Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum Boston
Isabelle Stewart Gardner was a devil-may-care soul who paraded lions around on a leash, drank beer (while Boston Brahmins frowned), and held court in this lovely jewel box of a museum next to the Back Bay Fens. Today it is kept (mostly) according to the terms outlined in her will. Beyond the charming garden courtyard visitors can wander through works from ancient Rome all the way up to the belle époque. The high notes are most certainly the wonderful works by John Singer Sargent, her friend and confidant.