Worth the Stop
Tour managers often have to endure long road trips across the country. It can be tough to be on the road for long stretches of time away from close family and friends, but it can also be exciting to explore the different states. Make the most of your road trips by checking out the thousands of different roadside attractions.
Let's explore the top music-themed roadside attractions in America!
1. Kurt Cobain Memorial Park | Washington
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Nirvana is credited for creating the grunge music scene in Seattle. If you're in Washington, it's worth a trip to check out. The park is located on Young Street in Aberdeen, the same town where the band was first formed. Even the 'Welcome to Aberdeen' sign bears the rock band's lyrics with the words 'Come as You Are.'
Fans have migrated to the park because it holds many lyrical references to Kurt Cobain's songs and life. Walk along the 'muddy banks of the Wishkah', and walk under the bridge to see graffiti left by other fans and visitors.
If you're feeling a bit more adventurous (or nostalgic), you can also swing by Kurt Cobain's house in Seattle. While it's not officially open to the public, you can pull over and take some photos or write your appreciation for the deceased rockstar on the benches or fence on the property where fans leave messages.
2. Johnny Cash Gravesite | tennessee
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Nashville, Tennessee, is a great spot for tour managers, whether they're working on a tour or visiting the many musical attractions throughout the area. If you drive just 18 miles northeast to the city to Henderson, you can visit the gravesite of legendary singer-songwriter Johnny Cash.
He is buried next to wife June Carter Cash and other relatives. There's really no better way to pay your respects than making the visit to Cash's gravesite, as it is one of the most famous celebrity grave sites anywhere in the world.
3. Joshua Tree National Park | California
This 800,000 acre national park is more than just where the Colorado and Mojave Deserts meet. While there is enough nature, history, and scenery to keep you awestruck for hours, there's also a big draw for music fans.
U2 fans might recognize the park and name from their 'Joshua Tree' album that depicts a scene from the park on its cover. Many of their fans have taken the journey to the park. The annual Joshua Tree Music Festival features a variety of lesser-known artists and bands, and takes place within the park every fall and spring.
4. Elvis Presley Birthplace | Mississippi
Elvis Presley was born on January 8th, 1935 in Tupelo, Mississippi. If you're driving through the state, stop by the birthplace of this influential musician, actor, and King of Rock and Roll.
The historic site has an entire list of tour exhibits you can check out. Walk through the home where Elvis grew up, greet a statue of Elvis at age 13, see the church he and his family attended, and explore the Elvis Presley Museum. There's also a 15-acre park on the property in case you need to get a good walk in.
5. The Apollo Theater | New york
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The Apollo Theater in the Harlem neighborhood of New York City has over 100 years of history. It became known by hopeful musicians and singers as the place to go to launch their career. Famous artists such as Jimi Hendrix, Billie Holiday, Sarah Vaughan, Aretha Franklin, and Michael Jackson performed at the theater. This concert hall has an incredibly interesting and rich history, and is worth checking out next time you're in the city.
6. The Musical Road | New Mexico
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There's a part of Route 66 that will sing "America the Beautiful" to you - no joke. On Highway 333/Route 6, keep an eye out for the Musical Road signs. Slow your speed to 45 miles per hour and enjoy the patriotic tune.
Only a few of these odd roads exist in the world. Strategically placed rumble strips along the road create the musical notes that you'll hear. As a bonus, the road deters drivers from speeding and falling asleep at the wheel.
7. Ray Charles BRONZE SCULPTURE | Georgia
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Before you ask why a sculpture of Ray Charles is on this list, hear me out. In downtown Albany, Georgia, the legendary blues singer has a plaza in his name where he can be found sitting at a baby grand piano. If you look away for a few minutes, you would be convinced that Ray Charles moved. And in fact, the sculpture slowly rotates as Ray Charles' music plays throughout the park.
The creation was made by sculptor Andy Davis. If you pull over to walk around the plaza, you will also be in the perfect spot for the Albany Riverwalk. Stretch your legs by taking a stroll around the six acre park by the Flint River, and hike a few miles of the Riverwalk Greenway Trails.
Next time you're hitting the road for work, be sure to stop by these roadside attractions so that you can see them in person!