Walking distance from Boston's Museum of Fine Arts is the charming Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. Eschewing the cold museum designs of the day, Isabella Stewart Gardner designed an exceptional building modeled after a 15th-century Venetian-style palace filled with warmth and light. This preeminent collection includes significant works of Rembrandt, Michelangelo, Raphael, Botticelli, Manet, Degas, Whistler, and Sargent, set among antique furniture, rare books, and rich tapestries.
A standout feature of the three-story gallery is an enchanting flower filled courtyard. This romantic setting holds a special place in my heart. (My parents "courted" there when they were dating more than 46 years ago. They're celebrating their 45th anniversary this week.) The museum's Tapestry Room is also home to intimate concerts, including chamber music, jazz, and new music concerts.
[Photo courtesy of the Isabella Stuart Gardner Museum]