Last month we shared our favourite sculpture parks in Europe from the serene woodland trails of the Forest of Dean to the vibrant and voluptuous sculptures in a Tuscan garden. Today we’re looking at those further afield, starting with the best sculpture trails and parks in the USA.

The best sculpture trails and parks in the USA & Mexico

Art Omi, New York State, USA

By James, Travel Collecting

Art Omi in Ghent, upstate New York, is a world-class but underrated outdoor Sculpture and Architecture Park, with innovative art and architectural sculptures are spread out over 120 acres.

The park’s icon is a large flat sculpture found near the entrance of white clouds, perfectly framed against a blue sky. It’s eye-catching, but the art inside the park is even more interesting. The park is divided roughly into two sections – one for art and one for architectural sculptures. Some of the art installations are centred around a lake or scattered in the woods.

Highlights include a large reflective mirror with ‘bullet holes’ in it. It is hidden in the woods and visitors come across it almost by accident. The holes distort their reflection and the trees around them. Other interactive pieces include a house in the lake that you visitors can inside and even lie on a bed there. Another piece has hammocks strung around an interpretation of water tanks.

Perhaps the most famous piece is in the architectural park. An entire tiny house that is perched on a single pole rotates, swings and tilts with the wind. The artists used to live inside it as it swayed with the weather. Now visitors can see and experience it from the ground, but it’s still incredible.

Other pieces can be climbed on, walked through and around, or sat on. This is a fully interactive experience that makes a great day trip from New York. While most pieces are permanent, there are also temporary exhibits that change with the seasons.

There is a café that is open Wednesday – Sunday from 9 AM- 4 PM. Picnics are permitted and recommended. Art Omi is located in the Hudson Valley, a 2.5-hour drive north of New York City.

Cost: Recommended donation $10 per car
1405 County Route 22, Ghent, New York
Where to park:
Onsite car park
Recommended length of visit:
2 to 3 hours
Art Omi


Anza Borrego Breceda Sculptures, California, USA

Recommended by Carol, California Crossings

Anza Borrego Breceda Sculptures, California, USA

There’s dragons in them thar hills! Metal dragons that is – and also dinosaurs, elephants, camels, scorpions and 130 other gigantic metal sculptures.

These magnificent, larger than life creatures are located in Anza Borrego in southeastern California. This area is known for a lovely desert landscape state park and off-road vehicle opportunities. Getting there from LA is one of the most scenic drives in California and once you get there, the landscape just keeps on giving.

The Breceda sculpture park is scattered over multiple acres in the Galleta Meadows Estate. The works were commissioned by philanthropist and art collector Dennis Avery. He asked Richard Breceda to create sculptures for his expansive property. Once Breceda got started he never stopped.

The sculptures are huge and very whimsical. Many denote nature themes, such as the scorpion. But there are also some works that explore California’s history, such as the Mission Padre and a particularly touching sculpture of immigrants walking an immigration wall.

Breceda is a self-taught artist, but he has certainly developed a fine skill with his sculptures. The works are thoughtfully placed in the landscape and even the more fantastical creatures seem to belong there. You can see the sculptures for yourself by simply visiting Borrego Springs and driving around. It makes a great stop on any road trip that includes Palm Springs and Joshua Tree National Park.

This is an open-air sculpture installation spread through the landscape. Restaurants, restrooms and other services are found in nearby Borrego Springs.

Cost: FREE
Borrego Springs, California
Where to park:
Free roadside parking
Nearest bus or train station:
This region is not well served by public transportation. 
Recommended length of visit:
1 hour


Queen Califia’s Magic Circle, California, USA

Recommended by Noel, This Hawaii Life

Best sculpture parks in the world

This magical garden is located in Escondido about an hour drive north of San Diego in California. Queen Califia’s garden pays homage to the fictitious Queen of California that once ruled the area with her Amazonian women warriors. She reputedly had magical powers and many mythical animals and serpents in her world.

The whimsical mosaic sculpture park is truly magnificent with colourful serpents and many other real and fictitious creatures that you can walk around and under. It is surreal, vibrant and so exotic in this isolated park setting that feels like you have stepped into another dimension.

