Best U.S. Cities for Art Lovers

cities for art

Get inspired in these creative cities!

Whether you’re an art enthusiast or a casual admirer, immersing yourself in the art scene can leave you feeling inspired and energized. Paintings, sculptures, music, architecture… Even if you have a favorite, there’s no need to pick just one. Because the best cities for art lovers offer an amazing mix of creative exploration.

Here are the top cities for taking in some of the best artwork in the U.S.

  • Chicago, IL

    One of the most photographed pieces of art in the country is located in the Windy City. Anish Kapoor’s “Cloud Gate,” fondly referred to as The Bean, is a 110-ton giant that beautifully reflects Chicago’s skyline and clouds.

    If you prefer to view your art indoors, visit the Art Institute of Chicago, one of the nation’s oldest and most distinguished museums. The museum houses iconic works by Grant Wood (“American Gothic”) alongside classics by Seurat, Monet, Renoir, Van Gogh, and more.

    Is making people laugh an art form? Because the performing arts is just one more reason why Chicago tops our list of cities for art.

    Chi-town is teeming with improv comedy venues. Its oldest and most famous comedy troupe, Second City, is the comedic starting place for laugh-makers Steve Carrell, Jordan Peele, Tina Fey, Amy Pohler, and many other notable alumni.

  • Denver, CO

    Did Denver immediately pop into your head when you thought of the top cities for art lovers? Truth be told, the Mile High City wasn’t one of our first thoughts, either.

    The truth is actually quite surprising. The city known for breweries and sports teams is also home to several first-rate museums highlighting Western American and Native American art.

    You’ll also find some of the most outstanding street art in the world right here in Denver. Both local and internationally renowned artists come together each year for Denver Walls, a celebration of art and culture that leaves the streets of Denver lined with fresh, vibrant public art. You’ll never see the same mural twice when you visit Denver!

    Pro Tip: Try to visit Denver at the beginning of the month to catch a First Friday Art Walk in the RiNo district.

  • Los Angeles, CA

    Let’s get the biggest question out of the way: yes, television and movies are art forms! But the diverse art scene in Los Angeles encompasses a much wider range of artistic expression.

    The Los Angeles County Museum of Art showcases works spanning multiple periods, styles, and cultures. Check out pieces as diverse as paintings by Cezanne and Magritte, 500-year-old ceramics, and the museum’s iconic street lamp installation.

    If you prefer contemporary art, stop by The Broad. The stunning architecture holds an even more stunning collection, including works by Koons and Basquiat. Best of all, with a mission of making art accessible, admission is always free

    Or just stroll around. Neighborhoods such as Venice Beach, Silver Lake, and the Arts District are filled with galleries, artists’ studios, and ever-changing street art.

  • Miami, FL

    Did you think Miami was just about the beaches? Well… Surprise! Miami is also one of the country’s best cities for art.

    First off, Miami hosts one of the world’s biggest and most prestigious annual art fairs, Art Basel. Artists, collectors, and enthusiasts gather each year to enjoy the art and ambiance.

    Miami also has an entire neighborhood dedicated to the arts: its Design District. This must-see destination features designer showrooms, upscale galleries, and stunning outdoor sculptures. Or head over to stylish South Beach, where you can take your time enjoying the art deco architecture of its famous hotels and restaurants.

    Finally, there’s the Perez Art Museum Miami (PAMM). The iconic building, famous for both its architecture and its stunning waterfront location, highlights modern and contemporary art.

  • New York City, NY

    Theater. Music. Painting. Dance. As one of the world’s best cities for art, the Big Apple provides plenty of opportunities for you to explore almost any creative style you can think of.

    With over 2 million pieces, the Metropolitan Museum of Art is the largest museum in America. You’ll find plenty of the famous “big names” here—including Titian, Picasso, and Rothko—spanning centuries and movements.

    Smaller museums such as the Guggenheim and the Whitney feature less famous but equally masterful works.

    And do we even need to mention Broadway? Whether you want a musical, a classic, or something indie, you’ll find it on a stage here.

    But don’t contain your art explorations to the traditional venue. The beauty of New York’s amazing art scene can also be found in its live music clubs, contemporary art galleries, and the off-off–off-Broadway shows.

Ready to explore the art world? Choose one of these cities for an amazing dose of inspiration!

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