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.

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Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis

Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis

From its summer music fest to its holiday flower and train shows, the Missouri Botanical Garden in St. Louis hosts many annual events. But the garden easily stands on its own, with 79 acres of beautiful displays that include a 14-acre Japanese garden, garden founder Henry Shaw's original 1850 estate home, and one of the world's largest collections of rare and endangered orchids. 960 1280

Missouri Botanical Garden  

Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden, Richmond, VA

Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden, Richmond, VA

Southern charm abounds at the Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden in Richmond, VA. Its stunning classical domed conservatory houses an orchid collection, as well as an annual butterfly exhibit (Memorial Day weekend through mid-October). A giant accessible tree house is part of the garden’s interactive children’s area. And in the winter, the garden dazzles with an annual display of more than half a million lights. 960 1280

Don Williamson Photography  

Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens, Columbus, OH

Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens, Columbus, OH

Large greenhouses make visiting Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens in Columbus, OH, easy year-round. The conservatory houses more than 400 species of plants in environments that include desert and rain-forest habitats. Seasonal displays of blooms, from colorful bulbs to varieties of conifers and grasses, span the outdoor gardens. There is also a unique glassblowing pavilion for demos and classes. 960 1280

Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens  

Desert Botanical Garden, Phoenix

Desert Botanical Garden, Phoenix

You’ll quickly dispel any notion of a lifeless and colorless desert landscape when visiting the Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix. With a distinct mission of focusing solely on desert plants, the garden’s 145 acres showcase more than 50,000 plants, including a unique collection of cacti. The garden is great to explore year-round, but spring is especially popular for the annual butterfly exhibit and wildflower blooms. 960 1280

Desert Botanical Garden  

ABQ BioPark Botanic Garden, Albuquerque, NM

ABQ BioPark Botanic Garden, Albuquerque, NM

Located in Albuquerque, NM, on the banks of the Rio Grande, the ABQ BioPark Botanic Garden has 36 acres of gardens to explore along more than 1 1/2 miles of paths. Two popular exhibits are the Japanese garden, which was designed by noted landscape architect Toru Tanaka, and the children’s garden, which is guarded by a 14-foot topiary dragon. The BioPark also includes a zoo and aquarium. 960 1280

ABQ BioPark Botanic Garden  

United States Botanic Garden, Washington, DC

United States Botanic Garden, Washington, DC

One of the oldest botanical gardens in North America, the United States Botanic Garden was established by Congress in 1820. Located adjacent to the Capitol, this small garden packs a big punch. A conservatory and 2 outdoor areas display a collection of some 65,000 plants, including rare finds such as ferns that date nearly as far back as the garden’s founding. Like at the nearby Smithsonian museums, admission is free. 960 1280

United States Botanic Garden  

San Francisco Botanical Garden, San Francisco

San Francisco Botanical Garden, San Francisco

It’s all about the San Francisco Botanical Garden's magnolias from mid-January through March. During this time, nearly 100 rare magnolias erupt in vibrant pink and white flowers. If you miss the magnolias, you can still feast your eyes on a towering redwood grove and rare cloud forest plants. The garden is located in Golden Gate Park, which is also home to a Japanese garden and flower conservatory. 960 1280

FarOutFlora, flickr   

Atlanta Botanical Garden, Atlanta

Atlanta Botanical Garden, Atlanta

Take a 600-foot-long canopy walk among the branches of oaks, hickories and poplars while looking down on native azaleas, camellias, hydrangeas, perennials and bulbs. That’s just one of the fantastic ways to experience the Atlanta Botanical Garden. There is also an orchid center, which has the largest collection of orchid species on permanent display in the US; a garden pond filled with aquatic plants; and a children’s garden with fountains, sculptures and fun exhibits on botany and ecology. 960 1280

Deborah Dimond, flickr  

New York Botanical Garden, New York City

New York Botanical Garden, New York City

You’ll find this 250-acre oasis in the middle of the Big Apple. The New York Botanical Garden's historic, Victorian-style glass house provides a world tour of 11 distinct plant habitats, including a tropical rain forest and desert environments of the Americas and Africa. Two of the garden’s major events are its spring orchid exhibit and its winter train show. 960 1280

