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Brick Victorian houses with white trim line a busy street.

Explore America’s New Cultural Destinations

Article by Melissa Liebling-Goldberg 07.30.2018

Walkable downtowns. Lively arts districts. Let our local experts help you craft the best ways to discover little-known destinations and exclusive experiences in these dynamic U.S. cities.

It's time to leave behind any pre-conceived notions of what some of America's best-known cities have to offer. Discover the surprisingly walkable downtown of Los Angeles or the buzzy restaurant and museum scene in Philadelphia. Our experts will point you in the direction of the local favorites in each city.


Los Angeles: Culture and Cuisine in the City of Angels

The Griffith Observatory looks out over the Los Angeles city skyline at dawn.

Downtown Los Angeles (or DTLA as the locals call it) has boomed in recent years with the addition of starchitect-designed cultural destinations and cutting-edge food. The Walt Disney Concert Hall anchors the neighborhood with its swooping stainless-steel curves, designed by legendary LA architect Frank Gehry, and is home to the LA Phil orchestra. Contemporary art lovers will make a day of it at The Broad and MOCA (The Museum of Contemporary Art) which are just down Grand Avenue from each other. After you've worked up an appetite working your way through the museums, walk over to Grand Central Market, a 100-year-old food hall that's been re-invigorated with foodie favorites like Sticky Rice and McConnell’s Fine Ice Cream.

Take a culinary tour of downtown Los Angeles with David Wright, Director of Guest Relations, The Ritz-Carlton, Los Angeles.


Atlanta: An Urban Outdoor Paradise

Cyclists ride past a miniature sculpture of the Eiffel Tower.

In Atlanta, you can plan a whole day (or two) moving along the BeltLine, which features 22 miles of rail transit, 33 miles of multi-use trails, 1,300 acres of parks and activities from outdoor yoga to public art installation to live jazz performances. Start your morning with a delicious Southern-infused breakfast at AG in The Ritz-Carlton, Atlanta, and then rent bikes for a ride through the green parks of the BeltLine. Stop at Freedom Park to stroll through the city's largest linear green space, and head for a re-fueling stop at Krog Street Market, which is considered one of the best food halls in the country. Listen to live music at Superica, while enjoying chili con queso, compuesto style and fragrant sangria.

Plan your perfect Atlanta weekend with more tips from Monique Weeks, head concierge at The Ritz-Carlton, Atlanta.


St. Louis: A Fresh Take on Fine Dining

A group of friends enjoys a delicious table spread of fresh oysters, fish, salad and more.

The culinary scene in St. Louis has heated up in the past several years. While you can still go for red sauce Italian on The Hill or get the legendary frozen custard at Ted Drewes, innovative chefs are changing the way fine dining is done with six James Beard semi-finalists in St. Louis in 2018. Married couple Tara and Michael Gallina are giving vegetables center stage at Vicia, focusing on farm to table innovation with local Midwestern producers. Chef Mike Randolph, already lauded for Half & Half and Público, has thrilled diners with his weekends-only fine dining experience at Privado. Ashley Shelton has brought a California-influenced cuisine to Sardella that has brought a breeze of fresh air to Clayton, near The Ritz-Carlton, St. Louis.

Plan a weekend in St. Louis with advice from Jason Staggs, concierge at The Ritz-Carlton, St. Louis.


Boston: Well-Heeled Wares Worth Perusing

Brick Victorian houses with white trim line a busy street.

You can spend a trip to Boston checking out nothing but historical sites — but then you would be missing all the new hotspots in town. Head to the cool but refined South End neighborhood where stately brownstones sit side by side with charming restaurants, curated shops and galleries. The Mills Gallery at the Boston Center for the Arts presents a mix of contemporary artists, from the well-known to the up-and-coming. Stop for brunch or a sweet treat at The Buttery, known for its delicious breakfast and pastries. Shop for an unusual and unique piece of clothing or home goods at the well-curated Willey Boston concept store.

Discover Boston’s best cultural treasures with guidance from Adriatik Calaj, concierge at The Ritz-Carlton, Boston.


Philadelphia: Where Modern and Historic Mingle

Historic and modern architecture contrast in the city streets of Philadelphia.

Philadelphia can seem bursting at the seams with new buildings rising up next to the historical. The Barnes Foundation seemingly floats as you enter the cool stone building, designed by Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects, and you are whisked away to 19th century France with the deep and impressive collection of Impressionist masters. You can continue your art viewing at the famed Philadelphia Museum of Art or the jewel box Rodin Museum, or you can head for a delicious meal at Walnut Street Café, which matches its elegant interior with delectable pastries and savory options. Finish your day by shopping Old City's independent stores, including the soft styles at Rennes and the collectible home goods at Meadowsweet Mercantile.

Plan your perfect weekend in Philadelphia with tips from James Portner, head concierge at The Ritz-Carlton, Philadelphia.


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Plan Your Stay in these Destinations

  • Los Angeles

    Location Los Angeles, California


    • Celebrity chef-driven cuisine and modern mixology
    • An 8,000-sq.-ft. spa and Saturday yoga sessions
    • Skyline and mountain views
  • Atlanta

    Location Downtown, Atlanta, Georgia

    Experience Discover more than 11,000 works of art at the nearby High Museum.

    • Relax in comfort in The Club Lounge
    • Downtown Atlanta's only luxury hotel
    • Culinary experiences at AG
  • St. Louis

    Location ST. LOUIS, MISSOURI


    • Private Juliet balconies overlooking St. Louis skyline
    • Traditional High Tea
    • 3 impeccable restaurant options


  • Boston

    Location Boston, Massachusetts

    Experience New England Charm and Modern Elegance.

    • Craft cocktails at Avery Bar
    • Local seasonal menu at Artisan Bistro
    • Minutes from theatre and historic sites
  • Philadelphia

    Location Philadelphia, PA

    Experience Classic luxury in a historic setting.

    • Newly renovated guest rooms & suites, meeting spaces and lobby
    • Located in the heart of Center City Philadelphia
    • Iconic landmark hotel in a historical bank building