Travel allows us to explore different landscapes and new foods. Many destinations also offer a memorable cultural component like art or architecture. On land and sea, here are ways to explore and enjoy the arts on your next vacation.
Auldbrass Plantation, Yemassee, S.C.
Frank Lloyd Wright architecture is internationally famous, but not all locations are easy to step inside and tour. If you love architecture, you’ll want to plan ahead to visit Auldbrass Plantation, which only opens for tours one weekend every other year.
One of only two Wright-designed buildings in South Carolina, the house was built in 1939 without any right angles. Today, the residence is owned by Hollywood producer Joel Silver, who allows public tours of the 4,000-acre plantation in collaboration with the Beaufort County Open Land Trust. Silver is working with Wright’s architect grandson to restore the property and to build additional structures that were part of Wright’s original plans. Beyond the small home with inward-sloping walls, you’ll find a swimming pool, a sculpture garden, barn stables and plenty of places to walk or sit under a sprawling live oak tree by the banks of the Combahee River.
The Umstead Hotel and Spa Cary, N.C.
At The Umstead Hotel and Spa, a AAA Five Diamond Award-winning property, artwork makes a dramatic statement throughout the contemporary design style of the property. Their private collection features works from both local and national artists, including Dale Chihuly, known for his brilliant blown glass sculptures. In addition to the permanent collection, the hotel has an art gallery that seasonally changes the works on display. It’s not just for the enjoyment of the hotel guests, either. The Umstead Art Collection is open to the public for self-guided tours.
Grand Bohemian Hotel, Charleston, S.C.
Ideally situated downtown, the AAA Four Diamond-rated Grand Bohemian provides easy pedestrian access to local diversions. The hotel’s vivid and bold art collection is what truly sets it apart, though. Inside the boutique luxury property, every nook and cranny seems to showcase dramatic artistic statements, including the hotel rooms with vibrant colors and patterns.
Be sure to request an Atrium View room, where your windows will overlook a sun-filled, grass-floor alcove where the walls are covered in colorful original pieces. Anyone can peruse the Grand Bohemian Art Gallery and store, located on the first floor. The eclectic pieces are part of a national collection that can be found within the luxury hotels and resorts of The Kessler Collection. Ask about upcoming monthly art exhibitions or receptions where you have the rare opportunity to meet the artist.
Carnival Cruise Line
Explore the art history of a historic destination and create your own artwork to take home on unique shore excursions with Carnival Cruise Line.
The “Colors of Vallarta – The Artist Inside of You!” excursion provides an inside look into the region’s stunning fine art galleries. You’ll also venture through the Sierra Madre Mountains to La Dulce Vista where you’ll enjoy an amazing view, drink wine and sample light refreshments. Guests will also finger paint a setting of Puerto Vallarta on a souvenir tile.
With the “Colors of Ensenada – the Artist Inside of You!” tour, visit a variety of different types of art in the city. From a stop at a leather shop to shopping for Dia de Los Muertos statues, you’ll explore the rich artistic heritage of Ensenada. Top off your eclectic day by creating your own souvenir tile with the help of a painting instructor.
Delve into the colorful world of fanciful architecture on an “Art Deco Drive” in New Zealand. The city of Napier is home to one of the world’s greatest collections of art deco buildings, the style that was used to rebuild the city after it was destroyed by an earthquake in 1931.
On the “Odessa’s Museum of Art” excursion found on Ukraine sailings, venture further back in time to the early 19th century at the neoclassical Potocki Palace. Inside, you’ll find a circa 1899 museum that boasts a treasure trove of more than 10,000 works of art featuring European artists from the 16th to 19th centuries.
Uniworld River Cruises
If you’ve ever dreamed about painting the beautiful landscapes of Europe, but wouldn’t know where or how to start, Uniworld’s “Floating Paint and Wine Workshops” are for you! Internationally award-winning artist Davi D’Agostino guides guests in this intimate class. You’ll receive an introduction to painting with acrylics and glean helpful tips from the artist herself. Perhaps your artistic expression will improve as you enjoy regional wines to complement your setting in Germany on the “Rhine, Moselle & Blissful Baden-Baden” itinerary.
Your AAA Travel Agent can help! Call 800-374-2865 or visit AAA.com/GoTravel.