Many people plan their travel around concerts, taking advantage of seeing one of their favorite artists at a top music venue in a new city, or at an intimate venue.
We teamed up with Vivid Seats, the online ticket marketplace to buy and sell tickets to sports, concerts, and theater events nationwide, to determine the high-quality, not-so-well-known music venues for you to check out in a city near you, or on your next adventure. We looked at venues in New York, Orlando, Seattle, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Miami, Boston, Washington D.C., and Chicago, some of the top cities visited by student travelers each year. The venues chosen all have a capacity of 3,000 or less, and are the most popular based on the volume of tickets sold.
While researching sites for your next concert, consider visiting one of the intimate, first-class venues featured below.
Here’s a little more information on each of these venues:
Webster Hall, New York
Originally built in 1886 and later renovated in the 1990s, Webster Hall in New York boasts three performance spaces – the Grand Ballroom, Marlin Ballroom, and The Studio. Top artists set to pass through in 2016 include Bryson Tiller, Beach House, and Charlie Puth, among many others.
House of Blues, Orlando
With events taking place across the Main Stage, Foundation Room, and Crossroads, Orlando’s House of Blues offers a little something for everyone. Best of all, it’s located right in the middle of Disney World (Typhoon Lagoon is across the street!).
The Neptune Theatre, Seattle
Once upon a time, the Neptune Theatre was actually a single-screen movie venue. Now, this historic space hosts some of the hottest shows in town, including 2016 shows from Lake Street Dive, Craig Ferguson, and Parachute. The Neptune Theatre also is home to Nights at the Neptune, a free show featuring everything from art shows to stand-up comedians.
Venetian Hotel and Casino, Las Vegas
When you think of Las Vegas, you might picture glitz, glamour, and (gulp) tourists. The Venetian certainly encompasses all of those things, but it also is a great venue for quality entertainment across a wide variety of genres, putting on everything from classical concerts to live comedy throughout the year.
Walt Disney Concert Hall, Los Angeles
If you like classical music, the Walt Disney Concert Hall is a must during a trip to Los Angeles. This Instagram-worthy venue was designed by the world-famous architect Frank Gehry, so make sure you bring your camera (just make sure to put it away during the show).
The Warfield, San Francisco
The Warfield has been keeping busy for decades hosting some of the biggest acts in music. From Slayer to Widespread Panic, Tinashe, and Natalie Merchant, there has been no shortage of memorable shows at this former vaudeville theater in San Francisco.
Miami Dade County Auditorium, Miami
For a dose of culture, head to the Miami Dade County Auditorium. This multi-purpose venue can host everything from theater to ballet and rock concerts, but puts a major focus on the local Hispanic arts community.
Wilbur Theatre, Boston
To catch a great upcoming music or comedy show, head to Boston’s Theater District, where the historic Wilbur Theatre is located. With an origin dating back to 1914, updates were later made in 2008, so guests enjoy that old world feel with plenty of modern conveniences.
Warner Theatre, Washington, D.C.
Bob Hope, Jack Benny, and Jay-Z? All of these artists have graced the Warner Theatre stage. The venue also hosts the BET Honors ceremony and Washington Ballet’s annual performance of The Nutcracker, in addition to hosting shows by the likes of Santana, David Cross, Million Dollar Quartet, and more.
Vic Theater, Chicago
Wrigley Field may be just blocks away, but Chicago’s Vic Theater could not seem more distant from the big crowds and loud organs. In addition to hosting concerts and comedy shows, the Vic hosts Brew & View, in which patrons can access the venue’s bar while watching movies on a large screen.