miami salsa class

Kick up your heels in Miami. (Photo: Getty Images)

Tips + Trends

From Salsa Classes in Miami to Fly-Fishing School in Montana, Learn Like a Local in the U.S.

Taking a class is a fun way to deepen your experience of an unfamiliar place. Not only do you learn new skills, but you also make your trip more meaningful by getting to know the city’s art, culture, heritage and people.

From salsa dancing in Miami to spray painting in New York City, here are some of the best classes you can take while traveling around the United States.

As always, check for travel restrictions and closures before planning your trip.

Salsa Dancing in Miami

There are few better ways to immerse yourself in a culture than through its music and dance. While in Miami, you can connect with the city’s Latin American beat by dancing the night away at one of Little Havana’s salsa hotspots, like Cubaocho.

Originating just over 300 miles away in Cuba, salsa is a fast-paced mix of Latin dance styles, including cha-cha-cha, mambo and rumba. If you’re too intimidated to hit the dance floor without a grasp of the basics, take a lesson.

In South Beach, Salsa Mia teaches classes and provides the setting for trying out your new moves. The Sip, Savor & Salsa experience is an all-night affair that includes salsa and bachata lessons and a dance party afterward.

Street Art in New York City

Since emerging alongside the city’s 1970s hip-hop culture, graffiti has been a colorful part of the New York City landscape. While it retains much of the grit that made it famous, the scene has morphed somewhat into a legally sanctioned practice better known as street art. Organized groups now commission legal murals across the city, from Bushwick to Little Italy, Harlem and beyond.

If artistic inspiration strikes while in NY, you can book a hands-on workshop, led by a graffiti artist in Bushwick, to learn spray painting techniques and create your own art project to take home.

Pottery in Santa Fe, New Mexico

pottery bowls in arizona
Discover the art of pottery. (Photo: Getty Images)

Santa Fe is well known as a haven for artists and home to a thriving creative scene. Visitors can explore not only the work of renowned artists at the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum, but also those up-and-coming at the more than 100 galleries that line both sides of the city’s Canyon Road.

Visitors wishing to deepen their creative connection to Santa Fe can take one of dozens of art-focused classes on offer, from oil painting to photography. Housed inside an early 20th-century rustic adobe in the city’s Railyard District, Paseo Pottery has been part of the Santa Fe art scene for decades. Its two-hour classes take students through the entire process of making pottery and culminate with each student making two pieces. Best of all, the business donates 100 percent of its net profits to local nonprofit organizations.

Cooking in Tucson, Arizona

Cooking is so closely tied to the Tucson way of life that the city is a designated UNESCO Creative City of Gastronomy. With an agricultural history that dates back more than 4,000 years, it’s the longest known cultivated area in North America. Today Tucson’s culinary scene is a tapestry that blends the influences of Mexican and Native American traditions.

In between sampling the city’s culinary delights, you can up your own gastronomy game with a cooking class. The nonprofit Garden Kitchen offers what it calls “seed-to-table gardening and cooking education,” which covers everything from growing to storing.

Garden Kitchen also offers private group classes in everything from knife skills to pasta and sauce-making.

Fly-Fishing in West Glacier, Montana

fly fishing in montana
Find patience and meditation while fly fishing. (Photo: Getty Images)

The sense of relaxation gained by the calming, meditative act of casting a fly into the water while surrounded by nature has led fly-fishing to be cited recently as beneficial to mental health. Correspondingly, there’s been a spike in interest in the traditional sport.

Whether you’ve never tried it before or have several fly-fishing trips under your belt, Glacier Anglers‘ fly-fishing school can help hone your skills and technique. Complete beginners can start with the half-day Introduction to Fly-Fishing trip, which covers the basics, including fly-casting technique, essential fly-fishing knots and how to play, land, and safely release a fish.

Astronaut Training in Huntsville, Alabama

The skills you learn may not prove the most useful on Earth, but Space Camp is an entertaining, out-of-this-world learning experience. And there’s no better place to do it than at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center in Huntsville, known as “Rocket City” for its close association with U.S. space missions.

The weekendlong experience for adults provides hands-on astronaut mission experience, including use of the Multi-Axis Trainer and an extended-duration simulation mission. Plus, when it’s time to come back to Earth, you can rest up at the onsite Huntsville Marriott at the Space & Rocket Center.