World's Best Art Destinations

Hungry for inspiration? These art destinations worldwide will satisfy your craving with extraordinary works of creativity and genius located in world-class museums and even the great outdoors.

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Meadow Brook Hall, Rochester Hills, Michigan
Meadow Brook Hall (Rochester Hills, MI)

Meadow Brook Hall (Rochester Hills, MI)

Explore the fourth-largest historic home in the United States. Spanning 110 rooms, the 88,000 square-foot mansion was built in a Tudor Revival style, between 1926 and 1929, by the widow of auto pioneer John Francis Dodge. The mansion and surrounding 1,400-acre grounds were donated to Michigan State University in 1957. 960 1280

Meadow Brook Hall  

Hearst Castle (San Simeon, CA)

Hearst Castle (San Simeon, CA)

This Mediterranean Revival-style mansion was designed for newspaper magnate William Randolph Hearst by Julia Morgan, the first woman architect licensed in California. Morgan’s vision, shaped over the course of a 28-year collaboration with Hearst, features 56 bedrooms, 61 bathrooms, 19 sitting rooms, 127 acres of gardens and so much more -- including the world’s largest private zoo. 960 1280

Alex Proimos, flickr  

Flagler Museum (Palm Beach, FL)

Flagler Museum (Palm Beach, FL)

Once hailed by a New York newspaper as "more wonderful than any palace in Europe, grander and more magnificent than any other private dwelling in the world," this 55-room mansion, built by oil tycoon Henry Flagler in 1901, later came close to demolition -- until one of Flagler’s granddaughters saved it in 1959. You’ll need a good 2 hours to tour the property -- must-see stops include the Louis XV-style Grand Ballroom and the atrium garden. 960 1280

Getty Images  

Hillwood Estate (Washington, DC)

Hillwood Estate (Washington, DC)

Post Cereal heiress Marjorie Merriweather Post had 3 estates, including Mar-a-Lago on Palm Beach Island. Donald Trump now owns that one, but the real star of Post’s collection is Hillwood Estate. Post loved this urban oasis in the heart of DC more than any of her other estates -- her ashes are interred in the estate’s Rose Garden. The biggest draw is the estate’s decorative arts collection, from Faberge eggs to 18th and 19th-century French art. 960 1280

Jennifer Boyer, flickr  

Stan Hywet Hall & Gardens (Akron, OH)

Stan Hywet Hall & Gardens (Akron, OH)

This swanky country estate ranks as the 12th largest house in the United States. The Tudor Revival-style home, which originally spanned 3,000 acres (it’s now on 70 acres), was built between 1912 and 1915 by the founder of the Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company. Above the manor’s front door is a stone inscription: “Non nobis solum,” meaning, “Not for us alone.” In keeping with that motto, the estate is open seasonally to the public. 960 1280

Stan Hywet Hall & Gardens  

Edsel and Eleanor Ford House (Grosse Pointe Shores, MI)

Edsel and Eleanor Ford House (Grosse Pointe Shores, MI)

This 87-acre estate, just northeast of Detroit, was the home of Edsel Ford (Henry’s son) and his wife, Eleanor. Before her death in 1976, Eleanor stated that the property be used for the “benefit of the public.” Today, visitors can tour the 20,000-square-foot home to see the intimate family photos that take you back to 1927, when the home was built, and beyond, to the home’s heyday in the 1940s. On the grounds, be sure to check out Josephine Ford’s child-sized playhouse, built by her grandmother in 1930. 960 1280

Edsel & Eleanor Ford House  

Oheka Castle (Huntington, NY)

Oheka Castle (Huntington, NY)

Head to Long Island’s Gold Coast for a tour of this sprawling estate -- the second-largest private home in the US. The estate comprises 127 rooms and over 109,000 square feet. Oheka was built between 1914 and 1919 to serve as the country home of investment banker Otto Hermann Kahn (the name Oheka is an acronym for his name). Oheka also served as partial inspiration for Gatsby’s estate in Fitzgerald’s novel. 960 1280

Michael Fucci  

Moody Mansion (Galveston, TX)

Moody Mansion (Galveston, TX)

Step into turn-of-the-century splendor at this sprawling 28,000-square-foot, 4-story mansion. Completed in 1895, the estate was the home of American financier William Lewis Moody Jr. – once proclaimed by TIME magazine to be one of the 10 wealthiest men in America. Now a museum, the estate offers tours of 20 rooms. Among the beautiful touches is a gold leaf ceiling in the dining room. 960 1280

