Here Are the 5 Best Places for Art and Design Lovers to Travel in April

Covering everything from major design fairs in Europe and New England to must-see art, home, and garden festivals and exhibitions.



As spring swings into gear, the month of April brings a wealth of art- and design-focused events around the globe. Devotees of the Salone del Mobile in Milan would do well to explore the city’s up-and-coming Navigli District, where the coolest new bars and restaurants are popping up. Stateside, Boston Design Week and the Charleston Festival of Houses and Gardens offer two compelling reasons to visit this pair of historic East Coast cities and take advantage of all the charms they have to offer. Across the pond, Scotland’s art and design capital celebrates a major anniversary and welcomes art world insiders for the biannual Glasgow International. If you’re itching for a relaxing seaside getaway, you might want to head to Bermuda, where the Rosewood Bermuda is fresh off a $25 million renovation.


Photo: Marco Secchi / Getty Images

Returning for its 57th edition April 17–22, the Salone del Mobile is expected to draw 300,000 people to Italy’s financial center to discover the best the design world has to offer. It’s the marquee event of Milan Design Week, which also includes the International Furnishings Accessories Exhibition, EuroCucina/FTK (Technology for the Kitchen), and the International Bathroom Exhibition. If you’re headed to Milan for the fairs, you might want to splurge on one of the city’s most exceptional hotel suites (or at least book a standard room in one of the hotels that houses them). We recommend exploring the up-and-coming canal-side Navigli district, home to hip cocktail bars like Rita and excellent restaurants like the seafood-focused Langosteria Bistrot.


Photo: Getty Images

Boston Design Week will take place April 4–15 with a dynamic roster of events. This year’s theme is “Now, New, Next,” highlighting sustainable design, urban planning, historic preservation, and design with a social purpose. Headed to Beantown for the events? Book a room at the chic XV Beacon on Beacon Hill or the Liberty, a Luxury Collection Hotel in the former Charles Street Jail, which features cheeky nods to its past. Be sure to visit the Isabella Stewart Gardiner Museum, which the illustrious Gilded Age collector modeled on a Venetian palazzo, and ogle its modern wing designed by Renzo Piano. We recommend brunch at Cultivar, a chic new restaurant by acclaimed chef Mary Dumont, and dinner at Yvonne’s, a hot spot with eccentric design touches in Downtown’s old Locke Ober space.


Photo: Laura Geror / Courtesy of Charleston Festival of Houses and Gardens

What could be more charming than the Charleston Festival of Houses and Gardens? Running through April 21, the annual festival swings open the doors of some of the Holy City’s most beautiful private homes, giving visitors the opportunity to learn about their distinctive architecture and fascinating history. Stay at the Spectator Hotel, which features a stunning design and an excellent Jazz Age–inspired bar. If you plan to dine at Sean Brock’s award-winning restaurant Huskor Mike Lata’s highly acclaimed restaurant Fig, you’d better book a table far in advance or pray for a last-minute cancellation.


Photo: Ashley Coombes / Courtesy of Clydeside Distillery Glasgow

This is a big year for Glasgow, and April is the best time for art and design lovers to visit. The city is celebrating the 150th anniversary of the birth of its prodigal son, architect and designer Charles Rennie Mackintosh, with a retrospective at the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum that starts on March 30. Then, from April 20–May 7, the biannual Glasgow International returns with a packed calendar of exhibitions and events taking place across the city. If you go, be sure to check out the new Clydeside Distillery, a whiskey distillery that opened last fall on the banks of the River Clyde near the Riverside Museum designed by Zaha Hadid.


Photo: Ken Hayden / Courtesy of Rosewood

Formerly known as Rosewood Tucker’s Point, Rosewood Bermuda is emerging from a $25 million renovation in April. The revamped resort now has 92 rooms and suites done up in a breezy style inspired by the island’s English colonial heritage, with contemporary art by local artists; six restaurants and bars, including the new Conservatory Bar and Lounge; the chic Beach Club; the golf clubhouse; and a modernized spa with new offerings. Use the resort as a jumping-off point to explore the town of St. George, a UNESCO World Heritage site and Bermuda’s oldest continually occupied settlement; step back in time at the Tucker House Museum; and learn about marine conservation at the Bermuda Aquarium and Zoo.

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