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Destination, culture: Take a trip to one of these artistic exhibits

From haute couture fashion to Winnie-the-Pooh, we round up the museums and art galleries worth leaving town for this fall. 

Jennie C. Jones' RPM (revolutions per minute) exhibition

Jennie C. Jones' RPM (revolutions per minute) exhibition is on view at the Glass House in New Canaan, Connecticut. Photo Credit: Neil Landino Jr.

Road trips can bring out the best in fast food indulgences or competitive car games, but it can also lead to amazing cultural experiences. Pack up the car (or train or bus) this fall and head out to see some of the coolest fall exhibits. And while you’re there, sample local food — from strawberry shortcake pancakes to cheesesteaks — learn more about the country’s history and support some local shops.

1. Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

What: Fabulous Fashion: From Dior’s New Look to Now

When: Oct. 16, 2018 — March 3, 2019

Why go now: Travel back in time with fashion as your guide at this exhibition, letting dramatic haute couture ballgowns inspire the most fantastic images of a bygone era. The exhibit features fashion throughout the decades; highlights include a two-piece pale pink satin Dior day dress from 1948, a dress and tights circa 1965 by Emilio Puccio and bridal gowns throughout the years from designers like Vera Wang and Carolina Herrera.

Tickets: $20 for adults, $14 for kids, kids 12 and under are free

What else to do while there: Start right outside the museum by running up its famed steps and raising your arms high, just as Rocky did. Then pick a side in the forever-ongoing debate on which Philly cheesesteak is the ruler of them all (Pat’s King of Steaks, Geno’s Steaks or one of the many other options throughout the city), or skip the iconic sandwich altogether and check out the roast pork at DiNic’s at the Reading Terminal Market. Cap off your day with a tour of Independence Hall, where the Declaration of Independence was signed, or a photo of the famed Liberty Bell. 

2. The Newark Museum, Newark, New Jersey

What: Kimono Refashioned, 1870s to now

When: Oct. 13, 2018 — Jan. 6, 2019

Why go now: This exhibit celebrates the influence Japanese garments, fabrics and art have had on modern fashion, featuring work from several renowned designers, including John Galliano and Alexander McQueen. Follow the classic kimono as it journeys from paintings from the late 1800s to garments inspired by the kimono’s cut and motifs from the 1920s and contemporary fashion.

Tickets: $15 for adults, $8 for children, children 2 and under are free.

What else to do while there: Check out a concert or a New Jersey Devils hockey game at the Prudential Center, or take a stroll in the Ironbound district, a homey neighborhood with an abundance of restaurants and where Portuguese food reigns.

3. National Portrait Gallery, Washington, D.C.

What: Eye to I: Self-Portraits from 1900 to Today

When: Nov. 4, 2018 — Aug. 18, 2019 

Why to go now: This expansive exhibit will feature more than 75 pieces of art from 1901 to today, focusing on how artists have approached creating a self-portrait throughout history. The exhibition, which marks the end of the Portrait Gallery's 50th anniversary exhibition program, includes self-portraits by several famous artists, including Jean-Michel Basquiat, Andy Warhol, Joan Jonas and Elaine de Kooning.

What else to do while there: Take a short stroll to the National Mall and check out some of the capital’s most iconic memorials before heading down to The Wharf, which features restaurants and shops along a mile-long stretch of the Potomac River. Grab a sweet treat and head to the water’s edge to take in a view of the lapping river.

4. Museum of Fine Arts Boston, Boston, Massachusetts

What: Winnie-the-Pooh: Exploring a Classic

When: Now — January 6, 2019

Why go now: Channel your inner child at this exhibit of everybody’s favorite character from the Hundred Acre Wood, which features dozens of original sketches of Pooh and his friends, classic memorabilia, photographs of author A.A. Milne’s family, as well as a recreation of Pooh’s home and the bedroom of A.A. Milne’s son Christopher, where kids can sit on a bed and read.

Tickets: Timed tickets are available at $25 for adults and $10 for kids, children 6 and under are free.

What else to do while there: Check out a tour of Fenway Park, in walking distance from the museum, or venture further into the history of Boston (and America) by walking the Freedom Trail, a 2.5-mile route that takes visitors to some of the best historical sites.

5. The Glass House, New Canaan, Connecticut

What: Jennie C. Jones: RPM (revolutions per minute)

When: Now — Nov. 30, 2018

Why go now: This modern, newly commissioned work brings audio collages and works on paper to the historic Glass House, which itself was completed in 1949 by architect Philip Johnson. The exhibition by Jones, herself based in Hudson, New York, includes two site-responsive audio collages in the Glass House and the Sculpture Gallery.

Tickets: $50 weekdays and $60 weekends for a tour of the Glass House and galleries, children must be 10 years old or older

What else to do while there: Take a walk down the road to the downtown area of New Canaan and walk along Elm and Main streets, popping into shops and restaurants. Sit down for a plate of strawberry shortcake stuffed pancakes at Baldanza before heading down the street to pick up some new reading material at local bookshop, Elm Street Books.

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