If you are a music lover like me, when you travel to a new country, you include music-related activities to your itinerary. Whether it’s a record shop, concert or specialty music store, it’s going to be on your list. Los Angeles is known as the home of Hollywood glamour. But it’s not all about movie stars – LA has its own music scene and rich musical history, making it the ideal vacation spot for music fans.
From seeing your favorite music star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame to visiting the legendary venues on Sunset Strip, there are so many attractions in LA for music fans.
A music lover’s guide to Los Angeles, California… See Los Angeles through the eyes of a Music Lover
1 Revel in rock history on the Sunset Strip
On this famous stretch, which has long been the center of Los Angeles nightlife, there are still reminders of the musical past. Here, among the live-music clubs and looming billboards, rock legends were made. The strip, running about 1.5 miles (2.5 kilometers) along Sunset Boulevard, became a frequent haunt of musicians in the 1960s when exclusive nightclubs gave way to clubs and venues. David Bowie, Jimmy Page, Jim Morrison, and others frequently played and hung out at clubs like Whisky a Go-Go and The Roxy, which are still around today.
Other clubs, like the ’70s hotspot Rodney Birgenheimer’s English Disco, are but memories. In the ’80s, the Strip birthed numerous glam-metal acts, among them Guns N’ Roses and Mötley Crüe. Today, guests can still relive the glory days (if in a slightly less debauched way) and see live music at a number of venues, including Viper Room and The Troubadour, or get a drink at Rainbow Bar and Grill, a popular hangout for music legends including John Lennon,
2 Drop by the Walt Disney concert hall
The Walt Disney hall took 16 years to complete, but the long wait produced a world-class venue in 2003. The hall is now home to the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra and the Los Angeles Master Chorale. In true Hollywood fashion, the Walt Disney Concert Hall is frequently used as a set for television shows and movies; on occasion studios even use it for movie premiers.
The venue is frequently praised for its superior acoustics and the orchestra’s ability to play on space’s special nuances to bring even more life to their performances. Both an architectural wonder and classical music lover’s dream, everyone should see a concert here at least once. You haven’t heard Wagner’s Siegfried Idyll until you’ve heard it reverberating off these walls.
3 Go Record Haunting at Amoeba music
No music lover’s trip to LA would be complete without a rummage through the racks at the world’s largest independent record store. It’s any music lover’s dream come true. It’s here you’ll find rare vinyl, books, and ephemera and also catch an in-store show by some of the world’s biggest bands. They also sell tickets for upcoming concerts.
4 Experience the Guitar Center Rock Walk
This may seem like just a giant guitar store, but it’s much more. They have the biggest guitar collection you will ever see, plus other instruments and memorabilia. You can practice any instrument you like without salespeople hanging around. Hollywood’s Walk of Fame is often high on the list of must-visit attractions in Los Angeles. Though many notable musicians are honored on this famous stretch of sidewalk, a special section, outside the Guitar Center on Sunset Boulevard, is reserved for rock musicians. Established in 1985, this stretch is officially known as the Guitar Center RockWalk.
Here, you’ll find the handprints of Val Halen, The Cure, Nancy Wilson, and ZZ Top. Iron Maiden’s prints include a skeletal handprint meant to belong to band mascot Eddie. New inductees to the RockWalk are chosen by past honorees.
5 Catch a show at the Hollywood Bowl
No LA music tour would be complete without a visit to the legendary Hollywood Bowl. Opened in 1922 and opens from May through October, the Bowl has come to epitomize summer living. The venue is built into a Hollywood Hills canyon that has been dubbed the world’s largest natural amphitheater.Acts including The Beatles, Nine Inch Nails, Genesis, Lady Gaga and Tony Bennett have played on this stage, and top acts — from rock to pop to the LA Philharmonic — continue to do so regularly. Private boxes are available with gourmet chefs to cater, but it’s just as nice to pack a picnic, sit down and enjoy the band as well as the view of the Hollywood sign beyond.
6 Check out the iconic GRAMMY Museum
The GRAMMY Museum is the place to go if you want to explore all things music. It’s an interactive museum, so you can learn about the artists in a fun, unique way. On display, you’ll find something from every aspect of the music business from industrial grade recording equipment to the Songwriter’s Hall of Fame. Current special and traveling exhibits highlight music legends such as The Beach Boys, Ringo Star, Michael Jackson, and Boy Dylan.
The GRAMMY Museum
This museum is also home to the 200-seat Clive Davis Theater which is currently used to show special backstage footage from the 50th annual Grammy Celebration. With the help of innovative programming, you’ll discover the stories behind the artists and the music they created. Music has shaped the way we understand the world, and the GRAMMY Museum breaks down the boundaries between artist and audience.
7 Catch an Emo Nite LA show
If you grew up listening to the likes of Blinks 182, Chiodos, From First to Last and All Time Low, then Emo Nite LA is something you will want to experience. Expect waves of nostalgia that lets you bond with people who grew up listening to the same music as you.
Sonny Moore at Emo Nite LA
8 Discover new music
It’d be impossible to name all the music venues and bars showing live bands in Los Angeles. But if your heart speeds up at the thought of discovering unsigned indie bands.
Hi-Hat in Highland Park
Check out some of the many music venues peppered throughout the greater Los Angeles area, Venues like the Teragram Ballroom in Westlake, Hi-Hat in Highland Park, Silver Lake’s The Satellite, The Echo in Echo Park and The Hotel Café or Three Clubs in Hollywood.
There you have-A music lover’s guide to Los Angeles, California, from the star-studded sidewalk pointing the way to one of Hollywood’s longest-living venues to the newest dive bar showcasing the city’s finest musical surprises, the smog, and smut of Los Angeles offer themselves up as a haven for music lovers. We hope you consider adding a few of these attractions to your LA itinerary.
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