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Where to Discover the Best Arts Outside of New York City

May 29, 2019 by CJ Schwartz
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While lots of people flock to New York in the summer to experience food, sights, and of course, the arts – there are tons of nearby arts destinations to discover for those looking to venture out of the city and see something amazing in the woods, on the water, or in a barn!

Here are our top picks for where to go to see the best arts outside of NYC this summer.

Check out our Summer Destinations offerings in the Hudson Valley, the Hamptons, Vermont, Maine, and more.

Tanglewood Music Festival

The Berkshires
If you’re looking to go into the woods, we can’t recommend the Berkshires enough (and not just because there is an insanely awesome production of “Into the Woods” happening this summer at Barrington Stage Company). Whether you want to take the Amtrak to Pittsfield, a bus, or a car, it’s only about four hours away from the city. Sit out on the lawn under the stars and experience a wide range of music from the Boston Symphony Orchestra to the Goo Goo Dolls at Tanglewood. Experience award-winning plays and musicals at Barrington Stage Company and Berkshire Theatre Group. Dive into Shakespeare and more at Shakespeare & Company or take in an intimate musical at Theater Barn, Ghostlight Repertory Theatre, or Mac-Haydn.

Hudson Valley Shakespeare

Hudson Valley
Hudson Valley is a just a hop, skip, and a jump away from the city (aka two hours via car or train). While Hudson Valley may be known for its gorgeous scenery, it also has an amazing arts scene. Take in a show at Hudson Valley Shakespeare’s scenic outdoor tent – and get an amazing deal with our $15 mobile Rush. Get experimental with Bard SummerScape or take in a concert at Caramoor.

Dorset Playhouse

There are plenty of things to do throughout Vermont in the summer, whether you want to sip a beer at a local brewery or climb Vermont’s trails or see a show. There are hidden theatre gems like Dorset Theatre Festival and Weston Playhouse where you can see bold works in their beautiful venue.

New Hampshire
Sure there’s waterfront dining, sweet mountain views, and plenty of activities for outdoor excursions in New Hampshire but it’s also home to New London Barn Playhouse – one of the oldest continuously operating summer theaters in the country. Housed in a historic converted barn, the theater features Broadway and emerging artists in an intimate setting.

Maybe you don’t want to venture too far outside the city – in that case you’re in luck, Connecticut is not just about tennis and khaki shorts, there’s also great arts all around including musicals at Sharon Playhouse.

You may think Maine is all about boat shoes and fishing, but there’s so much more to explore outside of lobster rolls, and adorable inns. We’re partial to the amazing theater at Ogunquit Playhouse since we love a good musical.

“Cabaret” at Peregrine Theatre Ensemble.

Provincetown/Cape Cod
If you’re into theme weeks, sun and sand, and more adorable coffee shops, bars, and shops than you can handle, Provincetown is the summer destination for you. See an intimate talk or concert at Twenty Summers or catch a show at Peregrine Theatre Ensemble.

The Hamptons
The Hamptons is the classic New York City beach getaway but there’s also tons of indoor fun from talks to salsa classes at Southampton Cultural Center.