From one tourist to another, I’ve got a few suggestions for one of Chris Young’s big and exciting tour stops in the land Down Under.
Pack a solid pair of headphones, a menagerie of long movies and one of those cushy neck pillows. It’s gonna be a long but worthwhile flight to Australia, buddy.
But Young is already aware of this fact. His newly-announced A.M. World Tour, which will include stops in Sydney and Ipswich for the CMC Rocks the Hunter Festival next year, won’t be his first visit there, but it will mark his first visit to the fantastic city of Melbourne.
And as a fairly recent visitor to Melbourne, I’m giddy to share a few tourist tips with him.
Earlier this year, I took a lust-for-life “self-discovery” holiday to Victoria’s capital city, and it’s a million wonders I managed to find my way back to the States, honestly.
From the thriving and eclectic music scene to the insanely divine international cuisine to the incredibly warm and open people, it was truly the trip of a lifetime.
And yes, Chris, I know this is a work trip for you, and you will be focused on bringing your Aussie fans the best show you can deliver. But if you can, try not to miss out on the opportunity to experience the following:
City Arcades: In the heart of downtown Melbourne are outdoor shops, restaurants and street vendors housed on stone streets and in narrow alleyways that are absolutely charming. Grab lunch on a second floor cafe patio, and watch the street musicians and pedestrians bustling below you. And pick up some whiskey-infused chocolate from Koko Black while you are there. A taste of home!
Coffee: Aussies take their coffee very seriously … and for good reason. It may be the best coffee in the world. And everyone is a connoisseur. Whether you’re an investment banker or a Bohemian musician, you’ve got a full-blown espresso machine in your Melbourne home and know how to use it. If you’re a bean enthusiast, Chris, and are out and about, stop a local and ask them where they go and how they take their cup of Joe. And if you aren’t into coffee, there’s always the beer.
Cuisine: Two words — meat pie. An Aussie staple and a must-try. And they’re everywhere, so pop in to any shop and order one upon arrival. Authentic Thai, Vietnamese, Greek … you can eat your way through this city without blinking.
Local Music: The Melbourne music scene is so diverse and thriving. And they love country music, too. Each record store I visited boasted a well-rounded sampling of our finest artists. From Steve Earle and Emmylou Harris to Dolly Parton and Blake Shelton, everyone was represented.
The Locals: It’s true. Aussies are the greatest people on the planet. A prime example is Keith Urban. Heck, they’re so lovable, my best friend here in Nashville married one. (Smart girl!) You will not find a more openhearted, warm, laid-back and inviting culture. Do yourself a favor and make a new friend while you’re there. They’ll be a friend for life.
As he globe-trots, Young will also hit London and Dublin for the second time while also hitting a two-night run in Switzerland and making inaugural stops in Germany for dates in Munich, Cologne and Berlin.