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8 Beautiful Outdoor Music Venues

  • Dan Bannister/JAI/Corbis

    Outdoor Concert Venues

    Take in the sights as well as the sounds in some of the most spectacular outdoor music venues. The open skies, the smell of grass, and outstanding acoustics will stimulate all of your senses at these eight exquisite outdoor concert venues.

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    Bethel Woods Center for the Arts, New York

    Wish you'd been at the iconic Woodstock festival back in the '60s? Get your groove on and head to the Bethel Woods Center for the Arts, the site of the 1969 Woodstock festival in Bethel, New York. It's just 90 miles from New York City and offers a diverse selection of both popular and lesser-known artists, as well as educational, community and museum programs.

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    Vina Robles Amphitheatre, Paso Robles, California

    Have a glass of wine: You can drink and dine before dancing to the beat of such artists as Bonnie Raitt and John Fogerty at the Vina Robles Amphitheatre in Paso Robles, California. Set on a hillside, the amphitheater seats 3,300 but has an intimate feel, with a style reminiscent of the historic California missions.

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  • Robert Reck/AP Images

    Santa Fe Opera's Crosby Theatre, New Mexico

    See a great sunset: The Santa Fe Opera's Crosby Theatre is not only an award-winning work of art but also a highly-tuned amphitheater, open to the New Mexico evening air on three sides. Seen through the back "wall" of the stage, the sunset appears to fill the sky. The lines of the two roofs (one over the stage and one over the mezzanine) were inspired by the "shape of sound" — making the acoustics something to write home about.

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    Filene Center at Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts, Virginia

    Sit out in the woods: Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts is a stunning venue on sprawling meadowland only a few miles outside Washington, D.C., with a diverse group of acts that recently has included Billy Idol, Harry Connick Jr. and a multimedia presentation of the score to The Lord of the Rings.

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    Dallas Arboretum's Martin Rutchik Concert Stage and Lawn, Texas

    Get a Texas vibe: Dallas Arboretum's Martin Rutchik Concert Stage and Lawn overlooks White Rock Lake. In the evening, the sun sets right behind the stage, which is one reason why it's been voted "Best Concert Venue" by the city's D Magazine. Local bands play '80s music, country and jazz.

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  • Lyn Alweis/Denver Post/Getty Images

    Denver's Red Rocks Park & Amphitheatre, Colorado

    Go natural: Denver's Red Rocks Park & Amphitheatre is a rare thing — a completely natural amphitheatre, thanks to a fortuitously placed "bounce" rock behind the stage. The 9,450-seat arena was carved out of massive red sandstone rocks that shoot 300 feet into the sky, creating one of the most spectacular concert venues on the planet.

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    The Gorge Amphitheatre in George, Washington

    Take in a "gorge"ous view: The Gorge Amphitheatre in George, Washington, backs up to a massive, photo-worthy gorge above the Columbia River. Host to some of the world's most popular performers (recently: Dave Matthews Band, John Mayer, Phish), it's got room for more than 20,000 concertgoers, who come for both the show and the sunset.

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    Tanglewood, Berkshire Mountains, Massachusetts

    One of the best-known outdoor music venues in the United States, Tanglewood, in western Massachusetts' Berkshire mountains, hosts some of the best classical concerts on the East Coast. Don't miss the Boston Pops and the Boston Symphony Orchestra playing from the heart in this summertime-only setting.

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