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Skyline of modern skyscrapers

Qingdao, China

The city of Qingdao (Green Island) in China's Shandong Province is renowned for its wonderfully temperate climate, array of popular beaches and scenic nearby mountain ranges. A mix of modern and traditional architecture and public art, such as the large red May Wind sculpture in May Fourth Square, makes the streets a joy to stroll. There’s culture aplenty, too, from the Museum of Marine Products, an aquarium that houses hundreds of fascinating specimens and living sea creatures in an exhibition hall and aquarium, and the Naval Museum, which charts the development of the Chinese navy.The shops sell everything from shell carvings and pearl necklaces to antiques and electronics, while the restaurant scene is impressively global but excels at seafood, particularly fresh oysters, clams and lobster. There are also celebrations aplenty—including an international beer festival and a summer beach festival—and for relaxation, look no further than the nearby wide beaches, famous for their soft sand and sparkling waters.