5 Amazing Art Cities to Visit Right Now

art cities

Unleash your inner Picasso

Where do you go when the mercury rises? Sure, you could head out on another relaxing but hot-hot-hot beach vacay. Or, you can choose to get cool and cultured: museums offer a break from the heat with stunning masterpieces and frigid air conditioning.

So go ahead, pack a city-ready bag, and book your plane ticket to one of our favorite art cities. The vibrant arts scenes, world-class museums, and stunning works will make it worth skipping a beach day or two!

  • Chicago, IL

    Chi-town’s most famous lions guard the doors to the Art Institute of Chicago, one of the oldest art museums in the world. Its exhibits span centuries and continents, offering something for every art lover. Of particular interest is its collection of Impressionist paintings, the largest outside of Paris, featuring works by Renoir and Degas.

    Surprisingly, Chicago is also home to the country’s largest collection of Mexican art. The aptly named National Museum of Mexican Art displays works by Mexican, Latino, and Chicano artists.

    While you’re in town, check out the thriving Chicago Arts District and its dozens of galleries and events. Or visit the inspiring Evanston Arts Center, with art lessons and workshops that’ll help you discover your inner artist.

  • Denver, CO

    Okay, we know we promised you guys air conditioning. But we just have to include Denver as one of our favorite art cities, despite the city taking masterpieces off the gallery walls and bringing them outdoors.

    Every year, top local and international urban artists create up to 80+ commissioned murals throughout the city during the annual CRUSH WALLS festival. As a result, some of the best muralists in the world visit the Mile High City and decorate its streets with their amazing talent.

    For a more traditional art experience, the Denver Art Museum is one of the largest in the western United States. With over 70,000 permanent pieces and an impressive array of visiting exhibits, you’ll always find something to gaze at.

  • Los Angeles, CA

    Ever heard of the saying “West Coast, best coast?” It certainly applies to art, because you’ll find some of the country’s top modern and contemporary art in L.A.’s 30+ museums.

    The city’s most famous museum is the Getty Center, known for its lush gardens, jaw-dropping views of L.A., and remarkable collections of photography, paintings, and sculptures. And the nearby Getty Villa has thousands of Roman, Greek, and Etruscan antiquities on display. The villa itself is modeled on ancient Roman country houses, with gardens and fountains that give it a distinctively Mediterranean flair.

    On the flip side, the City of Angels has also cultivated a love affair with contemporary art. Check out the Museum of Contemporary Art (MoCA), The Broad, and Westwood’s Hammer Museum (no hammers, just art; we promise!) for your contemporary art fix.

  • Miami, FL

    Miami’s always a good idea! If you’re into art at all, then you’ve already heard of Miami’s annual Art Basel. The internationally renowned art fair features over 250 of the world’s top galleries and 4,000 of the most acclaimed artists.

    But one week of amazing art isn’t what earns Miami its spot on our list of the best art cities.

    Miami has exciting galleries and museums year-round, including the Perez Art Museum Miami (PAMM), a waterfront showcase for contemporary and modern art. And Wynwood Walls, in North Miami’s Design District, is an open-air wonderland created by some of the world’s most electrifying urban artists.

    If your artistic interests spill over to architecture, Miami Beach’s oceanfront buildings offer a bold, colorful glimpse into the world of Art Deco. Plus, you can sneak in a little beach time while you’re there!

  • New York, NY

    The Big Apple’s museums draw visitors from all over the world for art tours that include the Met (Metropolitan Museum of Art), MoMA (the Museum of Modern Art), the Whitney, and the Guggenheim. Locals and tourists alike line up at their doors to take in their breathtaking masterpieces.

    NYC is also home to some lesser-known—but just as spectacular—museums. The Brooklyn Museum, for example, is home to over 1.5 million pieces, including peerless paintings from early American history.

    But it’s not just about the spectacular paintings. Live music fills the air, from subway stations to jazz clubs. You’ll find sculpture gardens tucked away all over the city. And of course, your art tour of New York isn’t complete without at least one show, on or off Broadway.

This summer, expand your creative horizons with a trip to one of the country’s top art cities. The combination of exploring a new city and seeing some of the world’s masterpieces is sure to bring out your inner artist!

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