Vacations for Music Lovers

Music VacationsThese days, there are foodie vacations, adventure vacations, spa vacations, and well, all sorts of vacations. We’ve got a new one for you: the music vacation. We tracked down ten amazing music vacations that just might turn you into a music prodigy. After all, Beethoven, Patsy Cline, Pearl Jam, Metallica, and countless other time-tested artists got their collective starts in these music cities.


Find out what the cool kids are listening to in Austin, Texas, the “Live Music Capital of the World” – a hotly disputed title that’s at least half true. Two of the country’s biggest band-magnets, Austin City Limits and South by Southwest, are hosted here every year, and full-time residents range from hip indie music worshipers, who you’ll have no trouble spotting along the University of Texas campus and 6th Street, to baby boomers addicted to live shows. Although record deals don’t get handed out like they would in LA or NYC, visitors are just as likely to get serenaded by a starving artist type as Willie Nelson, and for many, that’s more than enough music for the ears.


Music makes Nashville go round. So much so, that Music Row – an area in the city sectioned off for music-centric businesses and attractions – is the nickname for the entire country music industry. From the legendary Grand Ole Opry, Patsy Cline’s former stomping grounds, to the Country Music Hall of Fame, there are plenty of places to discover Nashville's country roots. For would-be country singers, there are plenty of places to get discovered.

Music Vacations NOLA

New Orleans

Any true jazz fan has been to New Orleans, and if they haven’t, they at least plan to – after all, the city happens to be the birthplace of the music genre (in 1835, African slaves filled NOLA’s Congo Square with a new kind of song and dance that eventually turned into jazz). To this day, visitors are treated to free jazz and blues tunes, which regularly spill out of the French Quarter. For starters, head to Jackson Square or Preservation Hall for low-cost, high-quality jazz. Or just make it easy on yourself and visit during the 10-day New Orleans Jazz Fest in April.


Seattle’s special relationship with music goes way back to the 1800s, when venues featuring informal entertainment started to pop up left and right, thanks to the city’s bustling lumber business. Over the decades, the Emerald City continued to develop its reputation as a haven for music lovers, and in effect, spurred many folk and grunge singers to fame. Pearl Jam, Nirvana, Death Cab for Cutie, and Modest Mouse are just a handful of artists who have Seattle to thank for their music careers. You may want to visit Seattle in September, when the Bombershoot Festival features local and nationally-renowned musicians for a weekend.

San Francisco

In the 60s, San Fran inspired the Grateful Dead and Creedence Clearwater. In the 80s, Metallica got there start there. And currently, the city’s churning out a bunch of rap and hip-hop artists. San Francisco just might bring out your inner songwriter.


Chicago’s got a popular band named after it, and that’s not random. Since Chicago is one of America’s premier hubs for the arts, the city’s many stages attract the best and brightest musicians from around the world, and the city itself nurtures its own population of budding musicians (Chicago, the band, included). The acclaimed Chicago Blues Festival, held every summer in Grant Park, is a must for any jazz/blues aficionado.


See a Broadway show in the West End, or Whitney Houston concert at the O2. Whether you’re looking for a hard-to-find sound in an out-of-the-way pub, or a Lady Gaga concert, you’ll find it in London.

Music Vacations Vienna


Beethoven, Mozart, Brahms, and just about every other history-making composer have performed their works in Vienna, Europe’s go-to destination for classical music. It’s still home to some staggering talent, the Vienna Boys Choir for one, as well as non-stop music festivals and concerts.


Not many cities have a mall that’s also a music venue, but Branson sure does: the Branson Mall Music Theatre. There’s also the Music City Center, and Dolly Parton’s Dixie Stampede. Branson vacation rentals are an especially great pick for musically-inclined families.


It could be that Montreal’s captivating and contagiously energetic nightlife, which makes for an auspicious environment for entertainers, is why the Canadian city is so well-suited for indie music artists and their fans. But you can discover all kinds of music here – take the summertime Montreal Jazz Festival, for example.

For more ideas on music vacations, check out our Events and Festivals page.