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You are watching: Best small art towns in america

An artsy scene and an innovative vibe is regularly the spirit of a little town. Ar theaters, art fairs, statues and street murals — a city proud the its art and artists is the type of place that world want to relocate to, or at the very least, visit ~ above the weekends.

Featured in this post are the 20 most an imaginative small towns in America. To come up v a definitive list, we an initial considered only those communities that have populations that fewer 보다 100,000 people. Beyond that, we considered the towns’ aesthetic beauty, number of hosted festivals and also art fairs, the visibility of things like community theaters and art galleries, and also overall artsy vibes.

1. Abingdon, Virginia

Founded in 1778 in the middle of the beautiful Blue Ridge Highlands, Abingdon, Virginia is a charming town complete of old wood-frame houses, brick sidewalks, tree-lined avenues, and tons of history. Abingdon is also the residence of Barter Theater, one of the nation’s most acclaimed performing arts stages and also the longest-running skilled Equity theater in the country. Patricia Neal, Gregory Peck, Frances Fisher, Ned Beatty, Hume Cronyn, and also Ernest Borgnine have actually all performed here at once or another. The theater draws nearly 200,000 world annually, many of whom come to Abingdon especially to view a show created by Barter’s full-time company.

2. Berea, Kentucky

1960s mountain Francisco meets small House ~ above the Prairie in Berea, a tiny town in western Kentucky the is just as famed for its annual arts fair together it is for its counterculture and hippie vibes. Home to hundreds of working artists, Berea master the annual Berea craft Festival the attracts both artists and art lovers from anywhere Kentucky and the surrounding region. The top quality of art is top-notch at the Fair and also includes whatever from handcrafted furniture and also glass works, come pottery, jewelry, animal leather works, and just about anything rather you have the right to think of. Also on a typical day in Berea, one is likely to enjoy a walk through the gallery-heavy downtown wherein artists from every walks of life space proud to screen their an innovative endeavors.

3. Bisbee, Arizona

When the neighborhood copper market failed, Bisbee, Arizona became much better known because that its eclectic art scene and also artists’ colony. Described as “Greenwich town West,” Bisbee’s art arrays from the over-the-top and unique come classic. Top top the same downtown block, one is most likely to watch local inhabitants dressed in 19th century attire, car festooned v toys or painted images of hula girls, and also high-end galleries filled with expensive see photography or painted portraits. Top top every 2nd Saturday the the Month, the Bisbee after ~ 5 art walk helps to spotlight the town’s more than 30 galleries, to add the numerous local musicians. Speak of music, Bisbee’s room music series, for the Love that Music, uses outdoor concert from the fall through the spring.

4. Carmel-By-The-Sea, California

With its classical Spanish architecture, lush vegetation, and stunning views of the Pacific Ocean, beautiful Carmel-By-The-Sea is virtually a occupational of arts itself. Carmel has actually long to be a favorite getaway spot for the rich and also famous (Clint Eastwood was as soon as its mayor), many of whom space attracted to the town’s natural beauty and the an ext than 80 arts galleries selling every little thing from modern-day sculpture to landscape photography. The 700-seat Sunset facility hosts world-class musicians and also vocalists, if the golden Bough Playhouse, one Theatre, and the outdoor woodland Theater also produce quality shows transparent the year.

5. Cody, Wyoming

The Rocky hill backdrop, teeming wildlife, and crisp air all make Cody, Wyoming a pretty inspiring place. The neighborhood art league, with the assist of an arts council, is attributed with helping Cody evolve native a sleepy Wild West city whose main claim to fame to be a door to Yellowstone Park, into an artsy city that has actually attracted both eclectic artists and also traditional craftsmen — with the expected amount that Western art artists and galleries, too. Every year, Cody celebrates its art scene v the Rendezvous Royale, during which the Buffalo invoice Art present & revenue attracts art lover from far and also wide.

6. Delray Beach, Florida

It no long back that Delray Beach, Florida to be a boarded-up ramshackle place. Luckily, the artist stepped in, and today Delray beach is a non-stop coast town v a downtown area that has actually been called the “artsiest” in America. Art galleries and also trendy clubs and restaurants line the town’s colorful streets. Delray Beach’s interesting music scene happens around The arts Garage, wherein unique and experimental develops of music are developed daily. Because that artists, the go-to place is Artists’ Alley, a ar of downtown in i beg your pardon old commercial warehouses have been converted right into innovative galleries and also workshops. In ~ the Delray Beach facility for the Arts, the 100-year old previous high school, artist have access to a variety of spaces in which to rehearse and rehearse visual art. Arts is all over in Delray Beach, and also to display it every off, the town also hosts frequent Art Walks because that the community and also visitors to completely enjoy all the is being developed here.

