While beach holidays and visits to amusement parks are great fun for families, cultural vacations are a fantastic opportunity to show your children something new.
Travel industry experts released a study reviewing the number of cultural attractions, US searches for museums and art galleries, and culture-related Instagram posts to reveal the top cities for culture in the US.
The great thing about cultural attractions is that there are so many to choose from, and each city has its own unique culture to explore.
The top 10 US cities for culture and their Culture Score:
1. Palm Springs, California – 9.27
2. Santa Fe, New Mexico – 8.99
3. Annapolis, Maryland – 8.43
4. San Francisco, California – 8.37
5. New Orleans, Louisiana – 8.24
6. Charleston, South Carolina – 8.02
7. Portland, Maine – 7.98
8. Boston, Massachusetts – 7.89
9. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania – 7.66
10. Washington, District of Columbia – 7.49
Palm Springs is the top US city for culture, having earned a score of 9.27 in our study. This artistic enclave in California’s Sonoran Desert is a popular resort destination, famous for its stylish hotels, hot springs, and spas, as well as the large number of celebrities that make a home there.
While Palm Springs did not come top in any one category, the city performed well across the board, boasting a large number of cultural attractions for its relative size. The city also had the sixth-highest rate of culture-related Instagram posts per 1,000 people at 1322.26.
Santa Fe is the second-best city in the US for culture, receiving a score of 8.99. The state capital of New Mexico, Santa Fe, is one of the most unique cities in the country, boasting distinctive Pueblo-style architecture and attracting artists from far and wide. One of the most prominent cultural attractions in the city, of which there are many, is the Georgia O’Keefe Museum, dedicated to the famous 20th-century American artist who drew much inspiration from the surrounding area.
Santa Fe scored particularly well when it came to the number of museums and galleries compared to its population, with a rate almost four times higher than any other city at 209.77 per 100,000 people. The city scored well for most other factors, with high numbers of religious sites, historic sites, and theatres for its size, as well as the third-highest number of culture-related Instagram posts per 1,000 people at 1800.21.
The third best city for culture in the US is Annapolis, the state capital of Maryland. Annapolis is the first East-coast entry in our list and, as one of the oldest cities in the country, is packed with history for visitors to explore. The beautiful architecture of the historic district is popular among tourists, and the city boasts one of the country’s top waterfronts.
Annapolis scored well in most categories in our study but excelled when it came to historic sites and theatres per 1,000 people, topping both categories with rates of 22.12 and 19.66, respectively.
San Francisco placed fourth overall in our study of US cultural cities with a score of 8.37. This iconic West-coast location is famous for sloping streets that are a recognizable feature in many movies and movies.
Aside from being a common location in American cinema, San Francisco is famous for being an extremely liberal and bohemian city, attracting many artistic types from across the country. The city is also home to famous landmarks such as the prison island of Alcatraz and the beautiful Golden Gate Bridge.
San Francisco had the highest US search volume for local museums and galleries, showing that people in the area are particularly interested in cultural and historical pastimes. The city also scored particularly well for monuments and statues, with the tenth-highest number per head at 7.61 per 100,000 people.
New Orleans is the fifth-best city for culture in the US, having earned a culture score of 8.24. This Southern city is hugely popular among tourists, particularly for Mardis Gras, during which New Orleans becomes alive with almost non-stop partying and celebrations. Aside from the joys of carnival, New Orleans is famous for its beautiful colonial architecture, signature Creole cuisine, and many museums and art galleries, including the excellent New Orleans Museum of Art (NOMA).
New Orleans scored the second-best for monuments and statues out of all 100 cities in our study, with 22.55 per 100,000 people. Visiting historical monuments and statues is a great way of incorporating history and culture into a day of exploring any city, requiring much less time and attention from your kids. Some of the most popular statues and monuments in New Orleans are the Hurrican Katrina Monument, the golden statue of Joan of Arc, and the Monument to the Immigrant, which overlooks the Mississippi River.