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Tattoo Tourism: Traveling for Ink

Tattoos have evolved from being symbols of rebellion to forms of artistic expression celebrated worldwide. For tattoo enthusiasts seeking exceptional artistry, the United States is a treasure trove of talent. Tattoo tourism is a niche travel trend that revolves around exploring different destinations specifically to get tattooed by renowned artists or to experience the local tattoo culture. It’s an opportunity for enthusiasts to collect unique artwork, discover new styles, and connect with artists from different areas.

Tattoo tourism allows travelers to immerse themselves in the art form, seeking out studios and artists known for their expertise and creativity. Whether it’s visiting famous tattoo shops in big cities or seeking out hidden gem studios in off-the-beaten-path locations, tattoo tourism offers a dynamic blend of adventure, art, and self-expression. It’s a way for individuals to commemorate their travels with meaningful souvenirs etched onto their skin, creating lasting memories of their journey.

Here we highlight 15 top tattoo artists across the United States:

Boulder, Colorado

Artist: Rocky Mountain Eagle
Studio: Claw and Talon Tattoo
Style: Nature and Wildlife-Themed

Nestled in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, Claw and Talon Tattoo celebrates Colorado’s natural beauty with its stunning tattoos inspired by the state’s diverse landscapes and abundant wildlife.

Los Angeles, California

Artist: Dr. Woo
Studio: Hideaway at Suite X
Style: Intricate Fine-line Tattoos

Dr. Woo is celebrated for his impeccable attention to detail and ability to create mesmerizing designs that seamlessly blend delicate linework with bold imagery. His tattoos adorn the skin of celebrities and enthusiasts worldwide.

New York City, New York

Artist: Bang Bang
Studio: Bang Bang Tattoo
Style: Photorealistic Portraits and Vibrant Color Work

Bang Bang’s studio is synonymous with innovation and excellence in tattoo artistry. His team’s mastery of photorealism and vibrant color palettes consistently push the boundaries of what’s possible in tattooing.

Portland, Oregon

Artist: Alice Carrier
Studio: Wonderland Tattoo
Style: Botanical and Nature-Inspired Motifs

Alice Carrier’s tattoos evoke a sense of ethereal beauty, capturing the essence of the natural world with delicate linework and subtle shading. Her studio is a haven for those seeking timeless and enchanting designs.

Portland, Maine

Artist: J Rose
Studio: Tsunami Tattoo
Style: Illustrated Realism

Situated in the charming coastal city of Portland, Tsunami Tattoo captures the maritime spirit of New England with its traditional and contemporary tattoos inspired by the sea.

Austin, Texas

Artist: Steve Byrne
Studio: Rock of Ages Tattooing
Style: Bold, Japanese-Inspired Designs

Steve Byrne’s expertise in Japanese tattooing is unmatched, with tattoos that pay homage to tradition while incorporating contemporary elements. His studio is a destination for those seeking striking and dynamic compositions.

Miami, Florida

Artist: Chris Garver
Studio: Love Hate Tattoo Studio
Style: Asian Iconography and Traditional Japanese Motifs

As a former star of Miami Ink, Chris Garver’s studio is synonymous with quality and expertise in Asian-inspired tattooing. His bold designs and solid craftsmanship have earned him a reputation as one of the best in the business.

San Francisco, California

Artist: Scott Sylvia
Studio: Black Heart Tattoo
Style: American Traditional

Scott Sylvia is a pioneer of the American traditional tattoo style, with tattoos that exude nostalgia and timeless appeal. His studio is a mecca for enthusiasts seeking classic designs executed with precision and flair.

Marquette, Michigan

Artist: Elena Martinez
Studio: Sacred Tattoo Studio
Style: Realism and Portraiture

Sacred Tattoo is known for its welcoming atmosphere, offering travelers a unique opportunity to experience the thriving tattoo scene of the Upper Peninsula.

Anchorage, Alaska

Artist: Jayde Maddeline
Studio: Midnight Sun Tattoo
Style: Alaskan Wilderness-Inspired Designs

Embracing the rugged beauty of the Last Frontier, Midnight Sun Tattoo captures the essence of Alaska’s wilderness in its intricate and captivating tattoos.

San Jose, California

Artist: Horitomo
Studio: State of Grace Tattoo
Style: Traditional Japanese

Drawing from his background in traditional Japanese tattooing, Horitomo’s studio is renowned for its reverence for the craft and attention to detail. Each tattoo is steeped in cultural significance and executed with the utmost skill.

New Orleans, Louisiana

Artist: Jacci Gresham
Studio: Aart Accent Tattoos & Body Piercing
Style: Traditional

As the first female African American tattoo artist in the United States, Jacci Gresham is a trailblazer in the industry. Her traditional tattoos are imbued with cultural significance and historical resonance, making her studio a must-visit destination for enthusiasts seeking a piece of tattoo history.

Chicago, Illinois

Artist: Stephanie Brown
Studio: Butterfat Studios
Style: Watercolor-Inspired

Stephanie Brown’s painterly approach to tattooing results in dreamy and ethereal designs that captivate the imagination. Her studio is a haven for those seeking unique and artistic tattoos in the Windy City.

Seattle, Washington

Artist: Alice Kendall
Studio: Damask Tattoo
Style: New-Traditional and Illustrative

Alice Kendall’s whimsical and vibrant tattoos are a testament to her creativity and skill. Her studio offers a diverse range of styles, making it a must-visit destination for tattoo enthusiasts in the Pacific Northwest.

Asheville, North Carolina

Artist: Brett Ippolito
Studio: Hot Stuff Tattoo
Style: Skulls and Eagles, but really specializes in what you want

Hot Stuff Tattoo embodies the spirit of Appalachia with its traditional American and folk-inspired tattoos, providing a taste of Southern charm in the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains.

Designs by Brett Ippolito, Hot Stuff Tattoo

Explore these tattoo destinations across the United States and discover the beauty and artistry that lie beyond the big cities. Each studio, led by talented artists like Owen Williams, offers a unique and unforgettable tattoo experience in breathtaking locales.

April 2, 2024

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