Destination: Concert Under the Stars!

Destination: Concert Under the Stars! 5 Best Amphitheaters in the US I Bet You Never Heard of Until Now! Starscope Monocular

5 Best Amphitheaters in the US I Bet You Never Heard of Until Now…

If you're looking for a unique and memorable concert experience you need to look no further than a little known amphitheater under the stars! Outdoor concert venues offer a unique marriage between the lovers of nature and lovers of culture. 

Famous amphitheaters hug the banks of the Columbia River, nestle into Chicago's Millennium Park, boast the sweet sounds of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, or brush elbows with the Los Angeles Philharmonic association. 

But magical hidden gems, such as Treasure Island Amphitheater or the Ogden Amphitheater in Utah, offer lesser-known outdoor concert venues with a special connection to nature and stunning views of the night sky. 

Perfect for a rock and roll or country concert on a warm summer night.

Destination: Concert Under the Stars!

Everyone sees famous outdoor music venues in the movies or on travel shows. How about the Greek Theatre Los Angeles or the gorgeous Hollywood Bowl Los Angeles? 

These incredible places make music fans fondly recall the good days of the Dave Matthews Band and legendary music by Bruce Springsteen. Even Jimi Hendrix and Frank Sinatra, relics from back in the day... 

How about the Counting Crows wailing Yeah-ahhh on a balmy summer night? 

I'll always remember my first live concert at the Gorge Amphitheatre, but the lesser known best outdoor concert venues that may not host Elton John or the Rolling Stones, that may not be the Crosby Theatre or Red Rocks, somehow escaped me until recently. 

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It turns out, hosting concerts isn't formulaic. And there are some places that do it differently. Different is good, right?

Coveted live performances are worth seeing in the best outdoor music venues you may least expect.

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If you're looking for a special music venue, something off the beaten path like a mountain winery or East Troy, where you may not find the Grateful Dead but may instead get a memorable mountain view or a toe dip in the Columbia River, how about check out the Pat Garrett Amphitheater near small town Pennsylvania?

Or The Coffee Butler in gorgeous Key West, Florida? Or the classic Gerald Ford amphitheater in Vail? Such an amazing starlight theatre under the Colorado sky! 

Get yourself off the beaten path, beyond the Bethel Woods Center. Go further than Highland Park and find experiences only you can blog about

Make memories you'll never forget.

Destination: Concert Under the Stars! - Starscope Monocular

This is your insider’s guide to 5 of the best amphitheaters in the USA where you can plan on catching outdoor concert experiences at amazing music venues all summer long.

Your stargazing and music fixes all wrapped up in one!

  1. Treasure Island Amphitheater, Welch, Minnesota 

Treasure Island is a relatively new venue hosting concerts for a perfect summer night of music and the soothing breeze off the nearby lake, as clear and fresh as Lake Tahoe. 

Reminiscent of something as special as Jones Beach Theatre, Treasure Island gets concert viewers closer than ever to the music and artists they love, from fast-rising stars to beloved legends in the epic vein of Pearl Jam or Led Zeppelin. 

Some of the biggest names in rock and roll are coming to the outdoor stage for summer performances at Treasure Island.

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The large spread of concrete-laid seats is set to the Western side of the Treasure Island Casino’s newest hotel tower. The Amphitheater is located in a fenced-off area that’s as impressive for sound as the Hollywood Hills, albeit in my humble opinion. 

Fixed seating is laid on a gradual, effective slope so you won’t feel cramped in. This one feels as spacious as Highland Park or the Jay Pritzker Pavilion. 

The wide aisles make the seats easy to get to as Kansas City. The cool grassy area behind the seats is open to folding chairs and blankets. 

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The whole place has a retro drive-in movie theater vibe you’ll love.

This hidden gem can host more than 16,000 people. Treasure Island Amphitheater offers a unique concert experience outdoor music lovers won't want to miss when seeking venues in the U.S. 

From reserved seating to general admission, there isn’t a bad spot in the house in the relatively new and little-known Treasure Island amphitheater. 

Alongside casino fun, it's like going to Mandalay Bay Beach for half the cost. Like Long Island on steroids. The sky never looked so glorious in Minnesota.

