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5 Great American Music Cities

By Amtrak Vacations Monday, July 31, 2017 Read time: 3 minutes

If learning about the roots of American music and seeing great music performed live is on your vacation bucket list, read on! In addition to boasting a thriving music scene, the following ‘music cities’ are also known for their attractions and landmarks, their amazing cuisine and their welcoming atmosphere. And best of all, you can get there easily by train, making your music cities vacation a true foray into the best of American culture.


New Orleans
Music is everywhere in New Orleans, with distinct rhythms and beats literally pouring out the doors of the many classic clubs and bars and onto the famous Bourbon Street, and the non-pedestrianized Frenchman Street and Riverbend. And it makes sense - the city is the birthplace of jazz, with roots going back over 100 years. The legendary scene also includes a huge blues influence, along with reggae and zydeco. Couple that with famous Creole cuisine, classic architecture, and a welcoming, fun atmosphere and you have what many consider the top music city in the entire country. Rail Vacation Packages Featuring New Orleans: Jazz, Blues and Rock n’ Roll New Orleans Ultimate Getaway  


Chicago jazz and blues has its own distinct identity and sound, shaped in part by musicians heading north from New Orleans and other Southern cities in the 1920’s and making The Windy City home. Both scenes still thrive today, along with rock, electronic and other genres, making for a diverse and vibrant music scene. The city is home to many eclectic live music venues, large and small, where some of today’s top bands got their start. Coupled with great food and attractions, Chicago remains one of the top places in the country to experience live music. Rail Vacation Packages Featuring Chicago: Jazz, Blues and Rock 'n' Roll Chicago Ultimate Getaway  


Memphis will always have a special place in music lover’s hearts as Elvis Presley’s beloved home. Thousands enjoy visiting Graceland every year, lovingly preserved as a shrine to this true rock ‘n’ roll legend. Memphis’ active music scene has deep roots, centered around Beale Street, made famous as the home of the blues in the early part of the 20th century, and a big influence on ‘The King’ himself. Today, street musicians and every type of band can be found playing along the pedestrian-friendly street, and packed clubs thrive all over town. Rail Vacation Packages Featuring Memphis: Music Cities of America Memphis Ultimate Getaway  


What New Orleans is to jazz, Nashville is to country, boasting more live country music within its boundaries than anywhere else in the world. From the Grand Ole Opry to the Country Music Hall of Fame, Nashville is a true country music lover’s city. Other music genres thrive here as well, including jazz, rock and blues. The family-friendly city also has a vibrant art, food and cultural scene, making it one of the top music city destinations year after year. Rail Vacation Packages Featuring Nashville: Nashville, Memphis and New Orleans Music Cities of America  


New York City
New York City’s music scene is as diverse as its inhabitants, with influences converging to create a truly vibrant, fresh atmosphere unlike anywhere else in the world. The city is the birthplace of salsa, hip hop, freestyle, doo wop, bebop, disco, punk rock and new wave. An important folk music scene emerged in the city’s Greenwich Village, shaping such legendary artists as Bob Dylan and Joan Baez. World-famous classical music can be found in New York City, at the famous Lincoln Center and Carnegie Hall. And of course, people from all over the world flock to Broadway for the very best in musical theater. Rail Vacation Packages Featuring New York City: New York City Big Apple Deluxe New York City Ultimate Getaway   » Register for our upcoming webinar to learn more about exciting rail vacations to the music cities! » For more information on all Amtrak Vacations rail packages, click here.  

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