- It just doesn’t get better than this; An incomparable view of Lower Manhattan and the Brooklyn Bridge, which has inspired poets, painters and musicians for generations. Credit: © NYC & COMPANY/BAMI ADEDOYIN
Need some good news? Given the current state of the U.S. economy, cities big and small are tripping all over themselves to make leisure travel more affordable. From our perspective, it couldn’t be happening at a better time.
AmericanStyle has just released the results of its 2009 Top 25 Arts Destinations readers’ poll, a treasure trove of 75 pre-vetted arts cities, and the enticements to come visit are hard to resist. Couple that with discounted airfares, special package rates in hotels and a panoply of free or nearly-free summer events scheduled by museums and cultural organizations across the country, and who wouldn’t want to get bitten by the travel bug?
Best of all is that with so large a selection of arts cities to choose from, you’re bound to find at least one or two within day-tripping distance—cost-cutters, for sure, but also an opportunity to go back again and again for cultural shots in the arm on less than a tank’s worth of gas.
New York hits the top of charts for the sixth time in a row in the Big Cities category. AmericanStyle readers voted hands-down that the Big Apple is the ultimate sensory experience, especially in summer when it throws open its doors and spills out into the streets for an ongoing parade of arts festivals, street fairs and cultural events. Visual arts bargains abound for savvy travelers, and walking—the only way to really immerse yourself in the sights and sounds of this pulsing metropolis—is always completely free.
Chattanooga, Tenn., is the big surprise in the Top 25 listings this year, pulling a major upset in the Mid-Size Cities rankings to landslide its way into the No. 2 slot. Freelancer Shirley Moskow provides full coverage of Chattanooga’s arts scene in the City Arts feature in this issue. Complete lists and information on all of the 2009 Top 25 Arts Destinations are also included.
If you’re scratching your head wondering where our back-of-the-book Datebook listings went, starting with this issue they’ve migrated to the AmericanStyle website. We’ve also tweaked our Table of Contents page and repositioned Datebook Previews behind the main features section to make room in the print edition for more articles about the people and places that make writing about the arts such a pleasure.