Nothing can define a destination quite as distinctly as its architecture. Every town or city has a clever way of telling its own stories through the buildings that line its streets. One of the best ways to learn about a new location is to observe its architecture while traveling. Take a look at some eye-catching destinations that all design and architecture lovers must visit throughout the U.S.
Village of Aurora, New York
Village of Aurora attracts design and architecture lovers with its shops, restaurants, and pristinely restored historic homes that make up the Inns of Aurora, a lakeside luxury boutique resort. Five boutique inns feature wrap-around porches, expansive balconies, and towering pillars, as well as extensive selections of original art from founder Pleasant Rowland’s personal collection, including works from David Hockney, Wolf Kahn and Helen Frankenthaler. Guests will also notice worldly antiques Pleasant brought back from vacations, including hand-beaded South African chairs (which could only be paid for in silver), 14th Century Chinese baskets, and hand-carved English mirrors.
After enjoying private activities like fishing lessons with resident Outdoorsman and essential oil blending lessons with the Director of Serenity, guests can unwind with Ayurveda-inspired treatments at the Spa at the Inns of Aurora, the resort’s new 15,000-sq-ft healing and wellness center. Designed by award-winning global design firm Hart Howerton, the Spa promotes deep healing and harmony with clean lines, contemporary architectural forms, additional artwork from Pleasant Rowland’s collection, and a surrounding landscape comprised of lush lavender fields, ginkgo trees, and nature trails – meant to enrich each guest’s sensory wellness journey.
Charleston, South Carolina
Dotted with historic cobblestone streets and churches, pre-Civil-War-era buildings, guided tours such as The Fall Tours of Architecture, History & Gardens, and exciting events scheduled in 2022 – including the North Charleston Arts Fest (May 4-8) and the Spoleto Festival (May 27 – June 12) – the Holy City is an ideal destination for design and architecture lovers.
Guests can stay in design-forward hotels in the heart of the Historic District including HarbourView Inn, a newly refreshed waterfront retreat that mixes old and new design details designed by Jenny Keenan such as 14-foot-high ceilings and exposed brick walls in the Historic Rooms; the award-winning French Quarter Inn, known for its Old World charm and exclusive before-hours tour at Gibbes Museum of Art, a VIP experience only available to hotel guests to explore the museum’s gallery and storage facility; and The Spectator Hotel, Charleston’s high-design, distinct boutique hotel dressed entirely by local artisans, marrying Art Deco style with an air of Southern Charm – transporting guests back to the glamorous era of the 1920s.
Grand Rapids, Michigan
The charming city of Grand Rapids is home to one of the world’s 100 most visited art museums, the picturesque Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park. It hosts many annual art festivals including ArtPrize (October 2022), LaughFest (March 16-20, 2022) and the Grand Rapids Film Festival (April 2022).
For design-focused places to eat and stay, the newly opened MDRD on the 27th floor of the historic Amway Grand Plaza offers a classy design experience, while the hotel itself is a centrally-located place to stay with a rich history and design details that date back to 1913.
Fort Worth, Texas
Growing art scene of Fort Worth attracts art connoisseurs already and it will only continue to bloom in 2022. Art museum The Modern will present “Women Painting Women,” an exhibit featuring 46 female artists who choose women as subject matter in their works, from May through September.
For architecture lovers, the city features distinct Art Deco architecture, including buildings like The Sinclair, an Autograph Collection hotel in the heart of downtown housed in a historic 1940s building; Will Rogers Memorial, an acclaimed equestrian and livestock facility in Fort Worth’s Cultural District; and the nearby Dickies Arena, a new 14,000 seat multipurpose arena, which displays decorative parapets and expansive murals. The Cultural District also features world-class museums like the Kimbell, the Amon Carter Museum of American Art, and the aforementioned The Modern, all within walking distance of one another, which will host exciting art exhibitions throughout the year.
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