7. Fredericksburg, Texas

Settled by German immigrant in the 1800s, Fredericksburg, Texas is a charming small town that has actually both a patent Bavarian vibe and a thriving arts scene. Acclaimed galleries line the downtown area, and also include those of Dan Pfeiffer, the innovative modern sculpture artist Johann Eyfells, and also classically trained Dresden artist Friedrich Richard Petri and Hermann Lungkwitz. The Fredericksburg arts School and the Fredericksburg arts Guild room both active community organizations, and also often put together art festivals, fairs, and walks to show off the neighborhood talent.

8. Gatlinburg, Tennessee

Gatlinburg, Tennessee may be far better known because that its an ext touristy spots (think Elvis-themed wedding chapels), however beyond every one of the neon and commercialism is a thriving imaginative scene that can trace that roots back to before the American Revolution. Indeed, the studios and also workshops the the biggest independent arts ar in north America are situated just exterior the Gatlinburg city limits. Explore the eight-mile Tennessee Heritage art & Crafts Trail, and you’ll watch dozens of artist whittling, painting, sewing, casting, weaving, silver-smithing, carving, basket weaving, and also quilting, to add making whatever from candles and also leather, come jewelry, dolls, and also stained glass. This is one of the few places on planet where such classic art develops are being celebrated, and also in most cases, the artists are developing their pieces using the same methods and also tools together their ancestors.

9. Lewisburg, West Virginia

Lewisburg, West Virginia may not be close to any big cities, yet it is a hub for all things theater, dance, and music-related. Lewisburg’s well known Greenbrier valley Theatre produces virtually 200 shows a year, and not surprisingly, theater lover flock in from all over the nation to view them. The Lewis Theater, located simply down the street from the Greenbrier, is house to the Trillium Performing arts Collective. Finally, Lewisburg has actually one that only 4 remaining Carnegie Halls, which master musicians from all over the world, and also puts on a totally free outdoor summer concert collection that is famous with both locals and visitors.

10. Madrid, new Mexico

It might be much more accurate to contact tiny Madrid, new Mexico — population 150 — one artist’s commune, rather than a small town. The city was established nearly fifty percent a century ago, once a group of artist left huge cities favor Boston, Pittsburgh, and Detroit for a “two-week vacation” that turned right into a lifetime. Madrid, located between Santa Fe and Albuquerque, is a vivid collection of old wooden houses, galleries, and also studios all hosted together through a wood-plank sidewalk. End 40 shops market unique and also wonderful pieces, while a smattering that restaurants (including one old-time ice cream parlor) room perfect relaxing spots throughout a day of viewing and shopping because that Madrid’s one-of-a-kind pieces.

11. Manitou Springs, Colorado

Not just is Manitou Springs, Colorado among the many colorful tiny towns in America, it is also one of the many creative. Positioned at the foot of beautiful Pike’s Peak, Manitou Springs is residence to dozens that boutiques and also funky art galleries, plus much more than 20 working studios because that the town’s farming artist population. To display off these artists’ work, art Walks occur frequently, while arts fairs and also festivals (some the which additionally feature the town’s outstanding chamber music organization) existing further chance for artists to showcase and sell your pieces. Also a walk with Manitou Springs’ downtown will certainly yield see of all kinds the public piece that assist to brighten this already colorful little town.

12. Marfa, Texas

There is a lot come love about little Marfa, Texas, start with the town’s quirky arts scene. Distinctive art installations dot the whole town, and variety from thought-provoking come downright strange. Downtown, several art galleries and the Chinati Foundation, a contemporary art museum that residences what the new York Times explained as “the last great American arts of the 20th century,” deserve to be took pleasure in by arts aficionados and also newbies alike. One more unique arts gallery, Ballroom Marfa, exists in an historic structure from the 1920s, if the Marfa movie Festival is an yearly event the combines the town’s unique appreciation because that art v the tool of film.

13. Montpelier, Vermont

Montpelier, Vermont, the smallest of the 50 state capitals, has long appreciated a reputation together an creative community. The vermont College of good Arts and the renowned brand-new England cook Institute are both located in Montpelier, the last of which gives a heavy base for the city’s superior collection of restaurants, cafes, bakeries, and even bars. Museums and also galleries are likewise abundant in Montpelier, and each year the city plays hold to the environment-friendly Mountain film Festival.

