13 Best Art Related Experiences

November 8, 2021

As the days grow shorter and darker, and that familiar winter chill creeps in, it can be so tempting to hole up in our apartments and queue up another Netflix series.

However, now more than ever we need to explore new ways to invite creativity, beauty, and inspiration into our lives.

Art makes life worth living as it allows us endless opportunities for exploration and discovery. In addition, continuous exposure to art helps us appreciate the magic of our surroundings and can even relieve stress and anxiety.

Every November 9th, art lovers worldwide take a break from their desks to feast their eyes on the amazing art at their local museum. Each year more than 30,000 museums and art-related exhibits participate in this creative commemoration designed to help visitors of all ages and backgrounds fall in love with the art again. 

Wherever you are this November 9th, we hope you seize this chance to investigate a new art museum, tour, exhibit, or gallery!

California - Best Art Museums

people standing around the gallery at the san francisco museum of modern art

San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco

The Golden Gate City has been long heralded as a hub of artistic freedom and creativity, so it’s no surprise that the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art delivers an unparalleled art encounter.

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SFMOMA sees art as a multidimensional endeavor that encompasses a variety of mediums including media, film, paint, architecture, and more.

Museum visitors will feel the passion and intent of their favorite artists as they soak in over 30,000 pieces by such influential talents as Henri Matisse, Georgia O’Keeffe, and Frida Kahlo. 

Pro Tip: For a more experiential art interlude, be sure to stop by the Nam June Paik exhibit, which showcases 200 works by this visionary renegade whose pieces melted the lines between art, music, performance, and technology.

Close up of female statue with several statues in the background, all of them are shades of beige at the San Antonio Museum of Art in San Antonio, Texas

photo credit: San Antonio Museum of Art via Facebook

Texas - Best Art Museums

Sightseeing Bus + Museum Art Tour, San Antonio

The Alamo city has lots to see, so make the most of your precious time here with a Sightseeing Bus + Museum Art Tour. Cruise around San Antonio’s most popular attractions at your own pace with your unlimited access to the Hop-On Hop-Off Tour Bus for three days. 

Your art tour also includes admission to the San Antonio Museum of Art, a nationally renowned institution known for its comprehensive collection of Greek, Roman, and Egyptian art. Besides a remarkably diverse array of folk art, the museum is also home to several contemporary galleries featuring both international and local Texan artists. 

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Don’t sleep on one of their newest exhibits, 40 Years, 40 Stories: Treasures and New Discoveries from SAMA's Collection, commemorating the museum's 40th anniversary.

Pro Tip: Need a little snack to tide you over during the tour? Free coffee, water, and popcorn will be provided for all passengers at 111 Alamo Plaza!

Man and women kissing posed in front of a large moon background with lots of colors and a night sky at the Museum of Dream Space in Las Vegas, Nevada

photo credit: Museum of Dream Space Las Vegas via Facebook

Nevada - Best Art Museums

Museum of Dream Space, Las Vegas

Get your camera ready, as this is one art adventure that is just begging to be documented on social media! The Museum of Dream Space in Las Vegas is an incredible hands-on creative cultural experience. 

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MODS is singularly dedicated to exhibiting digital art to break the mold of more traditional museums or art spaces. Their goal is to aid visitors on their art journeys by curating a fully interactive and synergistic encounter. 

Inspired by the design of Yayoi Kusama’s famous infinite rooms, museum visitors will wander with ease and delight between installations featuring everything from cascading glowing light fixtures to 3-D walls covered in roses.

Canada - Best Art Museums

Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto

From mummies to dinosaurs to priceless Indigenous objects, the Royal Ontario Museum is home to an awe-inspiring collection of 13 million artworks, cultural objects, and natural history specimens. For over a hundred years, this institution of art, culture, and nature has been educating and inspiring visitors worldwide. 

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Museum guests of all ages will feel their curiosity ignited as they gaze upon art and objects from Ancient Greece to Global Africa. Budding naturalists and future paleontologists will be in heaven as they pour over the hundreds of thousands of mammal and vertebrate specimens housed here.

