Best US Theatres

Broadway isn’t the only place to catch a great show. Discover the best regional theatres nationwide, with performances from drama to musicals that have garnered these theatres national distinction.

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.
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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.
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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.
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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  

Mount Rushmore (Keystone, SD)

Mount Rushmore (Keystone, SD)

You can't get more presidential than Mount Rushmore. This national memorial in South Dakota features the heads of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln. 960 1280

Thinkstock  

State Capitol Rotunda (Denver, CO)

State Capitol Rotunda (Denver, CO)

The rotunda of the state capitol building in Denver features portraits of all the US presidents. 960 1280

Photo Phiend, flickr  

Greenbrier Resort (White Sulpher Springs, WV)

Greenbrier Resort (White Sulpher Springs, WV)

The Greenbrier Resort in West Virginia has played host to 26 US presidents. The last president to stay at the resort during his presidency was Dwight Eisenhower. 960 1280

Bobak Ha'Eri, Wikimedia Commons  

Mount Vernon (Mt. Vernon, VA)

Mount Vernon (Mt. Vernon, VA)

'Visitors watch as "America's smallest parade" takes place at historic Mount Vernon, Virginia near Washington, D.C., February 20, 2006. The U.S. is celebrating President's Day with parades and pageantry throughout the country. REUTERS/Mannie Garcia' 960 1280

© Mannie Garcia / Reuters, JPEGTOII2/MED  

Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum (Springfield, IL)

Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum (Springfield, IL)

Visitors look at a depiction of President Abraham Lincoln meeting with his cabinet, while touring the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum in Springfield, IL. 960 1280

Reuters  

Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial (Washington, DC)

Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial (Washington, DC)

President Clinton touches the statue of Franklin Delano Roosevelt's dog, Fala, as he and first lady, Hillary Rodham Clinton, view the FDR Memorial. The memorial places Roosevelt, the country's 32nd president, alongside giants of US history, Washington, Lincoln and Jefferson with monuments in the heart of the capital. 960 1280

Reuters  

Harry S. Truman's Farmhouse Sitting Room (Independence, MO)

Harry S. Truman's Farmhouse Sitting Room (Independence, MO)

This humble sitting room is from the farmhouse of President Harry S. Truman, located in Independence, MO. 960 1280

National Park Service  

Dwight D. Eisenhower Childhood Home (Denison,TX)

Dwight D. Eisenhower Childhood Home (Denison,TX)

Dwight D. Eisenhower, born in this house in Denison, TX, rose from modest roots to become Supreme Commander of all Allied forces during World War II and US president from 1953 to 1961. 960 1280

Jim Bowen through the Flickr Creative Commons License  

Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum (Simi Valley, CA)

Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum (Simi Valley, CA)

Nancy Reagan touches the grave marker of her husband, Ronald Reagan, at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum in Simi Valley, CA, on June 5, 2005, the one-year anniversary of his death. 960 1280

Pool/Getty Images  

Monticello (Charlottesville, VA)

Monticello (Charlottesville, VA)

Monticello, near Charlottesville, VA, was designed by Thomas Jefferson, the principal author of the Declaration of Independence and third president of the United States. 960 1280

Getty Images  

Adams Tomb (Quincy, MA)

Adams Tomb (Quincy, MA)

The tomb of John Adams (left), second president of the US, is located at the same site as his son, John Quincy Adams (right), sixth president of the US, and their wives, at the United First Parish Church in Quincy, MA. 960 1280

Daderot, via Wikimedia Commons  

John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum (Boston, MA)

John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum (Boston, MA)

The John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, dedicated in 1979, is located on Columbia Point in Boston, MA. The building is the official repository for the original papers and correspondence of the Kennedy Administration. 960 1280

Reuters  

Montpelier (Orange, VA)

Montpelier (Orange, VA)

Montpelier, located near Orange, VA, was a large tobacco plantation and estate of the prominent Madison family of Virginia planters, including James Madison, fourth president of the United States.
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Danita Delimont/Gallo Images/Getty Images  

George H.W. Bush Library (College Station, TX)

George H.W. Bush Library (College Station, TX)

Four US presidents pose inside the George H.W. Bush Library in College Station, TX, on November 6, 1997. Shown (L-R) are Jimmy Carter, George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton and Gerald Ford. 960 1280

REUTERS/Win McNamee  

William J. Clinton Presidential Library (Little Rock, AR)

William J. Clinton Presidential Library (Little Rock, AR)

Exhibit area featuring an exact replica of the Oval Office in the White House at the William J. Clinton Presidential Library in Little Rock, AR, November 17, 2004. 960 1280

Reuters  

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