Pro Tip: Don’t Forget to Bring Your…

Cozy picnic blanket! Stretch out on the concert lawn and relax under that big Minnesota night sky.

  1. Pat Garrett Amphitheater, Strausstown PA.

At the foothills of the Blue Mountains, Strausstown PA, sits a gorgeous natural amphitheater for concerts under the stars.

With room for up to 12,000 people, this setting is intimate like a mountain winery.

Perfect for live music surrounded by nature, especially if the music you love is country legends!

The Pat Garrett Amphitheater has been host to many great concerts and events over the years and remains one of the best places in Pennsylvania to enjoy live music outdoors. If you're more a fan of Keith Urban than Nine Inch Nails, this could be one of the best outdoor concert venues for you to experience.

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The venue was dreamed up by country music legend singer-songwriter Pat Garrett himself.

Pat Garrett first dreamed of building an amphitheater while performing at the Jamboree in the Hills in Wheeling, WV. He  made his dream into a reality and construction finally began in 1994 when Pat created the beautiful world class stage for his favorite bands, nestled at the foothills of the Blue Mountains.

The Pat Garrett outdoor theater has featured legendary artists such as Merle Haggard, Johnny Cash, George Jones, Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson, and Charlie Daniels. It also showcased contemporary stars such as Steve Wariner, Wade Hayes, Bryan White, Billy Ray Cyrus, and many more.

Pro Tip: Arrive Ready to Party!

Parking at Pat Garrett Amphitheater is on the grass and that's where the tailgate parties happen! Show up in your pick-up truck and don't forget the hot dogs.

  1. Ogden Amphitheater, Utah

The Ogden Amphitheater in Ogden, Utah, hosts all the best summer activities, events, festivals and outdoor concerts. The rustic view is like the Cascade Mountains but maybe better.

It may not be the largest natural outdoor amphitheater like Hollywood Bowl or Jones Beach Theater with the Santa Fe Opera. It may not be the oldest outdoor music festival either, but it rivals Red Rocks Amphitheatre Morrison for being truly one of the best outdoor music venues in the U.S.A.

Seating capacity is approximately 273 in fixed seats. Standing capacity is approximately 7,300.

There’s no shortage of events at Ogden Amphitheater to gather with friends and family outdoors this summer. 

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Summer weather is the outdoor music venue BFF, and the Ogden Amphitheater is home to exciting musical performances as well as fun festivals and celebrations like Trail Fest, Ogden Pride, Monday Night Movies, Bike Homecoming and Ogden Twilight.

This venue has the well-cared for and splendid feel of a gorgeous park you’ll never want to leave. 

With such a great variety of events and a breathtakingly beautiful setting, the Ogden Amphitheater pleases pretty much everyone as an outdoor performance venue you'll never forget. 

So pack your picnic baskets, grab your lawn chairs, and head on out for an unforgettable experience under the stars.

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Pro Tip: You’re Going to Want to Have It With You…

Bring your stargazing monocular! The Ogden Amphitheater is always a special place to view the night sky. On a clear evening, you can see the Milky Way, the Big Dipper, the North Star and more. Soak up great sounds from the stage as you gaze up...

  1. Coffee Butler Amphitheater, Key West, Florida

Located at the trendy new Truman Waterfront, the Coffee Butler Amphitheater is set near Fort Zachary with stunning views of the Gulf of Mexico. 

Open air venues in the U.S don't get better than this one. It's like Jones Beach, great music at sea level.

View the Gulf of Mexico from the top lawn and don't miss World famous Key West sunsets on concert days. 

With general admissions on the grassy lawn, intimate reserved seats up front, trendy solar panels and a one of a kind panoramic backdrop, the Coffee Butler Amphitheater offers a perfect entertainment place for all music fans. 

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This gem amongst the outdoor concert venues is inarguably one of the best amphitheaters in the US.

Dave Matthews Band wouldn't turn up their noses at this one, I bet neither would the Chicago Symphony Orchestra: Coffee Butler is a special outdoor music venue that could go down in history with the likes of the Hollywood Bowl and the Los Angeles Philharmonic.

The Coffee Butler Amphitheater has played host to many great concerts and music events and is considered one of the most unique places in Key West to enjoy live music outdoors. 