The artist has a vivid imagination that really comes to life in this large scale sculpture park. Each creature has been meticulously covered with metals, glass and other collected pieces. As a whole, they create a stunning otherworldly environment filled with strong design and imagery.

Cost: FREE
Kit Carson Park, 3333 Bear Valley Parkway, Escondido, California 92025
Where to park:
Onsite car park
Recommended length of visit:
1 to 2 hours


Franklin D. Murphy Sculpture Garden at UCLA, California, USA

Recommended by Kimmie, Adventures & Sunsets

UCLA Sculpture Garden, One of our faveoutie sculpture parks in the USA

A third sculpture exhibition has been recommended in California, namely The Franklin D Murphy Sculpture Garden in the University of California Campus at Los Angeles.

Located in the northeastern corner of the heart-shaped campus, the sculpture garden truly stands out with a wonderful variety of fascinating sculptures set amongst grassy knolls and tall, shade-giving trees.

This part of campus is right in the middle of the liberal arts, film, and design campuses, and you can find many students relaxing on the grass between classes. If you visit in spring, you’ll find a stunning display of bright purple jacaranda blossoms. It’s perfect for relaxing in the LA breeze, reading and picnics or you can grab some lunch in one of the many nearby restaurants in the area.

The sculpture garden features works in a wide range of materials and forms. With over 70 sculptures, you will be endlessly entertained with everything from human and animal forms to completely abstract shapes. If visiting West Los Angeles, this sculpture garden is a must, so be sure to explore one of the most beautiful college campuses in the country.

Cost: FREE
Address: 245 Charles E Young Dr E, Los Angeles, California 90095
Where to park: UCLA Campus – Lot 3 is closest and may have a fee depending on the time of year
Nearest bus or train station: Hilgard/Sunset Bus Stop
Recommended length of visit: Less than one hour
Website: Franklin D. Murphy Sculpture Garden at UCLA


Trinity Heights, Iowa, USA

Recommended by Lindsay, Siouxland Families

Immaculate Heart of Mary Queen of Peace, Trinity Heights, USA

Trinity Heights is a unique statue park situated on a bluff in northwest Iowa.

Named after a college that formerly sat on the same site, Trinity Heights is home to 14 acres of religious art, sculpture, and shrines. The highlights of the park are two towering sculptures of stainless steel created by the South Dakota artist Dale Lamphere, namely The Sacred Heart of Jesus measuring 33 feet tall and The Immaculate Heart of Mary, Queen of Peace, depicting Mary at 30 feet tall.

Inside Trinity Height’s visitors’ centre, another treat awaits art lovers: a life-sized wood carving of the Last Supper, based on Da Vinci’s iconic painting and carved entirely out of pine lumber.

Back outside, don’t miss a reproduction of the famous Grotto at Lourdes, amongst the many sculptures of Catholic saints and biblical figures from Moses to Mother Theresa.  Information plaques provide the details about dozens upon dozens of Catholic saints, signs with the mysteries of the rosary and the stations of the cross, beautiful shrines like one for those devoted to Our Lady of Guadalupe, and a fully authorized, outdoor Cathedral.

There is no food available at the park, but there are several local and chain restaurants on nearby Floyd Blvd.

While the art is definitively Catholic, the park welcomes visitors of any faith, or no faith, freely and openly. For those seeking peace, a stroll along the well-manicured paths at Trinity Heights is sure to provide just that.

Cost: FREE
3511 33rd Street, Sioux City, Iowa 51108
Where to park:
Free onsite parking
Nearest bus or train station:
Sioux City Public Transit’s No. 4 bus route passes close by. However, the stop for Trinity Heights is down a steep hill from the park, which may be challenging for some visitors. 
Recommended length of visit:
1 to 2 hours
Trinity Heights


Dr. Evermor’s Sculpture Park, Wisconsin, USA

Recommended by Carol, IsThisEvenaRoad

Dr. Evermor's Sculpture Park

Prepare to be amazed at the grandeur and the detail of Dr. Evermor’s Sculpture Park. Towering over the heart of the park and many smaller pieces, sits the largest scrap metal sculpture in the world, Forevertron.