Lorraine Boogich/ iStock/ Getty Images  

Chicago Botanic Garden, Chicago

Chicago Botanic Garden, Chicago

Spanning 26 gardens and 4 natural areas, the Chicago Botanic Garden draws about a million people annually. At nearly 400 acres, it is one of the largest botanical gardens in the US. And its collection of 185 bonsai is one of the best public displays of the miniature masterpieces, with works by bonsai master Susumu Nakamura. Considered a living museum, the garden also does groundbreaking plant conservation research. 960 1280

Dawn Demaske/ iStock/ Getty Images  

Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden, Coral Gables, FL

Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden, Coral Gables, FL

Southern Florida’s climate makes for year-round growing at the Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden near Miami. Among its gems are rare exotic fruit species, including mangosteens, cacao and vanilla orchids. The 83-acre garden also has a butterfly conservatory that showcases almost 3,000 exotic butterflies. Visitors can watch them hatch and be released into the conservatory. 960 1280

Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden  

Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden, Dallas

Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden, Dallas

Dallas is known as the city that does it big, and the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden doesn’t hold back. Its spring flower fest is the largest in the Southwest, featuring more than 500,000 blooms, and in the fall, the garden becomes a pumpkin village, with over 50,000 pumpkins, gourds and squash. The 8-acre children’s area includes more than 150 interactive games and a 20-foot-high waterfall. 960 1280

Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden  

Beau Rivage

Beau Rivage

True story: In July 2011, a Baton Rouge accountant named Deborah Boies walked into this waterfront casino on the Gulf Coast of Biloxi, MS, and sat down at the casino’s $1 Wheel of Fortune machine. After investing $15 in less than a minute, jackpot! She won the $1,191,744.89 on the machine. 960 1280

MGM Resorts International  

Lumiere Place Casino

Lumiere Place Casino

Just down the road from the famed St. Louis Arch is this huge 75,000-square-foot casino. It’s sure to keep you occupied with 2,000 slots, 55 tables and a 13-table poker room. When hunger strikes, head to one of the property’s 5 restaurants. 960 1280

Lumiere Place Casino & Hotels   

Horseshoe Hammond

Horseshoe Hammond

Soft, dim lights, plush carpeting -- and more than 350,000 square feet of gaming space. Oh, yeah! This megahouse of gaming, just 20 minutes from Chicago, boasts the largest poker room in the Midwest and features 34 tables at all limits. 960 1280

Horseshoe Casino  

Green Valley Ranch Resort and Spa

Green Valley Ranch Resort and Spa

Escape the fast-paced Vegas scene. Just 20 minutes from the Strip, this resort sits on 8 acres of land bordered by cool palm trees. In between coiffing your winning hands at the resort’s spa, check out the casino’s 55 gaming tables, 2,200 slot and video poker machines, and 22-table poker room. 960 1280

Carrington Vanston, flickr  

MGM Grand Detroit

MGM Grand Detroit

There’s Vegas, and then there’s … Detroit? Yep, that’s right. The Motor City is one of the largest US cities to offer travelers a casino resort hotel. This beaut includes 100,000 square feet of gaming space with 4,000 slot and video poker machines, along with more than 90 table games. For further relaxation, grab a pint at TAP sports pub or sample the fare at 2 Wolfgang Puck eateries. 960 1280

MGM Detroit  

Gold Strike

Gold Strike

Once you’ve paid your respects to the King in nearby Memphis, hightail it to this resort and casino 20 minutes away, in Tunica Resorts, MS. You’ll find 52 table games and 1,400 slot machines, plus a nightclub, spa and steakhouse restaurant that’s snagged high marks from Wine Spectator magazine. 960 1280

makzhou, flickr  

Mohegan Sun

Mohegan Sun

Welcome to the second largest casino in America (behind Foxwoods -- but the latter’s current financial woes may soon change that). The 364,000 square feet of gaming space in the scenic foothills of southeastern Connecticut features 40 poker tables, open 24/7. 960 1280

Mohegan Sun  

Atlantis Casino Resort Spa

Atlantis Casino Resort Spa

In recent years, the main casino in this resort in Reno, NV, ditched its tropical theme for something more elegant -- think accent lighting and new, streamlined furnishings. Spanning 67,000,000 square feet of space, the casino also boasts 1,500 slot machines and plenty of gaming excitement, including the classic card game baccarat. 960 1280

