Best small towns for art lovers: Marfa, Texas makes list

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A recent Travel+Leisure report listed what is described as the best small towns for “art lovers” in the U.S. and one Texas town made the roundup.

The West Texas desert town of Marfa was highlighted as one of the nine cities in the roundup. The desert town of Marfa is known for its scenic views “strange lights” and more landed a spot in the rankings in part due to the work of minimalist artist Donald Judd, the report stated. The Judd Foundation and Chinati Foundation showcases Judd’s work and other contemporary artists.

Building 98, home of the International Woman’s Foundation and a number of murals, helped secure Marfa on the top nine list and the authors of the report recommended making an appointment for art lovers with a preference for female modernist artists.

So, what other U.S. small towns made the roundup of the best of the best for art lovers? 


The roundup of best small towns for art lovers spans the entire U.S. from Fort Bragg, California, which was highlighted for its International Sea Glass Museum and the downtown’s murals and art galleries, to Madrid, New Mexico, a former mining town along the New Mexico Turquoise trail which the report authors described as an artsy town with a “hippie vibe.” 

In the South, Eureka Springs, Arkansas, was highlighted for its “funky flair,” with noted attractions including the Art Colony in Eureka Springs, the School of the Arts and the annual ArtRageous Parade. Paying homage to the music festival of 1969, Woodstock, New York, made the list with the Woodstock Byrdcliffe Guild and Woodstock Artists Association & Museum.

Local artwork on Tinker Street in Woodstock, New York.

ANGELA WEISS/AFP via Getty Images

The small town of Montpelier, Vermont, has art everywhere, according to the report, from rotating exhibitions at the State House and Supreme Court building to co-ops, galleries, cultural institutions and the volunteer-operated Montpelier Alive Art Walk which brings artists out for evening celebrations six nights each year.

On the East Coast, North Adams, Massachusetts made the list and was described as a smaller town with a prominent art scene with noted attractions including the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art.

Artist Blane De St. Croix puts the final touches on his exhibit "How to Move a Landscape." The exhibit will be part of the reopening of the Mass MOCA in North Adams, Massachusetts.

Artist Blane De St. Croix puts the final touches on his exhibit “How to Move a Landscape.” The exhibit will be part of the reopening of the Mass MOCA in North Adams, Massachusetts.

Boston Globe/Boston Globe via Getty Images

Centered around a 40,000-square-foot “shoppable” community art center named the Icehouse with more than 30 artists, Berkeley Springs, West Virginia made the roundup. Cody, Wyoming also made the cut with noted arts styles and attractions including an array of art representing local Native American culture and natural history as well as classic and modern western artworks.

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