Looking for some artsy inspiration? Whether a city, a mountain, or a beach, hit the road and check out these destinations that are sure to spark your creativity. You might even bring home something new for your walls.
Four Seasons Resort Rancho Encantado, Santa Fe, NM
With its sweeping mountain views, bright blue daytime sky and fiery pink sunsets, the northern New Mexico landscape has been an undeniable draw for artists for decades; legendary American painter Georgia O'Keeffe fell in love with this land and painted it many times during her career. Situated on 57 acres in the Sangre de Cristo foothills near Santa Fe and fifteen minutes from the city's flourishing arts community, the Four Seasons Resort Rancho Encantado and its adobe-inspired casitas are a tranquil and inspiring place to relax for artists and art lovers alike. Through February, the City Different is hosting Santa Fe Artists in Residence, an art experience aimed at connecting visitors with local artists in the city's hotels. At Four Seasons Resort Rancho Encantado, guests can meet and interact with a variety of artists, including Michael Martinez, Roberta Parry, and Irene Owsley, whose artwork will also be available for purchase.
Rancho Santana, Nicaragua
This 2,700-acre under-the-radar destination, set on five of Nicaragua's stunning and most unique beaches on the Pacific Coast, recently celebrated its 20th anniversary. To mark the occasion, Rancho Santana's CEO commissioned photographer Matt Schwartz, a.k.a. She Hit Pause, who is best known for his signature dreamlike washed beach-scene Polaroids, to shoot surfers and life on the Ranch. The resulting images will be shown at the property's onsite gallery and made available for purchase from late January through March. Located at the 17-room Inn at Rancho Santana, the gallery regularly features original work by Nicaraguan artists, along with that of contemporary artists from nearby Central American countries.
The Old No. 77 Hotel & Chandlery, New Orleans, LA
Art can be found at every turn in New Orleans. The charming and photogenic southern city has long been a hotbed of creative talent—for 300 years to be exact. In the Big Easy's Warehouse (and Arts) District, the Old No. 77 Hotel & Chandlery, which has an airy and loft-like design, can even be described as a work of art itself. The 167-room historic hotel, which opened in 2015 in a building that originally housed a coffee warehouse, takes their art game to the next level thanks to a partnership with Where Y'Art, a gallery and collective of local artists. Guests can buy works from exhibitions that rotate through a space just off the hotel's lobby or get immersed in the vision of a local artist in one of their Artist Loft Suites. Each of the three suites was designed by a Where Y'Art artist with décor, accessories and original works of art—all which can be purchased. Our favorite is curated by native New Orleanian Leroy Miranda, Jr., who focuses his art on his own life story and experiences in Louisiana.
Mountain Shadows, Scottsdale, AZ
Tucked beneath Camelback and Mummy Mountains near Scottsdale in the aptly named Paradise Valley, you'll find the recently revamped Mountain Shadows, which first opened its doors in 1959 and was completely rebuilt in 2017. A photography essentials class will help guests make the most of the modernism-inspired resort and the breathtaking desert backdrop, but real art lovers will most enjoy the museum-quality exhibitions by Arizona artists. A new show opens every two months at The Gallery at Mountain Shadows. Modern American painter—and original Washington Color School member—Paul Reed's masterworks from the 1960s will be featured in the space's second show, Evolution Through Color, until the end of February.
21c Museum Hotel, Louisville, KY
If sleeping in a museum is on your bucket list, look no further than the original 21c Museum Hotel in downtown Louisville's Museum Row. The property is a contemporary art museum and an award-winning boutique hotel spread across five renovated 19th-century bourbon and tobacco warehouses. Rotating curated exhibitions and site-specific installations fill more than 9,000 square feet below 91 spacious guest rooms. For a completely immersive art experience, visitors can choose Asleep in the Cyclone, a functional hotel room and a sculptural installation constructed of re-purposed barn wood, custom textiles, and original sculptures and artworks by artists Jonah Freeman and Justin Lowe—with a design and amenities unique to the room and hand-picked by the artists.
With additional reporting by Kristen Boatright