If you’re looking for the perfect way to enjoy the sounds of spring, there are three famous U.S. cities that are filled to the brim with all the best music America has to offer. From classic Country to modern Indie sounds, America’s three most musical cities have something for everyone. So, put on your blue suede shoes and get ready to dance to the beat of these spring break destinations.
1. Nashville, Tennessee
Nicknamed “Music City, U.S.A,” Nashville has everything a music lover could ever want. Home to the Country Music Hall of Fame, this city is absolutely crawling with musical history, live music venues, and up-and-coming artists hoping to find their big break. To find the true hub for entertainment, music, and nightlife in Nashville, head Downtown and check out Honky Tonk Highway, Music City’s most vibrant street of music venues, bars, and clubs.
For dinner, head to Jack’s Bar-B-Que for a true taste of the south, before sidling on to Nashville’s infamous moonshine bar, Bootlegger’s Inn. For a bit of live music, head to Honky Tonk Central if you’re looking for the classic sounds of the south, or, for a bit of variety, check out Nashville Underground, where musicians play everything from Jazz to Rock & Roll. Just off the main downtown strip, you can follow the path of the music industry greats and head to Ryman Auditorium, which boasts over 100 years of live shows and a full schedule of concerts this spring.
Plus, though Nashville is known for its Country sound, you can also find your fair share of Rock & Roll, Blues, R&B, and Jazz. Artists ranging from Jimi Hendrix, Billy Cox, Bon Jovi, Sheryl Crow, Paramore, Justin Timberlake, Black Eyed Peas, and countless more have all made their way through Music City, leaving their mark on the vibrant music culture awaiting you on the streets of Nashville, Tennessee.
2. Austin, Texas
Austin, Texas is known for its food, artist flavor, and unique style, but did you know it’s also known for its music? The city’s motto is “Live Music Capital of the World” thanks to the flood of music venues (over 250!) throughout the city. In fact, Austin has been known to host over 100 different live performances in a single night.
If you’re not sure where to start, head to West 6th Street in the heart of the city and explore the many restaurants, clubs, venues, and bars that feature tons of the live music that Austin is famous for. While you’re there, head nearby to some of the city’s most iconic music venues, including ACL Live at The Moody Theater and the Bass Concert Hall. If you’re looking for a full-day affair, Stubb’s BBQ — this large outdoor amphitheater not only serves incredible barbecue, it hosts a multitude of dynamic music acts. From Stevie Ray Vaughn to the Drop Kick Murphys, there is something here for everyone.
If you’re not sure how to boot-scootin’ boogie, make sure to check out the Broken Spoke, which offers dance lessons Wednesday-Saturdays. Though Austin (like Nashville) has a sweet spot for Country, the city is also a favorite for Folk, Blues, Jazz, Bluegrass, Indie, New Wave, and Punk performers, ensuring that every musical taste is catered to — possibly all in one night!
3. New Orleans, Louisiana
If your heart sways to the sound of Jazz, you know the one place you absolutely have to go: New Orleans, Louisiana. Famous for its long history and incredible food, New Orleans is also famous worldwide as the birthplace of Jazz. Home to famous venues like Preservation Hall, the French Quarter of the city is the perfect place to get your fill of Jazz.
During the day, take a moment to wander the streets, taking in the amazing beats of street musicians, whose songs fill the city. Then, try taking the road less traveled and check out d.b.a. or The Spotted Cat Music Club, both well-kept secrets for incredible live Jazz performances in the city. Or, if you’re looking for a slice of New Orleans’s modern music scene, you can head to the classic House of Blues. Or check out local favorites like Maple Leaf Bar, which features everything from local musicians to poetry readings, and is always up on the latest trends in New Orleans’s sound.
For dinner and a show, try Three Muses, which will not disappoint, between its Cajun cooking and a wide variety of musical acts each night, often ranging from artists playing not just Jazz, but also Rhythm & Blues, and Rock & Roll.