5 Frank Lloyd Wright Road Trip Destinations Across America
Planning a road trip that stops at various Frank Lloyd Wright buildings will take you from the East coast to the West coast.
In his lifetime, Wright designed furniture, homes, and numerous structures all over the country.
Keep reading to find out about Wright and some of his most famous designs.
Let’s get going!
About Frank Lloyd Wright
Frank Lloyd Wright, born in 1867, was an American architect influenced by the natural world. He found a way to combine natural elements into his craftsmanship while embracing technology.
Not only did he design buildings, but he also designed furniture for his homes and buildings and customized stained-glass windows. During his 70-year career, he created over 1,000 structures.
Although a successful architect, his personal life was messy with three marriages and eight children. In 1909 he ran away to Europe with Mamah Borthwick Cheney, abandoning their spouses and lives.
Wright was also a dealer in Japanese block prints, and he owned more than 50 cars during his lifetime. He died in 1959 at the age of 91.
We could write an entire book about his designs, so we’ll focus on some of his most famous buildings: Rosenbaum House, Fallingwater, Kentuck Knob, Taliesin, Marin County Civic Center, and Taliesin West.
Rosenbaum House, Florence, Alabama
Designed in 1939 for Stanley and Mildred Rosenbaum, Rosenbaum House is a classic Usonian house with a flat roof, overhanging eaves, and lots of glass. The home was completed in 1940. Unlike most homes of the time, Wright did not design it with a basement or attic, but he did include radiant heated floors.
In 1948, the Rosenbaums reached out to Wright requesting an addition to the home. Wright agreed and added 1,084 square feet to the original structure.
From 1993 to 1998, Mrs. Rosebaum gave personal tours of the home. The Rosenbaums lived in the house until 1999.
The home is now on the National Register of Historic Places and open to the public. You can go on a guided tour throughout the year from Tuesday through Sunday. Tours last about 45 minutes. Make sure to call ahead for specific tour times, reservations, and policies regarding pets and children.
Location: 601 Riverview Drive, Florence, Alabama 35630
Fallingwater, Mill Run, Pennsylvania
Surrounded by 5,100 acres of the Bear Run Nature Reserve in the Mountains of Southwest Pennsylvania sits Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater. Its organic architecture is a union of art and nature. Local artisans used materials from the surrounding property, such as sandstone, to build the home.
Fallingwater was the vacation home of the Kaufmans. It was designed in 1935 and completed in 1939. Then, in 1963, they donated the house and surrounding 469 acres to the West Pennsylvania Conservatory.
It came with the most intact original collection of artwork and furnishings designed by Wright. The home is now a National Historic Landmark and on the UNESCO World Heritage List.
You can visit the home throughout the year. However, it’s closed on Wednesdays. Depending on your level of interest and who’s taking the tour, there are several options. Tours include a guided architectural tour, self-guided exterior experience, family field trip, brunch tour, sunset dinner tour, and a focus tour.
Regardless of which you choose, plan to spend at least two hours exploring the home. Make sure to call ahead for specific tour times, reservations, and policies regarding pets and children.
Location: 1491 Mill Run Rd, Mill Run, PA 15464
Pro Tip: If you’re going on a road trip to one of Frank Lloyd Wright’s designs, make sure to bring along these 7 Road Trip Essentials for 2021.
Kentuck Knob, Chalk Hill, Pennsylvania
In 1953, the Hagans purchased 80 acres in Chalk Hill, Pennsylvania. They fell in love with their friends’ home, which happened to be Fallingwater, and asked Wright to design a house for them. He said yes, and the family moved into the Hagan House in 1956. They lived there for 30 years before selling it in 1986 to Lord Palumbo of England. The home opened to the public in 1996.
The home is a small one-story Usonian house, theoretically affordable for the average American, and a signature design of Wrights. Artisans constructed the home out of native sandstone and tidewater red cypress to blend in with its surroundings.
Wright designed the house with a breathtaking panoramic view of the Youghiogheny River Gorge and Laurel Highlands mountains.
You can tour the Hagan House. Daily tours run from March to November. In December, you can tour the home on Saturdays and Sundays. Guided house tours last about 40 minutes. In-depth tours last anywhere from 90 minutes to two hours.
