3. Gorge Amphitheatre, George, Washington
Sitting on the lawn at the Gorge, with the Columbia River and the rolling hills east of the Okanogan-Wanatchee National Forest behind the stage, just isn't the same experience as spreading out a blanket at any other outdoor venue. Opened in 1985 by a Seattle couple who had planned to use the land to grow grapes for wine, the Gorge became a sort of Red Rocks of the Northwest, where the scenery "adds drama to the performances," as Sleater-Kinney's Corin Tucker describes it. Fans and artists alike rave about the incredible views: Pearl Jam's Mike McCready calls the Gorge his "all-time favorite venue," adding: "The stage overlooking the cliff of the Columbia River as the sun goes down – it's very spiritual."'
Fun Fact: Pearl Jam's Live at the Gorge 05/06 is a massive seven-disc box set, including covers of the Who's "Baba O'Riley" and Tom Petty's "I Won't Back Down."