Pro Tip: Besides being among the top 10 cultural institutions in North America, the ROM is also a glittering display of contemporary architecture with its famous exterior ‘Michael Lee-Chin Crystal‘ designed by Daniel Libeskind.

Wide shot of adults and children looking at a painting of a man and lions at the National Gallery of Art in Washington DC

photo credit: National Gallery of Art via Facebook

Washington DC - Best Art Museums

DC National Gallery of Art Museum Tour, Washington DC

No day in our fair capital is complete without a bit of history or art. Conquer both when you join our DC National Gallery of Art Museum Tour. A museum built by the people, for the people, the DC National Gallery of Art, was created when the former secretary of the treasury Andrew Mellon donated his impressive art collection.

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Sitting pretty on the National Mall, the museum's two buildings contain:

  • more than 150,000 objects in permanent and loan collections
  • 6.1-acre of temporary exhibits

Renaissance and classic art lovers will rejoice as the gallery holds the distinction of being home to one of America’s only national collections of artwork produced by Renaissance artists, French Impressionists, and great American painters.

Let the timeless works wash over you on your guided tour as you view pieces from masters like:

  • Claude Monet
  • Raphael
  • Gilbert Stuart
  • Vincent Van Gogh
  • Edgar Degas

Pro Tip: Looking for a relaxing outdoor reprieve? Make sure to stop by the gallery's famous Sculpture Garden, a 6.1-acre oasis featuring modern sculpture works from artists such as Joan Miro and Marc Chagall.

Wide shot of people walking through the Museum of Modern Art in New York City, New York

New York - Best Art Museums

Museum of Modern Art, New York City

It’s all mod, baby! Modern Art comes to life at the esteemed Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York City. This landmark icon of art and culture is home to over 200,000 works of both modern and contemporary art. 

Art is a living, breathing medium at MoMA. Visitors will find themselves enchanted by the variety of special exhibitions, film screenings, and daily gallery discussions offered here.

In addition to the ever-changing number of temporary displays, you can discover a number of renowned modern and contemporary pieces.

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Keep your eyes peeled for such stunning favorites as Vincent van Gogh's "The Starry Night" and Andy Warhol's "Gold Marilyn Monroe,” along with works by Jackson Pollock and Jasper Johns.

Pro Tip: All special exhibitions, films, audio programs (in eight languages), and a free pass to MoMA PS1 are included with your general admission ticket.

Whitney Museum of American Art, New York City

Calling all American art aficionados! The Whitney Museum of American Art is the ideal place to reignite your appreciation of 20th century and contemporary American art. For almost a century, the Whitney has served as the reigning institution of American artists. It is proud to provide an unrivaled collection of both modern and contemporary art from visionaries such as:

  • Edward Hopper
  • Jackson Pollack
  • Georgia O'Keeffe

Almost as stunning as the art itself, the Whitney’s new Renzo Piano building is a sight to behold. 

Pro Tip: Don’t forget to check the current exhibits before your visit; alas, you miss out on comprehensive retrospectives such as Jasper Johns: Mind/Mirror!

Immersive Van Gogh Exhibit at Pier 36, New York City

Dive inside the rich, vibrant works of master painter Vincent Van Gogh when you attend the internationally acclaimed Immersive Van Gogh Exhibit at Pier 36.

Let Van Gogh’s iconic works, like Starry Night and Sunflowers, wash over you as you enter a new alternate art-driven reality. This immersive, multi-sensory experience lets you explore Van Gogh’s legendary works through an unmissable 360-degree show.

Prepare your imagination (and camera). The exhibit is designed by Emmy award-winning Broadway set designer David Korins. This paint-filled whimsical exhibit allows you to literally step inside these incredible post-Impressionist works by utilizing:

  • 60,600 frames of video
  • 90,000,000 pixels
  • over 500,000 cubic feet of projections

The Immersive Van Gogh exhibit even includes the use of an AI tool that allows visitors to write a personalized letter to Van Gogh and receive one in return. 

Wide shot of a group of women looking at the portraits of the Obama's at the Art Institute of Chicago in Chicago, Illinois

photo credit: Art Institute of Chicago via Facebook

Illinois - Best Art Museums

Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago

Chi-town may be known for deep-dish pizza and the White Sox, but real art lovers know there is a whole world of art to discover in the Windy City! 

