The United States of America is home to some of the world’s most renowned art museums, galleries, incredible street art, and even quirky outdoor installations. With thousands of cities brimming with creativity, we’ve put together a guide to help you find the best art in the USA.
An Art Lover’s Guide to the USA
New York City
Art aficionados will be spoilt for choice in New York, with the Big Apple dubbed the epicentre of the American art world. Top galleries in New York include the Metropolitan Museum of Art (The Met), the Museum of Modern Art (The MoMA), the Guggenheim Museum, and the Whitney Museum of American Art. From ancient sculptures to iconic pieces by Picasso, Van Gogh, and Dali, New York art collections are world-class.
While you’re trekking from one gallery to another, don’t forget to stop and take in the public art like the famous Wall Street Bull, the ‘Old Tree’ at the Highline, and the 9-foot-tall sculpture of Biggie Smalls at the entrance to the Brooklyn Bridge in DUMBO.
LA is another bustling art scene with a blend of galleries bursting at the seams with iconic collections and art from up-and-coming artists. Some of our favourites include The Getty Center which features European paintings, sculptures, and decorative arts, and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) featuring 20 acres of art, fashion, design, and jewellery.
The unsuspecting city of Charleston, South Carolina is actually home to over 70 art galleries and museums, 16 of which are situated all on the same street! Charleston’s Gallery Row is located in the French Quarter where you’ll find the cobblestone streets lined with galleries, restaurants, quaint shops, and historic churches.
For some charming outdoor art, visit the pastel-coloured houses on Rainbow Row. It is theorised that the houses were painted in those captivating hues to help drunken sailors find their way home.
Renowned for its vibrant music scene, New Orleans is also an inspiring city for other forms of art. From the New Orleans Museum of Art (NOMA) - one of the top fine-arts museums in the country - to the New Orleans Historic Voodoo Museum and the countless French Colonial homes, you’ll find the perfect mix of art and history in the Big Easy.
While Texas is home to one of the largest museums in America, the Dallas Museum of Art, and Michelangelo’s first painting in Fort Worth’s Kimbell Art Museum, it’s the outdoor sculptures that really leave you amazed.
The state of Texas features not one, but two Stonehenge replicas, the largest Virgin Mary mosaic in the world, a Prada storefront art installation in the west Texas desert, and the Cadillac Ranch on Route #66, created by a group of hippies in the 70s.
The host city of the annual Art Basel Miami Beach is a hot-ticket destination for art enthusiasts. There are over 200 art galleries to choose from, many of which are working to bolster the local arts scene and promote Latin American and Latinx artists. Top attractions include the waterfront Pérez Art Museum Miami, the ICA Miami, and the Wolfsonian Museum.
The City by the Bay has a little bit of everything for art lovers. The Museum of Modern Art in San Francisco, the Asian Art Museum, and the de Young Museum are all notable museums housing iconic collections of art from around the world. However, it’s the street art that will leave you most impressed in San Francisco. The first floor of Coit Tower, the North Beach neighbourhood, and the Mission District all have incredible murals that you’ll spend hours gazing at in awe.
Get Your Art Fix with Travelex
Now that you’ve picked your next art destination, it’s time to start preparing for your trip. You can learn more about travelling to the US, converting currency, and more in our USA Travelex Travel Guide.
With Travelex, it’s even easier to get organised. You can buy your US Dollars online and collect them at your nearest Travelex store or at your local Australia Post office before you leave. Alternatively, you can load US dollars directly onto your Travelex Money Card online or via our app for our very best rates.