Art travel is on the rise, fueled by a desire to re-engage with the world and see it from fresh perspectives. And as hotels and resorts across the country increasingly take on the role of museum and exhibitor, travelers might find that the first stop on their art-focused itinerary lies just beyond their guestroom door. Here are five of the best, both east and west.
Make Miami, Florida’s Cardozo Hotel your artistic base camp. Take a one-minute bike ride south of the Cardoza Hotel and you’ll find yourself immersed in South Beach’s Art Deco architecture district. The glamorous pastel buildings and porthole windows that line 5th Street to 23rd Street’s Art Deco Historic District are just the beginning of a tour through Miami’s Arts Décoratifs-influenced past. Continue on Citi bike to Miami’s mainland where travelers can wander through the trendy art hub of Wynwood Art District. Home to one of the largest open-air street-art installations in the world, Wynwood is the epicenter of cool art featuring eclectic art galleries and Miami’s Best Graffiti Guide tours. Guest’s staying at Gloria Estefan’s Cardoza Hotel can then relax back at the white-sand beachfront king suite or soak in the views of the sweeping Penthouse Suite.
Guests looking to take in the quintessential New England arts scene don’t have to look much further than Burlington, Vermont. Just minutes south of the bustling neighborhood, Shelburne Museum’s 45-acre campus is an artist’s recluse from the city. As the largest art and history museum in northern New England, Shelburne Museum allows visitors to view 39 distinct structures while strolling through beautifully landscaped grounds. Looking ahead: make a trip this summer to see PBS’s Antiques Roadshow on July 12. Then head north to eat, drink and be merry at ArtRiots—the go-to venue for art you can see, hear and taste. Here, travelers can experience the downtown city life all at one trendy location including a whimsical food selection, ever-changing cocktail menu (try the Wanderman) and a mix of tribute bands, poetry readings and drag shows throughout the week. End your travels tucked away in an epicurean inspired guest room at The Essex, Vermont’s Culinary Resort & Spa. Experience the culinary arts at the resorts Cook Academy where foodies can get a front row seat to New England’s best chefs.
Briarcliff Manor, New York’s landmark Edith Macy Center is the perfect base for an arts-focused Westchester County weekend getaway just a short drive or train ride from New York City. The hotel’s 405-wooded-acres of mountainside tranquility just might inspire guests to take brush to canvas themselves. From there, head to ArtsWestchester—the County’s official arts council and a center for art exhibits, installations, performances and workshops in downtown White Plains. Next stop is Neuberger Museum of Art at State University of New York Purchase, whose 6,000+ works include a famed collection of mid-century American art and rare African pieces. Then drive north to Katonah Museum of Art, where exhibitions include an exploration of the carnivalesque work of contemporary artists Simon and Nikolai Haas (available through June 26). Insider tip: weekend wanderers can find unusual treasures in the quaint and imaginative galleries that line Pleasantville Road. Images Art Gallery boasts a varied collection of landscape, abstract and folk-style works alongside unique engravings of botanicals and Hudson Valley scenes.
Guests arriving at The Heldrich hotel in downtown New Brunswick, New Jersey, are greeted by “The Golden Apples of the Hesperides,” a monumental, nine-panel glass installation by New Jersey artist J. Kenneth Leap. And that’s just the beginning—the hotel is home to an impressive permanent art collection plus three galleries featuring rotating exhibitions. Once guests have explored The Heldrich’s art-filled spaces, it’s just a 10-minute stroll to Rutgers University’s Zimmerli Art Museum. One of the largest university-based museums in the U.S., the Zimmerli features more than 60,000 works, including an extensive collection of Russian art.
A mid-century icon rebuilt from the ground up. Scottsdale’s Mountain Shadows Resort draws artists and art aficionados for its architecture and stunning desert surroundings at the base of Camelback Mountain. The resort’s own curator, CeCe Cole, presides over The Gallery, where a museum-quality exhibition showcases the works of local artists or those with ties to Arizona every two months. At opening receptions for each exhibition, guests are invited to mingle with the artist(s) over conversation and complimentary wine. Many works are available for purchase and the resort has sold more than a quarter million dollars in art to date. The upcoming exhibition, Heart of Stone, features artwork by Phoenix-based artists Lena Klett and Christy Wittmer. It will run April 13 through May 31, showcasing a collaborative installation of human interaction with space and landscape. Every weekend, resort guests seeking more artistic fuel can browse design, art and fashion books while they sip coffee drinks from a pop-up library coffee cart in The Living Room.