Portugal's Lisbon Coast has long been a favorite with in-the-know Europeans. Read on, and it may soon be one of yours.
The Lisbon Coast's Mediterranean-like climate brings mild winters and moderate summers, making it a great escape year-round. Here, American Way visits several of the region's prime spots, all within 20 or so miles of each other.

LISBON
REASON TO VISIT:
Portugal's capital is a curious mix of medieval quarters, trendy neighborhoods, and business districts, each with its own distinct personality. Most popular with visitors is the Alfama, Lisbon's oldest community and one of the few to survive the 1755 earthquake.

WHERE TO SLEEP: The York House (011-351-213-962-435) is a former 17th-century convent in the elite Lapa district. Surrounded by bigger chain hotels, the recently restored Hotel Veneza (011-351-213-522-618) is a more traditional choice near the busy business and shopping centers.

WHERE TO EAT: Café Nicola (011-351-213-460-579), which dates from 1777 and was once the hangout of local literati, has lost some of its charm of late, but it's still the city's most popular cafe. Espiral (011-351-213-553-990) is a homey health-food cafeteria/grocery with live music on Saturday nights.

CASCAIS
REASON TO VISIT:
This former fishing village has been a fashionable resort since 1870, when Luis I converted a 17th-century fort into a summer manor and other wealthy families soon followed. A stroll through town reveals that not much has changed since. Cascais, which could easily be a Rodeo Drive outpost, attracts the young, international crowd.

WHERE TO SLEEP: A magnificent Mediterranean-style manor house, Casa da Pérgola (011-351-214-840-040) features an ornate façade and stunning marble floors and staircases. A former royal residence five minutes from the shore, Residencial Solar Dom Carlos (011-351-214-828-115) may be 16th-century and may include a 400-year-old chapel where King Dom Carlos used to pray, but the rooms are 20th century.