Summer Concerts in California

Best Places for Outdoor Music Concerts

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••• Hollywood Bowl at Night. marianne muegenburg cothern at Flickr Under Attribution-ShareAlike License
We can't think of anything nicer on a summer afternoon or night than a good musical concert. These are our favorites.
  • 01 of 11

    California's Most Travel-Worthy Music Festivals

    Lightning In A Bottle Festival 2015
    ••• Lightning In A Bottle Festival Stage. C Flanigan / Getty Images

    California is the home of lots of big music festivals. To get the inside scoop on when they happen, where and how to attend, use the Guide to California's Most Travel-Worthy Music Festivals.

  • 02 of 11

    Ford Amphitheater, Los Angeles

    California Summer Concerts
    ••• Concert at the Ford Amphitheater. Courtesy of Ford Amphitheater by Gennia Cui

    A smaller venue than the Hollywood Bowl across the freeway, the Ford features musical groups as diverse as the population of the county that owns it. Prices are more than reasonable and even less expensive for the kids, making this a great place for family outings, with tickets for four costing less than a night at the movies with sodas and popcorn.

    Get tickets and schedules at the Ford Amphitheater website.

  • 03 of 11

    Greek Theatre, Berkeley

    Evening at Berkeley's Greek Theatre
    ••• Evening at Berkeley's Greek Theatre. Adapted from Tim Horton/Flickr/CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

    It's one of the state's oldest outdoor concert venues, built in classic Greek style. The location on the UC Berkeley campus has some great views, and the lineup is so eclectic that almost everyone can find a concert they'd like to attend.

    The guide to Berkeley Greek Theatre is full of tips, things you need to know and information to help you enjoy your show.

  • 04 of 11

    Greek Theatre, Los Angeles

    Concert at the Los Angeles Greek Theatre
    ••• Concert at the Los Angeles Greek Theatre. Adapted from Calvin Fleming/Flickr/CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

    The Greek is a medium-sized venue that most Angelenos associate with rock concerts - and it's hosted some great ones, but the spectrum of musicians performing there these days is much broader. It's located in a natural canyon that forms a natural amphitheater, surrounded by trees in Griffith Park.

    Get some tips and find out a few important things you need to know before you go in the Greek Theatre guide.

    Continue to 5 of 11 below.
  • 05 of 11

    Hollywood Bowl, Los Angeles

    Hollywood Bowl at Night
    ••• Hollywood Bowl at Night. marianne muegenburg cothern at Flickr Under Attribution-ShareAlike License

    Picnics at twilight, laid-back ambiance and the best performers you'll find anywhere grace this long-running summer series that includes classical, jazz, blues and other musical styles.

    Get some advice from someone who has been a long-time fan of the Hollywood Bowl in this guide.

  • 06 of 11

    Humphrey's By the Bay Concerts, San Diego

    Humphreys Concerts by the Bay
    ••• Humphreys Concerts by the Bay. Jah~/Flickr/CC BY-NC 2.0

    On the San Diego Bay, this attractive venue features international acts, big-name performers, and a great atmosphere.

    Use this Humprey's profile to get more information, helpful tips and things you need to know before you go.

  • 07 of 11

    Mountain Winery, San Jose

    Concert at the Mountain Winery
    ••• Concert at the Mountain Winery. Adapted from JD Lasica/Flickr/CC BY-NC 2.0

    The former Paul Masson Winery building forms the backdrop for the stage in a small, intimate venue where you're never far from the stage or performers. Panoramic Silicon Valley views add an extra treat.

    In the Mountain Winery guide, you'll find practical tips and some very important things you should know about it.

  • 08 of 11

    MUSE/IQUE, Pasadena

    These outdoor concerts are often described as more like an elegant, outdoor dinner party, with everyone getting a seat at a table - and some quite innovative musical programs.

    Check the MUSE/IQUE website to find out what you need to know about going to it.

    Continue to 9 of 11 below.
  • 09 of 11

    Stern Grove, San Francisco

    Summer Afternoon at Stern Grove
    ••• Summer Afternoon at Stern Grove. Nathan Naze/Flickr/CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

    The concert area is ringed with redwood and eucalyptus trees; the performers are top-notch, and the admission is free. Sunday afternoons in San Francisco don't get any better than this.

    Free concerts of this quality require some planning ahead. You can avoid a lot of hassles and pitfalls by checking the Stern Grove website before you go.

  • 10 of 11

    Villa Montalvo, Saratoga

    An outdoor amphitheater on the grounds of a former senator, Villa Montalvo offers an impressive program of summer music, but with most of their concerts on weeknights, it's best-suited for local attendees.

    Get some insights and tips for enjoying a Villa Montalvo concert here.

  • 11 of 11

    Vina Robles Amphitheatre, Paso Robles

    Summer Concerts At Vina Robles Amphitheater
    ••• Summer Concerts At Vina Robles Amphitheater. Courtesy of Vina Robles Amphitheater

    Central California's premiere venue catches many of the same acts that appear at the bigger places in the state, in a venue that's one of the most intimate of any on this list.

    Visit the Vina Robles Amphitheatre website to get some useful tips and find out what you need to know to enjoy it.