5 Stunning Art Parks To See Before You Die

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Summer has officially begun, which means you’re probably planning your next open-air adventure—and what’s better than strolling through nature surrounded by massive works of art? Exploring a sculpture park is a wonderful way to soak up the great outdoors while having a culturally enriching experience. Here, five stunning art parks around the US that you absolutely must see.

Courtesy of Laumeier Sculpture Park, Storm King Art Center and The National Gallery of Art

Stunning Sculpture Parks

Menashe Kadishman, Suspended. Courtesy of Storm King Art Center

Storm King Art Center

Location: Windsor, New York

Regarded as one of the leading sculpture parks in the world, Storm King is just an hour's drive north of New York City. The 50-year-old destination offers more than 100 larger-than-life sculptures set among 500 acres of natural woodland and landscaped fields. Explore them by bike—rentals are offered by the hour or by the day—or set out on foot and get up close and personal with seasonal installations of works by Dennis Oppenheim and Josephine Halvorson.

Gerhard Marcks, Maja. Photo by Joshua White

Franklin D. Murphy Sculpture Garden

Location: Los Angeles

Operated by the Hammer Museum, this garden is home to more than 70 modern and contemporary works spanning five acres of UCLA's beautifully landscaped north campus. It features open lawns, a walking path framed by rows of South African coral trees, and a brick-paved plaza for guests to enjoy the serenity of nature along with sculptures from artists such as Auguste Rodin, Barbara Hepworth and Gerhard Marcks.

Robert Chambers, Sugabus. Photo by Kevin J. Miyazaki

Laumeier Sculpture Park

Location: St. Louis

Set on 105 acres of rolling lawns and woodland, with over 60 works of art, this park is named for Henry and Matilda Laumeier. Enjoy an indoor gallery set inside their former residence, a Tudor stone mansion built in 1816, and participate in art classes and workshops led by local artists, as well as summer art camps for children and teens.

John Grade, Canopy Tower. Photo by Brian Fitzsimmons

Betty And Edward Marcus Sculpture Park

Location: Austin, Texas

Named for the Betty and Edward Marcus Foundation, this contemporary art destination is located at Laguna Gloria, directly adjacent to beautiful Lake Austin. You'll find works from artists like John Grade, Tom Friedman and Orly Genger amid meadows, gardens and an idyllic waterfront.

Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen, Typewriter Eraser. Courtesy of The National Gallery of Art

The National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden

Location: Washington, DC

One of the most recent additions to The National Gallery of Art, this year-round sculpture garden is free to the public and features 17 works from the gallery's growing collection, including installations from Claes Oldenburg and Joan Miró. The grounds are lush with greenery, much of which is native to North America, and at the center sits an elegant fountain that transforms into an ice rink during the winter months.