The man behind the metal is Wisconsin native Tom Avery…A.K.A. Dr. Evermor (1938-2020). Avery designed and created the park and took on the persona of the fictitious Dr. Evermor, a Victorian-era English inventor. Avery’s career was in industrial wrecking. His early business involved demoing factories, breweries and other structures. When he retired in 1983, he began creating Forevertron from parts he had collected over the years.

Dr. Evermor’s Sculpture Park creations are built from industrial metal scraps including two dynamos built by Thomas Edison, army ammunition plant parts, a NASA decontamination chamber from Apollo 11, a lightning rod and other scraps.

Forevertron is an impressive 50 feet tall and 120 feet wide. It is reminiscent of a spaceship and was designed to launch Dr. Evermor himself “into the heavens on a magnetic lightning force beam.” A larger than life telescope sits nearby where Dr Evermor’s ascent to the skies could be observed by viewers.

An ornate tea house gazebo was built nearby for Queen Victoria to view the launch. While 70 birds from an elaborate orchestra complete with instruments ready to play for the launch festival. Giant insects, an Epicurean barbecue train and a number of metal animal spectators complete the scene.

Cost: Free (donations accepted)
Behind Delaney’s Surplus, S7703 US-12, North Freedom, WI 53951
Car Parking:
Free onsite car park
Recommended length of visit:
1 to 2 hours
Dr. Evermor’s Sculpture Park

Dr. Evermor Sculpture Park is located off highway 12 in North Freedom, WI (About 45 minutes from Madison.) The park is free to visit but donations are accepted. Dr. Evermor Sculpture Park is open from April to December, Thursday through Monday from 11 am to 5 pm.



Cancun Underwater Museum (a.k.a. MUSA), Mexico

Recommended by Bret & Mary, Blue Ridge Mountains Travel Guide

The Cancun Underwater Museum (also known as the Museo Subacuático de Arte, or MUSA) was conceived by forward-thinking artist/marine conservationist Jason deCaires Taylor as a way to combine art and environmental science. With two sections located off the coast of Cancun and the island of Isla Mujéres, the museum is part underwater art gallery, part sociopolitical statement, and part marine conservation initiative.

It all started in 2009 when artistic director Taylor was hired by the local government. They were trying to find a way to allay the incremental damage caused over the years by Cancun’s mass tourism. More than 150,000 visitors snorkel and dive along Mexico’s Mesoamerican Reef (the second-largest reef system in the world, after the Great Barrier) every year, which takes its toll on the reef as well as the marine animals who depend on it for survival.

Taylor, who was born to a British father and Guyanese mother, had previously made a name for himself with the world’s first underwater sculpture park in Molinere Bay, Grenada. He makes lifelike sculptures of local people from marine-grade materials, sinks them in the ocean at depths ranging from 15 to 30 feet, and then grafts coral nubbins on them to create gorgeous artificial reef art.

There are some 500 statues in two sections, Salon Manchones and Salon Nizuc, in an area of over 420 square meters. Salon Nizuc, off the coast of Cancun, is four meters deep, which is perfect for snorkelling or taking a glass-bottom boat tour. If you’re certified for scuba diving, the Salon Manchone section off the coast of Isla Mujéres is more remote (and expensive), but ranks among the best dive sites we’ve ever visited. Both are incredible otherworldly experiences, completely unlike any other museum you’ve ever visited.

Cost: Prices vary from $30 to $150, depending on the tour you take. More details here:
Cerrada Las Golondrinas Lote #24, Zona Hotelera, 77560 Cancún, Q.R., Mexico
Where to park:
Onsite car park
Recommended length of visit:
2 to 3 hours


The best sculpture trails and parks in Asia

Naoshima Island, Japan

Recommended by Helen, Japlanease

Giant yellow, pumpkin sculpture on a pier on pumpkin Naoshima Island

Located off the coast of the main island of Japan, Honshu, the island of Naoshima is an art lover’s paradise. As you get off the ferry you’re greeted by one of the most recognisable sculptures on the island, Yayoi Kusama’s spotty red pumpkin, but that’s only a taste of what’s on offer.

