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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Sam and Vince Gill work on a tune at the Dark Horse Studio. 960 1280

  

Sam lays down a track in the Dark Horse Studio. 960 1280

  

Sam enjoys a campfire with studio owner Robin Crow, Vince Gill and another musician outside Dark Horse Studio. 960 1280

  

Dave Jump and Sam look at the archives of vinyl stamps at the United Record Press. 960 1280

  

The vinyl stamp for Great Weekends. 960 1280

  

Dave Jump gives Sam a tour of the United Record Press. 960 1280

  

The crew films a scene at Manuel's Costumier. 960 1280

  

Sam tries on one of Manuel's creations. 960 1280

  

Sam is given a job by Carol Fay and Uncle Jesse at the Loveless Café. 960 1280

  

A few of Nashville's world-famous honky-tonks. 960 1280

  

Sam performs with Those Darlins at Robert's Western World. 960 1280

  

All those singing lessons paid off as Sam sings at Robert's Western World. 960 1280

  

Nashville  12 Photos

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Tour de France’s 100th

Tour de France’s 100th

Cycling’s premier annual event marks its 100th anniversary in 2013. The very first Tour de France comprised a 5-stage race, beginning in Paris and stopping in Lyon, Marseille, Bordeaux and Nantes before returning to Paris. Today, the race typically spans 21 days and a total of 2,000 miles; 2013’s Tour de France will start in Corsica, in the city of Porto-Vecchio, and finish at dusk in Paris. 960 1280

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Grand Central’s 100th

Grand Central’s 100th

This megadaddy of rail travel turns 100 in 2013. Spanning 48 acres, the grand Beaux-Arts-designed terminal has risen and fallen (it went into bankruptcy in 1970 and even faced potential demolition), and risen again. Today, the hub is the world’s sixth most visited tourist attraction, according to a Travel + Leisure survey. 960 1280

Katie Hards   

Groundhog Day at 20

Groundhog Day at 20

Thank the 1993 Bill Murray flick for catapulting this furry little guy onto the national scene. 2013 marks the American comedy-turned-classic’s 20th anniversary. Celebrate with a trip to the central Pennsylvania town of Punxsutawney, where thousands have gathered each year since 1886 to await Punxsutawney Phil’s end-of-winter predictions. According to records dating back to 1887, Phil’s been accurate 39% of the time. 960 1280

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125 Years of Nat Geo

125 Years of Nat Geo

Many leaders have had the National Geographic Society to thank for kindling their imagination in exploring the world around them. Among them was America’s 36th president LBJ -- he once said, “My mother brought me up by putting the Bible in my right hand and the National Geographic magazine in my left.” 960 1280

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Amsterdam’s Big Year

Amsterdam’s Big Year

Amsterdam sees an epic year of milestones ahead: In 2013, Amsterdam marks the 175th birthday of the Artis Royal Zoo, the nation's most famous zoo, which houses 900 species of animals. The Dutch capital is also celebrating the 400th anniversary of its famed Canal Ring, which has given Amsterdam the moniker, "Venice of the North." 960 1280

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Hitchcock’s The Birds 50th

Hitchcock’s The Birds 50th

One day, without warning, this idyllic coastal town in Sonoma County, CA, was attacked by … the birds! Who can ever look at birds the same way after watching Hitchcock’s suspense-horror classic, which turns 50 in 2013. Mark the occasion with a visit to Bodega Bay, and keep a watchful eye on the sky -- you just never know. 960 1280

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Harley-Davidson at 110

Harley-Davidson at 110

The freedom of the open road, the need for speed -- this journey began 110 years ago in Milwaukee. In 1903, the granddaddy of American motorcycle manufacturers got its start in a small machine shop, where a 23-year-old engineering genius William Sylvester Harley toiled away. Harley worked on a “motor-cycle” with childhood friend Arthur Davidson; the rest is bad-ass history. 960 1280

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The Drive-In Turns 70

The Drive-In Turns 70

This icon of American pop culture became official 70 years ago, when a chemical company magnate was granted a patent for his invention: an outdoor theater. From humble beginnings (the first drive-in opened in Pennsauken Township, NJ), the drive-in movie theater peaked in popularity from the late 1950s to early 1960s. You can relive the glory days at retro drive-ins like Sandell Theater in Clarendon, TX. 960 1280

Orange County Archives, flickr  

Lamborghini at 50

Lamborghini at 50

You are what you drive. Who’d want to admit that -- unless, of course, you’re driving this motor-sportin’ beaut. Fifty years ago, the Italian luxury sports car manufacturer got its start in the northern Italian town of Sant'Agata Bolognese. In May 2013, the automaker celebrates by hosting a 700-mile road trip through northern and central Italy. Andiamo! 960 1280

