A Music Fan’s Ultimate Travel Bucket List


How many of these music landmarks have you visited?

A panoramic sunrise view of Red Rocks Amphitheatre in Morrison, Colorado.


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When it comes to planning a trip, where should you even begin? Well, if you’re a music fan, you could plan your vacation around music history, so Billboard has rounded up 13 landmarks that should be on every music fan’s travel bucket list — along with a few hotel and tour recommendations and links to cheap flights.

Eleven of the hot spots are in the United States, while a couple — Abbey Road and Strawberry Field — are specifically for Beatles fans visiting the U.K. For Abbey Road, fans can snap a photo on the famed London crosswalk where the band shot the cover of their 1969 album or even tour the studio where the LP was recorded. Strawberry Field is in the band’s hometown of Liverpool — which is a two-hour-plus train ride from London — and was a Salvation Army children’s home that inspired the 1967 song “Strawberry Fields Forever.”

Back to the U.S., if you’re looking to head Down South, you could visit Pigeon Forge, Tenn., for the Dolly Parton-themed Dollywood amusement park, or Elvis Presley fans can get a double dose of The King in Memphis, Tenn.: at his Graceland mansion or Sun Studio where he recorded his very first song. Plus, don’t forget to pay homage to country music in Nashville at the Grand Ole Opry and Country Music Hall of Fame. If you’re looking for a centrally located hotel, Embassy Suites by Hilton Nashville Downtown is walking distance from the Country Music Hall of Fame and a short drive from the Grand Ole Opry. The four-star hotel, which opened last year, features panoramic views of downtown Nashville, an on-site restaurant, indoor pool, fitness center, business center and live music. Outside Tennessee, there’s the famous Preservation Hall in New Orleans, which is home to the Preservation Hall Jazz Band.

Elsewhere across America, there’s Prince’s beloved Paisley Park in Chanhassen, Minn., where fans will get a first-hand look at Prince’s personal archives, including his awards, wardrobe and musical instruments. Also featured on the list: Motown Museum in Detroit and the famous Apollo Theater in Harlem, N.Y.; the scenic Red Rocks Amphitheatre in Morrison, Colo.; the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland; and Bethel Woods Center for the Arts in Bethel, N.Y., which was the site of the Woodstock music festival in 1969.

Below, find photos of all these important locations of music history.

Paisley Park (Chanhassen, Minnesota)

If you love Prince, then Paisley Park should already be on your bucket list. The 65,000-square-foot estate is located on 9 acres in Park Chanhassen, Minn. Looking for a close hotel? The Country Inn & Suites by Radisson is located less than 2 miles away.

Abbey Road (London)

Image Credit: Barry Lewis/InPictures/GI
Abbey Road, where the Beatles famously crossed in 1969 for their iconic album cover, in London. Find a list of nearby hotels here.

Rock & Roll Hall of Fame (Cleveland)

Image Credit: Lacey Criswell/Courtesy of Rock & Roll Hall of Fame
The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland was famously designed by architect I.M. Pei. You can purchase one-day tickets and season passes to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.

Red Rocks Amphitheatre (Morrison, Colorado)

Image Credit: John P Kelly/GI
Jimi Hendrix, Johnny Cash, Diana Ross, Bruce Springsteen, U2, Stevie Wonder and Bob Dylan are just some of the legends who have performed at Red Rocks Amphitheatre. Located in Morrison, Colo., Red Rocks opened to the public in 1941 and seats over 9,000 fans. See a list of upcoming concerts at Red Rocks here.

Dollywood (Pigeon Forge, Tennessee)

Image Credit: Leon Morris/Redferns/GI
Everybody loves Dolly! Check out this epic sign at the entrance to the Dollywood family amusement park in Pigeon Forge, Tenn. 

Motown Museum (Detroit)

Image Credit: Raymond Boyd/GI
The Motown Museum is home to Hitsville U.S.A., the original home of Motown Records in Detroit. Some of the hotels close to the Detroit Museum include Aloft Detroit at the David Whitney and Hilton Garden Inn Downtown.

Strawberry Field (Liverpool, England)

Formerly a Salvation Army children’s home in Liverpool, England, Strawberry Field became famous as the inspiration behind The Beatles’ 1967 single “Strawberry Fields Forever.” Want to visit? Find flights to London from $88 and up here.

Grand Ole Opry (Nashville, Tennessee)

Image Credit: Don & Melinda Crawford/Education Images/Universal Images Group/GI
Talk about a showstopper! This giant guitar is at the entrance to the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville.

Woodstock (Bethel, New York)

Image Credit: Photo courtesy of Bethel Woods Center for the Arts
An aerial view of Bethel Woods Center for the Arts, site of the 1969 Woodstock Festival, in Bethel, N.Y. Click here for a roundup of upcoming concerts.

Sun Studio (Memphis)

Image Credit: Raymond Boyd/GI
Memphis’ Sun Studio is famous for being the location where Elvis Presley recorded his very first song. Click here to reserve tickets to tour Memphis attractions like Sun Studio, Beale Street and Peabody Hotel.

Apollo Theater (Harlem, New York)

Image Credit: Erik Freeland/Corbis/GI
The marquee at the Apollo Theater in Harlem, N.Y., never gets old. Visit apollotheater.org for tickets to Apollo’s infamous Amatuer Night.

Preservation Hall (New Orleans)

Image Credit: Andrew Woodley/Universal Images Group/GI
The entrance to the Preservation Hall jazz venue in New Orleans. Curious about the sounds of NOLA? Click here to reserve your spot on a New Orleans Music Tour.

Graceland (Memphis, Tennessee)

Image Credit: GAB Archive/Redferns/GI
Want to visit Elvis Presley’s Graceland Mansion in Memphis, Tenn.? Graceland offers several differnt tours, such as the Ultimate VIP Tour that includes a self-guided tour of Elvis’ custom jets, full access to the mansion’s entertainment complex, an exhibit on the making of Elvis, exclusive photo opportunities, and a personal show-and-tell session of Graceland archives.

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