Legendary artists featured at the Coffee Butler Amphitheater include Willie Nelson, Bob Dylan, Jimmy Buffett, and Billy Joel… 

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Truly mind blowing musical performances. 

Exciting contemporary artists such as Zac Brown Band, John Mayer, Mumford & Sons, and Ed Sheeran have also showcased their music in Key West under the stars.

The amphitheater’s name is thanks to 90-year-old Lofton “Coffee” Butler, a revered musical giant to those who know their Key West history.

If you're looking for an amazing American outdoor concert music experience this summer, don’t miss out on taking a road trip to the Coffee Butler amphitheater. With its stunning views on par with Red Rocks and incredible music line up, the fresh air venue offers an experience not to be missed.

Pro Tip: Beware and Be Warned!

Note that professional lens cameras are not allowed in the Coffee Butler Amphitheater! There will be bag searches on arrival at the alpine valley. 

The good news? You’re allowed to tote in your lawn chair and portable folding binoculars! Enjoy a concert outside, under the night sky in Key West.

  1. Gerald R Ford Amphitheater, Vail, Colorado

The Gerald R Ford Amphitheater is an outdoor concert venue like no other. 

Located in Vail, Colorado, the venue is like a summer home with a capacity of approximately 2,800 people within the pavilion and lawn seating areas, all designed to make nature and music lovers the happiest. 

If you love Red Rocks Amphitheatre, put this one on your list of must-go venues in the U.S.

The Gerald R Ford Amphitheater is owned and operated by the Vail Valley Foundation, which is a non-profit organization dedicated to enhancing the quality of life in the Vail Valley. 

Nestled in the heart of Vail Village, the unique outdoor venue with its steep grassy lawn offers stunning views of the Rocky Mountains while you groove to the jam bands. 

The Gerald R Ford Amphitheater is home to many great concerts and events throughout the year, including Vail Jazz Festival and the Bravo! Music Festival.

If you're looking for an incredible concert experience this summer comparable to outdoor adventures like Lake Tahoe or Red Rocks Amphitheater, be sure to check out the Gerald R Ford Amphitheater. 

Come for the beautiful natural setting amongst the mountain pines, and stay for the amazing lineup of performers.

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Be aware that professional cameras are not allowed in the venue. This is common practice at major venues like Gorge Amphitheatre or Jones Beach Theater too. Bag searches will be conducted at the gates, so leave your long lens camera at home! 

Do you need to bring something to help you see the stage? 

Binoculars or a monocular can do the trick just as well as a long lens! And best of all they won’t get seized on arrival. Some, like the Starscope, can even work with your cell phone to take stealthy photos! No one is banning phones…

The stage at Gerald R Ford is close to as stunning as the Hollywood Bowl in the Hollywood Hills, in its own rustic forest way. 

With trees lining the sides of the stage and an incredible garden as the backdrop, akin to the likes of Crosby Theatre, this venue is absolutely stunning. 

Overall, this best amphitheater in the US offers a ton of great seating, modern facilities for the music lover, and a stunning array of culture and entertainment ranging from interpretive dance to symphonies to local choirs to incredible rock performances and even weekly summer concerts for the Vail Hot Summer Nights series. 

The Gerald R Ford Amphitheater is not just one of the coolest outdoor music venues to see a concert in Colorado. It’s truly one of the best amphitheaters in the US. 

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Right up there with the Greek Theatre for sound quality, Crosby Theatre or the Alpine Valley Music Theatre for culture trends, and Gorge Amphitheatre or Red Rocks for the raw nature factor. 

It's the kind of place you want to watch a rock concert or a National Symphony Orchestra, maybe even a kids concert would do! 

Anything to get your body in the gates and your butt on the lawn of this amazing natural venue in the heart of the mountains.

In the heart of Vail Village, the incredible outdoor venue is home to so many great concerts and events throughout the year, put it on your summer bucket list and get packing.

Pro Tip: Early Bird Gets the Worm!

Get your best seat by getting to the amphitheater early to stake out a spot. The impressive expanse of Gerald R Ford amphitheater emerald lawn fills up on a first come first serve basis. 

Happy concert viewing to all.