There are two major museums on the island; the Chichu Art Museum, where you’ll find large scale works like Walter de Maria’s spherical Time/Timeless/No Time, and the Benesse House Museum.

Several traditional houses are also given over to artists to create whatever they like – which means using everything from shafts of light to a giant Statue of Liberty. Other sculptures including another pumpkin (this one yellow) dot the main towns and museums’ grounds. There’s even an art-filled onsen you have to get naked to view the artwork!

The residents of Naoshima also add their own art here and there so keep your eyes peeled.

Getting to Naoshima sees you taking the train to the small port town of Uno (which is included on your Japan Rail Pass and easily accessed by the main bullet train station at Okayama) and then a short 15-20-minute ferry journey to one of the island’s two towns. Once you’re on the island, you can get around by bike or bus, it’s too big to just walk between exhibits. It is possible to see most of the art sites in one day, if you’re organised, but it’s better to stay overnight if you can – there are a few hotels and guesthouses to choose from. Note though many of the museums are closed on a Monday so time your trip accordingly. You also need to book some tickets in advance so visit the Benesse Art Site for more details. Pick up one of the islands free guide maps to find the full listing and opening hours.

Cost: Entrance fees apply at most sites
Various locations, Naoshima, Kagawa District, Kagawa 761-3110, Japan
There are regular ferries from Uno
Recommended length of visit:


Hua Seng Keng Buddhist Hell Temple, Malaysia

Recommended by Marco, Penang Insider

Hua Seng Keng, Kuala Gula, Malaysia

Buddhist temples in Southeast Asia often use paintings and sculptures to convince their devotees that leading a life of merit is better than ending up burning in Naraka, the terrible Buddhist hell. Here, sinners are thrown into cauldrons of hot water and boiled alive, their tongues are pulled out with pliers, or they might be cut in half and last, but certainly not least, they are forced to climb a thorny tree for eternity, all the while slashing their own bodies. Should they fall, the fangs of ferocious dogs are waiting at the bottom of this cursed tree.

It’s hard to picture such an overdose of torture, but the Hua Seng Keng Buddhist temple in Kuala Gula, a small town in the Malaysian state of Perak, really made an effort to bring it all to blood-chilling, life in this large park filled with different “attractions”.

Visitors enter through a dragon’s mouth to find a set of stairs leading up to a platform where a giant statue of the Goddess of Mercy, Kwan Yin, awaits. From here, one can see the creepy garden below, filled with larger-than-life statues of the 12 animals of the Chinese Zodiac. For some reason, even these are creepy and menacing.

But the best part of Hua Seng Keng temple is at the back where a stone mountain holds a reproduction of Naraka in the lower-ground floor, while the third floor represents the top of heaven. The dungeon of hell is definitely the most interesting hall, where visitors will want to spend the most time taking pictures. Braving the gates of hell guarded by two ghostly creatures with animal heads, one follows the procession of dead souls until they are tried at the tribunal of hell. A Taoist version of the Book of Life is unscrolled and the names of the departed are read out before the magistrates who dispatch them to the different halls of punishment: boiled, cut, sawn in half, or quartered — a visit here can definitely help most of the living walk the line.

Cost: FREE
Jln Gula, 34350 Kuala Kurau, Perak
Parking: small onsite car park
How to get there:  There is no public transport but you may rent a taxi from nearby Kuala Kurau
Recommended length of visit:
2 hours

Xieng Khuan Buddha Park, Laos

Recommended by Agnes, The Van Escape

Xieng Khuan Buddha Park, Laos
Buddha Park in Laos is also known as Xieng Khuan Buddha Park. It’s a fabulous sculpture park located only 25 km southeast of Vientiane, by the Mekong River.

The name Xieng Khuan means Spirit City. What’s makes this place special is that the park contains over 200 Hindu and Buddhist beautiful statues. They have different sizes, shapes, and details, making this place very photogenic and worth visiting during a trip to Laos. It’s not only a tourist attraction, but it’s also one of the favorite places for walks for locals. It’s a public park operated by the socialist government.

