This sleepy Alabama town is at the heart and soul of American music. Home to some of the greatest records in history – think Percy Sledge’s ‘When A Man Loves a Woman’ and 'Brown Sugar' by The Rolling Stones – it's an important stop on any Deep South music tour. The FAME Studio and rival Muscle Shoals Sound Studio are the biggest tourist attractions here, although not far from the city you can find pretty countryside, the hiking trails and waterfalls of Dismals Canyon and of course, the Tennessee River.
The classic Muscle Shoals style was a mix of gospel, soul, country and rock 'n' roll, established by iconic session band, 'The Swampers'. Big name artists – everyone from Aretha Franklin and Etta James to Tom Jones – have flocked to Muscle Shoals since the 1960s to capture this sound, and although both FAME and Muscles Shoals Sound continue to operate as recording studios today, they are also open to the public for tours. If you want a peek behind the curtain of America's music industry, this is a great place to start.