Ben_in_london, flickr  

David Livingstone's 200th

David Livingstone's 200th

“Dr. Livingstone, I presume?” Why, indeed it is: 2013 marks the 200th anniversary of the famed Scottish explorer’s birth. At the age of 27, the young missionary headed for Africa. Fascinated by the continent’s beauty, he went on to spend 30 years in places such as modern-day Botswana and Zambia. In the end, his one regret was that he hadn’t spent enough time with his children. Honor the great doctor’s legacy; take the kids on safari. 960 1280

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Elvis’ Aloha from Hawaii 40th

Elvis’ Aloha from Hawaii 40th

We’re caught in a trap, I can’t walk out … and why would you want to? Not when the setting is the beautiful Aloha State. This year marks the 40th anniversary of the King’s live concert from the capital city of Honolulu. Celebrate Elvis’ love of all things Hawaiian with your own journey to his favorite spots, like Hanauma Bay, featured in his films Blue Hawaii and Paradise, Hawaiian Style. 960 1280

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Emancipation Proclamation's 150th

Emancipation Proclamation's 150th

With a stroke of the pen, Abraham Lincoln opened the door to the eradication of America’s greatest evil. The end of slavery would not come with the simple signing of this executive order on Jan. 1, 1863, but it did make abolition an official goal of the Civil War. Revisit that chapter in the exhibit “Changing America,” at Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History through Sept. 15, 2013. 960 1280

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Gettysburg at 150

Gettysburg at 150

“Four score and 7 years ago …” The passion of Abraham Lincoln’s words, all 272 of them, gave meaning to what history would record as the bloodiest battle of the Civil War. Relive this pivotal moment in US history with a trip to this stretch of southern Pennsylvania, during the 150th anniversary year of the Battle of Gettysburg and the Gettysburg Address. 960 1280

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I Have a Dream Turns 50

I Have a Dream Turns 50

Fifty years ago, Martin Luther King Jr. led the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom; stand in the exact spot where MLK delivered his speech at the Lincoln Memorial. 2013 sees other big civil rights anniversaries, including the 100th birthday of the “first lady of civil rights” Rosa Parks and the 50th anniversary of protests in Birmingham, AL, that triggered a national dialogue about the need for civil rights for African-American citizens. 960 1280

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West Virginia's 150th

West Virginia's 150th

The Mountain State marks its 150th anniversary in 2013. In June 1863, at the height of the Civil War, an expanse of land in the Appalachian Mountain range broke away from the state of Virginia, becoming the only state to form by seceding from the Confederacy. Among West Virginia’s must-see sites is the New River Gorge, a 3,030-foot-long steel arch bridge near Fayetteville, WV. 960 1280

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Lewis & Clark and Sacagawea Statue

Lewis & Clark and Sacagawea Statue

This towering statue in Charlottesville, VA, commemorates the 1803-1806 journey of the Lewis and Clark Expedition. Dedicated in 1919, the statue also pays homage to Shoshone Indian Sacagawea, who acted as interpreter and guide to the explorers, traveling thousands of miles alongside them from North Dakota to the Pacific Ocean. 960 1280

Image by Bsabarnowl through Creative Commons License  

Native American Powwow

Native American Powwow

Silhouette of an Oglala Lakota member during a 3-day powwow on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota. A gathering of North America’s Native people, powwows began hundreds of years ago, showcasing drumming, dancing and storytelling. 960 1280

Reuters  

Trail of Tears

Trail of Tears

In 1830, the Indian Removal Act forced thousands of Native Americans from their homes in the Southeast. The route, later known as the Trail of Tears, led to the deaths of roughly 4,000 Cherokee people from exposure, disease and starvation. Today, about 2,200 miles of the route are preserved, marking the journey through portions of 9 states. 960 1280

Image by Houseofsims through Creative Commons License  

Little Bighorn

Little Bighorn

Little Bighorn in Montana was the site a 2-day battle in which Lakota, Northern Cheyenne and Arapaho people, led by several war leaders, including Crazy Horse, saw decisive victory against US infantry forces led by George Armstrong Custer -- his final battle here would come to be known as “Custer’s Last Stand.” 960 1280

Image by MattSchwartz through Creative Commons License  

Legend Rock Petroglyph Site

Legend Rock Petroglyph Site

Located in Hot Springs County, WY, Legend Rock features nearly 300 individual petroglyphs spread across the face of red-brown sandstone. The petroglyphs, showcasing otherworldly spirit figures, feature some of the oldest examples of rock art in the world, stretching as far back as 3,000 years. 960 1280