The in-depth tour includes the Woodland Walk, a half-mile trail surrounding the house, and outdoor sculptures. Make sure to call ahead for specific tour times, reservations, and policies regarding pets and children.
Location: 723 Kentuck Rd, Dunbar, PA 15431
Frank Lloyd Wright’s Home: Taliesin, Spring Green, Wisconsin
Wright built the Taliesin on land adjacent to some family property in 1911. At first, only the home was called the Taliesin. Now the entire estate, more than 600 acres, is called Taliesin. Wright designed the home, studio, and school on the property.
The three versions of the home are Taliesin I, II, and III. Taliesin I was the original building from 1911. In 1914, an employee set the home’s living quarters on fire and killed seven people inside the house. So Wright rebuilt the home, and it became Taliesin II.
A fire destroyed the residence again in 1925. Although, this time, a lighting storm caused it instead of an arsonist. Once again, Wright rebuilt his home and named it Taliesin III.
The Taliesin is now open to the public and is a collection of buildings designed and modified from 1897 and 1959. You can tour the home and or the estate. The available tours include one or two-hour house tours, four-hour estate tours, kid’s tours, group tours, accessible tours, private tours, and more.
Call ahead for specific tour offerings, times, reservations, and policies regarding pets and children.
Location: Frank Lloyd Wright Visitor Center, 5607 County Road C, Spring Green, WI 53588
Pro Tip: After exploring Taliesin in Wisconsin, make sure to road trip to Dr. Evermor’s Forevertron.
Marin County Civic Center, San Rafael, California
Completed in 1963, the Marin County Civic Center is one of the few state-sponsored Wright buildings in existence. It was Wright’s 770th and last commission. He never saw the completed building, dying four years before.
The civic center, like so many other Wright buildings, blends into the landscape. The building is a series of circles and has three arches that pay tribute to the three hills beyond it. The roof is blue, mimicking the California sky.
Several movies were filmed here, including Gattaca, THX 1138, They Call It Murder, and Last Free Ride.
You can visit the Marin County Civic Center in person every Wednesday and Friday. The tour is 90-minutes and gives you access to the interior of the building and furniture designed explicitly by Wright for the civic center.
The building has a complicated and scandalous history, and the docents leading the tours know all about it. Make sure to call ahead for specific tour times, reservations, and policies regarding pets and children.
If you prefer, you can also take a self-guided or virtual tour.
Location: 10 Ave of the Flags, San Rafael, CA 94903
Bonus – Taliesin West, Scottsdale, Arizona
Although Frank Lloyd Wright lived in Taliesin I, II, and III in Wisconsin, he also built Taliesin West in Arizona. This was his second home, where he spent his winters and opened up his architectural school.
Wright and his apprentices almost exclusively built Taliesin West in 1937 using desert masonry. They constantly altered and expanded the complex over the years. The estate now includes a drafting studio, dining facilities, three theaters, a workshop, Wrights’ office and private living quarters, and residences for apprentices and staff.
The various buildings interconnect via walkways, terraces, pools, and gardens. Wright designed all the furniture and decor made onsite by apprentices.
Public tours are available daily. You can sign up for the Insights Tour, a 60-minute walk inside and outside the home. In addition to tours, you can attend cultural programs for adults, field trips, and family programs.
They even have homeschool programs and Camp Taliesin West. Don’t forget to call ahead for specific tour times, reservations, and policies regarding pets and children.
Location: 12621 North Frank Lloyd Wright Blvd, Scottsdale
Is a Frank Lloyd Wright Road Trip Worth It?
Yes!! A Frank Lloyd Wright road trip is worth it! What better to learn about a man that influenced modern architecture, especially that of the contemporary home. Which of these homes will you visit first?
Discover the Best Free Camping Across the USA
To be honest with you, we hate paying for camping. There are so many free campsites in America (with complete privacy).
You should give it a try!
As a matter of fact, these free campsites are yours. Every time you pay federal taxes, you’re contributing to these lands.
Become a FREE CAMPING INSIDER and join the 100,000 campers that love to score the best site!
We’ll send you the 50 Best Free Campsites in the USA (one per state). Access the list by submitting your email below: