The USA has plenty of diverse cities to explore, and today, we share the best music cities in the US, so you can enjoy a vibrant music scene as you travel.
Why a music city?
Music was, is, and will continue to be a major force in American life. Besides being a pleasurable entertainment activity, music managed to create a platform that allowed people from different backgrounds to unite and express opinions and perspectives.
Plus, music culture had a profound influence on the country’s history. From traditional folk music to jazz, blues, rock, rap, and hip-hop, the various genres have shaped America’s identity and provided a powerful vehicle for expression and political and social change.
Music has given voice to the struggles of African Americans and other marginalized communities while also providing a platform for the celebration of shared values, experiences, and cultural heritage.
So, by exploring today’s USA (well, specific locations in the country), you can learn to understand music better and how it can create change when used right. Below, I listed several iconic locations where music is celebrated and enjoyed as it should be.
Best music cities in the US
Yes, the state of Mississippi. Whether you love blues, jazz, gospel, or rock and roll, Mississippi has something to soothe your soul and excite your senses.
Seen as the birthplace of many major musical genres, Mississippi was (and is) a hub for musical talent, In fact, many of the world’s big-name musicians have roots in this state. Moreover, you can always enjoy a night out with live music in Mississippi or go to concerts.
Now, the state is rather big, so here are a few landmarks you may want to cover:
- B.B. King Museum and Delta Interpretive Center (Indianola, Mississippi) – a museum dedicated to the life and legacy of iconic blues musician B.B. King;
- Delta Blues Museum (Clarksdale, Mississippi) – this is the first museum dedicated to preserving the history of the blues.
- Mississippi Blues Trail – the trail stretches across the entire state and includes over 200 markers, many of which are located in small towns and rural areas.
- Deep South Music Hall of Fame (Meridian, Mississippi) – built to honor the legacy of musicians from the region
There are many reasons to visit Los Angeles, but if you’re a music lover, you’ll be on cloud 9 with so many venues, museums, and live music shows to choose from. If you don’t know where to start, we recommend the Grammy Museum, the Hollywood Bowl, and the Walt Disney Concert Hall.
Each of these locations will provide an amazing musical experience through its uniqueness. The Grammy Museum is rather new, but it’s a great way to explore the music industry and how it shaped the world.
On the other hand, the Hollywood Bowl is one of the most iconic venues in the world, and the Walt Disney Concert Hall houses the LA Philharmonic and the LA Master Chorale, which is why it’s usually on the list of classical music lovers.
New York City
You can’t talk about music exploration and leave The Big Apple out of the picture! From iconic venues like The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Radio City Music Hall to the bustling jazz clubs of Greenwich Village, NYC is a music lover’s paradise.
Moreover, you can choose your touristic objectives based on which musical genres interest you the most. For instance, if you like R&B, soul, jazz, and/or hip-hop, then The Apollo Theater is a must-see for you. Situated in Harlem, the theater has been housing music celebrities since the 1930s, so you’ll have a lot to take in.
On the other hand, if you’re more into classical music, The Metropolitan Opera (or The Met) and Carnegie Hall should be on your list. These two venues are world-famous for the concerts they host and the heavy-weight names that hold jaw-dropping concerts here.
Also known as the Live Music Capital of the World, Austin is home to the iconic South by Southwest music festival and has an incredible live music scene.
You can find live music events year-round, ranging from rock to country to indie and everything in between. Plus, Austin is home to some of the best music stores in the country, offering a huge selection of instruments and music equipment.
Dubbed the Music City, Nashville is the home of country music and a must-visit for music lovers as well as one of the best places to visit in Tennessee. The city is full of clubs, bars, and venues to explore, from the Ryman Auditorium (which always hosts big names) to the peaceful and relaxing setting of the Bluebird Café.
Nashville is also the city that Dolly Parton and Johnny Cash used to call home and where Elvis Presley recorded over 200 songs. So, if you’re looking for music inspiration or simply want to feel the presence of some of the greatest names in American music, this is the place to visit.
New Orleans, Louisiana
A hotbed of jazz, blues, and funk, New Orleans is full of iconic music venues and live performances. You can witness a live music performance in your favorite genre the first evening you arrive in the city since music is everywhere in clubs, restaurants, and even on the streets.
The city is also home to world-famous music venues such as the House of Blues, Tipitina’s, and Preservation Hall. Plus, there are a number of music festivals throughout the year, such as the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival and the Voodoo Music Experience.
Music is celebrated in the US, so chances are you’ll find a festival or a live show regardless of the city you visit. However, if you want to walk the path of history and get in touch with the big names, the cities we mentioned here are a must-visit.