Maui’s pocket-size art scene
Situated on the quieter side of the island of Maui, Paia is a “blink-and-you-miss-it town,” said Danielle Pergament in The New York Times. In recent years, however, “the chill surfer vibe” of this Hawaiian hideaway “has been joined by a buzzing art scene,” making the onetime sugar town an unlikely mecca for contemporary art. A handful of small, high-end galleries now stand side by side with period plantation houses that are painted in “adorable Lucky Charms colors.” The artwork on display—ranging from modern, color-block paintings to “Gauguin-inspired portraits”—has attracted the attention of international collectors and such major institutions as New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art. Yet none of that hubbub has damaged Paia’s natural charms. It still has “all the dramatic beauty you would expect from the South Pacific—dense greenery, powdery beaches, and world-famous waves.”
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North Carolina’s cultural gem
Don’t let its location fool you: Asheville, N.C., is no sleepy southern Appalachian town, said Josh Noel in the Chicago Tribune. Though tucked away in the “rolling hills” of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Asheville feels more like a mini Portland, Ore.—complete with cosmopolitan restaurants and a healthy share of transplants from both New York City and Berkeley, Calif. The town’s blended identity is nothing new. When railroads brought in 19th-century tourists “craving mountain air,” an evolution began. Among those early tourists was George W. Vanderbilt, who commissioned Frederick Law Olmsted to design the grounds of his Biltmore Estate, now one of Asheville’s main attractions. Today, the town has successfully “split the difference between its Southern roots and creative flair.” Visitors can start their day with a bowl of biscuits and gravy and finish off with a lyric opera.
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