Dale Chihuly glass reed sculpture at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts VMFA in Richmond, Virginia

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Virginia Museum of Fine Arts

Top choice in Richmond

Richmond is a cultured city, and this splendid art museum is the cornerstone of the local arts scene. Highlights of its eclectic, world-class collection include the Sydney and Frances Lewis Art Nouveau and Art Deco Galleries, which include furniture and decorative arts by designers including Eileen Gray, Josef Hoffmann and Charles Rennie Mackintosh. Other galleries house one of the largest Fabergé egg collections on display outside Russia, and American works by O'Keeffe, Hopper, Henri, Whistler, Sargent and other big names.

The permanent collections are free to visit, but the regular temporary exhibitions are usually charged. After a morning exploring the collection, the museum's big-windowed Amuse restaurant is an elegant spot for lunch; on Thursday evenings, musicians play at the museum's Jazz Cafe. Be sure to walk around the 24ft-high Chloe sculpture by Jaume Plensa, which was installed on the grounds in 2017.

There's an excellent gift shop and on-site parking ($5).

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