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Totem Poles

Totem Poles

Carved from trees, towering structures like this were the handiwork of the indigenous peoples of the Pacific Northwest coast. Very early European explorers thought totem poles were objects of worship, but later explorers noted they seemed only to illustrate stories. Here’s a view of the Kwakwaka'wakw pole at Thunderbird Park in Victoria, British Columbia. 960 1280

Theodore Scott, flickr  

Crazy Horse Memorial

Crazy Horse Memorial

More than 135 years after his death, Crazy Horse ranks as one of the most notable Native American tribal leaders. Tucked in South Dakota’s Black Hills, the memorial to the famous Lakota warrior is more than 60 years in the making. Current projections call for the memorial's completion by 2020. 960 1280

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Pueblo Bonito

Pueblo Bonito

Chaco Culture National Historical Park is home to the densest and most remarkable concentration of pueblos in the Southwest. Within the park, Pueblo Bonito is the largest. The ancestral Pueblo people constructed the structure between 850 A.D. and 1150 A.D. This “Great House” was the center of the Chacoan world. 960 1280

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Mesa Verde National Park

Mesa Verde National Park

Another great place to explore the lives of ancestral Pueblo people is Colorado’s Mesa Verde National Park -- it’s home to some of the best-preserved cliff dwellings in the world. Spanning more than 81 square miles, the site encompasses more than 4,000 archaeological sites and 600 cliff dwellings. 960 1280

Ken Lund, flickr  

Cahokia Mounds

Cahokia Mounds

Across the Mississippi River, east of St. Louis, discover an ancient Native American city. Spanning 2,200 acres, the Cahokia Mounds preserve a settlement that thrived more than 500 years before Europeans ever set foot in the New World. In fact, Cahokia was the largest and most influential urban settlement in the Mississippian culture, thriving between 600-1400 A.D. 960 1280

Steve Moss, flickr  

Four Corners Monument

Four Corners Monument

Stand on the exact spot where the states of Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico and Utah meet. This amazing quadripoint, celebrated in granite and brass, is overseen by the Navajo Nation. As you journey to the site, along US Highway 160, make sure you bring plenty of comforts for the road. The area is remote, with no running water, electricity or telephones. 960 1280

Rich Torres, Wikimedia Commons  

Chumash Painted Cave

Chumash Painted Cave

Inside this small sandstone cave in Santa Barbara, CA, is an amazing sight: ancient rock art attributed to the Chumash people – a Native American people who’ve inhabited the central and southern coastal regions of California for a millennia. 960 1280

Brad Lauster, flickr  

Oklahoma History Center

Oklahoma History Center

Just across the street from the governor’s mansion, the Oklahoma History Center tells the story of prehistoric Native American tribes. The focal point is the ONEOK Gallery: Located on the north end of the museum’s first floor, the gallery showcases the histories of 39 American Indian tribes through art, artifacts, tribal music and more. 960 1280

  

National Museum of the American Indian

National Museum of the American Indian

Explore the story of 1,000 Native American tribes, spanning 10,000 years, at the National Museum of the American Indian. Since it opened on DC’s National Mall in 2004, the museum has preserved the literature, history, languages and arts of America’s earliest peoples through a collection of more than 800,000 objects and a photographic archive of 125,000 images. 960 1280

Allie_Caulfield, flickr  

Cherokee Indian Reservation

Cherokee Indian Reservation

As far back as 3,800 years, the Cherokee people have called western North Carolina home. Today, you can explore that world at the Cherokee Indian Reservation, which includes a recreated village showcasing what life was like for the Cherokee 250 years ago. The reservation is also home to Mingo Falls -- a 120-foot-tall waterfall, one of the tallest in the southern Appalachians. 960 1280

Timothy Wildey, flickr  

Acoma Pueblo

Acoma Pueblo

Sixty miles west of Albuquerque, this Native American pueblo has been inhabited continuously for over 800 years -- making it one of the oldest communities of its kind in the US. Acoma Pueblo spans 3 villages, home to nearly 5,000 people. The grounds also include this Spanish mission church, founded in 1629. 960 1280

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Native Voices at The Autry

Native Voices at The Autry

The talents of Native American playwrights take center stage at The Autry National Center of the American West. The Los Angeles intercultural center and museum is home to Native Voices, a theatre company dedicated to producing new works such as Kino and Teresa,the story of star-crossed lovers in late-17th century Santa Fe by longtime Angelino James Lujan. 960 1280

Abel Gutierrez  

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

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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