14. Brand-new Bedford, Massachusetts

New Bedford, Massachusetts has actually been called by Complex.com among the “10 urban That Creatives Should relocate to that Aren’t NYC or LA,” and has on plenty of occasions been called one of the most imaginative cities in America. Part of the reason for new Bedford’s stellar imaginative reputation is the AHA! organization, which raises money to help support the town’s artists and also overall imaginative cause. A visit to brand-new Bedford’s “work the art” urban park is one means to endure the town’s yes, really artsy vibe, when downtown’s Alison Wells Fine art Studio & Gallery, collection X, Arthur Moniz Gallery, brand-new Bedford arts Museum, and also the Zeiterion Performing Arts facility are every worthy stops for any kind of kind of arts lover.

15. Oxford, Mississippi

Creativity is the beating love of Oxford, Mississippi, where dozens of talented and well-known writers, performers, artists, musicians, and filmmakers live and also work. Oxford totally embraces its artistic reputation, and also hosts a variety of music, theater, dance, comedy, and book-related events throughout the year. The college of Mississippi is in Oxford, and its Ford center for the Performing Arts hosts top-quality concerts and also musicals put on by performers both local and world-renowned. The twin Decker Festival occurs about mid-Spring, when Oxford’s most well known event, its annual book conference, draws publication lovers and other literary minds from almost everywhere the world.

16. Portland, Maine

Over the last decade, thousands of artists, photographers, writers, and also designers have actually moved to Portland, Maine, and also the city’s facilities is start to reflect their numerous talents and also contributions to local life. The historic Old harbor waterfront district has become one that the trendiest areas in town, finish with brand-new shops and restaurants. One more popular area is Bayside, a ar that has actually transformed scrap yards and also warehouses to student housing, funny eateries, and even a popular bowling alley. Touring Broadway shows currently stop in Portland, though that hasn’t taken away from the town’s very own opera company, 2 ballet companies, and also symphony. ~ above the an initial Friday of every month, ar members and also local artist gather with each other for first Friday arts Walk, a popular gallery-hop in Old port that reflects off the job-related of countless local artists.

17. Death Harbor, brand-new York

Sag Harbor, new York might be a 200-year old fishing village, however in recent years it has obtained quite the reputation together an artsy scene. The downtown roads are lined v boutiques and also art galleries of all styles and price ranges. Throughout the summer, the town hosts a variety of art shows and fairs, plus run performances and also a series of outdoor theater events. At any time the year, the bay Street Theatre produces fantastic productions that attract audiences indigenous the neighborhood area and beyond. Lot of death Harbor’s growing arts scene has been thanks to the sag Harbor fine Arts Center, an organization that has done a fabulous job cultivating anything and everything an innovative in their tiny town.

18. Santa Cruz, California

A small coastal town with a well-known boardwalk attraction, Santa Cruz, California is among those rare locations that still totally embraces artistic vibes of the hippie culture. Santa Cruz boasts a ton the public arts works, all of which space both fascinating and obtainable to the public. ~ above the very first Friday that every month, an occasion aptly named an initial Friday showcases musician both regional and huge enough come headline one of the area’s renowned venues choose The Catalyst or Moe’s Alley. Music lovers will additionally appreciate the thankful Dead save housed here. Even if it is you’re wade the Santa Cruz coast Boardwalk, hanging approximately the shoreline, or wandering v the nearby redwood forest, you’re most likely to run into someone painting, photographing, or creating.

19. Stockbridge, Massachusetts

Located in the Berkshires, Stockbridge, Massachusetts is a picture-perfect tiny village the comes alive v the arts during the warm summer months. The Berkshire Theatre Group, the Tanglewood Music Festival, and also the Stockbridge Summer Crafts & Art display are all popular occasions hosted by Stockbridge and attended by both locals and also art-loving tourists. Yet Stockbridge is most well known as the hometown of the great Norman Rockwell, who artwork captures the exact same American heart that Stockbridge appears to so naturally embody. The Norman Rockwell Museum, which likewise exhibits a variety of his most famous works, is a must-visit on any kind of trip to Stockbridge.

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20. Taos, new Mexico

Incredible herbal light, awe-inspiring landscapes, and a unique spiritual scene started to attract artists come Taos, new Mexico end 100 years ago. Because then, Taos has grown into a vibrant creative community known for the Southwestern art its local artists most generally create. Ouray Meyers, the child of acclaimed west artist Ralph Meyers (he’s well-known for his depictions the the native American pueblo), owns 2 galleries here, and also loves come reminisce around the days throughout which artists favor Georgia O’Keeffe, Ansel Adams, Nicolai Fechin, and also Buck Dunton every frequented Taos. Contemporary art may be becoming much more popular here, however for now, one of the best artsy clues in town continues to be the 1,000-year old Taos Pueblo, whereby jewelry, beadwork, carvings, pottery, and weavings room all being created using timeless Native American methods.