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America’s Most Stunning Museums to Visit This Summer

Take a break from soaking up all the sunrays this summer and get to your local museum for a day of art and culture. Around the country there are some wonderful artworks and exhibitions on display, even for those who don’t consider themselves art snobs. And if you’re just here to find out which museums offer yoga classes in the galleries, we’ve got you covered for that too.

Reporter: Alyssa Brown

The Frick Collection

New York, New York
The Frick Collection is one of New York’s more hidden gems of the museum scene, though it’s set to undergo a major expansion soon and it’ll likely be more on the radar than ever. In the meantime, you can still visit the collection during normal hours and there’s always free admission on the first Friday of the month.
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Chihuly Garden and Glass

Seattle, Washington
The glass sanctuary of Chihuly Garden and Glass showcases the brilliant work of Dave Chihuly in a setting that’s truly impressive. Under the great glass house, visitors can enjoy yoga classes, dance and local music.
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The Getty

Los Angeles, California
The Getty has two LA locations, each diving into art, architecture and beautiful gardens. The Getty Center currently has a photography exhibit going that captures the many expressions of the human face. The Getty Villa is showcasing contemporary artists’ imaginings of life in Plato’s world.
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21c Museum Hotel Cincinnatilearn more

A luxurious experience in downtown Cincinnati, this modish hotel is also a contemporary art museum and cultural civic center. Designed to blur the line between hotel and musuem, art fills just about every corner of 21c along with a formal gallery for the full museum experience. 
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Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum

Boston, Massachusetts
Besides being one of Boston’s more beautiful architectural sites, the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum has an amazing collection of art masterpieces selected by a woman who was a visionary of her time. The garden and courtyard space is particularly golden.
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Georgia O'Keeffe Home and Studio

Abiquiú, New Mexico
A prolific American artist, Georgia O’Keeffe was a visionary of her time who painted many acclaimed artworks of landscape, flora and the beauty of her surrounds. It was here in her historic home and studio that she lived and worked, producing some of her most famous pieces. Book a walk through the 1960s property and get a peek into O’keeffe’s past at Abiquiú.
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Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery

Washington, D.C.
The National Portrait Gallery made a big splash in the headlines earlier this year when it unveiled portraits of President Barack Obama and Michelle Obama by artists Kehinde Wiley and Amy Sherald, respectively. The portraits are currently on display alongside various other artworks worthy of a browse.
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LACMA - Los Angeles County Museum of Art

Los Angeles, California
On through the end of July, there’s a portrait series by David Hockney at LACMA this summer and it’s a colorful bit of glory. There’s plenty more in the museum that’s worth lining up for, including the art classes for kids, adults and families.
Photo:Rob Bye
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The Metropolitan Museum of Art

New York, New York
The Met’s major fashion collection of this summer is Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination, but there’s plenty more to see throughout the rest of the museum. Be sure to drop into the sculpture gallery and take a peek at the permanent collection of Rodin sculptures.
Photo:Adam Friedberg and Todd Eberle
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Neue Galerie

New York, New York
New York’s museum of German and Austrian art, Neue Galerie sits right along Fifth Avenue in its entire splendor. This gem of a museum has unrivaled permanent collections, including the famous Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer I by Gustav Klimt.

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Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth

Fort Worth, Texas
This modern glass and steel structure that floats magically on water in Fort Worth is home to the local Modern Art Museum. With an acclaimed permanent collection that includes the likes of Picasso, Warhol and Pollack, and a summer exhibition of pop art icon Takashi Murakami’s work, this spot is an easy place to spend the afternoon.
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Milwaukee Art Museum

Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Set along the edge of Lake Michigan, the Milwaukee Art Museum is made of multiple parts and buildings. The Quadracci Pavillion entrance is perhaps the most notable with its flying buttresses and wings that open and close daily, pointed arches, ribbed vaults, and central nave topped by a 90-foot-high glass roof. Stop by early on a Saturday morning for yoga at the museum and your admission to the galleries is included.
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Field Museum of Natural History

Chicago, Illinois
Skip sitting through Jurassic World this summer and head to Chicago’s Field Museum instead. Here you’ll find dinosaur fossils and all sorts of fascinating archaeological finds.
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Denver Art Museum

Denver, Colorado
Now in its 125th year of museum life, Denver Art Museum continues to offer thought provoking art collections in a cool setting. The collections run the gamut from American Indian art to photography to Spanish Colonial art, so it’s a good thing this place is currently undergoing an extension.

Bayou Bend Collection and Gardens

Houston, Texas
In a town filled with exquisite gardens, Houston’s Bayou Bend shines with its woodland ravines and manicured gardens. Early American decorative arts and paintings are on display inside the house museum, which proves a cool hideaway from these hot summer days.
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The Broad

Los Angeles, California
There’s nearly always something happening at The Broad in LA and we highly encourage you to check out their calendar and sign up for the newsletter to stay in on the action. We’re currently crushing on all the pop art in the permanent collection.
Photo:Lea Suzuki for the SF Gate
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de Young Museum

San Francisco, California
The view from the top floor of the de Young Museum spans much of San Francisco. On the levels below you’ll find a well-curated mix of art old and new. With the surrounding park and gardens you could easily spend a whole day soaking up summer both indoors and out here.

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