Atlantis Casino Resort Spa  

Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa

Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa

Hands down, this is the best casino resort in Atlantic City. The $1.1 billion property gets high marks from travelers for its sheer size (it’s the largest hotel in New Jersey) and its Las Vegas feel (it is Atlantic City’s top-grossing casino). The 161,000-square-foot casino floor boasts 4,000 slot machines and 200 table games -- as well as the largest poker room on the East Coast! 960 1280

Getty Images   

Harrah’s New Orleans

Harrah’s New Orleans

A stone’s throw from the mighty Mississippi is another mighty sight: this 115,000-square-foot casino -- home to 2,100 slot machines, more than 90 table games and a poker room. If that’s not sensory overload enough, swing by the French Quarter, just 1 block away. 960 1280

vxla, flickr  

Golden Nugget

Golden Nugget

You didn’t think we’d forget Vegas, did you? This Vegas landmark (open since 1946), boasts the largest casino in downtown -- we’re talking 38,000 square feet of gaming space. Near the casino’s registration desk, you won’t soon forget seeing the Hand of Faith -- a gold nugget, found in Australia in 1980, that was purchased by the resort for more than $1 million. 960 1280

Golden Nugget Hotel & Casino  

Belterra Casino Resort

Belterra Casino Resort

Located halfway between Louisville, KY, and Cincinnati, this Indiana casino resort means serious business: 47,201 square feet showcasing 45 table games, 9 poker tables and 1,474 gaming devices -- including the new Grease slot machines. 960 1280

Belterra Casino Resort  

Eldorado Resort Casino

Eldorado Resort Casino

You’ve landed at Shreveport Regional Airport -- so, where’s the first place you go? This swanky casino, located just 7 miles away. The 30,000-square-foot space is home to more than 1,500 slots and video poker machines, as well a gourmet steakhouse and bar-and-entertainment venue where you can belt out some karaoke. Or kick back with a drink. 960 1280

Eldorado Resort Casino   

The Louvre, Paris

The Louvre, Paris

The world’s best-known work of art , the "Mona Lisa," finds its home in the world’s most visited museum, the Louvre. For more than 200 years, da Vinci’s famous painting has resided within the Louvre, a treasure trove showcasing nearly 35,000 pieces of artwork from prehistory to the 19th century. Outside is also a visual feast. Here’s a view of the Louvre’s Pyramid, completed in 1989. 960 1280

Getty Images  

Goreme Open Air Museum, Turkey

Goreme Open Air Museum, Turkey

Centuries ago, monastic communities carved more than 30 cave churches and chapels into these towering rock formations in central Turkey. That was just the beginning: Inside, they painted Byzantine-era frescoes. Today, those works of Eastern Roman Empire art -- painted between the 9th and 11th centuries – remain a unique artistic achievement. 960 1280

Thinkstock   

Metropolitan Museum of Art, NYC

Metropolitan Museum of Art, NYC

The world of ancient Egypt shines in the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Egyptian art collection. The star attraction is the Temple of Dendur (pictured here), a temple built by the Roman governor of Egypt, Petronius, around 15 BC. The Met’s other collections showcase the European masters, as well as works from the ancient Near East, Greek and Roman periods, and the Islamic world. 960 1280

Brooks Walker   

Vatican Museums, Vatican City

Vatican Museums, Vatican City

Michelangelo preferred sculpting to painting. And yet, the “artist who did not want to paint” created one of the most influential works in fresco art in the history of Western art: the painted ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. It’s part of the Vatican Museums, a total of 13 museums in more than a dozen Vatican palaces inside Vatican City. 960 1280

Dennis Jarvis, flickr  

Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam

Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam

In the 17th century, the Dutch were among the world’s leaders in trade, science, military might and art. This era -- known as the Dutch Golden Age -- is preserved at the Rijksmuseum, a Dutch national museum in Amsterdam. The museum showcases a large collection of paintings from this period -- such as Rembrandt’s “The Night Watch” -- that explain why the Dutch were among the world's artistic leaders in developing landscapes, still lifes and genre painting. 960 1280

Thinkstock  

Museo Reina Sofia, Madrid

Museo Reina Sofia, Madrid

In 1937 the Basque town of Guernica, Spain, suffered an aerial attack in which hundreds of civilians died. Soon after, at the behest of the Spanish Republican government, the artist Pablo Picasso began a mural-size work, “Guernica,” in response to the bombing – and as an expression of the tragedies of war. See the haunting work at the Museo Reina Sofia museum, Spain’s national museum dedicated to 20th-century art. 960 1280

