Your Next Travel Destination With a Great Music Scene

If you’re a music lover, there’s no better place to plan a vacation than in the United States. There’s a diverse musical history woven into the fabric of the country dating back hundreds of years. From jazz music in the South to grunge in the Pacific Northwest, there is something to get everyone’s toes tapping in these incredible musical destinations.

Nashville

If you’re looking for your next travel destination to include great food, historic sites, and country music Nashville is the place for you. Nicknamed “Music City USA”, Nashville Is home to the iconic Grand Ole Opry. It began as a barn venue in 1928 to showcase local performers as a live radio show.

Through the years, The Opry has been credited with helping the careers of countless performers like Dolly Parton, Johnny Cash, and Loretta Lynne. The venue continues that tradition today by supporting new artists. At any given time you can be graced with performances by country greats like Reba McEntire, Wynonna Judd, and Carrie Underwood.

The Grand Ole Opry is not the only place in town to grab a live show. In fact, almost every neighborhood in Nashville is bursting with music. Take a stroll over to Honky Tonk Highway where a line of juke joints await. Most of the music is free and all they ask is that you drop a tip in the mason jar.

You can also head over to Music Row, where you’ll find smaller clubs and eclectic bars full of up-and-coming performers from all genres of music. Printer’s Alley is a neighborhood to visit if you’re into blues and dancing in the streets. During your stay, be sure to stop by the Country Music Hall of Fame to see how so many historic artists got their start.

Austin

In Austin, it’s not just the weather that’s hot, but the music scene as well. The self-proclaimed live music capital of the world offers hundreds of venues for your musical entertainment. There are even musicians at the airport and grocery stores. No matter what your musical tastes, you’ll be able to find a performance every night of the week in Austin. Take your choice of bars, clubs, open-air, and enclosed theaters to enjoy your music. Austin also hosts major music festivals throughout the year, including The Austin City Limits Festival and the Urban Music Festival.

If you prefer your music with a side of great food try the infamous Stubbs BBQ for some great jazz and blues served up with awesome ribs. Don’t forget to stop at the OK Corral for some Tejano music and authentic food. While in the neighborhood, check out some of the delicious wholesale Mexican food shops.

Los Angeles

Los Angeles has long been a travel destination for music lovers. It’s the perfect place to experience every angle of the business. Start your trip with a stroll down Sunset Boulevard. Here’s where you’ll find some of the most famous (and infamous) clubs in the country. From the Roxy and the Whiskey to Johnny Depp’s former establishment The Viper Room, every building has a story to tell.

For a fun time with the kids, try The GRAMMY Museum or the Guitar Center. Along the way, you won’t be able to miss the Hollywood Walk of Fame. For a behind-the-scenes look at the recording industry, visit Capital Records. If you’re looking for a one-of-a-kind concert experience find out what’s happening at The Hollywood Bowl. This historic theater has fantastic acoustics and is something every music lover should experience. During your visit stop by a tattoo studio. Chances are you’ll run into a musician getting some new ink.

San Francisco

San Francisco is known for its history of progressive ideals and free-spiritedness. Nothing exemplifies this more than the rich and varied music scene. It’s hard not to see music is woven into all parts of San Francisco’s culture. Visiting one of the many parks will allow you to listen to anything from a guitar player, a local DJ, or a string quartet.

If you want something more formal, try the San Francisco Symphony. There are also many festivals hosted at The Monarch Gardens. When looking for something more laid back, go to one of the many brewing companies or a waterfront bar for local music.

Detroit

When your next travel destination includes the Detroit area, there are some truly inspiring music-related stops you need to make. As you probably know, The Motor City is known for giving us some of the best artists the country has ever seen. Long before Detroit natives like Madonna, Eminem, and Kid Rock hit the stage, Berry Gordy formed Motown Records.

He graced us with icons like The Supremes, The Temptations, Aretha Franklin, and The Jackson 5. So no trip would be complete without a tour of Hitsville USA, also known as the Motown Museum. Afterward, keep that energy going with a visit to one of the many rhythm and blues or jazz clubs in the area. If you’re lucky you may be visiting during the Detroit Jazz Festival. This historic event includes top acts as well as new performers.

During the summer months, you can enjoy free concerts at the Aretha Franklin Amphitheater. If the temperature is too low outside, move the party inside at one of the upscale techno music clubs the city is known for. If you’re looking for a more laid-back atmosphere, Detroit has several harbor docks that offer great food and live music.

Las Vegas

While music is not always the first thing that comes to mind when thinking about Las Vegas, Sin City does have its share of unique music experiences. The most famous being the residences that take place at various hotels and casinos. Performers like Celine Dion, Britney Spears, Rod Stewart, and Shania Twain have all held court for extended periods of time in Las Vegas.

While these types of shows may appeal to a slightly more mature and refined crowd, Vegas has events for younger folks (and the young at heart) too. The Life Is Beautiful Festival is an annual affair that draws thousands of visitors. The weekend jam fest is chock-full of different types of music, as well as food, drinks, and even circus performers.

