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Best Places to Visit for Music Lovers | Southern USA

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Best Places to Visit for Music Lovers

best places to visit for music lovers

Born and raised in Nashville, Tennessee, I had no idea what a great city I was in and as many do, I took advantage of where I lived.  Being a typical teenager, I hated where I lived and couldn’t wait to get out.  It wasn’t until I went away for college, that I grew to appreciate home.  Music is obviously a big part of Nashville especially country music.  As a typical teenager doing the opposite of her parents, I “hated” country music and again, it wasn’t until I moved away that I grew to not only like it but love it.

Another little bit of information about me is that I’ve always loved music as in I really enjoy listening to it but I’ve never been good at keeping up with artists, songs, who sings what, etc.  It’s never been a strong suit of mine.  Unlike Kaleb, who can tell you every detailed bit of information about anything to do with music (or anything for that matter).  However, last year I attended Bonnaroo for the first time and it completely changed my music experience…forever.  Never before had I felt emotionally or spiritually, or whatever you want to call it, attached to music.  It’s something I can’t explain – just go to Bonnaroo and you’ll understand.

For both of those reasons, I’ve become more and more interested in music and that brings us to this very post – Best Places to Visit for Music Lovers.  Some I’ve been to and some I just hope to go to as a music lover.


Mississippi is known as the “Birthplace of America’s Music” – giving America contributions towards blues, jazz, rock, country and gospel.  Blues music is what Mississippians are most proud of – something proven by the fact that there is the Mississippi Blues Trail.  This trail marks spots across the entire state of Mississippi related to the birth, growth and influence of blues music.  For example, the third marker is located at the original location of WGRM radio station where B.B. King first broadcast as a gospel singer.

Mississippi contributed quite a bit to country music as well and like blues music, there is a country music trail with plenty of locations to visit.  In addition to the blues and country music trails, Mississippi is now home (just this month) to the only Grammy Museum outside of Los Angeles.

Mississippi is also the birthplace of many large music stars such as Elvis Presley, Jimmy Buffett, Faith Hill, and Jimmie Rodgers.

best places to visit for music lovers

New Orleans

New Orleans equals jazz music.  Among other things of course.  New Orleans is known to be the birthplace of the genre.  Kaleb and I visited New Orleans for the first time in January for a weekend and it was definitely not long enough.  It is a gorgeous city with a lot of history, culture, amazing food and of course, great music.  Check out my guide here.

Anytime I asked a local, Frenchman Street seemed like the universal ‘must go’ to sport to hear live jazz music.  It’s basically where all the locals go while all the tourists head to the rowdier, louder Bourbon Street.  Bourbon Street is a must see too, but definitely leave time for it’s less rowdy counterpart.


best places to visit for music lovers

Everyone knows Nashville for the country music and for good reason.  There is plenty to choose from too.  Some must visit locations in Nashville for music include Ryman Auditorium, The Bluebird Cafe, the Grand Ole Opry, Hatch Show Print, Historic RCA Studio B, The Johnny Cash Museum and The Country Music Hall of Fame.

If you’re a fan of the hit TV show Nashville, there are also plenty of film locations you should visit as well!

Every June, thousands upon thousands of people make the journey to Nashville for the CMA Music Festival – 4 days of country music – both free and ticketed.  Also, as I mentioned, I’m a big fan of Bonnaroo now which just happens to be only a little over an hour from Nashville.  Held in early-mid June every year, it’s a must!

best places to visit for music lovers


The birthplace of Rock ‘n’ Roll has plenty of things to do for music lovers including a visit to Graceland (Elvis Presley’s home), Sun Studio, the Stax Museum of American Soul Music and the Memphis Rock ‘n’ Soul Museum.  For nightlife, head to Beale Street, take a walk and take in all the live music.

Check out my Memphis in One Day guide.


I’ve been to Atlanta quite a lot but never for the music scene.  I’m a big fan of the Atlanta Braves so must visits have been for a baseball game or to visit Six Flags but in just a couple weeks, we’ll be taking a weekend trip.  The initial reason was to go to the Amon Amarth concert (my birthday present to Kaleb!).

The concert is taking place at The Tabernacle – an old Baptist church turned music venue located in the Downtown area – we can’t wait!

Atlanta is considered to be a capital of hip-hop and his home to many famous hip-hop artists.  Check out my Atlanta in 24 Hours guide.

Mississippi, New Orleans, Memphis, Nashville and Atlanta – the top must visit southern destinations for music lovers.  The homes of blues, jazz, rock ‘n’ roll, country and hip-hop.  There is no such thing as not being able to enjoy all genres of music and now you can do it one road trip if you want to.  These are five fabulous Southern destinations for music.  In addition, they all have amazing amounts of culture, food, art and southern hospitality, of course!

What are some other best places to visit for music lovers in the USA?

best places to visit for music lovers

Ashley Hubbard

Ashley Hubbard is a blogger and freelance writer based in Nashville, Tennessee focusing on sustainability, travel, veganism, mental health, and more. Passionate about animal rights, sustainable travel, and social impact, she seeks out ethical experiences whether at home or on the road. She shares these experiences on her website,

This Post Has 5 Comments

  1. Kara

    Great article Ashley! I’d love to go back to New Orleans and Memphis some time. I haven’t ever checked out any music venues in Mississippi ever, so will have to do that some time!

  2. I had the exact same experience with country music as you…..grew up around it and hated it. Now it’s all I listen to. Enjoy Memphis, we had lots of fun a few years ago and loved the live music on Beale Street. Personally, I can’t wait to get to Nashville and thanks for the suggestion to add the TV show film locations!

  3. We’d like to travel to New Orleans and experience a totally different USA. #WeekendWanderlust

  4. Suzanne Fluhr

    I’ve been to New Orleans multiple times—usually on my or my husband’s work trips. (Surprise, people like to have conferences there). While there’s plenty of jazz and zydeco, one day I wandered into a free concert of polyphonal acappella medieval and Renaissance music in the main cathedral on Jackson Square. It was so unexpected and so inspiring. #weekendwanderlust

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