The greats of American literature, music and art can be explored in pockets all across the country. Visit San Francisco for a city brimming with art galleries, head to New York for Broadway musicals and some of literature’s greatest writers or get hot and steamy in Montreal and New Orleans with jazz music.
- Broadway shows, New York
This wide avenue in midtown Manhattan is the razzle-dazzle center of an ever-changing array of plays and musicals.
- Elvis Presley, Tennessee and Mississippi
Fans of “The King” and Southern music will love discovering the life of this rock star. Visit his birthplace in Tupelo and journey to Memphis where he grew up and cut his first disc. It’s also possible to tour his mansion Graceland and Meditation Garden where Elvis and his family have been laid to rest. In Nashville you can see Elvis’ Gold Cadillac at the Country Music Hall of Fame.
- San Francisco art galleries, California
This is the place for art on the West Coast with such a choice of galleries and districts to visit. San Fran’s downtown art district has the sophisticated galleries that feature master works, while the South Market galleries double as bars and clubs and art and activism heads the Mission art galleries.
- John Steinbeck literary tours, California
Be inspired visiting all the haunts of this famed Nobel Prize winner and discover what helped him champion the cause of so many through his writing. California was Steinbeck’s home state and where he did manual labor and worked on newspaper articles before he found fame as an author. Visit the National Steinbeck Centre, the ranch where he grew up, his family home in Salinas and the cemetery where he was buried.
- Mark Twain, Mississippi
Follow Twain along the Mississippi in a steamboat through heartland that has changed little since the days of Huck Finn from the Twin Cities south to St Louis.
- Jazz and Montreal, Canada
The famous jazz pianist Oscar Peterson was born in the impoverished working class district of St. Henri, Montreal’s small black community. The Oscar Peterson Trio became internationally famous in jazz circles and he is remembered annually at the International Jazz festival, noted as the largest event of its kind on the planet by the Guinness Book of World Records. Plenty of free concerts invoke Peterson’s memory and the Concordia University in Montreal renamed their Loyola-campus concert hall Oscar Peterson Concert Hall.
- Burning Man festival, Nevada
Breathe in art at this annual event that attracts thousands of participants to the wastes of the Black Rock Desert. This event is all about participation where any form of self-expression is valued and appreciated. There are no vendors out here so self-reliance is encouraged for the one-week sojourn and to finally leave the area without a trace.
- Jazz music, New Orleans
Top bands play year round in the clubs of New Orleans but it’s hard to beat those of the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, held April/May. Any time of year you’re guaranteed easy-going rhythms and the colorful culture of the Deep South.
- Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
Be prepared to get lost in this gigantic museum, known simply as the Met, that contains an almost universal display of artwork. Almost every category of art in every known medium from every part of the world is covered.
- Writers of New York State
Washington Irving and F. Scott Fitzgerald became two iconic writers of this region and their works are studied throughout North America and the literary world. Tour Long Island where opulent mansions still grace the shores as immortalized in The Great Gatsby by Fitzgerald. Or travel up to Sunnyside on the Hudson River, the late home of Irving who wrote The Legend of Sleepy Hollow and Rip van Winkle, both based in the state.