Best Venues and Concerts in Washington

Musical Venue variety is Washington’s forte.

The Evergreen State has scenery and music galore for plenty of eye and ear candy year-round.  

One of the most notable venues is the Gorge Amphitheatre, just north of Quincy. Home to the Sasquatch! Music Festival, it doles out sweeping views of the Columbia River to thousands of concertgoers. Seattle Center is another standout, hosting Labor Day’s Bumbershoot under the Space Needle and a slew of cultural fests year-round like Northwest Folklife. Redmond’s Marymoor Park welcomes big-name acts each summer amid its 640 acres of greenery, while Whitehorse Mountain Amphitheater in Darrington does the folksy Summer Meltdown every August between a glacier-capped peak and the lazy Sauk River. More scenery—and guitar strumming by the water—abounds at Doe Bay Fest on Orcas Island and Timber! at Tolt-MacDonald Park in Carnation, where hiking and kayaking in the Cascades are just part of the festival experience. 

Meanwhile, wine-lovers flock to Chateau Ste. Michelle in Woodinville to uncork a bottle while catching classic music acts. And Maryhill Winery in Goldendale rocks out every summer high above the Columbia Gorge.  

Prefer the urban vibe? Spokane’s Knitting Factory hosts hip acts downtown, while jazz trios play under lofted ceilings at Icicle Creek Center for the Arts in Leavenworth. Along the grunge- and indie-heavy Tacoma and Seattlecorridor, the venues are too numerous to count. Hit up historic Paramount Theatre, cherished Dimitriou’s Jazz Alley, and grand Benaroya Hall. For chart-toppers, though, only an arena will do. Megabands light up the Tacoma Dome and the Key Arena, as well as open-air CenturyLink Field and its sister stadium, Safeco Field.

-- Julie Arnan