The Art Institute of Chicago is the second-largest art museum in the United States and holds over 300,000 pieces of art from around the world. Seamlessly travel through time as you witness art that spans centuries, ranging from Ancient Roman artifacts to sculptures from surrealist master, Dali.

Related Post: The Eight Best Chicago Museums You Can't Miss

Their impressive collection includes heavy hitters such as:

  • Monet
  • Hokusai
  • Bisa Butler
  • Vincent van Gogh
  • Mary Cassatt
  • Edward Hopper

Pro Tip: Short on time? The Art Institute has a helpful ‘what to see in an hour’ highlight that can help you make the most of your short(er) visit. 

Pennsylvania - Best Art Museums

Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia 

The Philadelphia Museum of Art might be most recognized for its famous stairs (thank you, Rocky), but it would be a shame to never venture inside this renowned epicenter of art, culture, and learning. 

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One of the oldest public art museums in the country. The Philadelphia Museum of Art contains a staggering 200 galleries, including many new spaces designed by legendary architect Frank Gehry. Whether you’re a fashion fiend or an Asian art expert, there are over seven curatorial departments featured here, showcasing a wide range of mediums.

Impressively, the museum is home to:

  • the largest Marcel Duchamp collection
  • Renoir
  • Degas
  • Cézanne
  • Van Gogh

Pro Tip: Armour up! The museum also features the second most extensive collection of arms and armor in the United States.

Close up of the some of the puppets used in the show Fraggle Rock with a blue wall behind them at the Center for Puppetry Arts in Atlanta, Georgia

photo credit: Center for Puppetry Arts via Facebook

Georgia - Best Art Museums

Center for Puppetry Arts, Atlanta

Kermit, Miss Piggy, and Big Bird are all anxiously awaiting your arrival at the Center for Puppetry Arts in Atlanta. This spacious 80,000 square foot museum is every puppet lover's dream, featuring the world’s most extensive collection of Jim Henson artifacts. 

Ideal for young ones (or those just young at heart), the museum holds everything from Vietnamese water puppets to costumes and videos from cult favorites like Labyrinth and the Dark Crystal. 

An overflow of video elements makes the Center a can’t miss ATL art destination. They include:

  • engaging exhibits
  • interactive experiences
  • the opportunity to take a selfie with Big Bird 

Pro Tip: No boring museum gift shops here! Instead, you can purchase everything from stop-motion kits, craft packages, Henson collectibles, and puppets at their incredibly stocked museum store

Large wall of yellow and purple graffiti depicting a panther spray painting on the side of the Museum of Graffiti in Miami, Florida

photo credit: Museum of Graffiti via Facebook

Florida - Best Art Museums

Museum of Graffiti, Miami

Looking for a cutting-edge street art escapade? Pack your bags for the sunshine state and head to Miami’s Museum of Graffiti

Once thought of as criminals and outlaws, street artists are now exalted as masters of their craft. The Museum of Graffiti seeks to open the public’s eyes to the history and subculture of this modern medium and its influence on design, fashion, and advertising. 

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Brimming with color, excitement, and style, the Museum entails:

  • a sizeable indoor exhibition space
  • eleven exterior murals
  • a fine art gallery
  • a world-class gift shop stocked with limited-edition merchandise

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Pro Tip: Before you sneak away to the beach, take a gander at the many vibrant large-scale outdoor murals commissioned by the Museum for the community of Wynwood by such famed international artists as Abstrk, Lady Pink, and Slick.

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Art can move us, art can challenge us, and art can change us. The power of art to improve our lives and light fires of inspiration and creativity is infinite. 

There is nothing like the thrill of uncovering a new artist, museum, exhibit or collection to lift one’s spirit or bring a smile to one’s face.

With the stress and obligations of our everyday lives, it can be all too easy to put art on the backburner. Nevertheless, we challenge you this November 9th, Go to An Art Museum Day. Step away from the screen, get out of your own head, and into the museum of your choice!

isis with mural in background

Written By Isis Maya

A New York native, Isis-Maya spent most of her professional life working in TV production until a vacation whisked her away to Central America and her love o ...

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