Guggenheim museum new york

Whether you want to see the exhibit everyone is talking about, discover emerging artists who just might be on their way to become internationally known, or quietly explore little-known art gems, we’re lucky to live in a time when art is so accessible, (thank you, Virtual Reality and Instagram). Yet, there’s nothing like experiencing art up close and personal.  From the big names like New York City and San Francisco to tiny towns in Wyoming and Texas, these are the seven places art lovers will want to put on their travel lists.

 

Cody, Wyoming

Buffalo Bill Center of the West

Buffalo Bill Center of the West | Photo: m01229 on Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

Tucked in northwest Wyoming, the town of Cody doesn’t even have a population of 10,000, but it does have plenty of charm, and lots of art. Home to the Buffalo Bill Center of the West, which has five museums including the Whitney Western Art Museum, Cody is a gateway to learning about and exploring Western art. The quaint town is also home to numerous art galleries near the Eastern Gate of Yellowstone making it an ideal stop on a larger trip.

 

New York, New York

It’s hard to go more than a couple of blocks in the Big Apple without stumbling upon a museum, art gallery, or even street art. If you want to hit as many museums as possible plan to head to Museum Mile, a mile-long walk full of museums including the MET, the Guggenheim (*featured image at top), the Museum of the City of New York, and more along Fifth Avenue. After you’re done perusing the art, don’t forget to take a walk through Central Park.

 

Marfa, Texas

Prada store in Marfa, tx

Prada store in Marfa, Texas

This one-stoplight town in the middle of Texas is an art oasis that needs to be on every minimalist art lover’s bucket list. It started in the 1970s,  when a New York expat came to Marfa and built a series of concrete exhibits. Since then, museums and more installations have popped up all over the area, beautifully incorporating art into the landscape, and the town now has a bit of a Brooklyn vibe.

 

Chicago, Illinois

Cloud Gate and Chicago skyline in Millennium Park, Chicago, Illinois

Cloud Gate and Chicago skyline in Millennium Park, Chicago, Illinois

From the Chicago Art Museum to the Mexican Art Museum to the galleries, there is art galore in the Windy City. There’s also great food and drinks, making Chicago a perfect spot for a weekend art lovers’ getaway. And, while it may be touristy, no visit to Chicago is complete without a visit to Cloud Gate, aka the bean.

 

Santa Fe

Meow Wolf art collective in Santa Fe, New Mexico

Meow Wolf art collective in Santa Fe, New Mexico

The art scene in Santa Fe has always been quietly top notch. You have the Georgia O’Keeffe museum with its rotating more than 400 paintings, three museums dedicated to Native American art. and much much more. But in the past few years it’s the emerging art scene that makes this city a must- visit. Head to the commercial district for galleries featuring new artists.

 

San Francisco

Terracotta Warriors statues and mural on a building on Grant Street in Chinatown in San Francisco.

Terracotta Warriors statues and mural on a building on Grant Street in Chinatown in San Francisco.

It’s easy for art lovers to leave their heart in San Francisco. From the vibrant murals in the Mission district to the San Francisco Museum of Art to the open studio weekends when the city’s resident artists throw open their doors, there’s almost too much art. While it’s impossible to see everything you’ll want to see during a short stay, the city is basically sure to have the type of art you’re fascinated by.

 

Bellevue, Washington

I know, you’re thinking tech right now, but Bellevue, Washington is also home to one of the country’s largest running art fairs. While it takes place every July, even if you don’t make it out for that, you’ll find public art displays throughout the city and a surprising number of galleries.