16. Shoreline Amphitheatre
City: Mountain View, CA
Address: 1 Amphitheatre Pkwy.
Coolest Feature: The design was inspired by the Grateful Dead's Steal Your Face image
When its construction was finally finished in 1986, the massive Shoreline Amphitheatre became one of the country's go-to destinations for large scale festivals. Shoreline holds 22,500: There's space for 16,000 people on the lawn and 6,500 reserved seats. It was built according to the image on the Grateful Dead's Steal Your Face album, and the Dead blessed the giant amphitheatre with their first performance in October 1987. In 2002, footage from that show and a June 1990 show were compiled and released as View from the Vault, Volume Three. Dave Matthews Band's Live Trax Vol. 17 also consists of footage from a July 1997 show that took place at Shoreline. In its 26 years of operation, it's hosted a remarkable 4th of July show, Ozzfest, the Warped Tour, Lollapalooza and the Lillith Fair.
In addition to playing homebase for festivals and shows from the most popular performers in the world, it's also served as the perfect location for symphonies and orchestras over the years. The Shoreline's sound is nothing to scoff at— its sound system is remarkably crisp, even in open space. Smoking is allowed, which means guests can proudly puff loud while enjoying shows, but good luck trying to sneak alcohol in.