10 Best Cities for Music Lovers

Family Travel on 12.09.11
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Photo:Britt Reints

A true music lover isn't content to have a great road trip playlist; they want to experience the local music scene wherever they go. Whether you're a family looking to learn about music history or a couple of girlfriends looking to listen to some live music at night, you'll find the right note for your trip at one of these American cities for music lovers.

1. New Orleans, Loui.

New Orleans music

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You can hear live music in New Orleans at any time of the day or night, all you have to do to find it is go for a walk. Musicians play for tips all over the French Quarter, providing music lovers with the perfect backdrop for dining and shopping.

2. Memphis, Tenn.

Memphis music

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You can hear live music on Beale Street, but the real draw for music lovers is the history. Stax Museum, Sun Records and Graceland offer visitors an in depth look at the history of soul, R&B, and rock and roll.

3. Nashville, Tenn.

Nashville music

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You won't find it as easy to introduce your kids to music here, but if you hire a sitter or visit without the entire family you'll a long row of honkey tonks giving a stage to music industry hopefuls. During the day you can take a tour of the Country Music Hall of Fame.

4. Seattle, Wash.

Seattle Music

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Perhaps best known as the birthplace of grunge, Seattle still has a thriving music scene that includes big name acts and local artists. The annual urban arts festival, Bumbershoot, attracts over 100,000 visitors to the city each year and is a must-do for indie music lovers.

5. New York City, New York

New York City music

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Take the kids to Central Park to hear some of the country's best street music, or head to one of the latest hit clubs to hear the hottest DJs. You can also make your own music at one of New York City's famous karaoke bars.

6. Eugene, Oregon

Eugene Oregon music

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Perhaps what makes this town so great for music lovers is how attractive it is for aspiring musicians. There are plenty of opportunities for rising stars, including numerous venues for live acts and the annual Oregon Festival of American Music.

7. Austin, Texas

Austin music

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The "live music capital of the world" is home to several popular festivals, including SXSW and the three-day Austin City Limits Music Festival. The city prides itself on its reputation for being weird, so expect some wonderful quirkiness in the music you hear.

8. San Francisco, Cali.

San Francisco music

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The Bay Area gave the world a San Francisco Sound in the 60s and 70s, which include music from Grateful Dead and Jefferson Airplane. Today music lovers can head to San Francisco to pay homage to hit makers from the past and enjoy big names from today. The large metropolitan area draws big names and has a thriving club scene.

9. Lawrence, Kans.

Lawrence Kansas

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If it's good enough for love from Rolling Stone Magazine, it's good enough for me. The original home of the North vs. South Music Festival, Lawrence is still one of the best places to get your fill of independent rock.

10. Cleveland, Ohio

cleveland rocks

Photo:Britt Reints

The number one reason for a music lover to visit Cleveland today is the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Get the two-day pass and plan to spend an entire weekend learning about the history, reliving your favorite musical memories, and discovering new heroes from the industry.

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