Exploring the Vibrant Hubs: Unveiling the Ultimate Art Cities and Hidden Gems

2023-07-21 00:18:09 - Drany Macley Drany Macley, the senior editor of Vytravels.com, brings extensive journalism background and over eight years of experience in travel writing and editing to the site, offering practical insights and first-hand knowledge through articles on innovative hotels, backed by a BA in Journalism from Ithaca College.

When it comes to nurturing creativity, inspiration, and cultural enrichment, certain cities transcend the norm and become havens for art lovers. In this article, we delve into the world of artistic excellence and explore the top 10 art cities. Using the criterion of businesses per population, we uncover urban landscapes that boast the greatest number of creative establishments, immersing their communities in a cornucopia of artistic expression. But our exploration doesn't stop there; we venture "Beyond the top 10" to reveal a few hidden gems that may surprise even the most discerning art connoisseur. Join us as we embark on a visual journey into the best cities for art lovers, where vibrant creativity knows no bounds.



While many lists may rank New York City as the top art city, there are other cities in America that offer incredible art scenes on a per capita basis. These cities, often overlooked and underappreciated, provide a wealth of art galleries, museums, artist supply stores, cultural art organizations, and more relative to their population.


10. Boulder, CO


boulder art stats

Located just a short drive from Denver, Boulder is a college town that boasts a vibrant art scene. Despite its small size of just over 100,000 residents, Boulder is home to several noteworthy museums, including The Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art and the CU Heritage Center. The city also supports local artists through its city-wide Open Studios initiative, which provides public access to the workspace of 130 local artists.

If you're interested in living near the University of Colorado and experiencing Boulder's art scene, you can expect to pay an average of $1,996 for a one-bedroom apartment.


9. Richmond, VA


richmond art stats

Known for its historical significance and Civil War heritage, Richmond has also become a hub for public mural art. The city now boasts nearly 100 murals, making it a must-visit destination for art enthusiasts. Richmond owes much of its recent revitalization to the presence of Virginia Commonwealth University's School of the Arts, which has been recognized as the number one public school fine arts program in the nation. With an affordable average rent of $1,085 for a one-bedroom apartment, Richmond offers a haven for art lovers.


8. Cincinnati, OH


Cincinnati art stats

Although Cincinnati may be more famous for its baseball history, it is also a top destination for art enthusiasts. The city is home to the Cincinnati Art Museum, one of the oldest art museums in America, as well as the Taft Museum of Art and the Contemporary Arts Center. Cincinnati also supports community art through organizations such as ArtWorks and ArtsWave. With an average monthly rent of just $1,025 for a one-bedroom apartment, Cincinnati offers an affordable and diverse art scene.


7. Savannah, GA


Savannah art stats

The beautiful coastal city of Savannah is known for its historic charm and is home to the oldest art museum in the South, the Telfair Museum of Art. Savannah also embraces its artistic side through the Savannah College of Art and Design, the largest art institution in America. With an average rent of $1,027 for a one-bedroom apartment, Savannah provides an affordable haven for art lovers.


6. San Francisco, CA


San Francisco art stats

Even before leaving the airport, art enthusiasts can begin their experience in San Francisco at the SFO Museum, the nation's first airport-based art museum. The city is home to numerous art destinations, including the Clift hotel which features a lobby furnished by Dalí and the Eames's. San Francisco is also known for its large artists' collective, the Hunters Point Shipyard Artists. While the cost of living is higher in San Francisco, with an average rent of $3,704 for a one-bedroom apartment, the city's vibrant art scene attracts many enthusiasts.


5. New Orleans, LA


new orleans art stats

New Orleans is a city that exudes art, style, and culture at every turn. While it is home to numerous formal art galleries and museums, much of the city's art can be found as you wander through neighborhoods like the French Quarter, Bywater, Marigny, and the Garden District. The city's art scene has experienced a revival since Hurricane Katrina, resulting in a thriving contemporary art community. Every three years, New Orleans hosts the Prospect New Orleans art exhibition, a city-wide event showcasing public installations and works from artists around the world. With an average monthly rent of $1,443 for a one-bedroom apartment, New Orleans offers an affordable and vibrant art experience.


4. Fort Lauderdale, FL


fort lauderdale art stats

While nearby Miami receives much attention for its art scene, Fort Lauderdale has its own vibrant art community. The city emphasizes public art and free galleries in public spaces, making art accessible to all. Flagler Arts and Technology Village is a four-block area that showcases artwork in former industrial warehouses, and hosts the monthly Art Walk festival. Fort Lauderdale is also known for its annual Art Fort Lauderdale fair, which takes place along the Intracoastal Waterway and can only be accessed via yacht or free water taxi. With an average rent of $2,126 for a one-bedroom apartment, Fort Lauderdale offers a diverse and accessible art scene.


3. Berkeley, CA


Berkeley art stats

Berkeley, located across the bay from San Francisco, has its own distinctive cultural scene. The city is dominated by the University of California-Berkeley, which contributes significantly to the local art scene. The Berkeley Art Museum and the Pacific Film Archive offer a wide range of art and film exhibits, housing over 19,000 works of art. The city is also home to the Berkeley Art Center, which showcases rotating exhibitions and murals in Live Oak Park. With an average monthly rent of $3,106 for a one-bedroom apartment, Berkeley provides a thriving arts community for enthusiasts.


2. Miami, FL


Miami art stats

In recent years, Miami has become a leading arts city in America, thanks in large part to events like Art Basel and the vibrant Wynwood Arts District. Art Basel America is an internationally renowned art fair that attracts thousands of artists and visitors from around the world. The Wynwood Arts District is home to numerous museums, galleries, and studios, making it a must-visit destination for art lovers. Miami offers a thriving year-round art scene, with an average rent of $1,965 for a one-bedroom apartment.


1. Charleston, SC


Charleston art stats

Charleston is the top city for per-capita art enthusiasts in the United States. The city is well-known for hosting several prestigious art festivals, including the MOJA Arts Festival and Piccolo Spoleto. Charleston's art community can be discovered through numerous galleries and exhibition spaces, particularly on Gallery Row and in the French Quarter. The Gibbes Museum of Art and the Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art are also must-visit destinations for art lovers. Charleston offers an affordable art experience, with an average rent of $1,091 for a one-bedroom apartment.


Beyond the top 10


If you're looking for more cities that cater to your love for art, our list of the top 50 cities for art lovers offers many surprising rankings and destinations to explore.

In conclusion, the top 10 art cities have undoubtedly proven to be thriving hubs of creativity, showcasing a diverse range of artistic expressions that captivate and inspire. However, let us not forget that beyond these renowned art cities, there are countless hidden gems waiting to be discovered. From the small towns teeming with local artisans to the emerging neighborhoods that are cultivating art scenes of their own, the world is brimming with boundless opportunities for art lovers. So, whether you find yourself captivated by the iconic galleries of Paris or stumbling upon a vibrant street mural in an unexpected corner of your hometown, embrace the ever-evolving and vast landscape that the art world offers. Dive in, explore, and let the art cities, both recognized and up-and-coming, ignite your passion for creativity.

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