The Best Spots for Live Music
Collected by Caroline Eubanks , AFAR Local Expert
Every culture has their own music and finding the best spots for live music is an essential way to experience a destination.
726 St Peter, New Orleans, LA 70116, USA
Preservation Hall occupies a worn Creole town house that was originally built as a home in the early 19th century, and that had evolved into an art gallery and performance space by 1961. (It was founded by a man of philanthropic bent who fretted...
2015 E Riverside Dr, Austin, TX 78741, USA
6 Delancey St, New York, NY 10002, USA
"Nothing beats the Bowery. We’ve probably played here more than anywhere else in the world. It’s a nostalgic concert hall for us, and one of the better places to see live music in New York. I often opt out of bigger venues in the city,...
683 Washington Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11238, USA
The Way Station, on Washington Avenue, in Prospect Heights is every bit a Steampunk-lovers paradise. The bathroom is a portal, ala Doctor Who, and the guns hanging on the wall bring to mind an old western bar. Yet, The Way Station's real draw is...
2169 Kalia Rd, Honolulu, HI 96815, USA
In Honolulu, just a couple blocks off Kalakaua Avenue sits the Outrigger Reef on the Beach hotel. The open-air lobby with several shops on the ground floor and a tropical garden near the entry make this hotel a quieter and beautiful place to stay...
47-48, Temple Bar, Dublin 2, D02 N725, Ireland
On Saturday nights most of the streets are pedestrian-only, live music spills into the streets, and the frothy stout flows free. Locals are spoiled in that they can revel on these ancient cobbled streets as frequently as they like, while the rest...
Biltmore Ave, Asheville, NC, USA
There's so much good live music in Asheville that the bars can't contain it - I've never been somewhere with such a high quality of street busking (even better than its homophonous sister town, Nashville). Most nights of the week and certainly on...
3025 Walnut St, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA
My favorite venue for live music, World Cafe Live is named after a contemporary music program on public radio called World Cafe. A beautiful concert hall located in the same building as public radio station WXPN (where the World Cafe program is...
3524 Greenville Ave, Dallas, TX 75206, USA
Granada opened as a movie theater in the 1940s, and later became a concert hall—my favorite live music venue, in fact. Check out their lineup, as big names, as well as local acts, are always on stage here—fun times to be had!
402 12th Ave S, Nashville, TN 37203, USA
At first pass, you might think the Station Inn is nothing special, a little dumpy even—an old cinder-block box in the heart of the shiny new condos and restaurants in The Gulch. Inside, it’s dark, with a dropped ceiling and a mishmash...
375 Fore St, Portland, ME 04101, USA
For a fun night out in Portland there is no better place than Bull Feeney's. Quality live music (multiple stages), great local beer, and lots of room make this a great place to take in the Portland nightlife. Friday's and Saturday's during the...
6740 San Pedro Ave, San Antonio, TX 78216, USA
While heading out to raucous clubs can be a good time every now and then, sometimes you just want to listen to some good music and chill out for the evening. Luna offers a host of live music shows (check their website for upcoming artists), boasts...
220 N Washington St, Falls Church, VA 22046, USA
Opened in 1936, the State Theatre operated as a popular movie house until 1988. A decade later, a multi-million dollar restoration transformed it into one of the Washington, D.C. area's coolest live music venues with dance floor, full restaurant,...
Erregina Erregeordea kalea, 2, 20003 Donostia, Gipuzkoa, Spain
Where can I see live music? This question comes up a lot with visitors, and the answer is, not many places. Altxerri Jazz Club, underneath Altxerri Galeria, is one of the only spots in town that has consistent (and consistently decent) live music...
590 S Marine Corps Dr #137, Tamuning, 96913, Guam
Catch the best of Guam’s live music scene at House of Brutus, a sultry lounge and restaurant located at the ITC Building in Tamuning. Jazz rules the roost on Fridays, with Mad Men and a Lady, a trio led by local piano legend Patrick Palomo. On...
6259 N College Ave, Indianapolis, IN 46220, USA
1350 3rd St, Napa, CA 94559, USA
Originally built as a movie theater in 1937, the Uptown Theatre in Downtown Napa once attracted stars like Clark Gable and Marion Davies, both on the screen and in the seats. Today, it is arguably the best place to see live music in Napa Valley....
