4 Hours in Accra

By day, Ghana's busy coastal capital offers colorful markets and luxurious beach resorts. By night, the city boasts some of the region's classiest clubs and a music scene that fuses African sounds with hip-hop beats.

Lounge in the sun at the posh La Palm Royal Beach Hotel, which features a private beach and lagoon-shaped swimming pool complete with swim-up bar. Non-guests can visit for the day (gbhghana.com/lapalm.html).

Browse the stalls at the Art Center, where merchants from all over Ghana sell wood carvings, clay jewelry and traditional kente cloth, which can go for well over $100 for a full piece.

Savor local dishes such as jollof rice and fufu (pounded yam and plantain) with soup at Maquis Tante Marie, a breezy two-story restaurant in the upscale North Labone neighborhood (233-21-778914).

Sip a Star, the popular local beer at Bywell's, a low-key club that draws a mix of locals and expats. Go Thursday nights for live high-life music, Ghana's answer to reggae.

Dance with the young elite at The Office, Osu's hottest new nightclub. An eclectic playlist features hits from Jamaica to Dubai.

—Laura Brunts