The statues are made of reinforced concrete and appear to be centuries old, though they are not. Building the park was started in 1958. The originator of its creation was Luang Pu Bunleua Sulilat, a priest-shaman who integrated Hinduism and Buddhism. It’s possible to admire sculptures of humans, gods, animals, demons, and mythological creatures. There are many Buddha sculptures and characters of Hindu lore, including Shiva, Vishnu, and Arjuna.

The biggest sculpture is an enormous 40-meter-long (130 feet) reclining Buddha. But the most bizarre is a mouth of a 3-meter-tall demon head (9.8 feet). Visitors can enter through a demon head and climb staircases from hell to heaven. What’s more, at the top there is a viewpoint where the entire park is visible, and it is possible to take great pictures of the park. Next to the Park gate are street food vendors. There is also a gift shop and a restaurant at the Park with the Mekong river view. The Buddha Park is opened daily from 8 am until 4:30 pm.

Cost: 5,000 Kip per person (plus optional camera fee is 3,000 Kip)
Xieng Khuan Buddha Park, Deua, Thanon Tha, Vientiane
Parking: Onsite car park
How to get there: A bus from Vientiane is the cheapest way to get there. Local bus number 14 leaves often from Khua Din bus station next to the Talat Sao market to Buddha Park. The trip takes about 45 minutes and costs 6,000 Kip one way. It’s also possible to hire a tuk-tuk for the trip or rent a motorbike (check your insurance).
Recommended length of visit:
2 hours


Park of Lovers, Kazakhstan

Recommended by Ellis, Backpack Adventures

Park of Lovers, Kazakhstan

Nursultan is Kazakhstan’s new and modern capital. After independence from the Soviet Union, former President Nursultan Nazarbayev moved the capital to a small town in the north of the country. In only a few years he transformed the city with futuristic architectural projects and of course his city wouldn’t be complete without a sculpture park too.

Nursultan’s sculpture park is n the heart of the city. The sculptures are spread out along Nurzhol Boulevard which runs from the Presidential Residence to Khan Shatyr, a shopping centre shaped like a traditional Kazakh tent.

The first sculpture you’ll see is of a young Kazakh couple which has given rise to the name ‘Park of lovers’ with more sculptures as you walk along the boulevard. It’s a romantic spot for young couples.

Beyond this, you’ll see sculptures from Kazakhstan’s nomadic past with elegant figures depicting warriors, horsemen and shamans.

In total there are 12 permanent statues, but Nurzhol Boulevard also often houses temporary art exhibitions. It’s one of the most interesting places to visit in Nursultan. Not only is it home to the city’s most beautiful buildings, but also Kazakh art and culture. Nursultan’s sculpture park is a lesson in Kazakhstan’s unique history.

There are no restaurants in the park, but the Khan Shatyr shopping mall is within walking distance and the best place to find restaurants and other facilities.

Cost: FREE
Nurzhol Boulevard, Nursultan
Parking: Nurzhol Boulevard is a pedestrian area. Parking is near the Khan Shatyr shopping mall
Nearest Bus Stop: Khan Shatyr Mall
Recommended length of visit:
Less than 1 hour

The best sculpture trails and parks in Australia

New South Wales certainly seems to be the place to visit for any sculpture lovers in Australia, with all three recommended sculpture trails set in this one state. Surely other states have some fabulous sculpture exhibitions too and we’ll add them to this list as we discover them.

The Living Desert Sculptures, New South Wales

Recommended by Helen, Differentville

The Living Desert Sculptures

Back in 1993, nine artists were invited to a rocky outcrop in the Living Desert Reserve in Broken Hill, an outback town in New South Wales. Here 53 tonnes of sandstone blocks were waiting for them to work on. Seven weeks later, they launched what’s now one of the most popular sightseeing spots in Broken Hill – The Living Desert Sculptures.

The sculpture park is located 12km out of town so you’ll need to either drive or take a tour to the sculptures – and while the most popular time to visit is sunset, the park is open from 6.00 am in summer and 8.30 am in winter if you want to beat the crowds.

The park is mostly set up for hiking and so there are limited facilities so bring your own water. Toilets are located in the nearby picnic areas.

The sculptures aren’t the only place to find art in Broken Hill, in fact, there are now more galleries than pubs in this cool town. Most notable are the works by Pro Hart that are dotted around the city and represent his experience of working in the mines that put Broken Hill on the map.

