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5 Great Outdoor Art Cities for the Solo Traveler

Louisiana, New York, Michigan, Nevada, Washington

5 Great Outdoor Art Cities for the Solo Traveler

By: Selena Fragrassi

The Neon Museum
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  • States:
    Louisiana
    New York
    Michigan
    Nevada
    Washington

For some, seeing art can be a meditative experience worth doing alone.

Going at an individual pace allows for intimate moments, reflection and extra time to sketch or write, for the creatively inclined. While the U.S. has no shortage of galleries, beyond the museum walls lies a sprawling canvas of incredible sculpture parks, street murals and public installations that are prime for solo exploration. Here are five must-see attractions.

Poydras Corridor – New Orleans, Louisiana

The largest city in Louisiana is considered one of the greatest crossroads of culture in the world. It’s where American jazz was born, Creole cooking was invented and Mardi Gras was perfected. Now, the Poydras Corridor Sculpture Exhibition is putting New Orleans on the map for its visual art. Created after Hurricane Katrina to lift the spirits of residents, the outdoor rotating exhibit features more than 26 sculptures from contemporary artists, allowing solo visitors to enjoy the works while strolling Poydras Street.

Discover New Orleans through a sculpture crawl at the Poydras Corridor Sculpture Exhibition.

Discover New Orleans through a sculpture crawl at the Poydras Corridor Sculpture Exhibition.
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Crista Rock / The Helis Foundation

Coney Art Walls – Brooklyn, New York

Better known for its famous corn dogs and iconic Cyclone roller coaster, Coney Island, the popular boardwalk in Brooklyn, New York, is becoming a destination for its latest amusement: the Coney Art Walls. Take your time wandering this outdoor museum alone to appreciate the detail poured into lively murals and graffiti from 20 renowned street artists. Afterward, head down to the beach to take in the colorful locals and spend an afternoon of inspiration on the shore.

Graffiti at the Coney Art Walls creates a colorful backdrop along the Coney Island Boardwalk.

Graffiti at the Coney Art Walls creates a colorful backdrop along the Coney Island Boardwalk.
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Martha Cooper / The Coney Art Walls

Midtown Viaducts – Detroit, Michigan

Once the capital of the U.S. automobile industry, Detroit, Michigan, is revitalizing its forgotten byways into illuminated works of art at the Midtown Viaducts. Three once-deteriorated viaducts in the city’s TechTown District are prime for solo photography enthusiasts. The viaducts are outfitted with colorful reflectors, LED light boxes and interactive installations that light up with the movements of cars and pedestrians. Afterward, check out the Detroit Institute of Arts and the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit, both in the area.

Neon Boneyard – Las Vegas, Nevada

When those giant, flashing signs on the Las Vegas, Nevada, strip need a final resting place, they head to the Boneyard. This outdoor exhibition space (part of The Neon Museum) features more than 200 bygone signs including the Bow & Arrow Motel, The Silver Slipper and the Hacienda horse and rider. Solo travelers have a better shot at squeezing into a spare spot on a guided tour, whose ongoing popularity makes tickets high in demand.

Explore the remains of classic Las Vegas at the Boneyard at The Neon Museum.

Explore the remains of classic Las Vegas at the Boneyard at The Neon Museum.
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The Neon Museum

Olympic Sculpture Park – Seattle, Washington

Get to know Seattle, Washington, with a leisurely solo art crawl through Olympic Sculpture Park, in close quarters with nearby attractions Chihuly Garden and Glass, the Seattle Art Museum and the Asian Art Museum. Stroll through roughly 20 works from renowned artists at this free, 3.4-hectare plot situated along the waterfront that’s open sunrise to sunset daily. And make sure to grab a selfie with the city’s architectural gem, The Space Needle.

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