Music Matters

Austin comes in second on list of America's Best Music Scenes

Austin comes in second on list of America's Best Music Scenes

Otis the Destroyer SXSW Austin
Austin ranks second on list of America's Best Music Scenes.  Photo by Daniel Cavazos

SXSW is in the books, but the Live Music Capital of the World is still at the top of the charts: A new survey says Austin has the second-best music scene in the country

Only Nashville outranks Austin on Travel + Leisure's list of America's Best Music Scenes, as determined by readers.

What makes our scene so special? "This is a musicians' town," Caleb Campaigne, the official Insider at W Austin Hotel, tells T+L. "Musicians know that the audience is going to be appreciative — but also prepared. Even if you’re a smaller band, folks are going to have done their research and know who you are."

T+L touts the city's most historic breakout acts — Janis Joplin, Willie Nelson, Stevie Ray Vaughan — as well as our favorite modern-day clubs. "You can catch excellent shows year-round at the Moody Theater (where they tape the TV series Austin City Limits), at clubs along South Congress (like Continental Club or C Boy’s Heart & Soul), or the brisket-fueled Sunday Gospel Brunch at [Stubb's Bar-B-Que]."

The magazine also gives a nod to Waterloo Records, where music-lovers can still listen to an album before buying it. 

Austin isn't the only Lone Star city on the list. Houston lands at No. 10 thanks to "its cosmopolitan combination of high-brow culture (like the acclaimed Houston Grand Opera) and crowd-pleasers." The Deep Ellum neighborhood, where you'll find "public murals, plenty of bars, and great rock-and-indie venues," earns Dallas the No. 25 spot. 

Check out the rest of America's best music scenes here