America is truly a wonderful place to be a music lover. This country has so many mind-blowing venues to explore, from outdoor amphitheatres nestled in the mountains to spectacularly decorated indoor spaces with well-preserved ancient architecture and incredible history. Here’s our list of the top 12 must-see venues across the country.

Telluride Town Park – Telluride, CO

Telluride is undoubtedly one of the most gorgeous outdoor venues in the country. The mountainous scenery is not just jaw-dropping, but ideal for a whole variety of activities, such as skiing and snowboarding. You can watch concerts and festivals while heading up the mountain in a chair lift. I mean, come on.

[Photo by Kiran Herbert for The Mischief Collective]

Red Rocks Amphitheatre – Morrison, CO

Red Rocks is quite possibly the most mind-boggling place in the country. The fact that the monstrous Red Rocks just sort of exist in nature is almost too wild to comprehend. An on-site museum allows you to peruse dinosaur fossils and other ancient artifacts, as well as posters from their many concerts over the years at this legendary venue. If you’re able to score a backstage pass, you can leave your mark in the famous “hidden tunnel” underneath the venue, which has been signed by everyone from Jimi Hendrix to The Beatles to Phish.

[Papadosio 2015 – Jake Plimack Photography]

The Gorge Amphitheatre – George, WA

The views from The Gorge simply can’t be beat. Often serving as a home to bands like Phish and Dave Matthews Band, the venue, located smack-dab in the middle of nowhere, offers pristine views of the Columbia Gorge canyon. Sometimes nature just really nails it.


[Phish 2011 – Photo by Kunj Shah]

Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park – Live Oak, FL

The Spirit of the Suwannee is a magical place with so much heart and soul. Nestled in Spanish moss along the Suwannee River and totally off the beaten path, you’ll feel refreshed and reconnected. Playing home to beloved festivals such as Bear Creek (RIP), Wanee, AURA and Hulaween, the Spirit of Suwannee has gained a special reputation with a unique community vibe, though it remains something of a hidden gem.

[Patrick Hughes Photography]

Aragon Ballroom – Chicago, IL

This place is like being in Aladdin, on acid, in space. Huge, beautiful and seriously trippy room.

[Via Aragon Ballroom Facebook]

The Beacon Theatre – New York, NY

The Beacon is one of the oldest and most historic venues in NYC. Everyone from the Rolling Stones to Jerry Garcia to Michael Jackson has graced these majestic halls. Though it has been renovated in recent years it maintains a regal old school theatre vibe with exquisite ornate detail. Attending a show here can feel like a night out at the opera in the 1920s.

[Umphrey’s McGee 2015 – Jake Plimack Photography]

Cumberland Caverns – McMinnville, TN

333 ft. below the Earth’s surface, you’ll find Cumberland Caverns, 32 miles of underground passageways, waterfalls and natural cave formations that occasionally house the world’s only underground bluegrass concerts. The natural wonder, formed via an expansive network of ancient rivers, boasts pristine natural acoustics and room to comfortably seat 500 guests.

[Greensky Bluegrass 2015 – Photo by Tory Pittarelli]

The Greek Theatre – Los Angeles, CA

The Greek is an internationally renowned venue with history dating back to the late 1800s. From hosting the opera in the early 1920s to Phish in the late 90s, and playing a central role in dozens of movies such as Russell Brand’s Get Him To The Greek, this theatre’s place throughout music history and in today’s pop culture is undeniable.


Ryman Auditorium – Nashville, TN

The “Mother Church of Country Music” is not only a musical hub right in the heart of the country music capital. This stage was graced in the early days by a who’s who of historical figures and performers — President Teddy Roosevelt, President Taft, Hellen Keller, Charlie Chaplan and Harry Houdini, just to name a few, as well as being the former site of the famous Grand Ole Opry. In more recent years, everyone from Widespread Panic to Umphrey’s McGee has played the legendary Ryman.

[Via Tripadvisor]

Brooklyn Bowl – Brooklyn, NY

A bowling alley, award-winning restaurant and music venue all in one, complete with antique circus-style art and a laid-back vibe within an old warehouse — owner Pete Shapiro is truly a visionary! Musicians love playing (and hanging) here and regulars tend to come back weekly. Though outposts have begun popping up in places like Las Vegas and London, their flagship location right in the heart of Williamsburg will always be home.

[Joe Russo’s Almost Dead 2015 – Photo by Andrew Scott Blackstein Photography]

The Tabernacle – Atlanta, GA

What was once a church over a century ago, then briefly a House of Blues, is now a renowned concert hall that has housed Bob Dylan, Prince, Guns N’ Roses and just about everyone in between.

[Umphrey’s McGee, NYE 2015 – Benjamin Adams Photography]

King’s Theatre – Brooklyn, NY

The recently renovated King’s Theatre in Brooklyn was actually a Loews movie “palace” back in the 20s (can you believe that movie theatres looked like that?!), with the spectacular design inspired by the Palace of Versailles and the Paris Opera House. It’s now the largest venue in Brooklyn, with over 3,000 seats available, and holds a spot on the NYC National Register of Historic Places.

[Widespread Panic 2015 – Andrew Scott Blackstein Photography]

Cover photo by Tory Pittarelli for The Mischief Collective