Top Ten Refined U.S. Music Festivals

Ravinia Festival, Chicago, Illinois
Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Ravinia Festival
The Chicago Symphony Orchestra calls Ravinia home for the summer (courtesy, Ravinia Festival)

7. Ravinia Festival, Chicago, Illinois
The grandad of all U.S. summer music events, Ravinia has been in existence for more than 100 years. Located about an hour away from downtown Chicago by MetraRail, it's the summer home of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Like Tanglewood, it gives concert goers an outdoor experience in a protected pavilion with assigned seats, plus a vast lawn. There are also two indoor venues on the Ravinia Park grounds: the restored Martin Theater, which is the only building remaining from the original 1904-built park, and Bennett-Gordon Hall, a 450-seat recital hall.

The season runs from June through early September. More and more pop, country, and jazz artists appear each season, with an emphasis on older, established stars and groups. The classical concerts attract the biggest names in soloists and ensembles. Plus, Ravinia has a fine restaurant, and you can buy a travel package for concerts combined with dinner.


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