JR Gordon, flickr  

Virginia Robinson Estate (Beverly Hills)

Virginia Robinson Estate (Beverly Hills)

Beverly Hills is home to plenty of jaw-dropping homes, but only one is open to public tours. This 6-acre estate, once home to Harry and Virginia Robinson (of Robinson’s department store), was built in 1911. The estate’s architectural highlight is its playhouse/pool pavilion, which was added in 1924. Its memorable features include a reflecting swimming pool, as well as Tuscan columns and arches with sgraffiti, an Italian style of wall décor similar to fresco. 960 1280

Virginia Robinson Estate  

Pabst Mansion (Milwaukee)

Pabst Mansion (Milwaukee)

This Flemish Renaissance Revival-style beaut was home to German-American beer baron Frederick Pabst between 1892 and 1908. The property was later purchased by the Archdiocese of Milwaukee, and for the next 67 years, it served as home to 5 archbishops. Centrally located in downtown Milwaukee, the estate is open year-round to the public, offering visitors a chance to behold the estate’s signature feature: intricate woodwork. 960 1280

Pabst Mansion   

Glensheen (Duluth, MN)

Glensheen (Duluth, MN)

This 7.6-acre estate was built between 1905 and 1908 by lawyer and businessman Chester Adgate Congdon. The lakefront property features 38 rooms, and an exterior inspired by neoclassical French and English touches. Throughout the house are fine works of art by American and European masters of the day. But the mansion also has a dark side: In 1977, Congdon’s daughter and her nurse were murdered here. While tour guides at the mansion were once prohibited from speaking about the murders, today they’ll speak briefly about it ... upon request. 960 1280

Richard Ruan, flickr  

Staatsburgh State Historic Site (Dutchess County, NY)

Staatsburgh State Historic Site (Dutchess County, NY)

This gorgeous home in the tranquil hamlet of Staatsburg, NY, is regarded by architecture scholars as one of the finest examples of an estate built during America’s Gilded Age. Tour the grounds and see a massive portico, balustrades, floral swags and pilasters that all add up to one big impression: The owners sure had it good here. 960 1280

Rolf Müller, Wikimedia Commons   

Biltmore Estate (Asheville, NC)

Biltmore Estate (Asheville, NC)

In the mountains of Asheville, NC, this luxurious Châteauesque-styled mansion awaits. Built by George Washington Vanderbilt II between 1889 and 1895, Biltmore is the largest privately owned house in America – it spans an astonishing 178,926 square feet and 250 rooms. You’ll be fascinated to see how the era’s wealthy lived: Tour highlights include an indoor swimming pool, bowling alley, 2-story library and early 20th-century exercise equipment. 960 1280

Michael, flickr  

Portland Rose festival
Portland Rose festival

Portland Rose festival

Portland Rose Festival
What started 104 years ago as an effort to make Portland, OR, a popular summer destination is now the official festival of the city. With 4 parades among the dozens of events, the Portland Rose Festival was named the 2011 "Best Festival in the World" by the International Festivals & Events Association.
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Portland Rose Festival Foundation  

Apple Blossom Festival, Wenatchee, WA

Apple Blossom Festival, Wenatchee, WA

Washington State Apple Blossom Festival
Known for its apples, it's no surprise that Washington State would celebrate its apple blossoms. With a waterfront carnival, golf tournament and multiple parades, this 11-day festival in Wenatchee, WA, is entering its 93rd year.
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Thinkstock  

Poppy Festival, Lancaster, CA

Poppy Festival, Lancaster, CA

Poppy Festival
With the largest crop of California's state flower in the area, Lancaster, CA, is home to the Poppy Festival. The festival stays true to its motto, "Always Something New," with its variety of entertainment including acrobats, pirates and sand sculptors.
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City of Lancaster Parks, Recreation & Arts  

Philadelphia International Flower Show

Philadelphia International Flower Show

Philadelphia International Flower Show
What started as a gathering of professional horticulturists in 1829 is now the largest indoor flower show in the country. With displays from the best florists and landscape designers, the Philadelphia International Flower Show also offers horticulture classes and a marketplace full of unique flowers and gardening supplies for sale.
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Getty Images  

