The 20th century was not kind to Latvia. With no hills to deter invaders, both the German Nazis and the Russian Communists took turns in occupying the country. However since Latvia got its independence from the Soviet Union in 1991, things have been looking up.
The capital city still has the feel of the shadow of communism, but Riga has a charming old town, great night-life and the beach is only 40 minutes away at Jurmala.
Your mission whilst there will be to avoid the rowdy British stag groups, and the drunk Russians who are finding it difficult to negotiate the cobblestones.