Music fans have plenty to rock out to this summer all across the country.
If you’re looking for a break from traditional artsy museums, the best music attractions are definitely an electric step up. These six casual museums feature everything from handwritten song lyrics to costumes and autographed memorabilia from your favorite artists—some of it more than 50 years old. Attraction lovers and music junkies alike will find something to rock out to all across the country.
Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, OH
Check out memorabilia from the biggest rock stars in history at one of the most famed music attractions worldwide. Get lost in the world of The Beatles, revisit the hits that shaped rock ‘n’ roll, or witness iconic photography in “Herb Ritts: The Rock Exhibition.” The newest display features items from new inductees such as Ringo Starr, Green Day, and Joan Jett & The Blackhearts.
Plan your trip: http://rockhall.com/
Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum in Nashville, TN
From current sensations such as Luke Bryan to the icons that put country on the map (think Bob Dylan and Johnny Cash), the Country Music Hall of Fame is an ode to the makings of this classic American genre. Learn about country music’s deep roots and how each artist helped catapult it to the mainstream success it is today. Get lost in the gold records, letters, instruments, wardrobe and more by famous inductees such as Patsy Cline, Dolly Parton, Alan Jackson, Trisha Yearwood, Willie Nelson, Kenny Rogers, Reba McEntire and Garth Brooks.
Plan your trip: http://countrymusichalloffame.org/
Grammy Museum in Los Angeles, CA
The legendary Grammy Awards have covered every genre of music since their inception in 1959. And the museum—located in the LA Live district next to Staples Center downtown—is packed with exhibits in tribute to many of these award-winning artists. See Tupac’s hand-written song lyrics next to a display showcasing Michael Jackson’s costumes, plus tons of real Grammys and autographed guitars displayed in Lucite boxes. The two-story museum is currently running a full floor “Taylor Swift Experience” that features many of her award show gowns and personal artifacts, and tells the story of her evolution from country bumpkin to the biggest pop sensation on the planet.
Plan your trip: http://www.grammymuseum.org/
Motown Museum in Detroit, MI
One of America’s most beloved musical genres comes to life at this landmark museum. A tour of Hitsville, USA takes you back to the 1960’s, when names like Berry Gordy, Marvin Gaye, and Diana Ross and The Supremes and were shaking things with upbeat pop grooves. The historical Motown era is captured in playing songs, videos and artifacts at the museum. You’ll even stand in the very places catchy tunes were recorded by The Temptations, The Four Tops, and The Miracles.
Plan your trip: http://www.motownmuseum.org/
Graceland in Memphis, TN
It doesn’t get much bigger than the The King, Elvis Presley. Mega fans have been making the pilgrimage to this National Historical Landmark since it opened publicly in 1982. But you don’t have to be a worshipper to enjoy his classic cars, guitars, awards, trophies, plaques, personal clothing, jewelry and keepsakes that fill Presley’s palatial former estate-turned-museum. (From Nashville, it’s about a four-hour drive, with bus tours running often.) Can’t make it all the way to Memphis? A portion of never-before-seen items from Graceland Archives are on loan for the “Elvis: The Exhibition” attraction at the Westgate Las Vegas Resort & Casino.
Plan your trip: http://www.graceland.com/
Jazz Collection at Louisiana State Museum, New Orleans, LA
The mellow, bluesy vibe of the jazz era has never really left New Orleans—and a physical part of that heritage is being preserved at the expansive Jazz Collection attraction. The entire collection was founded in 1961, so jazz enthusiasts can take a peek at rare photographs, paintings, vintage instruments, and thousands of soulful recordings that made the city the official home of jazz. Get a glimpse into this treasured, historical genre and the power players (including Louis Armstrong and The Original Dixieland Jazz Band) that made it famous.