Tulip Festival, Skagit, WA

Tulip Festival, Skagit, WA

Annual Tulip Festival
Designed as a driving tour, the festival takes place throughout the Skagit Valley in Washington where farmers grow hundreds of acres of tulips. Among the tulips, enjoy festival events such as a salmon barbecue and 20-, 40- and 60-mile bike rides through the fields.
960 1280

Peter Cherry  

Cherry Blossom Festival, Essex County, NJ

Cherry Blossom Festival, Essex County, NJ

Cherry Blossom Festival
Embracing the Japanese tradition of "hanami" or flower viewing, the Essex County Cherry Blossom Festival in New Jersey boasts over 4,000 cherry trees in the state's "pinkest park." The festival celebrates the blooms with Japanese cultural demonstrations, live music and activities for kids.
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Thinkstock  

Azalea Festival, Wilmington, NC

Azalea Festival, Wilmington, NC

North Carolina Azalea Festival
The largest festival of its kind in the state, the North Carolina Azalea Festival in Wilmington showcases more than 50 events. The events include the crowning of an azalea queen, a circus and a garden tour where Southern belles promenade in their Sunday best.
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John Davis  

Bluebonnet Festival, Chappell Hill, TX

Bluebonnet Festival, Chappell Hill, TX

Bluebonnet Festival
While the bluebonnet may be the state flower of Texas, there is only one "official" bluebonnet festival -- and it's in the small town of Chappell Hill. Each April, the town becomes crowded with visitors looking for Texan arts and crafts, and Southern home cooking.
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Thinkstock  

Tulip Time, Holland, MI

Tulip Time, Holland, MI

Tulip Time Festival
The Tulip Time Festival started in 1927 when a high school biology teacher proposed the idea of a tulip festival to celebrate the Dutch heritage of Holland, MI. The town’s Women's Literary Club accepted the proposal and 100,000 tulips were planted across town, drawing visitors from all over. Today the festival is a weeklong affair with Dutch dances and costumes.
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Thinkstock  

Daffodil Festival, Meridan, CT

Daffodil Festival, Meridan, CT

Daffodil Festival
At the Daffodil Festival in Meriden, CT, a Little Miss Daffodil is crowned to kick off the festivities. Events such as live music by more than 50 local bands, plus amateur boxing and Connecticut’s largest tag sale all occur among over 600,000 blooming daffodils.
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Daffodil Festival of Meridan  

Lilac Festival, Rochester, NY

Lilac Festival, Rochester, NY

Lilac Festival
The Lilac Festival in Rochester, NY, features special events such as a 5K family fun run and a wine & farmers' market. All events take place among the fragrant 500 varieties of lilac bushes -- more than 1,200 in all -- first planted in 1892 by horticulturist John Dunbar in Highland Park.
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Lilac Festival/Beau Productions  

National Cherry Blossom Festival, DC

National Cherry Blossom Festival, DC

National Cherry Blossom Festival
To commemorate the 1912 gift of Japanese cherry trees from the Mayor of Tokyo, Washington, DC, holds the annual National Cherry Blossom Festival. With events like kimono fashion shows, sushi and sake celebrations, and bike tours around the Tidal Basin, the festival is attended by more than 700,000 people each year.
960 1280

Thinkstock  

Daffodil Festival

Daffodil Festival

Daffodil Festival
The city of Puyallup, WA, takes its Daffodil Festival seriously, crowning 24 daffodil princesses. Its Grand Floral Street Parade travels through the cities of Tacoma, Puyallup, Sumner and Orting with 40 floats decorated with freshly cut daffodils.
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Thinkstock  

Historic Garden Week, VA

Historic Garden Week, VA

Historic Garden Week
With tours of the most beautiful gardens and homes throughout the state of Virginia, Historic Garden Week has been called "America's Largest Open House." Ever since it started in 1927 as a flower show to raise money to save the original mulberry trees at Monticello, the festival has celebrated the peak of Virginia's spring beauty.
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Garden Club of Virginia  

Photos

Meadow Brook Hall (Rochester Hills, MI)

Meadow Brook Hall (Rochester Hills, MI)

Explore the fourth-largest historic home in the United States. Spanning 110 rooms, the 88,000 square-foot mansion was built in a Tudor Revival style, between 1926 and 1929, by the widow of auto pioneer John Francis Dodge. The mansion and surrounding 1,400-acre grounds were donated to Michigan State University in 1957. 960 1280

