The West is not just a location — it's a mindset. The influence of Western and Native culture can be seen way beyond the reaches of the region. Venture out with us to D.C., Florida, Georgia, Tennessee, Missouri, and New York.
The D.C. headquarters of Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian (americanindian.si.edu) features both permanent and temporary collections of art, documents, and artifacts from America’s Native tribes. Before or after the museum visit, be sure to stop at The National Native American Veterans Memorial (americanindian.si.edu/visit/washington/nnavm), which was dedicated in 2022.
The James Museum of Western and Wildlife Art in St. Petersburg (thejamesmuseum.org) specializes in Western artists from the 20th and 21st centuries, in addition to a gallery dedicated to wildlife around the world. If you’re in the Everglades, the Big Cypress Seminole Indian Reservation’s Ah-Tah-Thi-Ki Museum (ahtahthiki.com/) allows access to fascinating artifacts and archival items.
The permanent collection at Cartersville’s Booth Western Art Museum is astonishing and world-class, but there’s also room for forward-looking and groundbreaking featured exhibits. One could spend days here — take a virtual tour at boothmuseum.org.
Country and Western music lovers can’t miss the glories of Nashville (Grand Ole Opry, Ryman Auditorium, Broadway honky-tonks), Memphis (Beale Street, Sun Records), or Pigeon Forge (Dollywood). tnvacation.com.
St. Louis is known for its status as “the gateway to the West,” and the Gateway Arch is the iconic visual symbol of the designation. But venture a little further beyond the big city to Johnny Morris’ Big Cedar Lodge in Ridgedale (bigcedar.com), among the Ozarks and Table Rock Lake. It’s a nature-lover’s respite, with endless activities and options in the great outdoors.
The companion branch to D.C.’s National Museum of the American Indian (americanindian.si.edu) is located, significantly, near the southern tip of Manhattan — some of its items on view go back thousands of years. Traveling near Rochester? Make time for the Ganondagan State Historic Site, where a 17th century Seneca Nation town once thrived. Start your explorations at the site’s Seneca Art & Culture Center. ganondagan.org.