Best Under-the-Radar Art Destinations in the US
Cities like Miami, New York and Los Angeles are go-to destinations for art enthusiasts, however, there are tons of other hidden gem cities around the U.S. that people don’t commonly associate with world-class art.
Grand Rapids, MI
While Detroit typically gets all the street cred for art in Michigan, Grand Rapids boasts some of the coolest museums for art lovers, including the Grand Rapids Art Museum, with 6,000 permanent objects including work from Andy Warhol and Picasso, and the picturesque Frederik Meier Gardens & Sculpture Park. Plus, the hotels in the city’s Hotel District boast over-the-top collections as well, like the historic Amway Grand Plaza, Curio Collection by Hilton, which was named in Historic Hotels of America’s top 25 most magnificent art collections list for 2022 for its “America at Work” collection by artist Paul Collins. The city also hosts the annual ArtPrize, an independent international art competition that celebrates artists working in all mediums from across the world, every fall (the next one is Sept.14-Oct. 1).
Fort Worth, TX
While Fort Worth’s Cultural District is home to world-renowned art museums like The Modern, The Kimbell and the Amon Carter Museum of American Art, this Texas city also has a burgeoning underground art scene, with cool new galleries showcasing local artists and powerful street art, like that in the Foundry District's Inspiration Alley. In Polytechnic, a predominately Black and Latinx neighborhood, Sedrick and Letitia Huckaby recently opened Kinfolk House, a collaborative art space that serves to uplift the diverse community’s beauty, talent and culture through collaborative exhibitions, events and educational opportunities. Hotels like Hotel Dryce put guests within walking distance of the Cultural District and boast some local art of their own—Hotel Dryce has a partnership with local art gallery Art Tooth for its art in the rooms and public spaces.
St. Petersburg, FL
While Miami is known as Florida’s art-centric city for hosting Art Basel Miami every December, St. Pete has an under-the-radar yet thriving art scene with a vibe much different than Florida’s more frenetic east coast art city, from renowned museums like The Dali and the Chihuly Collection to the walkable galleries and vibrant murals splashed around downtown. For those looking to stay in the heart of it all, The Vinoy Renaissance St. Petersburg Resort & Golf Club is within walking distance to the city’s top art spots, and its Navigator can coordinate the perfect creative itinerary. Plus, the hotel is an artistic masterpiece in itself, with a photogenic pink exterior and Mediterranean Revival design from the 1920s.
Add a unique challenge to your typical fall weekend activities at these five farms, where wandering through a corn maze involves a whole new level of skill, strategy, and adventure. From country music stars to dinosaur chases, these mazes have all kinds of highly detailed and creative designs. Don't worry, though—even the most directionally-challenged can get a little help with "emergency exit trails" and tips along the way. Sykes Family Farms (Elkton, Florida) Well-loved by the local community of Elkton, Florida is the annual Sykes Family Farms Crop Maze. This year, from October 7th to 29th, kids and adults are invited to flock to Sykes Farm to participate in their uniquely themed maze. This year's design features Reba McEntire! The maze is nine acres total, which consists of four phases. At the entrance of the maze visitors have the option of fill out a “passport”—a ten questions form that will help guide you through the maze. All four phases take around 45-60 minutes to navigate, with Phase 1 being slightly shorter for the directionally challenged. General admission prices are $16.99, with discounts available. Admission to the farm also includes access to hayrides, playgrounds, a cow milking station, duck races, farm animals, barn yard ball zone, pedal karts, and more. Richardson Adventure Farm (Spring Grove, Illinois) A path cuts through a corn field by Mark Holloway - Unsplash Touted as the "world's largest," most intricate corn maze, the Richardson Adventure Farm corn maze in Illinois features an incredible Jurassic Park themed design for 2023. Explore a labyrinth of corn stalks in shapes of familiar scenes from the movies, including a giant T-Rex chase. The design features more than 9 miles of trail winding through 28 acres of live corn; created out of 4 smaller mazes, each with its own dedicated in and out path. There are multiple checkpoints throughout the maze as well as three bridges that will help visitors find their bearings while looking at the map. While the trail is intricate, there is a perimeter path surrounding the entire maze and there are no dead ends in this maze—making it easy to exit and grab a donut or hot chocolate. This Spring Grove attraction also features a pumpkin patch, sunflower field, corn maze games, wagon rides, and many other family friendly activities to make for a fun-filled fall day. The Great Vermont Corn Maze (Danville, Vermont) The largest corn maze in New England takes approximately 2+ hours to hike and covers 24 acres. Miles of dirt trails at the Great Vermont Corn Maze's "Big Maze" are lined with 10' tall walls of corn and even feature 32 feet of underground tunnel and 100 feet of bridges. A helpful "Emergency Exit trail" also covers most of the maze giving visitors a chance to take a break, grab a snack, or use the restrooms without having to start over from the beginning. In addition to the "Big Maze," this farm also features a "Scenic Maze." The Scenic Maze is approximately a 45 minute walk using directions and special trails found along the way. This option allows visitors to see the unique things that are also in the Big Maze, but without the hours of frustration. Treworgy Family Orchards (Levant, Maine) A sunflower and a corn field by darlene - Unsplash The corn maze at Treworgy Family Orchards is the longest continually-running corn maze in the state of Maine. This year, the design celebrates farming with a tractor design. The maze includes a special map with riddles to figure out as people visit “stations” inside the maze. Complete the puzzle to receive a free kiddie vanilla, chocolate, or twist soft-serve ice cream cone. Visitors that make it to the center of the maze can also sign their name on the Hall of Fame Board. For an extra-fun adventure, try the maze during one of their special "Night Maze" evenings. The Night Maze is family-friendly, so there is nothing scary or “haunted,” just good old-fashioned fun. Visitors should bring their own flashlights. Guests can collect treats as they wander through the maze; or, head to the cafe for hot cider, hot chocolate, and donuts. Additionally, there are lighted hayrides and a campfire for warming. Liberty Mills Farm (Somerset, Virginia) The corn maze at Liberty Mills Farm in Virginia is actually made up of four different trails: a Story Maze, Trivia Maze, Hole Punch Maze, and Mystery Maze. The Story Maze takes only about 30 minutes to complete all the "story stations," while the medium-difficulty Trivia Maze can take 45-60 minutes and features trivia questions along the way. The Hole Punch maze is the longest; it can take anywhere from 2-3 hours to find all 21 stations, but those that find their way out are also rewarded with ice cream. Finally, there's the Mystery Maze. With no maps or guidance, visitors are on their own with your sense of adventure; the farm recommends leaving a minimum of an hour for this final maze.