Meadow Brook Hall  

Hearst Castle (San Simeon, CA)

Hearst Castle (San Simeon, CA)

This Mediterranean Revival-style mansion was designed for newspaper magnate William Randolph Hearst by Julia Morgan, the first woman architect licensed in California. Morgan’s vision, shaped over the course of a 28-year collaboration with Hearst, features 56 bedrooms, 61 bathrooms, 19 sitting rooms, 127 acres of gardens and so much more -- including the world’s largest private zoo. 960 1280

Alex Proimos, flickr  

Flagler Museum (Palm Beach, FL)

Flagler Museum (Palm Beach, FL)

Once hailed by a New York newspaper as "more wonderful than any palace in Europe, grander and more magnificent than any other private dwelling in the world," this 55-room mansion, built by oil tycoon Henry Flagler in 1901, later came close to demolition -- until one of Flagler’s granddaughters saved it in 1959. You’ll need a good 2 hours to tour the property -- must-see stops include the Louis XV-style Grand Ballroom and the atrium garden. 960 1280

Getty Images  

Hillwood Estate (Washington, DC)

Hillwood Estate (Washington, DC)

Post Cereal heiress Marjorie Merriweather Post had 3 estates, including Mar-a-Lago on Palm Beach Island. Donald Trump now owns that one, but the real star of Post’s collection is Hillwood Estate. Post loved this urban oasis in the heart of DC more than any of her other estates -- her ashes are interred in the estate’s Rose Garden. The biggest draw is the estate’s decorative arts collection, from Faberge eggs to 18th and 19th-century French art. 960 1280

Jennifer Boyer, flickr  

Stan Hywet Hall & Gardens (Akron, OH)

Stan Hywet Hall & Gardens (Akron, OH)

This swanky country estate ranks as the 12th largest house in the United States. The Tudor Revival-style home, which originally spanned 3,000 acres (it’s now on 70 acres), was built between 1912 and 1915 by the founder of the Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company. Above the manor’s front door is a stone inscription: “Non nobis solum,” meaning, “Not for us alone.” In keeping with that motto, the estate is open seasonally to the public. 960 1280

Stan Hywet Hall & Gardens  

Edsel and Eleanor Ford House (Grosse Pointe Shores, MI)

Edsel and Eleanor Ford House (Grosse Pointe Shores, MI)

This 87-acre estate, just northeast of Detroit, was the home of Edsel Ford (Henry’s son) and his wife, Eleanor. Before her death in 1976, Eleanor stated that the property be used for the “benefit of the public.” Today, visitors can tour the 20,000-square-foot home to see the intimate family photos that take you back to 1927, when the home was built, and beyond, to the home’s heyday in the 1940s. On the grounds, be sure to check out Josephine Ford’s child-sized playhouse, built by her grandmother in 1930. 960 1280

Edsel & Eleanor Ford House  

Oheka Castle (Huntington, NY)

Oheka Castle (Huntington, NY)

Head to Long Island’s Gold Coast for a tour of this sprawling estate -- the second-largest private home in the US. The estate comprises 127 rooms and over 109,000 square feet. Oheka was built between 1914 and 1919 to serve as the country home of investment banker Otto Hermann Kahn (the name Oheka is an acronym for his name). Oheka also served as partial inspiration for Gatsby’s estate in Fitzgerald’s novel. 960 1280

Michael Fucci  

Moody Mansion (Galveston, TX)

Moody Mansion (Galveston, TX)

Step into turn-of-the-century splendor at this sprawling 28,000-square-foot, 4-story mansion. Completed in 1895, the estate was the home of American financier William Lewis Moody Jr. – once proclaimed by TIME magazine to be one of the 10 wealthiest men in America. Now a museum, the estate offers tours of 20 rooms. Among the beautiful touches is a gold leaf ceiling in the dining room. 960 1280

JR Gordon, flickr  

Virginia Robinson Estate (Beverly Hills)

Virginia Robinson Estate (Beverly Hills)

Beverly Hills is home to plenty of jaw-dropping homes, but only one is open to public tours. This 6-acre estate, once home to Harry and Virginia Robinson (of Robinson’s department store), was built in 1911. The estate’s architectural highlight is its playhouse/pool pavilion, which was added in 1924. Its memorable features include a reflecting swimming pool, as well as Tuscan columns and arches with sgraffiti, an Italian style of wall décor similar to fresco. 960 1280

