4 Road Trips For Art Lovers

These road trips combine scenic driving with top art destinations

By Benjamin Perry

My Ford recently took the 2016 Ford Edge to explore Oakland’s burgeoning art scene and discover how the city has quickly transformed itself into one of this nation’s great art destinations. Want to plan your own museum road trip? Here are four suggestions that combine terrific drives with eye-popping art.

Surreal Florida Coast

Driving the Florida coastline is pretty transcendental by itself, but the road also offers an opportunity to see contemporary works and surrealist masterpieces. Begin by visiting The Dali Museum in St. Petersburg, which houses the largest collection of the artist’s paintings in the western hemisphere—including triumphs like The First Day of Spring and The Hallucinogenic Toreador.

Enjoy the power that comes from the Edge’s available 2.7L EcoBoost® engine as you drive north along palm-lined Route 92, then brace yourself for the spectacular Tampa Bay crossing. Travel north and head to the Tampa Museum of Art, featuring a rotating collection that includes works by such greats as Chuck Close and Cindy Sherman.

Beauty in the Texan Wilderness

If you’re looking to find art in surprising places, you won’t find anywhere more off-the-grid than The Chinati Foundation in Marfa, Texas. Don’t let its remote location fool you. This town of 2,000 has a museum with a permanent collection that would put many big cities to shame. Specializing in large-scale art, Chinati displays innovative pieces by sculptors like Donald Judd and John Chamberlain.

To get to Marfa, start your trip in El Paso. While you’re there, check out the expansive collection of Mexican artwork at the El Paso Museum of Art. Then travel east on I-10 until you reach Van Horn. Speed limits on I-10 range as high as 80 mph, and you’ll enjoy the drive with Edge’s class-exclusive* adaptive steering technology that improves maneuverability at high speeds, making driving easier and more fun. From Van Horn take Route 90 East—which offers breathtaking views of the Texan plains—straight to Marfa for an incredible art experience.

Big Apple Glamour

If you prefer city driving, take a trip down Fifth Avenue in New York City. Although this stretch won’t take you as far, it crams more art into two miles than most cities can offer in their entirety. Begin by visiting the Guggenheim. The museum’s spiral design, created by famed architect Frank Lloyd Wright, makes it an artistic masterpiece in its own right, but inside you’ll find a rotating collection from some of the art world’s biggest names; previous exhibits have featured giants such as Picasso and Kandinsky.

Then drive south along elegant Fifth Avenue, where the Edge’s available 180-degree camera can help you see around crowded corners when pulling out into traffic. When you reach the Metropolitan Museum of Art, explore its expansive collection of classic Greek, Roman and Egyptian art. After the Old World exhibits, continue south on Fifth and finish your day at the Museum of Modern Art, which showcases masters like Willem de Kooning, Frida Kahlo and Roy Lichtenstein.

Surprising Virginia Finds

The Chrysler Museum in Norfolk, Va., may not be a household name, but it’s home to one of the nation’s unique collections: 10,000 glass artistic works—spanning more than 3,000 years—representing millennia of creativity in the medium. From Roman bowls to modern sculptures, there are glass attractions to please all tastes.

Afterward, drive west on I-64, over the scenic Hampton Roads Bridge, and continue along the tree-lined highway until you reach Richmond. Though some stretches get a little hilly, the Edge’s automatic hill start assist can help you prevent roll-back. Once in Richmond, make your way to the Edgar Allan Poe Museum. In addition to historical curiosities such as the author’s walking stick and childhood bed, the museum also exhibits manuscripts spanning Poe’s career—including his autobiography—as well as the iconic daguerreotype Poe portrait.

Find out all you need to know about the 2016 Edge here.

*Class is Midsize Utilities based on Ford Segmentation.
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