Yvette Wohn, flickr  

Santa Maria delle Grazie, Milan

Santa Maria delle Grazie, Milan

This Dominican convent in Milan holds a priceless artistic treasure -- that was nearly lost to the world. During World War II, aerial bombs hit the 15th-century church, destroying many of its walls. Luckily, one of the walls of the refectory (dining hall) was spared -- and so was the mural painting that covered it: Leonardo da Vinci’s “The Last Supper.” 960 1280

mll, flickr  

Storm King Art Center, New York State

Storm King Art Center, New York State

Nature and art combine in tranquil harmony at Storm King Art Center. The 500-acre site, located 1 hour north of NYC, is home to more than 100 carefully placed sculptures. The landscape’s design was the vision of a retired businessman, Ralph Ogden, who founded Storm King in 1960. As you stroll the fields in the lower Hudson Valley, you’ll see massive works of sculpture such as this piece, “Mozart’s Birthday,” by sculptor Mark di Suvero. 960 1280

Melodie Mesiano, flickr  

Uffizi Gallery, Florence, Italy

Uffizi Gallery, Florence, Italy

Visitors walk through one of the oldest art museums in the Western world: the Uffizi Gallery in Florence, Italy. Construction of the building began in 1560; later, in 1765, it was opened to the public as a museum. Among the treasures you’ll find inside are Botticelli’s “The Birth of Venus,” ceiling frescoes and ancient Roman sculptures such as “The Wrestlers.” 960 1280

Saiko, Wikimedia Commons  

National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC

National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC

Washington, DC’s National Gallery of Art holds a major distinction: It’s home to the only portrait by Leonardo da Vinci in the Americas. The Renaissance master’s double-sided portrait of a 15th-century Italian aristocrat, Ginerva de’ Benci, can be found in the West Building’s Main Floor gallery 6. 960 1280

Thinkstock  

Crown Fountain at Millennium Park, Chicago

Crown Fountain at Millennium Park, Chicago

Experience this interactive work of public art at Chicago’s Millennium Park. The 50-foot-tall structure – the brainchild of Spanish Catalan artist and sculptor Jaume Plensa -- is one of 2 towers on which digital video images appear. LED screens showcase actual Chicago residents. The water that spouts through a nozzle on each tower’s front face operates from May to October. 960 1280

atl10trader, flickr  

Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), NYC

Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), NYC

Known simply as MoMA, the Museum of Modern Art in Midtown Manhattan houses one of the finest collections of modern art in the Western world. One of the standouts among the museum’s 150,000 treasures is “The Starry Night” -- the famous 1889 work by Dutch artist Vincent van Gogh that captures a view of southern France from his sanatorium room window. 960 1280

Minette Layne, flickr  

Lakshmana Temple, India

Lakshmana Temple, India

Visitors enter Lakshmana Temple, dedicated to the Hindu god Vishnu, in central India. Carvings depicting various erotic scenes adorn the southern facade of this Hindu temple, built more than 1,000 years ago. Still, they’re just a small portion of the astonishingly intricate images you’ll see among the more than 600 Hindu deities that adorn both the inside and outside of this sandstone temple. 960 1280

Manuel Menal, flickr   

Museo Nacional de Antropologia, Mexico

Museo Nacional de Antropologia, Mexico

Before Christopher Columbus set foot in the Americas, a rich civilization thrived in what is now modern-day Mexico. The pre-Columbian era is preserved at Mexico’s Museo Nacional de Antropologia. Inside you’ll find the largest collection of pre-Columbian artifacts in Mexico, such as the Aztec Stone of the Sun, a large monolithic sculpture that was discovered in 1790. 960 1280

Miguel Angel Bernardo, flickr  

Spiral Jetty, Utah

Spiral Jetty, Utah

This earthwork sculpture, constructed over a 6-day period in 1970, was built entirely of mud, basalt rocks, salt crystals, earth and water. It was the creation of American artist Robert Smithson, who coined the term “earthworks” art. "Spiral Jetty" is Smithson’s most famous example of this art form. While exposure to the elements has changed the jetty’s original colors, it remains a fixture of the northeastern shore of Utah’s Great Salt Lake. 960 1280

Michael David Murphy, Wikimedia Commons  

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