In the Austrian Alps the hills might be alive with the sound of music, but across the border in the Bavarian Alps they're the muse of painters. Murnau's narrow alleyways and stunning views inspired renowned paintings by Wassily Kandinsky and Gabriele Munter, who lived in this picture-book Bavarian village from 1909 to 1914. Murnau, on Lake Staffelsee, is still an artists' town dotted with studios, galleries, cafes, and boutiques.
If You Go: See the Baroque-style St. Nikolaus church and the pedestrian mall's colorful, historical home facades designed by art-nouveau architect Emanuel von Seidl. Tour the Munter-Haus where Kandinsky and Munter lived. The Schlossmuseum highlights these Blue Rider artists and documents local history. Hotel Ludwig am Seidlpark has an affordable hiking package and a Bavarian beer garden.
Getting There: Murnau is 43 miles southwest of Munich. The regional train from Munich takes about an hour.