10 Design Destinations for Your Next Vacation

10 Design Destinations for Your Next Vacation

Taryn Williford
Aug 8, 2015
(Image credit: pio3/Shutterstock)

Sandy beaches are great, but if I'm using my precious vacation time to take a trip somewhere new, I'd rather visit a place brimming with culture and history over bikini-clad bodies. If you're the design-minded type, why not make your next trip to one of these style-forward cities and see some of the country's best museums, architecture and artwork?

Feast your eyes on some of America's best cities for sightseeing, then check out the quick links to Apartment Therapy's Design Destination Guides (you can also peek at the comments for even more tips straight from the locals).

New York City

One of the world's premier museum destinations, no surprise NYC is a top pick for soaking up culture. Don't miss the Museum of Modern Art, the Cooper-Heweitt National Design Museum or one of the million art galleries.

(Image credit: Kim Scarborough)


Take your own day off like Ferris and see everything the Windy City has to offer, like The Art Institute of Chicago, Millenium Park and one of its famous architectural boat tours.

(Image credit: Lindsay Tella)

San Francisco

There's plenty of idyllic architecture in San Francisco to make it worth your while (hello painted ladies!), but there's also plenty of local makers to see and shop, like Heath Ceramics and Public Bikes.

(Image credit: Sam Strickler/Shutterstock)

New Orleans

"Vibrant" is really the best word for this Southern port city, with its distinctive music, food and artwork. Check out Jackson Square, the Garden District or one of NOLA's many historic cemetaries.

(Image credit: Sean Pavone/Shutterstock)


Atlanta isn't an old city, but it does host its fair share of American icons. Take a trip back in Coca-Cola's history at the World of Coke, or visit Centennial Olympic Park which memorializes Atlanta's turn as host of the games in 1996.

(Image credit: Natalie Grasso)

Washington DC

American history surrounds you everywhere in the nation's capital, but so do art galleries, urban markets and plenty of lush gardens. Our picks for Washington include a distillery, an art sculpture garden and a few historic homes.

(Image credit: silicon640c under CC BY 2.0)


There's more to Louisville than the Kentucky Derby. This charming city is host to antique stores, glassblowing studios and, yes, lots of Bourbon.

(Image credit: Carlito under CC BY 2.0)


This Pacific Northwest city does not disappoint when it comes to movers, makers and trendsetters. Visit the Olympic Sculpture Park, the Seattle Art Museum, or pop in to one of Seattle's best shops to enjoy local food and wares.

(Image credit: Tess Wilson)


Design lovers flock to Detroit's DIA and MOCAD. If you're a fan of industrial style, there's no better destination than the Motor City. And in that case, make sure you see historic and "gorgeously ruined" Michigan Central Station.

(Image credit: Marcio Jose Bastos/Shutterstock)


No American city is bigger on history. If you're interested in really old architecture or really good seafood, Bean Town should be on your radar. Plan at least a few days to take tours around the city (hosted or on your own).

Where are your favorite design destinations?

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