Craving a little culture? I travel a lot for work and often times crave the artsy aesthetic of an afternoon in Williamsburg. I did a little investigating to find out where to go in each region for your fix of arts and culture.
A stoop in BushwickGetty Images
North East | Bushwick, Brooklyn, NY
The (for now) less expensive neighbor to Williamsburg has taken over as the hipster capital of New York and the North East. With countless live music venues, creative culinary endeavors, and endless street fairs and street art, there is something in every nook and cranny to explore in Bushwick. My perfect day in Bushwick? Late breakfast at Dunwell Donuts off Montrose and then a stroll around Bushwick Collective to admire the amazing grafitti murals. Stop by Roberta's Pizza for a late lunch, and bar hop into the evening. Don't miss Boobie Trap! A hilarious bar homage to all things free the nipple.
South East | Wynwood, Miami, Florida
I'm from Miami and while it's always been rich in Latin arts and culture, I never knew a "hip" part of the city existed until Wynwood climbed to popularity recently. I got my recommendations first hand from my cousins Sofia and Patty Delgado who are local to Miami. They say the number one place to visit is Fireman Derek's Pies for their infamous Crack Pie that is "crazy good." Other delicious spots include Coyo Taco if you're feeling mexican food and SoCal vibes, Wood Tavern known for it's killer music selection, brews, and local art, and Butcher Shop a restaurant featuring a real old-school butcher shop. If you stop in Wynwood, don't forget to visit the Wynwood Walls for your Insta-perfect photo op to commemorate the trip.
Midwest | Ames, Iowa
Apparently, Ames has been known to be a hub for hippies and now hipsters for decades, but it was a newer discovery for me. Known for it's fairly high cafe-and-yoga-studio-per capita, if you're in the Midwest and craving some arts and culture outside of the obvious Chicago check out Ames. One of their most favored coffee shops is the artisanal Café Mïlo known for it's small batch roasted beans, yummy bites, and free wifi. Craving new music? Stop through during their annual Maximum Ames Music Festival. Of course, you can't miss yoga in this town of yoga-enthusiasts. Top rated is the Ames Yoga Center where not only do they offer yoga but also meditation and Reiki energy healing.
South West | Highland Park, LA, California
Much like New York, LA is chalked with arts and culture but it seems that Highland Park takes the cake. While LA of course is known for donuts, Donut Friend in Highland Park is ranked donut royalty. Highland Park is known for it's Vietnamese-American hybrid diner Good Girl Dinette. Stop by Galco's Soda Pop Stop for just about any soda pop old or new you could think of, then spend an afternoon at Shopclass for unique vintage and handmade finds. End your night at The Highland Park Bowl for music, bowling, drinks, and bites.
North West | The Mission District, San Francisco, California
When visiting the Mission District in San Francisco, my first stop would be their beautiful Dolores Park but not before grabbing a craft ice cream cone from Humphry Slocombe boasting unique flavors like Elvis (the Fat Years), Hibiscus Beet Sorbet, and Candy Cap Mushrooms. When in The Mission District, you can't miss your opportunity to go to The Pirate Supply Store, a boutique truly dedicated to pirate themed everything from cute nautical stationery to pirate themed tees, onesies, hats, and socks. Have dinner at the Foreign Cinema, a local movie theater that serves you dinner with your movie. Top your night off with a little bar hopping. For dive bar aficionados, Doc's Clock should be at the top of your list. For those who prefer a chicer more subdued nightlife scene, check out Dalva.
I didn't find many arts districts in Alabama but this one stood out, especially in the efforts the state has recently made to create a thriving arts community here. Downtown Huntsville brags it's metropolitan setup and close proximity to beautiful mountains, hiking, and camping. Grab a gourmet freeze pop at Frio's Gourmet Pops and visit their Bicentennial Park for some outdoor fun. Have a fancy dinner at Ruth's Chris Steak House and follow it up with live music at Voodoo Lounge.
Interestingly enough, business owners in Anchorage, Alaska took it upon themselves to create their own arts district. SoNo or South of Nordstrom district is home to Bernie's Bungalow Lounge a spot for drinks and delicious bites, Blush, a lifestyle boutique, Chez Ritz Salon, and Second Run a fitness studio.
Located in the heart of downtown Phoenix, RoRo or Roosevelt Row is a walkable arts district. The area hosts regular live events and is home to great art galleries including 1Spot Gallery which features contemporary art by indigenous people. For great coffee and free wifi stop by Street Coffee. For heavier fare and great brews try Angel's Trumpet Alehouse. After dinner stop by Arizona Theatre Company for some live theatre.