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101 Reasons to Travel Now: Cultural Gems

We've scoured the globe in search of hidden gems to experience around the world. From art to music, here are the cultural touchstones that inspire us to travel.

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The Milkmaid, Vermeer's famous painting, depicts a woman standing at a table to pour milk into a bowl.


From the October 2015 issue of Traveler magazine

Reasons to Travel Now: 85-101

85. THE MILKMAID:

Vermeer’s serene masterpiece at the recently renovated Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam

86. UNTITLED FILM STILLS:

Cindy Sherman’s black-and-white series, displayed not far from Hollywood at the Broad Museum’s new L.A. home

87. MOUNTAIN MAN:

Frederic Remington’s bronze statue at Arizona’s new Museum of the West, Scottsdale

88: LADY AGNEW OF LOCHNAW:

John Singer Sargent’s sumptuous, career-making painting at Edinburgh’s Scottish National Gallery

89. ART IN QATAR:

Abu Dhabi may have the Louvre, but Doha boasts the I. M. Pei–designed Museum of Islamic Art, an Ali Baba’s cavern of cherished objects.

90. UNDERWATER GALLERY:

Dive or snorkel into one of the world’s only underwater sculpture parks in Grenada’s Molinière Bay, where more than 60 eerily beautiful figures riff on local culture.

91. VEVČANI CARNIVAL, MACEDONIA:

Elaborate masks and traditional music played on woodwind zurlas mark one of the Balkans’ best bashes.

92. SMITHSONIAN FOLKLIFE, WASHINGTON, D.C.:

Featured places (Basque Spain in 2016) send top artisans, dancers, and cooks to the Mall.

93. DANCING DERVISHES:

Prepare to be moved by the sacred ceremony where Sufi monks whirl to mystical music at Karabaş-i Veli, a cultural heritage center in Bursa, Turkey.

94. OPAL COUNTRY:

Visit gem mines, houses, and bars built underground in Coober Pedy, in northern South Australia, a quirky outpost celebrating its centennial this year.

95. VERONA VOICES:

Summertime operas—many of them Italian—sound and look extraordinary from a stone seat in Verona’s Roman amphitheater, dating to the first century A.D.

96. THE MET, TAMED:

Jason Spiehler, co-founder of new guide service Walks of New York, brings the Metropolitan Museum of Art to life, breaking down the massive institution into compelling stories.

97. UNDERGROUND GALLERY:

The Swedish capital Stockholm’s subway system amounts to the world’s longest art exhibit (68 miles), with works installed throughout.

98. HOMING IN ON ART:

In red-hot Manchester, the new HOME—England’s largest contemporary arts center outside of London—hosts experimental theater, films, and edgy exhibits.

99. LITTLE LIBRARIES:

A shelf or two of books await readers at take-one, leave-one Little Free Libraries throughout the world. A trail of them between Savannah and Milledgeville, Georgia, honors Flannery O’Connor.

100. CARNIVAL FEVER:

Before Ash Wednesday, the tiny island country of Trinidad essentially shuts down for one of the world’s largest carnival celebrations. Line up for “fetting” (partying in the streets) and soca-fueled dancing.

101. SOUND ON:

Classical Hindustani music resonates throughout Varanasi, one of India’s oldest cities.

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