There’s nothing more universal than music! A good rhythm can do so much – it can heal, soothe, and even break down tricky cultural barriers. With a rich history that is always expanding, the global scale of the love of music is truly breathtaking – and there’s so much out there for you to explore, learn, and listen to.
On your next vacation, find soulful enrichment while expanding your knowledge with this deeply musical destination list, courtesy of travel expert Stephanie Florian. Take a trip to one of these locations and you’ll find a whole new appreciation for the sounds that we all know and love.
Who will like it: Reggae lovers
Are you a fan of Bob Marley? If yes, then this is the stop for you! Jamaica is simply teeming with musical history – take Trench Town for example, a municipality once referred to as the Jamaican Hollywood, which is the birthplace of reggae music and the hometown of Marley himself. The amazing history and culture extends way beyond there. Hire a driver or use JUTA tours to explore all the wonders of Jamaica, like the legendary Tuff Gong Studios – the place where Marley recorded his most world-renowned songs – where the guides sing you through each room and the streets are simply pulsing with energy. The musical wonder doesn’t stop there, however – you can visit locations like the Alpha Boys School in Kingston for an awe-inspiring look at the rhythmically talented youth, or if you want to really let loose, you can check out the Kingston Dub Club, a self-described haven for dub, roots and reggae lovers from around the world.
Who will like it: Rock ‘n’ roll lovers
If rock music is what really gets your blood pumping, then you’ll find a trip to Memphis unforgettable. Memphis holds the home of Elvis Presley – and it’s there for you to visit! Stay in the Guesthouse at Graceland, a hotel just steps away from the house itself that provides an unprecedented experience inspired by Elvis himself. Graceland itself offers fascinating experiences that will give you an inside look into the life of the King of Rock! After the tour, take a stroll down the street for more evidence of Memphis’ musical value – BB King’s Blues and BBQ boasts fantastic live performances all night long, rhythm and blues, and the chance to cruise the strip. Finally, check out the world famous Sun Studios to quite literally follow in the footsteps of the King with an intimate tour, re-enactments, and more.
Who will like it: Salsa lovers
A vacation here will be the trip of a lifetime! With music and dance interwoven and inseparable from the culture that seems to live and breathe in the streets, Cartagena, Colombia is simply teeming with intoxicating fun. Take fun and festive salsa lessons at Bazurto Social Club, or just walk to any town square to see spicy, energetic dancing! If watching is more your thing, then watch the pros dance away at 1968, Café Havana, or Donde Fidel. Old town vibes, packed with people, great Spanish style atmosphere, and a whole lot of salsa!
San Francisco, California
Who will like it: Hippies
The City by the Bay may be known for tech now, but it may surprise some to learn that it holds some of the most important moments of musical history ever! Book a room at the Led Zeppelin Hotel for a music-themed experience from start to finish with beatnik themes, funky 60’s art, and a boutique style. Then, check out a show at Fillmore music venue – once a dance hall, then a roller rink, and now a concert hall, the intimacy and fantastic acoustics here will bring your enjoyment to a whole new level. All the old bands from the 60’s played here, and now there are new artists carrying the tradition! Finally, to round out the experience, take a Haight Ashbury walking tour to hear from the souls that lived the generation and can provide an unmatched perspective on the events that took place. There are little shrines for the musicians all along the tour from fans, a touching visual testament to the devotion people have to the artists and their art.
Who will like it: Classic lovers
Even if classical isn’t your genre of choice, Vienna sucks you right in! There are centuries of music history just waiting to be discovered. The composers never stayed in one place, but loved Vienna for the wealth and inspiration, making it an invigorating journey to try and trace all their lives throughout the city. For more traditional locations to visit, you can check out Beethoven House and Beethoven museum. This holy town and scenic suburban getaway that will have you lost in time as you retrace some of Beethoven’s hardest days. Go deeper into the exploration of music by stopping by the House of Music for a fascinatingly interactive look into the nature of sound that will leave you with a ton of new knowledge that might just inspire you. Finally, what’s a visit to Vienna without attending a concert at Vienna State Opera House to experience true beauty and elegance in performance!