You’ll also want to hire a car and take a trip to nearby Silverton where you’ll find more galleries and a series of painted Volkswagen cars. For more ideas of what to do when you’re in town, check out this guide of what to do in Broken Hill and Silverton.

Cost: $6.00
Nine Mile Road, Broken Hill, New South Wales, Australia
Parking: Onsite car park
Public Transport: There is no public transport to  Broken Hill
Recommended length of visit:
One hour
The Living Desert Sculptures


National Gallery of Australia Sculpture Garden, Australian Capital Territory

Recommended by Monique, Trip Anthropologist

Heads From the North 2004, National Gallery of Australia Sculpture Garden

It’s hard to believe that a national sculpture gallery could be hidden among trees along the banks of Australia’s Capital City, but that is where you’ll find the National Gallery of Australia’s Sculpture Garden.

The Sculpture Garden is free to wander into from the jogging path along Canberra’s Lake Burley Griffin or by simply walking out and behind the National Gallery. It is free and opens all day, year-round. Weddings and musical performances are occasionally performed here.

The Sculpture Garden is divided into four ‘rooms,’ one for each season, although the ‘Autumn Garden’ was never finished as the Gallery ran out of money.

The sculptures, which are hidden among the mature eucalyptus trees, are by international and Australian artists. Bronzes by Rodin, organic forms by Henry Moore, and wonderful modernist mid-twentieth century American and U.K. artist works sit underneath trees and beside native Australian plantings.

The most magical part of the ‘Summer Garden’ centres on a marsh pond full of lilies and rushes and fringed by large Casuarina trees. A Fujiko Nakaya Fog Sculpture beside the pond generates a fine mist between 12.45 pm and 2 pm every day creating an eerie atmosphere in which sculptures seem to suddenly appear.

In the centre of the marsh pond is a sculpture of 66 bronze heads. It is a work by Dadang Christano called Heads From the North 2004. It marks the loss of 500,000 Indonesians in the 1966 reprisals by the Suharto government from an attempted coup. It is a serene but also sad sculpture and one not to be missed at this well-designed and surprising sculpture garden.

Cost: FREE
Address: National Gallery of Australia, Parkes Place, Parkes ACT 2600
Where to park: Parking onsite and around the lake
Nearest bus or train station: King Edward Terrace and Parkes Place East is the nearest bus station
Recommended length of visit: 1 to 2 hours
Website: National Gallery of Australia Sculpture Garden


Sculptures by the Sea, Bondi, New South Wales

Recommended by Victoria, Guide your Travel

One the best sculpture trails in the world, Sculpture by the Sea, Australia

The Sculptures by the Sea is an annual art exhibition located on the walk between Bondi and Coogee Beach in Sydney. It’s said to be the world’s largest free to the public sculpture exhibition.

The sculpture trail is just over a mile long and has become one of the most popular recurring tourist attractions in Sydney. Thousand of visitors come to see the Sculptures by the Sea every day and it can become especially crowded during weekends. The Coogee to Bondi walk is already very popular among tourists and hikers with the sculptures adding another attraction.

Over 100 different sculptures are usually featured by artists from all around the world.

The exhibition takes place each year for two or three weeks in October/November when the weather in Sydney is warm and comfortable. This marks spring in Australia and is a beautiful time to visit the area.

Since the sculptures are located close to Bondi Beach so there are lots of amenities nearby. You can find public toilets, changing rooms and of course lots of restaurants and cafes nearby.

The famous Bondi Beach is one of the most beautiful beaches on the East Coast of Australia and a great spot for swimming, surfing or a picnic. Just make sure you follow lifeguard instructions at all times. The walk to Coogee Beach is relatively easy to manage although it includes stairs and is therefore not accessible to everyone.

Dates: 21st October to 7th November 2021
Cost: FREE
Address: 1 Notts Ave, Bondi Beach New South Wales, 2026, Australia
Where to park: Bondi Beach parking
Nearest bus station: South Bondi Beach Bus Station
Recommended length of visit: 2 to 3 hours
Website: Sculptures by the Sea


The best scuplture trails and parks around the world


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