Vacations for Creative Minds

By Vanessa Butler

If your idea of a weekend is art galleries, wine tastings and curling up with a good non fiction book, then these creative vacations are for you.

While most vacationers tend to spend no longer than a couple of hours visiting a museum or attending a music event to take in local culture, some  would like to take a more intimate vacation that focuses on the finer things in life: art, music and literature. Planning a culture-oriented trip can be hard, but we’ve rounded up five of the most impressive trip ideas we’ve come across for a vacation designed for the creative mind.

Underwater Museum, Cancun

Photo Courtesy of: Flickr

Located a short distance from the famous Manchones Reef, artist Jason deCaires Taylor has created a one-of-a-kind man-made reef that consists of over 400 permanent life-size statues, which has quickly became one of the most ambitious underwater artistic attractions in the world. Developed to draw the hundreds of thousands of tourists who come to Cancun each year away from the now damaged natural reefs, the museum has become an overnight sensation in all circles of art lovers.

This is the only museum in the universe where you will not fall victim to screaming children, loud talkers or avant-garde trust fund “artists” critiquing over their cell phones; that alone is reason to go. While visiting this matchless art gallery is free, the owners strongly suggest a guided tour to fully grasp the experience and meaning of each piece. If you’re not into getting up close and personal with submerged lifelike sculptures in the deafening silence of the ocean, you can also see the sculptures via glass bottom boats or, for the more adventurous, by parasail. More info.

Jack Kerouac’s New York City

Photo Courtesy of: Flickr Pick up a pack of cigarettes, fill a flask, slip your favorite Kerouac paperback in your jeans pocket and set out on this unique walking tour which envelops you in all of the sights and sounds that influenced the legendary father of the beatniks. If you’re not into drinking heavily, skip the flask; most of these places will be taverns of sorts thanks to Kerouac’s love of alcohol. But this walking tour does include a couple of parks, so regular imbibers may want to come prepared for a drink emergency.

The one place on the list that you can’t miss is the legendary White Horse Tavern. Grab a bite and a pint in the bar that was once the stomping grounds of such famous writers as Allen Ginsberg, Jack Kerouac, Hunter S. Thompson and Bob Dylan. Since it is a must-see for many tourists, go in the early afternoon if you want to experience the pub in all its glory. This place is any beatnik enthusiast’s dream since the décor and interior haven’t changed much except for the added rooms to either side of the bar and the absent, fabled bathroom scrawling, “JACK GO HOME!”  More info.

Roskilde Festival, Denmark

Photo Courtesy of: Flickr

If you’re sick of the American festivals and need a major change of scenery in your summer roster, book tickets for the Roskilde Festival in Denmark. All the girls in Denmark are gorgeous blondes (who know how to drink like it’s their job), the atmosphere is chock-full of good food and great beer and the festival grounds are gorgeous rolling fields with a backdrop of local street art and stunning Danish women. Did we already mention the women? Yes, they’re so gorgeous they need to be mentioned twice.

Deeming itself to be a “place to experience new, sprouting names, contemporary stars and timeless legends,” Roskilde has been the music industry’s little secret since 1971. With major artists like Bob Marley, U2, The Flaming Lips, Radiohead, Smashing Pumpkins and Kanye West headlining the festival over the past 40 years, it’s a mecca for any music enthusiast.

With over 180 bands performing each year, most opt to camp on-site for the four days of the festival, making it one of the best 96-hour parties imaginable. By the end, you’ll be leaving with newfound friends, a mind bursting with creativity and an itch to make the trip the following year. Between the great weather you can expect in Denmark, the fellow music-loving concertgoers and huge headliners, Roskilde should be a go-to destination for any creative soul.  More info.

Bristol Street Art Tours

Photo Courtesy of: Since street art is, in most cases, illegal and often painted over by municipalities or amateur graffiti punks, many of the best pieces of artwork are only visible for a short time. With numerous artists expressing themselves through street art in the U.K., Bristol is the perfect place for anyone who wants to experience this iconic art medium in its natural urban habitat.

Home of the world-famous street artist Banksy, Bristol’s thriving art scene is exceptionally diverse, with an incredible number of gifted artists at its forefront. Art enthusiasts are free to roam the streets of Bristol to discover iconic pieces by Banksy that have remained intact against the test of time. Once you’ve spent a day with the notorious street artist, be sure to check out other up-and-coming artists who are finding their place in the art community by livening up the dull and unvisited walls of urban environments. More info.

Salvador Dali Museum, Florida

Photo Courtesy of: Flickr If you’re itching for a vacation mixed with luxury and fine art but you’re on a budget, plan a quick getaway to St. Pete’s Beach in Florida to check out the largest Salvador Dali collection outside of Europe. Being so close to such pieces as The Hallucinogenic Toreador and The Disintegration of the Persistence of Memory will leave any creative heart inspired.

Built in 1982 on the St. Petersburg waterfront, the Salvador Dali Museum is home to seven of Dali’s 18 masterwork paintings as well as 96 oil paintings, over 100 watercolors and drawings, 1,300 graphics, photographs, sculptures and a fantastic archival library for anyone who wants to dig deeper into Dali’s surreal lifestyle. The museum also hosts a slew of events including yoga sessions, talks, tours and film viewings, all for a reasonable price if not free.

Stay at the TradeWinds Resort, located right on the gulf, so you’ll be able to enjoy the beach and experience the local food and beer scene. If you are only staying for a quick visit, opt for the “Dali for a Day” package, which includes more than enough Dali-inspired amenities to get you into the surreal spirit. More info.


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