1003 Arch St, Philadelphia, PA 19107, USA
One of my favorite live music venues in Philly, the Trocadero (or the Troc) is a small and intimate concert hall with very nice acoustics. Located in the Chinatown neighborhood, the building itself was originally named the Arch Street Opera House...
214 E 6th St, Austin, TX 78701, USA
Located in the heart of downtown Austin in the historic district of 6th Street, The Parish is a great indoor live music venue. With a 450 capacity, The Parish has hosted musical legends such as Pete Townshend, Slash, and Perry Farrell as well as...
618 Frenchmen St, New Orleans, LA 70116, USA
If Frenchmen Street were a republic, D.B.A. would be the capital. It’s an inviting music venue built around a compact beadboard music hall with low stage—the place feels as if you might find a bayou out the back door. It’s also...
305 W 6th St, Austin, TX 78701, USA
The Belmont is a state-of-the-art music venue space in the Warehouse District. The new Belmont boasts a cutting edge sound and light system and hosts music ranging from indie rock and electronic dance music to what’s the next hottest band! You can...
116 5th Ave N, Nashville, TN 37219, USA
After the Grand Ole Opry left the Ryman Auditorium, country legend Roy Acuff said the redbrick building with its Gothic arches and stained glass windows might as well be torn down. The Ryman had been home to performances and...
18300 W Alameda Pkwy, Morrison, CO 80465, USA
Just outside of downtown Denver, Red Rocks Amphitheater is the only naturally-occurring acoustically perfect amphitheater in the world. Since it first opened in 1941, it has been home to iconic music performances, from opera to rock. The stage is...
23 High Street, Killarney, Co. Kerry, Ireland
Rolling green hills, quaint country homes, picturesque fishing villages. Yadda, yadda, yadda. Give me a break. You came to Ireland for the Guinness, the Jamison, and the music. Good. I'm glad you can finally admit that to yourself. Now that you're...
1119 Prospect St, Indianapolis, IN 46203, USA
Radio Radio is a terrific small venue for catching up-and-coming national and local acts. I recently saw Family of the Year and Pacific Air here. The bar is located in Fountain Square, a lively and artsy neighborhood adjacent to downtown...
1035 N Western Ave, Chicago, IL 60622, USA
The Empty Bottle in Ukrainian Village offers great music in a small venue with an angled stage so the views are pretty good from anywhere in the house. The drinks are reasonably priced with friendly bartenders and the location is a bit divey but...
174 E Flagler St, Miami, FL 33131, USA
Downtown Miami’s Olympia Theater was built in 1926 as a silent movie palace and still is a glamorous old soul on Flagler Street. Performers from Elvis Presley to B.B. King to Luciano Pavarotti have graced the stage, and today it...
152 Luckie St NW, Atlanta, GA 30303, USA
The Baptist Tabernacle was a church from 1898 to 1994, which is why it still looks like a house of worship. It became the music venue known as The Tabernacle in 1998 and has hosted countless acts in its 15-year tenure. The Black Crowes even held...
Beale St, Memphis, TN, USA
Where the historic cobblestone landing meets Tom Lee Park, and the tip of Mud Island joins the Wolf River Harbor and the Mississippi River, you'll find Beale St Landing. This modern river dock is home of the Mother of all riverboats. Longer than a...
2548 N Halsted St, Chicago, IL 60614, USA
Playing live blues music until 4am every night of the week, featuring all of Chicago’s talented local musicians and now newly renovated to take up 3 storefronts on Halstead, Kingston Mines is one of Chicago’s best bars. Go for the 3...
170 NE 38th St, Miami, FL 33137, USA
The Stage is a live music venue located in Miami's new Design District, the up and coming neighborhood for art, fashion, dining and entertainment. The stage includes some of the best South Florida performace acts and touring bands from across the...
353 Fifth Ave, San Diego, CA 92101, USA
Cafe Sevilla is located in the downtown Gaslamp district in San Diego. It's a great place to hear live music while sharing tapas and drinks with friends. The interior is huge with flags hanging from a 20ft ceiling, a bull on the wall behind the...
515 N McDonough St, Decatur, GA 30030, USA
Name a music act that has come out of Atlanta in the last 20 years, and it probably performed at least once at Eddie's Attic, a famed Decatur music club. Opened in 1992 by Eddie Owen, everyone from John Mayer to Justin Bieber to the Civil Wars to...
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