These are the best music and performance venues in Northern Virginia, as voted by our readers

Hot new shows, world-class museums, improv comedy, plays with a social justice bent, and murder mysteries to solve? Don’t tell us there’s nothing to do tonight.

Live music venue

Winner
Wolf Trap
Is there a concert hall with more diverse offerings than Wolf Trap? Events this season range from Boy George & The Culture Club to Belle and Sebastian to a performance of La Traviata. Enjoy them all outdoors and without going to the big city. 1551 Trap Road, Vienna

Photo courtesy Le Birchmere

Finalist
The work
Whether it’s great names from the past like Jose Feliciano and Debbie Gibson, tribute acts, or new and emerging bands, there’s bound to be something to draw you into “the legendary music hall of the America “. Fifty-six years of action have more than proved the durability of this place. 3701 Mount Vernon Avenue, Alexandria

wolf trap concert
Photo courtesy Wolf Trap

Outdoor concert space

Winner
Wolf Trap
This multipurpose outdoor theater is part of the national park system. The 117-acre property hosts over 100 performances each summer. Bring your own food and drink for an elegant picnic on the grassy hill overlooking the stage, or purchase a charcuterie or cheese platter on-site for a feast as grand as entertainment. 1551 Trap Road, Vienna

Finalist
Jiffy Lube Live
Imagine Dragons, The Chicks and Jimmy Buffett are just a few of the big names appearing at this amphitheater this summer. Seating 25,000, singing along with Rob Zombie or Alice in Chains is a large-scale shared experience hard to find anywhere else in the DMV, let alone Northern Virginia. 7800 Cellar Door Drive, Bristow

stand up comedy

Winner
Arlington Cinema and Writing
There are film screenings here (The Blues Brothers plays this month as part of Bluesfest Weekend), but comedy shows are the theater’s daily bread. Interpreters include everyone from Saturday Night Live cast members to local acts. Just prepare to eat, drink and be merry. 2903 Columbia Park, Arlington

Finalist
Capital One Hall
Names like Whitney Cummings, David Spade and Rob Schneider are no strangers to the scene at this brand new venue. With less than a year in operation, the Tysons Theater is set to establish itself as a premier comedy house in our region. 7750 Capital One Tower Road, Tysons

Theater House

Winner
Signature Theater
Show off your Sondheim geek pride with gifts from the gift shop, then venture into the black box theater, set up especially for the production you’re about to see. This summer it will be The purple colora moving Tony Award-winning musical based on the acclaimed novel and film, starring Broadway performer Felicia Curry. 4200 Campbell Ave, Arlington

Finalist
Capital One Hall
It’s exciting to be seated in this sleek new theater, inspired by Broadway theaters of the 1920s and 1930s, updated for today. Then the music fills the steeply angled hall, where 1,600 people listen to both classic musicals and new compositions, all in modern comfort. 7750 Capital One Tower Road, Tysons

This story originally appeared in our June issue. For more stories like this, subscribe to our monthly magazine.

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