Virginia Robinson Estate  

Pabst Mansion (Milwaukee)

Pabst Mansion (Milwaukee)

This Flemish Renaissance Revival-style beaut was home to German-American beer baron Frederick Pabst between 1892 and 1908. The property was later purchased by the Archdiocese of Milwaukee, and for the next 67 years, it served as home to 5 archbishops. Centrally located in downtown Milwaukee, the estate is open year-round to the public, offering visitors a chance to behold the estate’s signature feature: intricate woodwork. 960 1280

Pabst Mansion   

Glensheen (Duluth, MN)

Glensheen (Duluth, MN)

This 7.6-acre estate was built between 1905 and 1908 by lawyer and businessman Chester Adgate Congdon. The lakefront property features 38 rooms, and an exterior inspired by neoclassical French and English touches. Throughout the house are fine works of art by American and European masters of the day. But the mansion also has a dark side: In 1977, Congdon’s daughter and her nurse were murdered here. While tour guides at the mansion were once prohibited from speaking about the murders, today they’ll speak briefly about it ... upon request. 960 1280

Richard Ruan, flickr  

Staatsburgh State Historic Site (Dutchess County, NY)

Staatsburgh State Historic Site (Dutchess County, NY)

This gorgeous home in the tranquil hamlet of Staatsburg, NY, is regarded by architecture scholars as one of the finest examples of an estate built during America’s Gilded Age. Tour the grounds and see a massive portico, balustrades, floral swags and pilasters that all add up to one big impression: The owners sure had it good here. 960 1280

Rolf Müller, Wikimedia Commons   

Biltmore Estate (Asheville, NC)

Biltmore Estate (Asheville, NC)

In the mountains of Asheville, NC, this luxurious Châteauesque-styled mansion awaits. Built by George Washington Vanderbilt II between 1889 and 1895, Biltmore is the largest privately owned house in America – it spans an astonishing 178,926 square feet and 250 rooms. You’ll be fascinated to see how the era’s wealthy lived: Tour highlights include an indoor swimming pool, bowling alley, 2-story library and early 20th-century exercise equipment. 960 1280

Michael, flickr  

Portland Rose festival

Portland Rose festival

Portland Rose Festival
What started 104 years ago as an effort to make Portland, OR, a popular summer destination is now the official festival of the city. With 4 parades among the dozens of events, the Portland Rose Festival was named the 2011 "Best Festival in the World" by the International Festivals & Events Association.
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Portland Rose Festival Foundation  

Apple Blossom Festival, Wenatchee, WA

Apple Blossom Festival, Wenatchee, WA

Washington State Apple Blossom Festival
Known for its apples, it's no surprise that Washington State would celebrate its apple blossoms. With a waterfront carnival, golf tournament and multiple parades, this 11-day festival in Wenatchee, WA, is entering its 93rd year.
960 1280

Thinkstock  

Poppy Festival, Lancaster, CA

Poppy Festival, Lancaster, CA

Poppy Festival
With the largest crop of California's state flower in the area, Lancaster, CA, is home to the Poppy Festival. The festival stays true to its motto, "Always Something New," with its variety of entertainment including acrobats, pirates and sand sculptors.
960 1280

City of Lancaster Parks, Recreation & Arts  

Philadelphia International Flower Show

Philadelphia International Flower Show

Philadelphia International Flower Show
What started as a gathering of professional horticulturists in 1829 is now the largest indoor flower show in the country. With displays from the best florists and landscape designers, the Philadelphia International Flower Show also offers horticulture classes and a marketplace full of unique flowers and gardening supplies for sale.
960 1280

Getty Images  

Tulip Festival, Skagit, WA

Tulip Festival, Skagit, WA

Annual Tulip Festival
Designed as a driving tour, the festival takes place throughout the Skagit Valley in Washington where farmers grow hundreds of acres of tulips. Among the tulips, enjoy festival events such as a salmon barbecue and 20-, 40- and 60-mile bike rides through the fields.
960 1280

Peter Cherry  

Cherry Blossom Festival, Essex County, NJ

Cherry Blossom Festival, Essex County, NJ

Cherry Blossom Festival
Embracing the Japanese tradition of "hanami" or flower viewing, the Essex County Cherry Blossom Festival in New Jersey boasts over 4,000 cherry trees in the state's "pinkest park." The festival celebrates the blooms with Japanese cultural demonstrations, live music and activities for kids.
960 1280

