make your base a one-, two-, or three-bedroom seaside villa at the all-inclusive Landings Resort St. Lucia and you’ll have a serene homebase for recuperating and refreshing between parades and parties.

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Festival for All—West Palm Beach

Diversity and inclusivity take center stage during this festival on Florida’s east coast that coincides with Juneteenth weekend. The Festival for All event is in partnership with The Square, a bookstore for children devoted to social justice that’s said to be the only one of its kind in the country. Come for pop-ups by Black-owned businesses, culinary classes, music, and good vibes all around. 

Key Lime Festival—Key West

It’s hard to imagine a more fun and exciting festival devoted to fruit than the Key Lime Festival in Key West. Running from June 30 through July 4, it puts Florida’s unique tart and tiny citrus fruit front and center with culinary events, a Key Lime cocktail sip and stroll, pie hop, scavenger hunt, and more. 
To stay with step-out access to the largest private beach on Key West, book a room at Casa Marina. Come back August 11-14, too, for Lobsterfest, which marks its 25th year and will go all out with a spiny lobster boil, pub crawl on Duval Street, street fair, and concerts. The Reach Key West is another stellar beachfront stay when in the Conch Republic.

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