Exploring Artistic Destinations: Summer Travel Guide for Art Lovers

Welcome to our Summer Travel Guide for Art Lovers! As the warm breeze and sunny days of summer beckon, it’s the perfect time to embark on an artistic adventure.

Whether you’re a seasoned traveler or a curious explorer, this guide will inspire you to discover captivating destinations where art and culture thrive. 

We will explore how to:

  • Conduct thorough research on artistic destinations and plan your itinerary.
  • Explore must-see art museums and immerse yourself in gallery experiences.
  • Embrace plein air painting and find inspiration in natural landscapes.
  • Discover vibrant local art scenes and street art in artistic neighborhoods.
  • Support local artists by purchasing their artworks and collecting art memorabilia.
  • Document your artistic journey through travel journaling.
  • Embrace the magic of artistic travel and return home with a renewed artistic spirit.

Preparing for the Journey

Researching Artistic Destinations

Before you embark on your art-filled journey, conduct thorough research on artistic destinations. Explore cities known for their rich art scenes, such as Paris, New York City, and Barcelona. Look for upcoming art festivals and events happening during the summer months, where you can witness the latest trends and creations.

Additionally, identify museums and galleries hosting noteworthy exhibitions, ensuring you don’t miss out on inspiring artwork.

Planning Your Itinerary

Crafting a well-rounded itinerary is key to maximizing your artistic travel experience. Select must-visit art destinations that resonate with your interests and preferences.

Strike a balance between iconic landmarks and hidden gems, as sometimes the lesser-known places offer the most delightful surprises. While planning, remember to leave room for spontaneous artistic discoveries—those serendipitous encounters can often become cherished memories.

Sculpture at Luxor Temple in Egypt
Sculpture at Luxor Temple in Egypt

Exploring Art Museums and Galleries

Must-See Art Museums

Art museums are gateways to cultural treasures and artistic legacies. Research the renowned art museums in your chosen destinations.

The Louvre in Paris, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, and the Prado Museum in Madrid are just a few examples. Explore their vast collections and immerse yourself in masterpieces spanning various periods and styles. Be sure to check if any special exhibitions align with your visit.

Louvre Museum, Paris
Louvre Museum, Paris

Immersive Gallery Experiences

While art museums showcase historical artworks, contemporary galleries offer a glimpse into the pulse of today’s art world. Seek out galleries that host innovative exhibitions, featuring emerging and established artists. Some galleries even organize workshops and artist talks, providing a chance to engage with the creative minds behind the artwork.

Try following your favorite artists on social media to see if they will announce workshops they might be doing. Following galleries or museums local to the area you are visiting can also help you keep on top of events or special deals they might offer.

Embrace these immersive experiences and let them inspire your own artistic journey.

Artistic Landscapes and Nature

Plein Air Painting

Summer offers ideal weather for plein air painting, the practice of creating art outdoors. Seek out picturesque landscapes, whether it’s a serene coastal view, a vibrant cityscape, or a peaceful countryside. Pack your art supplies, set up your easel, and let the beauty of nature fuel your creativity. 

Keep in mind that certain art supplies cannot be taken on planes. Check your area’s regulations before your flight. Solvents, mediums, fixatives, and varnishes, even when they are under the maximum liquid content allowed per bottle, are generally not allowed on planes because of their flammability. Consider buying small bottles of solvent from an art store local to the area you are visiting, or order solvents online to be delivered, by ground travel, to the place you will be staying.

Even oil paints are banned by TSA because of their potential to contain solvents. If you are questioned by TSA for your paints, make sure to specify that they are artist grade oil paints made from vegetable oils. It may even be helpful to print out and carry the product’s Material Safety Data Sheet.

For more about the tools you will need for plein air painting, check out this video:

Natural Wonders as Inspiration

Nature has always been a muse for artists. Explore destinations known for their awe-inspiring landscapes, such as the Grand Canyon, the lavender fields of Provence, or the dramatic fjords of Norway. Check what the weather typically is for the day you will be visiting, and keep in mind the best seasons to view the environment. The lavender fields in Provence only bloom for a few months in the summer.

Whether it’s the vibrant hues of a sunset or the intricate details of a flower, let nature guide your artistic expression.

Lavender fields of Provence France
Lavender fields of Provence France

Local Art Scenes and Street Art

Artistic Neighborhoods and Districts

Every city has its artistic neighborhoods and districts where creativity flourishes. Discover these vibrant hubs, often filled with galleries, studios, and art cafes.

In Paris, explore the artistic ambiance of Montmartre, where Picasso and Van Gogh once roamed.

In New York City, venture to Soho or Chelsea, a neighborhood renowned for its contemporary art galleries. Immersing yourself in the local art and craft scenes can give you a boost of motivation needed to keep creating.

Art Souvenirs and Collectibles

Supporting Local Artists

As you travel, embrace the opportunity to support local artists by purchasing their original artworks. Explore local art markets, attend art fairs, or visit artist studios.

Engage with the artists themselves, learn about their creative process, and take home a piece that resonates with you. Not only will you have a unique artwork to cherish, but you’ll also support the local art community and bring a piece of your travel experiences with you.

Collecting Art Memorabilia

Art memorabilia can serve as cherished mementos of your artistic travel adventures. Look for art-related souvenirs such as postcards, prints, or art books that commemorate the destinations you’ve visited. Collecting these items allows you to build a tangible connection to the places you’ve explored and the art that has inspired you along the way.

Documenting Your Artistic Journey

Travel Journaling and Sketching

A great place to paste postcards or small memorabilia is a sketchbook. Keep a travel journal or sketchbook to document your artistic journey. Capture the sights, sounds, and experiences in written or visual form.  Reflect on your artistic process, jot down ideas, and sketch scenes that inspire you. This practice not only helps you preserve memories but also serves as a creative outlet during your travels.

Travel Journaling and Sketching
FEATURED: Reflexions Watercolor Travel Journals
Travel Journaling and Sketching, Capture the sights, sounds, and experiences in written or visual form

As your summer unfolds, embrace the magic of artistic travel. Immerse yourself in the vibrant art scenes, explore renowned museums and galleries, seek inspiration from natural landscapes, and collect art souvenirs that hold precious memories. Let your creativity thrive in new surroundings, and return home with a renewed artistic spirit. Bon voyage and happy artistic travels!

Some Follow Up Questions and Answers

Q: How do you travel like an artist?

A: Keep in mind that certain art supplies cannot be taken on planes. Check your area’s regulations before your flight and research what is allowed and what is not. The last thing you want is for your art supplies to be taken away by the TSA! Nothing flammable is allowed on board. It may even be helpful to print out and carry the product’s Material Safety Data Sheet.

Q: What is the best art medium for travel?

A: Panned watercolors are one of the easiest mediums to travel with. Since they are dried paints, they don’t fall under the same regulations that liquid paints do, and are easier to bring on plane travel. It is best to find water to paint with at your destination rather than bring it on the plane, as any unmarked containers of liquid or containers exceeding the maximum allowance for liquids will not be allowed on a plane. 

Q: How do I plan an art trip?

A: Research! Try digitally scouting out locations through social media apps to find your ideal plein air painting spot or gallery before you travel. See if some of your favorite artists or art pieces reside in the area you want to travel to and how you can best interact with them.

More Resources

  1. How to Travel with Art Supplies For Plein Air Painting
  2. 10 Places Every Artist Needs to Plein Air Paint
  3. Plein Air Painting – What to Use?
  4. Plein Air Art, Create Art Anywhere!
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