Thinkstock  

Azalea Festival, Wilmington, NC

Azalea Festival, Wilmington, NC

North Carolina Azalea Festival
The largest festival of its kind in the state, the North Carolina Azalea Festival in Wilmington showcases more than 50 events. The events include the crowning of an azalea queen, a circus and a garden tour where Southern belles promenade in their Sunday best.
960 1280

John Davis  

Bluebonnet Festival, Chappell Hill, TX

Bluebonnet Festival, Chappell Hill, TX

Bluebonnet Festival
While the bluebonnet may be the state flower of Texas, there is only one "official" bluebonnet festival -- and it's in the small town of Chappell Hill. Each April, the town becomes crowded with visitors looking for Texan arts and crafts, and Southern home cooking.
960 1280

Thinkstock  

Tulip Time, Holland, MI

Tulip Time, Holland, MI

Tulip Time Festival
The Tulip Time Festival started in 1927 when a high school biology teacher proposed the idea of a tulip festival to celebrate the Dutch heritage of Holland, MI. The town’s Women's Literary Club accepted the proposal and 100,000 tulips were planted across town, drawing visitors from all over. Today the festival is a weeklong affair with Dutch dances and costumes.
960 1280

Thinkstock  

Daffodil Festival, Meridan, CT

Daffodil Festival, Meridan, CT

Daffodil Festival
At the Daffodil Festival in Meriden, CT, a Little Miss Daffodil is crowned to kick off the festivities. Events such as live music by more than 50 local bands, plus amateur boxing and Connecticut’s largest tag sale all occur among over 600,000 blooming daffodils.
960 1280

Daffodil Festival of Meridan  

Lilac Festival, Rochester, NY

Lilac Festival, Rochester, NY

Lilac Festival
The Lilac Festival in Rochester, NY, features special events such as a 5K family fun run and a wine & farmers' market. All events take place among the fragrant 500 varieties of lilac bushes -- more than 1,200 in all -- first planted in 1892 by horticulturist John Dunbar in Highland Park.
960 1280

Lilac Festival/Beau Productions  

National Cherry Blossom Festival, DC

National Cherry Blossom Festival, DC

National Cherry Blossom Festival
To commemorate the 1912 gift of Japanese cherry trees from the Mayor of Tokyo, Washington, DC, holds the annual National Cherry Blossom Festival. With events like kimono fashion shows, sushi and sake celebrations, and bike tours around the Tidal Basin, the festival is attended by more than 700,000 people each year.
960 1280

Thinkstock  

Daffodil Festival

Daffodil Festival

Daffodil Festival
The city of Puyallup, WA, takes its Daffodil Festival seriously, crowning 24 daffodil princesses. Its Grand Floral Street Parade travels through the cities of Tacoma, Puyallup, Sumner and Orting with 40 floats decorated with freshly cut daffodils.
960 1280

Thinkstock  

Historic Garden Week, VA

Historic Garden Week, VA

Historic Garden Week
With tours of the most beautiful gardens and homes throughout the state of Virginia, Historic Garden Week has been called "America's Largest Open House." Ever since it started in 1927 as a flower show to raise money to save the original mulberry trees at Monticello, the festival has celebrated the peak of Virginia's spring beauty.
960 1280

Garden Club of Virginia  

15 Photos
Penumbra Theatre, Minnesota

Penumbra Theatre, Minnesota

As Minnesota’s only professional African-American theatre, Penumbra Theatre Company offers a full season of performances -- one of only 3 theaters of its kind nationwide to do so. The theatre has helped launch the careers of noted playwrights, including August Wilson. 960 1280

Ann Marsden  

Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, Ohio

Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, Ohio

Founded in 1959, the Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park was one of the first regional theatres in the US. In 2004, the Playhouse received its highest honor: a Tony Award for Best Regional Theatre. In 2007, it won its second Tony Award for the musical comedy Company. 960 1280

Tony Arrasmith/Arrasmith & Associates, Wikimedia   

Denver Performing Arts Complex, Colorado

Denver Performing Arts Complex, Colorado

Known locally as “The Plex,” the Denver Performing Arts Complex is home to a Tony Award-winning theatre company -- a distinction it received in 1998. Then in 2011, the theatre was chosen to launch the national touring debut of The Book of Mormon by Colorado’s own Trey Parker and Matt Stone. 960 1280

