Great North Music Tour | Chicago, Detroit, Cleveland, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, New York City, Boston
Itinerary: Great North Music Tour
Musical Journeys Chicago | Detroit | Cleveland | Pittsburgh
Philadelphia | New York City | Boston

About this itinerary

Driving distance: 1249.1 miles
Recommended travelling time: 12 nights
Recommended travel season: Summer
A self-drive tour that enables visitors to soak up some of the rich musical history of the USA, starting with Jazz and Big-Band in Illinois, to Motown and hip-hop in Michigan, Rock'n'Roll in Ohio, and just about everything and more in Pennsylvania, New York and Massachusetts.

Chicago, Illinois


As well as Chicago's deep history of Jazz and Blues, it has a diverse music scene, including musical theatre and the famous Lollapalooza and Pitchfork festivals. See Jazz or Big-Band performances at the Green Mill Cocktail Lounge and Buddy Guy who helped develop the Chicago Blues style and still performs here every January. Experience eclectic line-ups and up-and-coming performers on small and large stages across the City.
To next stop: 314.9 miles| Total driven: 0 miles

Detroit, Michigan

Pick up your car and follow the shoreline of Lake Michigan to the spectacular University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana, then the vibrant town of Ann Arbor, Michigan, and its picturesque main streets. Proceed to Detroit, nicknamed "Motor City", filled with trendy restaurants and shops. At the Motown Museum, view artefacts and studios where icons such as Stevie Wonder and Marvin Gaye recorded hits. Jazz lovers can hear live music nightly at the legendary Cliff Bell's.
To next stop: 184.9 miles | Total driven: 314.9 miles

Cleveland, Ohio

Head past Lake Erie to Toledo, Ohio, to marvel at the Glass Pavilion at the Toledo Museum of Art. For the more daring, drive to Cedar Point Amusement Park to experience nearly 20 roller coasters! Continue to Cleveland, the origin of the phrase "Rock 'n' Roll". Spot the distinct I.M. Pei-designed pyramid-shaped building and view exhibits in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. The city still has vibrant music venues like the Music Box Supper Club.
To next stop: 135 miles | Total driven: 499.8 miles


Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Fittingly the trip includes Pittsburgh, birthplace of the "father of American music", Stephen Foster in 1826. In the Hill District Jazz performers like Lena Horne thrived in the mid-1900s at places like the Belmont. The 1960s brought Bobby Vinton and others, singing Doo Wop. Other genres have roots in the city through natives Christina Aguilera and Wiz Khalifa. Venues to see Pittsburgh's up-and-comers include Brillobox and Club Cafe.
To next stop: 304 miles | Total driven: 634.8 miles

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Travel through the Amish Country and its horse-and-buggy lifestyle to Philadelphia, considered the birthplace of the USA due to its political history. The Curtis Music Institute provides half the members of the Philadelphia Orchestra, whilst other musicians like Frankie Avalon and Chubby Checker established Philadelphia on the rock and roll scene, furthered by Dick Clark's TV show "American Bandstand". View up to 4,000 murals and attend a free concert downtown at Schmidt's, and enjoy Philadelphia's summer festivals.
To next stop: 94.1 miles | Total driven: 938.8 miles

New York City, New York

Travel north to New York City, home to some iconic music; Brooklyn native Aaron Copland has composed everything from major film scores to ballet, whilst legends, such as Jay-Z, have helped the city establish entire genres. Choose between underground clubs in Greenwich Village, the elegant Carnegie Hall or mainstream venues like Madison Square Garden or Broadway theatres. Before you leave town, pay homage to John Lennon at Strawberry Fields, near where he died.
To next stop: 216.2 miles| Total driven: 1032.9 miles

Boston, Massachusetts

Despite the city's history, the Boston music scene is anything but old, having produced acts like Boston or Aerosmith. Venture to the Seaport District for dining, breweries and a plethora of bars featuring live music. See performances at intimate venues like the Lizard Lounge or the larger Blue Hills Bank Pavilion at the Boston Harbor. Kick it up a notch at the Hatch Shell for Fourth of July festivities and fireworks synchronized to the music of the Boston Pops Orchestra.
Total driven: 1249.1 miles

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