Fabulous Tel Aviv, dubbed the Miami of the Middle East, is easily Israel’s coolest city. Trimmed with gorgeous beaches, loaded with Bauhaus architecture, and populated with smartly dressed locals who have a fierce appreciation for art, cuisine, and nightlife, Tel Aviv is the hedonistic
antidote to historic, heady Jerusalem, which, despite being just about one hour away, is a world apart in every respect. The year 2009 heralds Tel Aviv’s 100th birthday, making the city older than Israel itself (which celebrated its 60th in 2008). Visitors can expect an amped-up festival schedule from April to December with fun events like a marathon through the city, a weeklong book fair, a flower carpet in Rabin Square, and an international film festival. Join the scene by bedding down at the smart new 12-room Montefiore Hotel (to avoid noise, request a room on the third floor; from $350/night) and discovering first-rate Israeli wines at the recently opened Pri Hageffen wine bar, which hosts weekly tasting events. A free Tel Aviv–Yafno Centennial Handbook listing the full event schedule (and more) is available at www.tlv100.co.il.