Even though summer is coming to a close, you can still squeeze in a fun-filled family weekend getaway after the school year starts. To inspire your music loving students, Vogt Airstream dealers has put together a list of the top music museums in the country, paired with the best local RV campgrounds. To make your weekend excursion more affordable and enjoyable, hookup your Airstream travel trailer and make it a road trip you’ll never forget. Explore these music destinations by day and retreat to your campsite to unwind in the evenings. With fun and informative tributes to the world of music all over the U.S., there’s likely a destination within driving distance to your home if one of these doesn’t work.
The EMP Museum (Seattle, WA)
Founded by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen, this non-profit museum got its start as a museum dedicated entirely to music, but now also features exhibits on science fiction and pop culture. Every year, the museum hosts a music competition open to participants 21 and under, where bands and solo artists showcase their sounds and battle for industry attention. EMP also offers a number of other classes and workshops to help burgeoning young artists hone their skills. On your visit, make sure to check out the Sound Lab, where you can break out your tunes in one of the sound proof rooms and stop by Guitar Gallery to see some of the 236 guitars in the museum’s permanent collection. After you’ve finished your visit to the museum, you can hop on the elevator at the Space Needle next door for panoramic views of the Seattle skyline.
Camping Recommendation: Tolt MacDonald Park & Campground
This King County Park sits just 40 minutes from downtown Seattle in the lush Snoqualmie Valley. With over 500 acres filled with hiking trails and flowing rivers, there’s plenty to explore in this neck of the woods. In addition to tent, yurt, and container camping, the park also has 16 pull-through RV sites equipped with water and electric hook-ups.
Graceland (Memphis, TN)
Graceland is the sprawling estate of late music legend Elvis Presley, who redefined music by introducing the world to rock-and-roll – a new style of music cultivated by Elvis’ love for pop, country, gospel and R&B. Within two years of signing a recording contract with Sun Records, Elvis was a worldwide sensation, beloved for his smooth voice, handsome looks, and charisma. After enjoying over two decades of stardom, the adored singer passed away unexpectedly from heart failure at the young age of 42. Today, you can visit Graceland, which is still decorated just how the King left it, replete with green shag carpet in the very 70s chic “Jungle Room”. Learn all about the life and legend of the man who forever changed music.
Camping Recommendation: Graceland RV Park and Campground
This campground is managed by the same people who run operations at Graceland and sits just steps from the front door of the estate. In addition to offering concrete pads with full hookups, the campground also has a bathhouse, walking trails, and a swimming pool.
Motown Museum (Detroit, MI)
While Detroit might be best known as the epicenter of the American auto industry, it’s also known as the birthplace of Motown, a musical genre that blends soulful gospel with be-bop jazz. At the Motown Museum, you’ll get to tour Hitsville U.S.A. where Motown legends like the Temptations and the Supremes recorded and peruse the museum’s collection of Motown memorabilia. In the summers the museum offers Detroit youths the chance to attend the Motown EDU camp, a week filled with learning about music and the music industry.
Camping Recommendation: Addison Oaks County Park
Located just outside of the city, this 1140-acre county park offers visitors abundant opportunities for outdoor activity, with swimming, boating and fishing on two lakes and multiple spring-fed ponds. Additionally, guests may hike, picnic, and explore the area’s bike trails. There are pull-through sites with water and electric hookups available.
Musical Instrument Museum (Phoenix, AZ)
Ranked by TripAdvisor as one of the top 20 museums in the United States, the Musical Instrument Museum in Phoenix houses an impressive collection of instruments from over 200 countries around the world. Guests can view instruments from 5 major world regions in the Geographic Galleries or see some of the instruments played by legendary artists like Taylor Swift and Johnny Cash in the Artist Gallery. Visitors of all ages will enjoy making their own music in the hands-on Experience Gallery, where they can test out a variety of instruments.
Camping Recommendation: Lake Pleasant Regional Park
This county park sits on the edge of Lake Pleasant, just 25 minutes from downtown Phoenix. Here your family can find reprieve from the dry desert climate with a dip in the lake’s refreshing waters. To make a reservation for one of the waterfront campsites, visit the county park website.