One of the best parts of traveling is finding those special surprises that could only occur right at that exact moment. If you find yourself in Geneva this summer, we've got the inside track on those special memories waiting to be made. Take full advantage of the gorgeous landscape and proximity to mountains, lakes, parks, vineyards and more for warm weather delights.
1. Fêtes de Genève
This annual festival is the definition of fun for the whole family. From August 3–13, the city of Geneva goes all out with dining, games, music and a much-loved fireworks display at the end. For the food-lover, find almost 200 stalls with delicacies ranging from traditional Swiss to authentic African food. The younger crowed will love the inflatable Luminarium, the kids' space at the English Garden, and the 60 rides and games set up on the banks of Lake Geneva. The opening of the Ferris Wheel marks the two-week lead-up to the festival, known as the Pre-Fêtes de Genève. Visit Website
2. Parc Bois-de-la-Batie
Get a closer look at the native animal species of the area at this 2.5-hectare park containing nearly 300 species of indigenous fauna. Free for admission to the public, this is a favorite family activity. Once you've enjoyed the mirror sheep and the peacock goat, make your way to La Jonction, where the milky white Arve river meets the darker blue Rhone in a unique natural phenomenon of water mixing.
From July 3 to August 20, movie watching takes on a whole new dimension with an outdoor cinema set up on the Perle du Lac Park in Geneva. You'll be swept into collective fun as the audience shares picnics, sings and dances with classic musicals, and boos the bad guys. This summer, you can enjoy international favorites from opening night's "Ghostbusters" to "Die Hard" to "Almost Famous." Visit Website
4. Bateau Lavoir
One of Geneva's most striking features is the abundance of water — from Lake Geneva (which you can see from The Ritz-Carlton Hotel de la Paix, Geneva) to the Rhone river. Perched on the banks of the Rhone, this bar is built to resemble a 19th-century "washing boat," with a 360-degree terrace perfect for sunset drinks or a lingering board game with a side of fondue. And you are doing good while having a good time, as the café is run by a social enterprise aimed at giving employment and useful skills to young people in difficult situations.
As beautiful as Geneva is, don't be afraid to leave the city on a day trip to nearby Lausanne. The Fete da la Musique takes place on June 21st with almost 1,900 amateur and professional musicians taking to stages around the city. If you are looking for a more relaxed evening, make your way to Les Grand Roches, a pop-up bar for the summer nestled below the Escaliers des Grandes Roches. With 280 seats suspended between two levels of the city, you can enjoy drinks along with a spectacular view of the Bessières bridge.