13 Best Outdoor Concert Venues in the US

Summer is synonymous with outdoor concerts, and the US has plenty of great venues to keep you entertained throughout the season.

13 Best Spots to See an Outdoor Concert this Summer

We’ve rounded up the top outdoor concert spots to help you plan your summer concert tour.  

The Gorge, George WA

Open: May - September

Located between Seattle and Spokane, The Gorge is not to be missed. Seating 27,500, the Gorge hosts musical festivals and regular concerts. For the ultimate outdoor experience, there is a campground on site for ticket holders. For an extra fee, you can sleep right there. Seattle is about 2 hours and 20 minutes away, and Spokane is a smidge closer at just under 2 hours away. Upcoming concerts for 2018 include Phish, Kings of Leon, The Watershed Festival, and Journey & Def Leopard.

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Big Sky Brewing Co, Missoula MO

Open: May - September

That’s right, a brewery with an outdoor concert venue! Sip some craft beer while dancing to your favorite tunes, all with a gorgeous view. Upcoming concerts for 2018 include Barenaked Ladies, The Avett Brothers, Shakey Graves, and Luke Bryan.

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Mountain Winery, Saratoga CA

Open: May - September

If beer isn’t your thing, maybe wine is. Although not technically part of “wine country” – Mountain Winery might be a good spot to kick off your summer concert or wine country tour. Concerts for 2018 include The Roots, Violet Femmes, Corinne Bailey Ray, Willie Nelson, The Beach Boys, Norah Jones, Alanis Morissette, and Melissa Etheridge. Mountain Winery is about a half hour from San Jose. 


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Red Rocks, Morrison CO

Open: May - October

Touting themselves the “best place to see the stars” Red Rocks is an unbelievably stunning spot for a concert. Surrounded by mountains, you may want to take advantage of the park and go on a hike before the band goes on. Less than a half hour from Denver.

Upcoming performances include Vance Joy, Bryan Adams, Widespread Panic, and Yo Yo Ma.

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Check out Morrison area hotels.


Tanglewood, Lenox MA

Open: June - Labor Day

Take a break from the real world and head to the Berkshires this summer, to take in a show at Tanglewood. Lawn seats are a tradition at Tanglewood, get there early with a blanket and a picnic, and settle in for the day while listening to the Boston Symphony Orchestra or Boston Pops, who call Tanglewood home for the summer. About 2 hours from Boston, and 1 hour 15 minutes from Hartford. Upcoming performances include Harry Connick Jr., Bela Fleck and the Flecktones, and James Taylor.

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Check out Lenox area hotels.


Jay Pritzker Pavilion, Chicago IL

Open: May - September

You will get one of the best views in Chicago while you take in a concert at Jay Pritzker, which is set within Millennium Park. Not only is the view great, but the architecture of the pavilion is a sight to see on its own, standing at 120 feet high, designed by Frank Gehry. The Grant Park Music Festival entertains concert goers all summer long, bringing classical and jazz performances to Pritzker Pavilion. Other than the Grant Park Orchestra, this year’s schedule includes Bon Iver as well as Robert Plant with Jon Langford.

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Starlight Theatre, Kansas City MO

Open: May - September

Since its opening in 1951, Starlight “is the premier entertainment treasure of the heartland,” where you can not only go to a concert, but also a Broadway show; Starlight is 1 of 3 outdoor venues in the US where you can see a full Broadway production. Whether you go for some music or to watch a show, Starlight should be on your list of outdoor venues to visit this year. Upcoming concerts include Steely Dan & the Doobie Brothers, Jason Mraz, and Ringo Starr & His All-Starr Band.

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Greek Theater, Los Angeles CA

Open: Year Round

Located in Griffith Park, the Greek Theatre has been entertaining audiences since 1931. Enjoy a piece of history while taking in one of your favorite artists. Shows for 2018 include Ray Lamontagne, Sylvan Esso,  and the Decemberists.

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Hollywood Bowl, Los Angeles CA

Open: April - October

Opening in 1922, the Hollywood Bowl is one of the best outdoor concert venues in the US, and is a must-visit on your summer concert vacation. With the backdrop of the Hollywood Hills, the Bowl itself is a piece of Hollywood history, plus from some seats, you can even see the biggest Hollywood icon of all time: the Hollywood Sign. It doesn’t get much better than that! Performances for 2018 include: Rod Stewart & Cyndi Lauper, Jennifer Hudson, and Harry Potter in Concert.

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Merriweather Post Pavilion, Columbia MD

Open: May – September

Located between Baltimore and DC, the Merriweather has hosted an array of musical acts throughout its 40 year history. Originally built to house the National Symphony Orchestra, Merriweather is set in 40 persevered acres of land. This year, look for performances by Luke Bryan, Sugarland, Lady A & Darius Rucker, Kenny Chesney, and the 2018 Spirit Festival.

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Check out Columbia area hotels.

Nikon Theater at Jones Beach, Wantagh NY

Open: May - September

A New York staple, Jones Beach has been a go-to summer concert spot since 1952. Tailgate before the show, and bop along to the music while looking over Zachs Bay. This year, look for shows by Poison, Dave Matthews Band, Lady Antebellum and Brad Paisley.

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Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts, Vienna VA

Open: May - September

An official partner of the National Park Service, Wolf Trap Park Foundation is a nonprofit organization “dedicated to creating excellent performing arts experiences for the enrichment, education, and enjoyment of diverse audiences.” Situated over 115 acres, bring a picnic and plan to stay awhile. Located just a half hour from Washington DC, it’s the perfect getaway from a visit to the country’s capital. Upcoming shows include Barry Manilow, Tony Bennett, Queen Latifa, and a Sound of Music Singalong. 

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Fraze Pavilion, Kettering OH

Open: June - September

You can’t beat a $5 concert. Fraze Pavilion features $5 Fridays, where you can get into the pavillion for a fiver. There are also several free events throughout the summer. Located just outside of Dayton, an hour from Cincinnati, and just under an hour and a half from Columbus.Upcoming shows include Tony Bennett, Reba McEntire, and O.A.R.  

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Check out Kettering area hotels.