(The following is an excerpt from a feature published in the "Summer Travel Issue" of GRAMMY magazine. Read the complete feature here.)
Ah, summer. It's the perfect time to travel and bask in the glory of adventure. And, for music fans, summer typically presents the ideal opportunity to catch your favorite artist in concert.
According to NPR, airlines predict 210 million Americans will fly this summer, with a record 30 million bound for international destinations. Coupled with the fact that Billboard reported a 26 percent increase in worldwide concert attendance in 2013, this summer season is ripe for picking the ultimate concert getaway.
"Where to?" you ask.
Well, we've compiled a list of nine of the most picturesque, awe-inspiring and downright cool music venues the world has to offer. Even better, these locales all double as fun travel destinations, offering a unique itinerary of music, relaxation and adventure.
Of course, this isn't an exhaustive list — that's why we've also included six honorable mentions. But, from geological sensations in Colorado to the Hellenic wonders of Athens, we're certain these destinations will not only yield an amazing concert, but a travel experience to remember.
Red Rocks Amphitheatre
Nestled in a postcard-perfect transitional zone where the Great Plains meet the Rocky Mountains, Red Rocks Amphitheatre is not your average beautiful concert venue. According to the venue's website, it is "the only naturally occurring, acoustically perfect amphitheater in the world," situated at an elevation of 6,450 feet and surrounded by more than 805 acres of deer, pines and prairie, geological wonders, and spectacular vistas. Since opening in 1941, Red Rocks has hosted concerts by GRAMMY-winning acts such as the Beatles, U2, Stevie Nicks, Carole King, Neil Young, Fun., and Mumford & Sons, among others. How amazing is Red Rocks? Pollstar renamed its Best Small Outdoor Venue honor as the Red Rocks Award in 2001 in recognition of the venue's multiple awards.
While you're there: Concertgoers can sample Red Rocks' recreational activities, including guided tours, hiking, biking, shopping, and dining. And Red Rocks is situated just 15 miles west of the Mile High City, adding a variety of entertainment possibilities.
Ushuaïa Ibiza Beach Hotel
Capacity: More than 5,000
Imagine swimming in a sea of concert bliss … from the comfort of your hotel room balcony. That's just one of the many enticements offered by Ushuaïa Ibiza Beach Hotel, which opened in 2011. Arguably Ibiza's hottest getaway, nearly half of the hotel's rooms overlook a lush pool that is flanked by a dance floor and a concert stage that has featured renowned artists from David Guetta and Pete Tong to Usher. Just don't party too hard on the dance floor or you'll find yourself needing a towel.
While you're there: Situated directly on the coast of Valencia in eastern Spain, the gate from the hotel's pool leads directly to the sand. The hotel is located along the Playa d'en Bossa strip, which features touristy eateries, shops and festive clubs such as the Bora Bora Beach Club, Sankeys and DC10. Activities include boat trips, hot-air balloon flights, diving, and kayaking.
Thousands of music fans pitch tents and park RVs at the Double JJ Resort in Rothbury, Mich., to experience the Electric Forest — a four-day festival that merges art, music and community. The heart of the Electric Forest is the jaw-dropping Sherwood Forest, where attendees lounge in hammocks and attend art installations and impromptu "surprise" parties by day. At night the forest electrifies with state-of-the-art light displays, offering surprises that are a must-see. Taking place June 26–29, the 2014 installment featured artists ranging from Aloe Blacc and Lauryn Hill to Stephen "Ragga" Marley, Moby and Zedd.
While you're there: Double JJ Resort offers attendees several amenities, including a 60,000-square-foot indoor water park, an 18-hole golf course and horseback riding. If you're craving some big city action, Chicago and Detroit are both only a three-hour drive away.
For more cool venues, read the complete "Ultimate Concert Getaways" feature in the summer issue of GRAMMY magazine.