Dave Friedel, flickr  

Berkeley Repertory Theatre, California

Berkeley Repertory Theatre, California

The Berkeley Repertory Theatre has seen several of its plays hit the NYC stage, including Bridge & Tunnel in 2006, Brundibar in 2007 andPassing Strange in 2008. The company also won the Regional Theatre Tony Award in 1997. 960 1280

Kevin Berne  

Alliance Theatre, Atlanta

Alliance Theatre, Atlanta

Founded in 1968, the Alliance Theatre is the largest regional theatre in the Southeast. The Alliance showcases 10 productions each year (past productions have included The Color Purple and Sister Act the Musical. In 2007, Alliance won the Regional Theatre Tony Award. 960 1280

Jeff Roffman  

Blackfriars Playhouse, Staunton, VA

Blackfriars Playhouse, Staunton, VA

Tucked in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley, the Blackfriars Playhouse is the world’s only recreation of Shakespeare’s original indoor theatre. The 300-seat playhouse opened in September 2001, and showcases Shakespeare productions year-round. 960 1280

Lauren D. Rogers  

Goodman Theatre, Chicago

Goodman Theatre, Chicago

The Goodman Theatre has been a Chicago fixture for more than 8 decades. As the city’s oldest active theatre of its kind, Goodman’s accolades include a 1992 Regional Theatre Tony Award -- an honor that 3 other Chicago-based companies have also received, making Chicago the most recognized city in the US for this honor. 960 1280

Zol87, flickr  

Goodspeed Musicals, East Haddam, CT

Goodspeed Musicals, East Haddam, CT

With a focus on musical theater, Goodspeed Musicals has a rich history: It was the first performance venue for the musical Annie. Since 1968, the Goodspeed has seen 19 productions transfer to Broadway. The theatre company has also won more than a dozen Tony Awards. 960 1280

Wilson H Brownell   

Smith Center for the Performing Arts, Las Vegas

Smith Center for the Performing Arts, Las Vegas

Sure, Las Vegas is known for theatrics, but theatre? You bet! The Smith Center for the Performing Arts opened in March 2012. Its performances of Broadway shows include Mary Poppins and The Color Purple. 960 1280

odonata98, flickr  

Alley Theatre, Houston

Alley Theatre, Houston

Head to downtown Houston to catch a play at the Alley Theatre. The Tony Award-winning indoor theatre has been the venue for an eclectic array of plays, from A Christmas Carol to Death of a Salesman. 960 1280

Alley Theatre  

McCarter Theatre, Princeton, NJ

McCarter Theatre, Princeton, NJ

One of the busiest cultural centers in the US, the McCarter Theatre showcases more than 200 performances a year. Two of the theatre’s productions moved to Broadway in 2006, where they were nominated for Tony Awards. 960 1280

McCarter Theatre/ T. Charles Erickson  

Arena Stage, Washington, DC

Arena Stage, Washington, DC

For the past 60 years, Arena Stage has maintained a focus on “theater of the Americas,” producing American classics and new works, such as One Night With Janis Joplin. The production company has also received the Tony Award for best regional theatre. 960 1280

Nic Lehoux courtesy of Bing Thom Architects  

Yale Repertory Theatre, New Haven, CT

Yale Repertory Theatre, New Haven, CT

Founded in 1966, “The Rep” was one of the first acclaimed regional theatres in the US. Located on Yale’s downtown campus, the company’s productions have garnered both the Pulitzer Prize and the Tony Award. 960 1280

Adamn Jones, flickr   

Walnut Street Theatre, Philadelphia

Walnut Street Theatre, Philadelphia

America’s oldest theatre finds its home in Philadelphia’s Washington Square West neighborhood. The building was built by America’s first circus theatre company in 1809, and initially featured classical plays as well as displays of circus horsemanship. Today, the company maintains its 200-plus-year-old tradition, putting on 5 productions a season on its main stage. 960 1280

Walnut Street Theatre  

Huntington Theatre Company, Boston

Huntington Theatre Company, Boston

The recipient of the 2013 Regional Theatre Tony Award, this theatre in Boston’s historic South End has proved a launching point for nationally recognized plays: Since its opening in 1982, the theatre has transferred 16 productions to New York, including 2 in 2012. 960 1280

Huntington Theatre Company, flickr  

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