One of the best ways to get to know a city is through the arts. Here at Travel Through Music, we do our best to bring that experience straight to your doorstep. Sometimes the most fun experiences could be found right in one's backyard. Still, this year we want to inspire you to dive into one of these fantastic travel experiences in your backyard. Our first stop is in California. In the US, California Subscribers made up most of our sales these last 2 years, and we wanted to start there.
Los Angeles has long been a music industry center and is undoubtedly one of the country's best places to see live music today. This sunny state is more known for its film industry by many, but there is an excellent music scene as well. (As a Berklee College of Music Alumni, I can speak on this, most of our domestic students end up in California and New York.) But the number one thing California does boast is that it has the most Live Music Obsessed Fans! California (and Florida) ties yearly at having the most live music festivals in the country, with 24 festivals each year! We won't get to them all (that is a whole blog in itself), but that's just to showcase that if you didn't think of California as a Musical State, I hope this Blog changes your mind and the next time you're there (or if you already live there) you seek out one or more of these musical adventures.
Airbnb Experiences are great to experience a place because your travel guides are locals.
- CLOVERDALE, CA Go Wine and Olive Oil tasting with a view all while listening to live music. One review says, "Absolutely magical time at Le Vin winery with Eric and Holly. We were treated like old friends. We enjoyed some delicious wine and olive oil with an even better company and music. Unlike other impersonal and formal tastings I've been to, this one was special because of its hosts and their love for their lifestyle and craft. Holly shines as a host, the winery pups are so lovely and friendly, and the location is unbeatable. We are thrilled to find this experience and will return with friends/family in the future!"
- SACRAMENTO, CA GO TO THE MOST REVIEWED MUSICAL AIRBNB EXPERIENCE IN THE USA. Lakehouse Jazz is a unique and intimate concert experience in the iconic Golden Gate Park at a hidden. Iconic boathouse. Kind of like our box, you never know who you're going to see. Still, your always guaranteed great music! Rachel reviewed, "This was a fantastic, intimate jazz night that we had been looking forward to for our trip to San Francisco. The night did not disappoint, and the band was absolutely brilliant. Enjoying such creative live music in a small, intimate space was a treat."
- SAN FRANCISCO, CA MELLOW SESSIONS AT A PLANT STORE THAT TURNS INTO A LIVE MUSIC VENUE AT NIGHT This plant shop offers performers a space that acts as the in-between of a concert hall and a bar - where folks actively feel and listen to the music. The audience is encouraged to interact with the performers directly, discuss the compositions, ask questions, and fall in love with live music. Not only can you support their business by buying a new house plant, but you also support a local musician. One review said, "It was a beautiful experience. A store is a magical place with all the beautiful plants. The atmosphere was very welcoming and friendly. And the music - a fusion of Mexican traditional music and jazz - something I had never heard before and enjoyed very much. I'm happy I came here."
Venues you could (but should) check out
Get out to a show and have fun. Live music is THE BEST way to support any musician. From World-Class Famous to a novice just starting out, the income musicians make from live shows surpass those from any music platform.
- The Hollywood Bowl has seen live performances from everyone from The Beatles to Tony Bennet. It even has a free museum to check out some more classic music history and gems.
- Troubadour in West Hollywood- This place is literally Rock n Roll History.
- Vibrato Room in Los Angeles
- The Viper Room in West Hollywood
- Teragram Ballroom in Westlake
- Hi Hat in Highland Park
- The Satellite in Silver Lake's
- The Echo in Echo Park
- Three Clubs in Hollywood
- Mariachi Plaza in Boyle Heights
- Frolic Room in Los Angeles
- McCabe's Guitar Shop in Santa Monica
- The Echoplex in Los Angeles
WALT DISNEY CONCERT HALL in Los Angeles
Get lost in a sea of Vinyl! You never know the gems you might find... Here are The two best-known Record stores, but there are plenty more where California is concerned. Read more here.
- Amoeba Music's Hollywood is one of the world's largest Record stores. This store has two floors packed with music, DVDs, games, art, and posters, and even hosts the occasional free live show.
- Mount Analog is for the underground music community. This store caters to those who love cassette tapes, double-LP collections, and records you probably can't find anywhere else, only in a specialty shop.
As I stated, CA is home to America's most well-known festivals. If you are planning to travel to Cali, think about planning your trip around a festival. You won't regret it. Below are my top 3 favorite Cali Festivals, but you can find out about almost all of them here.
Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival is one of California's oldest and the USA's most extraordinary music & art festivals. It is a festival you will remember and should even be on your musical bucket list. Every year they bring an unbelievably stacked line-up spanning every genre, massively beautiful stage production, incredible food & drink vendors, and a solid festival atmosphere. Do buy your tickets. This festival does sell out!!!
- Outside Lands, the best part is it's a festival that gives back. This a charitable festival that invests in the cultural vitality of the Bay Area through grants to regional music and arts education programs. Outside Lands is Northern California's biggest and best music festival! This festival has excellent lineups, a sustainable effort, a Gastronomy stage, live art, and more.
California Roots Festival is where reggae lovers go to have a good time. The biggest names in Reggae from around the world showcase this fantastic genre. You got your Jamaican Reggae, Cali reggae, Polynesian Reggae, and World Reggae (yes, they are all subgenres of Jamaican Reggae). As Oprah would say, "You get Reggae, and you get Reagae; everyone is getting Reggae!"As many Cali Roots Fest goers would tell you, "It is not a festival. It is a movement."
Get your groove on. Do you love to dance, go to a local dance studio and learn some new choreo!
- Millenium Dance Complex, LA . Hands down, this is California's most famous dance studio, Every dancer wants to take a class here.
- Culture Shock Dance Center, San Diego, Has a great variety of classes for all age groups and is among the best dance studios in CA. If you go on a Friday they hace a "Happy Hour Discount and you get a class for half off the usual rate.
- 3rd Dance Street, LA Is a vibe! Come every 3rd of the month and join for a night of social dancing!
Spmetimes you want to be in a place where history has been made. Stop by these sites, maybe grab a bite, and take in the momment.
- They May not let you in but you cant miss out on the chance to get a photo-op of THE Capital Records, the building were many of your favorite tunes and albums were made and are still being made. Learn More Here.
Dan Tana's West Hollywood
- Canters Deli Los Angeles
333 LIVE (aka Princes Night Club (Glam Slam)
SofarSounds is one of the best ways to discover live musicians from an area and be in an atmosphere that is entirely about intimate, musical curation. It's a secret show. You will know the location and the artists 48 hrs before the show. You never know where you might end up or who you might see. SofarSounds is currently in these cities: East Bay, Orange County, Los Angelos, San Diego, Sacramento, San Jose, San Francisco, and Santa Barbara. It's a fun way to spend a night out. You will definitely come out from experience wanting to go again and again.
- The Grammy Museum is self-explanatory, but on top of all the music history, you also receive a better understanding of the recording process. One gets to learn how records have been made since their inception to their current state. This museum has rotating musical exhibits featuring music's greatest stars and ongoing lectures.
- LA Hood Life Tours Founded in 2010 by Hodari Sababu (The Game's stepfather), this guided tour of the South Los Angeles landmarks of local hip hop history.
California hosts a bunch of ways to Travel Through Music. I hope you highly check out some of these places when you're in town. This is an evolving list so please message us if you think a destination, tour, or venue, should be added.