Whether you take a weekend in each city, or see them all in one go, we’ve uncovered the best cities on the East Coast that music fans are bound to fall for…
NEW YORK CITY
Why you’ll love it: Alongside the millions of brilliant tourist attractions, and possibly spotting Taylor Swift sipping a maple-latte, New York City has a deep musical history. The heartbeat of many different music styles began here, including hip-hop, disco, freestyle, punk rock and new wave, and there’s an underground music scene like no other. Take on one of the many fascinating music tours available to learn all about the history of music in the Big Apple, or just wander about on your own and you’re bound to find something that strikes a chord with you.
Places to Visit: The Flatiron Room and Little Branch both have their own unique dark but cozy vibes, with great cocktail lists and free live music, and then there’s the big guns like Radio City, Carnegie Hall and Madison Square Garden. NYC is also home to the infamous Chelsea Hotel, and the John Lennon Memorial at Strawberry Fields.
Why you’ll love it: This historical city might be a college town, but don’t let that fool you. In amongst the beautiful architecture, tram rides and museums, Boston has a great indie scene, with new live music venues popping up like musical flower buds everywhere.
Places to Visit: The Sinclair, The Royale (the Roxy 2.0), and The Paradise Rock Club are all fantastic for live music, and there are loads of record stores worth checking out, including the overflowing In Your Ear Records, the brilliant time capsule Nugget Records, and Undergroundhiphop.com.
Why you’ll love it: Washington may not be the first place you think of when it comes to music, with its cookie-cutter streets and political monuments, but things are not all as they seem here. Music has played an important role in the city since 1788, and now you can find just about every genre being experimented, from mod to punk, a Capella to electric. Inspired by the presence of some of music’s best artists like Marvin Gaye, and Dave Grohl.
Places to Visit: The 9:30 Club has hosted a myriad of music royalty, including the Police, Radiohead, and even Bob Dylan. For lovers of electronica there’s U Music Hall, and for those who like a little singing with their supper The Hamilton is the place to go. There’s literally something for everyone here, all you have to do is explore.
Why you’ll love it: Ok, so it’s not exactly on the coast, but any music post wouldn’t be complete without at least mention of Nashville. The mecca for Country Music has a lot of stars to its name, and with good reason. The country music scene here is ridiculous, but we can bet you don’t need us to tell you that. It may be quite a distance from the coast, but it’s any country music fan’s Disney World.
Places to Visit: Walk up and down Music Row for yourself, and visit the many record labels and music stores, or stop in at the infamous Bluebird Café for a taste of live music.
Why you’ll love it: Attributed as the birthplace of jazz, music and the arts thrived in New Orleans’ French Quarter as a seed of positivity during the Great Depression. Some of the world’s best jazz and blues musicians have wandered the colorful streets, and the town still holds an otherworldly charm, with many musicians and artists making their creative mark.
Somewhat surprisingly, New Orleans also has a great punk and metal scene that began in the 1980’s and is still gaining traction.
Places to Visit: Don’t miss Preservation Hall, a home for old school jazz. Popular for good reason, ‘the Hall’ as it is known, is a classic stop for any jazz and blues fan. Still holding many of its original features, the Hall is a musical monument. Buffa’s Bar is a relaxed venue, where you can enjoy Sunday brunch and be serenaded by jazz from 10:30am.
The Serbia, and AllWays Lounge are the spots to be for any metal head or punk fan, but there are plenty of great hole-in-the-wall venues, including Hey! Café, and Sister’s in Christ Records.
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