Experience the magic of fall in Tupper Lake, New York, a perfect destination for a family vacation. Nestled in the heart of the Adirondack Mountains, Tupper Lake is an ideal spot for travelers to experience the beauty of fall, enjoy nature and the outdoors, and spend quality time together. Get a bird's eye view from the top of the forest Treehouse at the Wild Center in Tupper Lake - courtesy fo Shaun Ondak / ROOST ADK The Wild Center is a premier natural history museum offering an immersive journey into the beauty of the Adirondacks across 81-acres of indoor and outdoor exhibits. The Wild Center has also been named “#2 science museum in the country” by readers of USA Today. One of the most memorable parts of the museum is the famous Wild Walk, which takes visitors up a trail of bridges to the treetops of the Adirondack forest. The Wild Walk experience includes a four-story twig tree house, swinging bridges, a spider’s web where people can hang out, and a life-size bald eagle’s nest at the highest point where visitors can perch and watch the life of the forest from a whole new point of view. Add in the vibrant colors of fall, and you have an unforgettable experience. Embark on a family-friendly hiking challenge Coney Mountain fall hike in Tupper Lake, New York - courtesy of ROOST ADK The Tupper Lake Triad hiking challenge consists of three family-friendly mountains boasting outstanding views of the surrounding mountains, lakes, and forests, which are reached via well-maintained and well-marked trails. With just three mountains needed to complete the Tupper Lake Triad, you can work on this one over a weekend or wrap it up in the morning and have lunch in town in the afternoon. The Triad is the perfect starter challenge for those just getting into hiking or for hikers looking to expand their patch and sticker collection. Pedal down historic rail lines for the best fall foliage views A family pedals down the rail lines in Tupper Lake - courtesy of ROOST ADK Witness fall foliage from a different perspective as you pedal through tunnels, over bridges, and past serene lakes with a rail bike adventure. The forest surrounds as you traverse historic rail lines for a 7-mile round-trip journey, offering a fun and eco-friendly experience for the whole family. Head to this local spot to satisfy even the pickiest eaters After a day of exploration and outdoor fun, it might be hard to satisfy everyone's dining wishes with multiple hungry and tired family members. Try Raquette River Brewing for indecisive or picky eaters. This welcoming brewery offers a diverse lineup of food trucks, each offering delectable options to suit everyone’s taste. From artisanal pizzas to mouth-watering Mexican food, and vegetarian delights, you’ll find a diverse selection that will please even the pickiest eaters. It’s a culinary adventure that complements your fall escape perfectly.