Rock fans can head over to The Joint, a 4,500-seat theater inside the Hard Rock Hotel. Famous acts that have taken the stage here include Metallica, Red Hot Chili Peppers, and Motley Crue. It’s said to have the most advanced sound system in the United States. If you’re looking for some excitement apart from music, think about visiting an indoor shooting range. Las Vegas has many ranges that offer a safe, professional environment to enjoy this activity.

Chicago

When thinking of your next travel destination consider Chicago for all your diverse musical needs. It can start with a stay at The Hard Rock Hotel. This exciting place offers great themed rooms along with delicious food, entertainment, and rock n roll memorabilia.

Next, take a trip to the West Loop for a day filled with live music and spirits. Take your choice of City Winery or Bottom Lounge, both of which serve top-shelf drinks and offer local musicians. The offerings vary depending on the day, but whatever the style, it will entertain.

Another spot to consider is the Chicago Symphony Center. As the weather cools, the symphony is heating up the beautiful hall where they perform. Afterward, take a stroll around the corner to Miller’s Pub for a drink. They have live entertainment and Frank Sinatra hung out there.

Seattle

The next travel destination on our list is Seattle. Known as the Emerald City for its lush greenery and park systems, It’s better known for its eclectic entertainment offerings. Seattle burst onto the world stage in the 1990s when bands like Nirvana, Pearl Jam, and Soundgarden introduced us to a genre known as ‘grunge.’

Love it or not, this intensely emotional style of hard rock made many people pay attention to Seattle and its musical offerings. The truth is, long before Kurt Cobain took the world stage, the city was a hub of musical innovation. From the folk styling of Woody Guthrie and the jazz brilliance of Oscar Holden, Seattle has given us some great music. Let’s never forget guitar god Jimi Hendrix also hails from this Pacific Northwest town.

A musical tour of this region should include a few key stops. First, the EMP museum has a ton of interesting displays, memorabilia, and interactive musical activities. Next, stop by the historic Edgewater Hotel. It’s not only unique as it extends over the water but it’s steeped with musical lore. You can sit in the same bar where The Rolling Stones jammed or look at the room where The Beatles fished from their balcony.

Maybe even consider staying a night or two for some great food and local music. There’s no hot tub or pool, but the rooms have beautiful fireplaces for a cozy ambiance. Another great stop is the Seattle Center. The outdoor amphitheater hosts live concert events throughout the year.

New York City

The Big Apple has been known for producing top musical talent for over a century. Thanks to a diverse population and an atmosphere that encourages creative expression, a New York City travel destination is sure to get your pulse racing. You could spend a week in New York and still not experience all the excitement the music scene has to offer.

But a typical spot for many people is the world-famous Madison Square Garden. This is the place to go in the city if you want to see popular acts like Taylor Swift. Then make your way to Radio City Music Hall. While best known for their Christmas show, they also offer year-round musical entertainment with some of the best acoustics in the world.

Be sure to stop by Carnegie Hall. What started as artists’ lofts and practice spaces, has since hosted every genre of music you can imagine. From George Gershwin and The Beatles to Billie Holiday and The Doors. Regular performances still occur, but it’s worth a visit to take a guided tour of the architectural masterpiece.

Another stop in your musical journey should include the Apollo Theater. This historic structure has been amplifying artists of color for over 100 years. It’s where entertainers like James Brown, Ella Fitzgerald, and The Jackson Five all started.

If you’re not too exhausted from all is, try to fit in some clubs and coffee shops. People often ask if vaping is allowed in clubs and bars in New York City. The answer is no, but you can vape anywhere that smoking is allowed. If you’re unsure, visit a local vape shop for more information.

New Orleans

If your next travel destination is New Orleans, there are plenty of musical adventures to be had. While jazz is king in this exciting city, there are a ton of sounds that are sure to please, everyone. One of the best places to find free, live music in New Orleans is literally right outside your door. As you stroll through the French Quarter you’ll be treated to a variety of horns blowing out jazz and blues. You may even encounter someone playing a full-on piano while singing gospel.

Don’t forget the parades where musicians and entertainers fill the streets with fun. If you want more of a varied experience, New Orleans has a wide range of music festivals that happen on a regular basis. From the French Quarter Festival to the Bayou Boogaloo celebration on the river.

There’s not only great music at these events, but a ton of delicious food like classic BBQ and iconic stone crab. No visit to The Big Easy would be complete without stopping by one of the many clubs. Sit and relax with a drink while grooving to the beat.

Final Thoughts

We hope you found our list of musical travel destinations helpful. As you can see each city is different and offers its own style of music. All the towns have a lot to offer adventurous travelers. So pick a few a do some research before choosing your next travel destination.

Emily Summers
Emily Summers

Hi there! I'm Emily Summers, your friendly guide to living a vibrant and fulfilling life on the Quenchers blog. As a travel and lifestyle enthusiast myself, I'm passionate about helping you explore the world, nourish your body with delicious food, and discover the secrets to a balanced and happy life. Join me as we embark on exciting adventures, uncover wellness tips, indulge in mouthwatering recipes, and share a good laugh along the way. Together, let's quench our thirst for a vibrant life and make every moment count! Cheers!

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