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36 cool US outdoor concert venues for summer travelers

Here’s a remarkable roster of open-air music venues to visit this summer.
Here’s a remarkable roster of open-air music venues to visit this summer.
Ravinia Festival by Krystyna Cygielska - Creative Commons Licensing

Here’s a remarkable roster of open-air music venues to visit this summer.

Music fans across the United States flock to scenic amphitheaters to enjoy outdoor concerts of every imaginable music genre. Locals and road trippers alike line up for open-air entertainment all summer long.

Consider this selection of 36 popular outdoor concert properties (listed alphabetically by site name) across America.

Several of these well-known musical performance spots boast general-admission lawn options for picnickers, but others offer ticketed seats only.

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  1. Alpine Valley Music Theatre, East Troy, Wisconsin
  2. The American Folklore Theatre, Door County, Wisconsin
  3. Bayfront Park Amphitheater, Miami, Florida
  4. Boarding House Park, Lowell, Massachusetts
  5. Central Park Summer Stage, Manhattan, New York
  6. Chateau Amphitheatre, Woodinville, Washington
  7. Country Thunder, Twin Lakes, Wisconsin
  8. Fort Raleigh National Historic Site, Outer Banks, North Carolina
  9. Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, California
  10. The Gorge Amphitheater, George, Washington
  11. Governor’s Island, New York, New York
  12. The Greek Theatre, Berkeley, California
  13. Greenwood Amphitheatre, Greenwood, Indiana
  14. Hampton Coliseum, Hampton, Virginia
  15. Hollywood Bowl, Los Angeles, California
  16. Jack London State Park, Sonoma County, California
  17. Kresge Auditorium, Interlochen, Michigan
  18. Manchester Farm, Manchester, Tennessee
  19. Merriweather Post Pavilion, Columbia, Maryland
  20. Millennium Park, Chicago, Illinois
  21. The Mohawk, Austin, Texas
  22. Mountain Rails Live, Fir Mountain, Colorado
  23. The National Mall, Washington, DC
  24. The Nikon at Jones Beach Theatre, Wantagh, New York
  25. Open Air Theatre, Longwood Gardens, Kennett Square, Pennsylvania
  26. Pioneer Amphitheater, Palo Duro Canyon State Park, Texas
  27. Ravinia Park, Highland Park, Illinois
  28. Red Rocks Amphitheatre, Morrison, Colorado
  29. Santa Barbara Bowl, Santa Barbara, California
  30. Santa Fe Opera, Santa Fe, New Mexico
  31. Saratoga Performing Arts Center at Spa State Park, Saratoga Springs, New York
  32. Shoreline Amphitheater, Mountain View, California
  33. Snow Park Outdoor Amphitheater, Deer Valley Resort Park City, Utah
  34. Summerfest Grounds, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
  35. Verizon Wireless Music Center / Deer Creek Park, Noblesville, Indiana
  36. Wintergreen Resort, Wintergreen, Virginia

Additionally, many major sports stadium and arena locations and racetracks offer popular concerts, particularly during the summer season. A host of national parks and larger zoos do as well. Chart-topping artists and classical performers alike often add these open-air concert venues to their tour dates.

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Each of these outdoor concert locations has its own characteristics, from technical qualities to scenery to overall ambiance. Acoustic qualities and audience amenities vary greatly among all of these American outdoor music venues. Some locations are small and intimate, while others accommodate huge crowds for mega-hit summer concerts and music festivals.

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