Seasoned travelers are hardly shocked by this. How many times have you been on a trip and heard drop-dead jazz or found yourself almost hypnotized by the gorgeous athleticism of some modern dancers' bodies - and promised yourself that as soon as you got home you'd subscribe to the symphony, hear the combo at that new nightclub, get to the Monet show at your museum? And what happened? Well, life happened. The kids, the job, those kitchen renovations, and that computer rebate you've been fighting seven years to get happened. Can't wait to get back on the road so you can see a decent show, right?

Good. Because we've got a list of destinations here for the cultural tourist, cities "in the provinces" that are waiting for you with particularly strong reasons to get out of the hotel room, into a cab, and onto the aisle.

Nashville, Tennessee
You know it for its country music. But just late last year, Nashville held groundbreaking ceremonies for a 1,900-seat, neoclassical-revivalist concert hall scheduled to become an opulent new home to the Nashville Symphony. The Schermerhorn Center will be the only major facility of its kind in North America to have natural lighting, thanks to 30 soundproof windows worked into the design.

Engaged in a $120 million capital and endowment fundraising effort for the new symphony hall, Nashville's arts supporters know that one benefit will be more play dates opening up in the current chief performance venue there, the Tennessee Performing Arts Center, or TPAC. It's there that the Nashville Ballet dances. On the bill this spring is Romeo and Juliet, set to Sergei Prokofiev's masterwork score, in a staging by Artistic Director Paul Vasterling. And you can find more information at www.nashvilleballet.com.