Travel Themes Part 8: Urban Adventure

Last Updated on December 25, 2020 by Janet Frost

I love fresh air and nature adventures, but cities do sing a siren song for me also.  It is in the cities that I find museums, edgy food and exotic drinks.  An urban adventure can be as unique and informative as any wilderness experience. Let’s look at some ways to explore a city and have an urban adventure.

Let’s Go Learn Things in cities…


One of the first things you notice about a large city is it’s buildings.  I grew up in the Chicago area and admit all those buildings just looked tall to me.  A few years ago, we took the Chicago Architecture Foundation River Cruise. I learned all those buildings have something to teach us.  Many cities offer architectural/historical building tours. These can be with a docent or self-guided. Some cities are known for their ancient architecture and some for their contemporary. Let’s take a look at some architecture rich cities…

Rome, Italy

This city offers ancient, medieval and contemporary architecture. It is a perfect destination for an urban adventure.

Urban Adventures
St. Peters in the Vatican City

Barcelona, Spain

Known for its beauty, Barcelona offers beautiful architecture at every turn. Their premier architect is Antoni Gaudi.

urban adventures
A Gaudi building in Barcelona, note his typical organic style

Dubai, UAE

The ultra modern Dubai is a unique urban destination. It’s architecture is all about taller and more modern

Chicago, IL

Chicago is a bustling urban adventure known for its mix of historic and contemporary architecture. Their arts community offers a variety of architectural tours, including a river cruise.

333 W. Wacker Drive designed by Kohn Pedersen Fox is another great example of contextualism and that reflection I like to capture.

New York, NY

New York, what can we say? This city creates a new icon every year.  Recently the One World Trade building is magnificent. Like Chicago, much of its architecture can be enjoyed from a cruise. 

urban adventure
New York Skyline

Washington DC,

Washington DC holds a special role in its architecture, every building is a monument to our history.

urban adventures
In Washington DC every building is a monument to our history.

Go! Learn Things about Architecture in Chicago…
The Art of Tall Building

Public Art

urban adventures
Sculpture Garden of the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, MN

Cities pride themselves on their public art displays. These can be sculptures, fountains, or parks. It would seem this is best done in fair weather, but a delicate sheet of ice or snow can also create a beautiful setting.

Minneapolis embraces their outdoor environment, even in the frigid winter weather. Their city is full of public art. One of my favorites is the Sculpture Garden of The Walker Art Center.


Street art

Street artists and muralists add their own twist to a cities visual impact.  These unique pieces range from abstract to political satire. Some are sanctioned and some are not, which adds edginess to the art.

Go! Learn More Things in Dubuque, IA…
Discover the Charm of Dubuque

Be sure to check out all the posts in The 12 Days of Travel Themes;
Part 1: Culinary Tourism
Part 2: Fairs and Festivals
Part 3: Historic Destinations
Part 4: Museums
Part 5: Boozy Trips
Part 6: Get Outdoors
Part 7: Agritourism
Part 8: Urban Adventures
Part 9: Scenic Road Trips
Part 10: Literary Travels
Part 11: The Arts
Part 12 : National Parks

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