The It List 2009

by Ondine Cohane

Tel Aviv, Israel

Just in time for its 100th birthday, this newly hip city has plenty to celebrate, with a spate of new hotels and redevelopment, a happening contemporary art scene, and vibrant nightlife. Unlike more religious and conservative Jerusalem, Tel Aviv hasn't seen a serious terrorist incident in years, and is the poster child for a more modern Israel—teeming with the trendy and fashionable, and looking forward to a happier, more peaceful Middle East. On April 4, Tel Aviv's centenary festivities kick off with a huge concert in Rabin Square helmed by Zubin Mehta conducting the Israeli Philharmonic. Don't miss cutting-edge art collections at the Sommer gallery and the Herzliya Museum of Contemporary Art, as well as the exquisite Bauhaus architecture that won the city a spot on the UNESCO World Heritage Site list. (New buildings include skyscrapers from international heavyweights Philippe Starck and Richard Meier.) The city is also preparing for the unveiling of the first hotel by Nobu, the famed Japanese chef, and his longtime business partner, Robert De Niro, in 2010. It's located in the Tel Aviv suburb of Herzliya, itself newly dubbed the Israeli Riviera (but of course) for its pretty beaches and hot temperatures. There's a beachfront promenade that stretches over eight miles from here to Bat Yam, just south of the city, so you can even bike from your room right to the heart of Tel Aviv. Getting to the city also just got a whole lot easier with Delta's new nonstop flights from JFK to Ben-Gurion Airport.

NEXT: The Year of Living Dangerously >

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Information may have changed since date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.

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