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Travel: Dream Vacation

From eating to shopping, you can join Philadelphia as it embraces Dali.


The entire city has rolled out a "surreal" red carpet to embrace "Salvador Dali," the landmark exhibition which runs through May 15 at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

Dali is best known for the surrealist paintings he made between 1929 and 1939, in which he transformed personal desires and obsessions into some of the most arresting images of the 20th century.

If you don't catch the show in Philadelphia, you're out of luck — Philly is the only U.S. venue for the show. The exhibition includes more than 200 works — 150 paintings accompanied by sculpture, works on paper, photographs of the artist and a documentary section — and is the most comprehensive retrospective ever mounted of the artist's work.

To celebrate the exclusive exhibition, the city's hotels, shops, restaurants and businesses have created "Surreal Philadelphia: The Dali Experience," a lively dreamscape, complete with specially decorated trolleys, banners and balloons, and lavishly decorated retail window displays — all inspired by the startling and outrageous artistic vision of Dali.

Even the restaurants have joined in the fun by creating Dali-related menus and specialty drinks. Since the opening of the exhibition in February, the famous Swann Lounge at the Four Seasons has been pouring the Dalinean Dream cocktail (think martini glass filled with citrus and vanilla vodkas, mango and raspberry purees topped with a spun sugar confection). The hotel's Fountain Restaurant is also featuring a Surreal Meal inspired by Dali's cookbook.

The Museum Restaurant, housed in the Philadelphia Museum of Art, took the culinary concept one step further by sending Chef Tracey Hopkins to Dali's native Costa Brava in Spain to learn the art of cooking Catalonian cuisine.

To entice visitors to Philadelphia and the exhibit, the museum has created several overnight hotel packages that include two VIP tickets to the exhibition. Participating hotels include the Four Seasons Hotel Philadelphia, the Park Hyatt Philadelphia at the Bellevue, the Philadelphia Marriott Downtown and the Ritz-Carlton Philadelphia. Amtrak is also offering 50 percent off the best available rail fare for one traveling companion ticket with each paid adult ticket purchase on travel to Philadelphia on Northeast Corridor routes.

If you'd like to check out other modern and contemporary art collections while you're in Philly, swing by the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts and the Institute of Contemporary Art, where you'll find the work of Andy Warhol.


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