The Thief
     

The Thief

Oslo, Norway

Located on the waterfront next to the new Astrup Fearnley Museum of Modern Art, The Thief is an ideal place to stay as you explore the Norwegian capital. Boasting 119 rooms ranging from standard kings to the amazing penthouse Oslo Suite, all of its accommodations make for a great stay, with amenities like king size beds, Geneva sounds systems, luxury wool blankets, Nespresso machines, and "rainforest" showers. Also on site is a full-service spa, a bar, lounge, two eateries, and a rooftop bar with the best views in town.

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Vertigo
     

Vertigo

Bangkok, Thailand

One look is all it takes to realize where it gets its name. Set high atop the Banyan Tree Hotel, Vertigo and Moon Bar offer fantastic drinks — as well as arguably the best views in the city. The menu is cocktail-heavy, with top-shelf ingredients, and there's great food on offer, as well as a decidedly high-end vibe, but it's well worth getting dressed up to soak in those 61st-floor views. Just don't get too inebriated — we hear it's a long way down should you stumble off the side.

Photos: Lukas Vermeer
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Lights on the Lake
     

Lights on the Lake

South Lake Tahoe, California

When it comes to 4th of July fireworks shows, there are plenty of obvious destinations, like New York, Philadelphia, Boston, and DC — so we're guessing you probably didn't have Lake Tahoe on your must-see list. And that's a shame, because Lights on the Lake is one of the country's premier Independence Day shows. Scheduled to begin at 9:45, the show is visible from all around South Lake Tahoe, with special viewing opportunities available via boat, clubhouse, and — for a really unique view — helicopter.

Photos: Ron A. Parker
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Big Star
     

Big Star

Chicago, Illinois

Few things go together to create a great summer evening out like great food, good drinks, and terrific outdoor atmosphere. Big Star checks all three of the list. The simple menu includes a variety of tacos and tostadas, as well as grilled jalape├▒os, queso, salad, beans, and, of course, chips and guacamole, while the booze menu encompasses a solid selection of beers, an extensive bourbon list, an impressive variety of tequilas and mezcals, and a simple cocktail menu divided up into bourbon- and tequila-based drinks. Best enjoyed on the killer patio.

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NikeLab
     

NikeLab

New York, New York

Part store, part experiment, the new NikeLab store is a must-see for fans of the brand or design in general. Built with sustainability in mind, using as little material as possible, and plays host to limited edition and collaborative versions of both Nike's latest shoes and apparel as well as reimagined heritage styles. Oh, and don't worry if you're not planning a visit to NYC anytime soon — this new store opened the same day as its sister stores in London, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Paris, and Milan.

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Hotel Punta Islita
     

Hotel Punta Islita

Islita, Costa Rica

Set on a hillside overlooking the Pacific, Hotel Punta Islita is an ideal choice for those looking for a bit more privacy than you'll find at your standard accommodation. Set on 300 acres, this scenic resort offers everything from standard double rooms all the way up to private villas, all of which offer outdoor areas and ocean views. And should you feel the need to move about a bit, you'll also find a fitness center, a 9-hole golf course, tennis courts, two pools, gardens, a spa, and two restaurants on site — and, of course, don't forget about the beach.

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Rye
     

Rye

Baltimore, Maryland

In case you couldn't tell, the name of this place isn't talking about the bread. Instead, Rye refers to the whiskey, once the preeminent spirit in the state, and now displayed proudly behind the bar alongside dozens of other high-end liquors. While there is a good selection of whisky on hand, the cocktails are made with every possible base imaginable, and blended with fresh juices, local ingredients, and the caring touch of a well-seasoned bartender. There's also a short food menu and a few carefully curated beers and wines, but no matter where you're eating in Fells Point, you want to have a drink here.

Photos: J. Victor Elliott
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Iguazu Falls
     

Iguazu Falls

Puerto Iguaz├║, Argentina

With so much happening in Brazil over the next couple of years, there will be plenty of reasons to go visit — and should you find yourself there for whatever reason, be sure to move away from the coast and explore the natural beauty of Iguazu Falls. Set on the border of Brazil and Argentina, this huge collection of waterfalls (between 150 and 300, depending on the water level) can be seen from either side, with most of the falls residing in Argentina and the best views belonging to Brazil. It might be a bit of a jaunt from Sao Paulo or Rio, but it's totally worth it.

Photos: Boris G
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Shady Lady Saloon
     

Shady Lady Saloon

Sacramento, California

Don't let the name fool you — there's very little "shady" going on inside the Shady Lady Saloon. Impeccably decorated for a classic look, this upscale spot offers up a great food menu of American classics, with a particular fondness for Southern favorites like fried green tomatoes, fried chicken and greens, and shrimp po'boys. Also on offer are outstanding cocktails both classic and modern, made from fresh, high-quality ingredients and the occasional house-made mixer like ginger ale, tonic, and cola. There's also live music several nights a week, should you decide to stick around after dinner — and with drinks as good as these, that's a good possibility.

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KICKS/HI
     

KICKS/HI

Honolulu, Hawaii

Just because you're on the ocean doesn't mean that you'll want to wear sandals 24/7. So when it's time to get a new pair of kicks, direct your feet in the direction of KICKS/HI. Founded in 2001 by Ian Ginoza of Saint Alfred fame, this store is the premiere place to buy sneakers on the islands, boasting a solid selection of brands, plenty of limited edition kicks and exclusive collaborations, and some sought-after store-brand tees.

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Hanging Gardens Ubud
     

Hanging Gardens Ubud

Payangan, Bali

Set in the rainforest at the heart of Bali, Hanging Gardens Ubud is an exquisite alternative to a traditional beach resort. The multi-level property is home to 38 villas ranging in size from 100 to 160 square meters, and all boasting king-size four-poster beds, handmade baths, terraces with open-air showers, and Java stone infinity pools. Speaking of pools, the resort is home to one of the world's most dramatic — a split-level infinity pool lined with Batu Chandi slate stone. Add in the restaurant, bar, river cafe, spa and great views of the neighboring Padmasana Temple, and you've got all the ingredients needed for a stellar vacation.

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The Hay Merchant
     

The Hay Merchant

Houston, Texas

Some people call it a restaurant. And they do serve food. But when you're facing a beer list as well-curated and varied as the one at The Hay Merchant, it's hard to think of anything but drinks. The list boasts five cask selections and dozens of other brews ranging from IPAs to smoked saisons, each of which is served at the proper temperature, with the correct pressure and gas mix, and in the right glassware. Oh, and should you get hungry, the food just happens to be great — Underbelly's run by the same group, after all.

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