Music, theater, arts, literature, innovation and intellect — these cities have it all. Something to think about for culture-seeking travelers in search of their next getaway.
1. San Francisco, California
Not surprisingly, San Francisco is one of America’s top creative cities, particularly because of its performing arts, one of the best in the nation. It is home to the Tony Award-winning non-profit American Conservatory Theater and The Fillmore, a music venue where The Grateful Dead, Janice Joplin, and Led Zepplin had their first performances. This Northern Californian city is the birthplace of Instagram and other tech-start ups. San Francisco has the most art schools, the most music stores and the most galleries per capita. Many of its citizens also work in creatively based jobs. So, if you are artistic and looking for a new place, you can count on those San Franciscans to keep you inspired.
Photo courtesy | Michele Ursino
2. Boston, Massachusetts
The home of many highly creative schools including Harvard, MIT, Wellesley College, Boston University, Tufts and Emerson College, Boston is constantly ranked as one of America’s most creative cities. Boston is known for its literary history. It is no wonder that great minds like Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Margaret Fuller, James Russell Lowell, and Henry Wadsworth Longfellow wrote in Boston. More of a music minded person? Boston is home to one of the world’s top orchestras, the Boston Symphony Orchestra, and a few other orchestras including Boston Symphony Orchestra, the related Boston Youth Symphony Orchestra, and the Boston Pops Orchestra. If you like the performing arts there are many theaters around Boston’s Theater District which put on shows every day.
Photo courtesy | Walkn Boston
3. Seattle, Washington
Home to Amazon, Starbucks, and the computer company Cray Inc., Seattle is certainly a place of innovation. The early 1900’s brought the jazz scene to Seattle which saw the development of Ray Charles, Quincy Jones, Bumps Blackwell, Ernestine Anderson, and other jazz musicians. Not only a place rich in jazz, Seattle is arguably the birthplace of grunge music, having produced artists like Nirvana, Soundgarden, Alice in Chains and Pearl Jam. Seattle is also home to the PNB School which ranks as one of the top three ballet training institutions in the United States and has over two dozen live theater venues. It’s no wonder so many creative minds flock to this rainy city.
Photo courtesy | Jonathan Miske
4. Nashville, Tennessee
Nashville is known primarily for its vibrant musical culture, particularly its country music scene. Almost any bar in the downtown area features live music from singers and bands that are on the cusp of making it big. It is also home to many musical venues including the historical Grand Ole Opry House, Belcourt Theatre and the Ryman Auditorium. Many country stars including Alan Jackson, Vince Gill and Amy Grant, Dolly Parton, Martina McBride and Trisha Yearwood have or have had homes located in Nashville. In addition to the country music scene, Nashville is also rich in gospel and contemporary Christian music, along with jazz and is also a place with an active theater scene. They also hold a Nashville Shakespeare Festival, meant to educate and entertain the region with countless Shakespeare plays.
Photo courtesy | Michael Hicks
5. New York City, New York
The Big Apple has more than 2,000 arts and cultural organizations and more than 500 art galleries. The Times Square Theater District, also known as Broadway, is one of the most well-known and richly talented Theater Districts in the world. For the visual artist, New York City is also home to The Museum Mile or the Upper Carnegie Hill with plenty of museums including the Museum for African Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Guggenheim. New York City is the birthplace of the Harlem Renaissance in literature and art, abstract expressionism in the 50’s and hip-hop in the 70’s. The artistic culture is also supported by its government, which funds the arts with a larger annual budget than the National Endowment for the Arts.
Photo courtesy | Hjjanisch