It’s Grammys season and music is in the air! And those who love a good tune while traveling the country are in luck – some destinations take the music scene to new levels!
If you appreciate a diverse array of live music, these Global Discovery Vacations areas offer some of the most robust collections of homegrown musicians you can find throughout the United States.
Sitting down on a bale of hay while sipping on moonshine and listening to live bluegrass is just about as Tennessee as it gets. Both Ole Smoky Moonshine locations host regular live entertainment where banjos and mandolins create the sweet rustic sound of the Great Smoky Mountain.
Plus, on your way through Tennessee (if you’re coming from the west), it should go without saying to stop in Nashville or Memphis and immerse yourself in the rich musical history. Each city has tremendous roots in music, from Elvis to Amy Grant to B.B. King to Justin Timberlake.
Asheville, North Carolina
Further down I-40 from Gatlinburg, through the mountains and whispering winds, you’ll find salt-of-the-earth songwriters who emphasize true musicianship in the form of Americana, bluegrass and folk tunes. Too keep up with the booming music scene in the area, visit the Asheville Music Guide.
Portland’s indie rock scene has given rise to the likes of the Decemberists, Dandy Warhols and some of Portlandia’s best sketches. There is a definite chill vibe here, which is exemplified in places such as the indie-friendly Doug Fir Lounge. Portland also plays host to the (free!) three-day PDX Pop Now! music festival each summer, featuring local bands, street fair and more.
An obvious candidate for this list, the “Live Music Capital of the World” has churned out legends such as Janis Joplin, Willie Nelson and Stevie Ray Vaughn. Music is in the very foundation of its being. Not to name drop, but Austin is also home to some festivals, such as South-By-South-West and Austin City Limits, so they know how music should be done. Plus there are concerts almost every night, some of them free.
Palm Springs, California
Near Coachella Valley and the grunge rock scene of Palm Desert, this area gave us the likes of Queens of the Stone Age and Eagles of Death Metal. And who could forget one of the biggest music festivals in the Western Hemisphere, Coachella, which boasts a potent lineup of the world’s hottest artists. The three-day festival starts in mid-April, attracting tens of thousands of young listeners, so prepare your travel plans accordingly.
Though New Orleans is not always available through Global Discovery Vacations, we’d be remiss to leave the Big Easy off this list. Visitors who want the full New Orleans experience won’t have a hard time, as the city has a way of bringing its biggest characteristics to the forefront. By taking a quick stroll down the French Quarter, you’ll encounter live music on just about every corner. Big brass instruments, bluesy guitars and funky percussion fill the air, while you realize how deep the talent pool really is in the bayou.
Just like with language, food and cultural customs, music is very much a fabric of the location from which it originated. The US is full diverse sounds and seeing them on your travels is all part of the fun!
Where is your favorite place to hear live music?