If you're in the Nizhny Novgorod area, I highly recommend you take a day trip to Gorodets, a quaint, historical town on the Volga. Step away from the bustling, dusty downtown and you'll find a beautiful little town with street after street of elaborately decorated wooden houses. On the waterfront, there's a entire street of small museums, including a museum dedicated to the samovar. There, you'll also find the Artist's Village; this enormous, maze-like building showcases local artisans working their craft. I must admit, however, that the sole reason I came here was to admire and purchase local Gorodets wood painting, a tradition dating back to the mid-1800s. This style is found nowhere else in Russia and is truly exquisite. If you love local artisan crafts as I do, Gorodets is a must.