4 Quirky Art Events to Catch This Fall
The leaves aren't the only thing to look at this fall; across the country, towns are celebrating local art and artisans with unique festivals and events. From scarecrow decor to fine art photography, there's something for everyone. Get in the fall spirit with a trip to one of these fun art showcases. See the craftiest scarecrows around (Granville, Tennessee) During the month of October in The Scarecrow & Artisans Festival takes place in historic Granville, Tennessee. It features unique fall creations lining the streets, colorful displays for photos, artisan demonstrations and a scarecrow decorating contest. From October 4th to 28th, the scarecrows may actually outnumber the residents. In addition to a scarecrow decorating contest, there will also be a hay bale decorating contest, with both featuring entries from individuals, clubs, and businesses. A perfect family-friendly getaway, the festival will be sure to have lots of great photo ops. A $7.00 Daily Town Tour Ticket will include admission to all Granville museums, historic sites, scarecrow displays, as well as access to artisans in Pioneer Village. Catch a beachside art show (Daytona Beach, Florida) Seaside wind chimes in Daytona Beach, Florida by Sean Nufer - Unsplash Why visit a stuffy museum for art when you can just go to the beach? Set in historic downtown Daytona Beach on the scenic Halifax River, the 61st Annual Halifax Art Festival on November 5th and 6th is a two-day professionally juried and judged art show that attracts more than 200 artists from throughout the United States. It also features music, food, entertainment and special activities for children. Best of all, admission is free to the public with plenty of free parking for artful shoppers and artists. Glimpse photos of American icons (Scottsdale, Arizona) The artist becomes the subject in a new exhibit in the Southwest. Frank Lloyd Wright’s Taliesin West gives a glimpse of some never-before-seen photographs of Frank Lloyd Wright and Georgia O’Keeffe, in its “American Icons: Wright and O’Keeffe” exhibition, opening October 20th. The photos were taken by Michael A. “Tony” Vaccaro while on assignment for LOOK Magazine from 1957 to 1960 and are displayed in pairs to show its visual symmetry and provide insight on the relationship between the two legends. Both Wright and O'Keefe were born in Wisconsin, and found their way to the American Southwest; they admired each other's art and the two also exchanged letters and ideas for years. Attend the most elaborate costume party (Columbus, Ohio) A frightening Halloween costume by LexScope - Unsplash Highball Halloween is the nation's most elaborate costume party, happening this year on October 28th. This annual event bridges runway style with the culture of the North Arts district. In addition to a public costume contest, talented designers compete for to win the couture fashion show and events are scheduled through the evening.
5 Ways to Experience Harvest Season in California Wine Country
As the days begin to mellow in late summer and early fall, and the pace of life takes on a serene rhythm, harvest season is the time to immerse yourself in the tranquility and beauty of Sonoma County, California. Embrace the art of slowing down and find solace in the breathtaking landscapes that surround you. Explore sun-soaked vineyards, where the grapevines are heavy with promise. Engage in mindful moments as you savor farm-to-table delights and award-winning wines, all while basking in the warm glow of the summer season's twilight. Here are five ways to enjoy the harvest season this year in California wine country. Tour studios along the Sonoma County Art Trails More than 120 artists from all over Sonoma County will be selected by an anonymous jury to open their studios to the public September 30th through October 1st and October 7th through 8th for Sonoma County Art Trails, a signature program of the Sebastopol Center for the Arts. Utilizing the free collector's guide (available both in print and online), visitors may curate their own art tour as they roam Sonoma County, a place where the thriving artists community, superb cuisine and world renowned wineries intertwine. Blue signage leads the way to individual studios where visitors may view a wide range of art mediums including paintings, collage, drawing, printmaking, glass art, fiber arts, sculpture, jewelry and assemblages. Sip pinot noir in Santa Rosa The countryside on Santa Rosa, California by Donghun Shin - Unsplash The 20th Annual Pinot On the River takes place on Old Courthouse Square in Downtown Santa Rosa on October 7th from 11am to 3pm. Enjoy some of the best Pinot Noirs that Sonoma County has to offer as more than 40 small-production artisanal wineries join with guest artisan food vendors. Pinot on the River is a benefit for Sonoma County LGBT Pride, which is dedicated to enhancing the lives and well-being of our Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex (LGBTQI) community and allies throughout Sonoma County. Grape stomp at the Sonoma County Harvest Fair Handfuls of ripened grapes by Maja Petric - Unsplash Grape stomping may have originated in ancient Rome, but Sonoma County can claim the World Championship Grape Stomp as our own. As part of the Sonoma County Harvest Fair on October 14th, the annual grape stomp in Santa Rosa invites people of all ages to compete in the winemaking tradition of crushing grapes by foot. “Stompers” crush the grapes while “swabbies” direct the juice into the glass jugs. During the final round, 60 pounds of grapes will be stomped for five minutes. Whichever team fills the jugs with the most juice wins. Costumes are encouraged. Attendees can access the event with a Harvest Fair entry ticket. Enjoy music in the vineyards Third Fridays of the month through October Foley Sonoma Winery is offering FoSo Fridays: Music in the Vineyard, special evenings of wine, live music, and inventive food pairings from the Foley estate chef. Gather with friends in reserved lounge areas or bring chairs and blankets to settle in on the FoSo lawn overlooking Foley's estate vineyards. Get hands-on with Small Vines Winery Fall colors along Sebastopol, California by Dimitri Jablokov - Unsplash Immerse yourself in one of the most beautiful and exciting times of the year in Sonoma County. For those who always wanted to work in the vineyard during harvest season, if only for just a day. Get your hands dirty, smell the grapes being pulled from the vines, and experience what goes on in a day during grape harvest at a small production family-owned winery. Experience the heart of winemaking as you join forces with the Small Vines team for guided, hands-on morning harvest activities, enjoy Al-Fresco farm-to-picnic-basket dining, luxurious chauffeured transportation from Farmhouse Inn to Small Vines Winery and return in the epitome of Farmhouse Volvo elegance. Throughout the day, a dedicated driver will be at the ready, ensuring your journey is as stylish as your destination. Seize the opportunity to unwind in luxury as you spend the night at Farmhouse Inn and breakfast for two. This experience is offered through November 17 and subject to availability.