Winter Travel Destinations: With Warm Weather in Mind

31 Oct 2022

The days grow shorter and colder, and our eyes stray from home. We dream of the sun touching our skin just as it did in the summer months. Where your mind wanders is where we will explore.

Since travel is incomplete without art, we have listed some warm-weather destinations complete with quality art exhibitions below.

Parroquia de San Miguel Arcángel is one of San Miguel de Allende's most famous attractions. Photo: Miguel Angel Victoria.
Parroquia de San Miguel Arcángel is one of San Miguel de Allende's most famous attractions. Photo: Miguel Angel Victoria.
Jardin Majorelle in Marrakech, Morocco. Photo: Jardin Majorelle
Jardin Majorelle in Marrakech, Morocco. Photo: Jardin Majorelle
Two of Abu Dhabi's monumental gems, the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque and the "Wahat Al Karama" memorial are close together and both visible in one shot.
Two of Abu Dhabi's monumental gems, the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque and the "Wahat Al Karama" memorial are close together and both visible in one shot.

Though the winters in Mallorca and Menorca may not be best described as warm, this popular summer destination boasts contemporary art spaces like the Es Baluard Museum, Galería Cayón and a Hauser & Wirth outpost that make it worth mentioning. 

San Miguel de Allende, Mexico

The work of Pedro Friedeberg has a presence in the Museum of Modern Art, the Smithsonian and more institutions of high repute. Still, Casa Diana Gallery in San Miguel de Allende houses more of the legendary Mexican artist's work than any other art space.

Casa Diana was only the seventh gallery in the city when it opened in 2002. San Miguel de Allende now has over 100 galleries and a reputation for its bustling art scene.

Skot Foreman Gallery has presented the work of Salvador Dali, Andy Warhol and local artists like Leo Diaz in recent winters. Galeria Nudo and the former-textile-factory-turned large-art-complex, Fábrica La Aurora, are a few more of the many notable gallery spaces.

Fine arts schools Centro Cultural Inacio Ramírez and Instituto Allende join architectural masterpieces like the Parroquia de San Miguel Arcángel and the Santuario de Atotonilco as attractions that make this city a premier art destination.

Marrakech, Morocco

Clear, calm skies aren't all that the North African winters have to offer. Some of the best modern art exhibitions are at the Museum of African Contemporary Art Al Maaden in Marrakech (MACAAL).

Currently showing at the MACAAL is Madagascar and Paris-based artist Joël Andrianomearisoa. After an exploratory residence, the pioneering African artist has been invited to occupy the entire museum for a monographic exhibition of Wickerwork, metalwork, ceramics, drawings and more, all made in Marrakech. 

Musée Yves Saint Laurent, Jardin Majorelle and the Pierre Bergé museum are neighbouring spaces just steps from each other that offer exciting permanent and temporary exhibitions as well as outward beauty with their landscaping and architecture. 

The city of Marrakech is an architectural masterpiece itself. The Islamic influence sees stunning symmetry and intricate patterns spread throughout the city. In the Medina district, visitors can encounter historical monuments, performers and vendors.

Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

Tourism in the UAE has increased exponentially since 2010. The capital city of Abu Dhabi offers a rare combination of beach, desert, and metropolis activities. Because of the bountiful attractions, art experiences are an underrated but significant pull factor for visitors.

One can only speak of art in Abu Dhabi by first mentioning the Louvre Abu Dhabi. Their special exhibition this winter, Art Here 2022, is part of the Richard Mille Art Prize and brings together artists in the region who push the boundaries of contemporary art. Another unique institution is the gulf's only university gallery, NYU Abu Dhabi Art Gallery.

The plethora of public sculptures means visiting institutions is one of many ways to enjoy art in Abu Dhabi. Work from major artists like Takashi Murakami and KAWS join the monumental "Emerging Man" and "Astrocat" sculptures in Yas Bay. Directly opposite the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque is the Wahat Al Karama, or Oasis of Dignity, a massive war memorial designed by British artist Idris Khan.

We are so infatuated with this city's art offerings that we have an art trip to Abu Dhabi, and the nearby adjacent cities of Dubai and Sharjah, planned for 2023.

Cartagena, Colombia

A city where the temperature rarely dips below 70 F / 21 C degrees or rises above 90 F / 33 C is a dream travel destination in the colder months. Nestled near the "land of eternal spring," this coastal city contains an emerging art scene.

Cartagena's Museum of Modern Art was propelled by two of the most important artists in 20th-century Colombia. Foreigners Enrique Grau and Alejandro Obregón became honorary Cartageneros thanks to their contributions to the city's art scene. Their permanent collection of paintings and sculptures are the main attractions of this old colonial house museum that also hosts short-term exhibitions.

The influence of the Cartagena Museum of Modern Art extends beyond its doors to partner art space, Galería de Los Artistas. The Artist's Gallery opened to the public earlier this year and represents an expanding list of Colombian and Hispanic-American artists.

One of the premier galleries in the walled city is NH Galeria. New York gallerist Nohra Haime opened their second location here in 2011. Recent exhibitions include solo shows of Pablo Picasso, Lesley Dill and Ruby Rumie.

Rounding out the city's charming art spaces are the pre-Columbian relic museum Museo del Oro Zenú and the all-encompassing arts space La Presentacion Casa Museo. Here visitors can immerse themselves in the local culture, music, dance, theatre and visual arts.