Record stores are musical havens that support local artists, generate record sales and keep physical music relevant in today’s world of streaming. Even as digital media dominates, record stores create a special sense of community that is undeniable.
The Southeast is home to some of the best record stores in the country. Continue reading to learn about our favorite record stores located in the Southeast and what makes each one unique.
Location: Atlanta, GA
Specialty: New releases and rarities from multiple genres
Established in 1991, Criminal Records is one of Atlanta’s favorite independent record stores. Located in the Little Five Points neighborhood, which is known for its hip culture and offbeat vintage clothing shops, Criminal Records is a popular spot for collectors, musicians and comic book fans alike.
There’s a reason Atlanta locals keep coming back to Criminal Records—with its stock of records, CDs, tapes, DVDs, comics, toys and apparel, it’s arguably the most well-rounded record shop in Georgia. Whether you’re looking for a rare gem or the hottest new release, Criminal Records has the goods. Like a lot of shops on this list, Criminal Records keeps its calendar packed with plenty of events, including meet and greets, concerts, listening parties and more. Before you leave, snap a picture in their photo booth with your fresh stack of LPs!
Location: New Orleans, LA
Specialty: Jazz records and magazines
Some people visit New Orleans for the world-famous cuisine, but music lovers visit the city to experience the birthplace of jazz. New Orleans is a mecca of musical heritage, and Euclid Records carries the torch. The New Orleans location opened in 2010, housed in a pink corner street building dripping with NOLA’s architectural charm. The two stories of records contain a treasure trove of good finds, including an incredible selection of New Orleans jazz records. For jazz enthusiasts, making the pilgrimage to the 2nd floor of Euclid Records is a right of passage—some treat it like a must-see NOLA travel destination.
The Euclid Records staff is approachable and will give you the latest scoop on live music around town. They’ll even listen to your band’s demo tape and talk at length about any part of music culture that fascinates you.
Location: Atlanta, GA
Specialty: Original rock n’ roll memorabilia
Fantasyland Records has a fitting name, and the 50,000 records in stock are just the tip of the iceberg. For example, you might come across a Robert Plant record, then watch him walk through the door moments later. A cast of other notable artists stop in from time to time, including Eric Clapton, Elvis Costello, Chris Robinson and Peter Buck.
Fantasyland opened in 1976 and is still considered one of the best record stores in Atlanta. Expect to find a huge selection of golden oldies, classic rock, jazz reissues, blues, soul and beyond. Check out the Strange & Bizarre section if you’re looking for a vinyl gift that’s out of this world. Fantasyland Records takes it a step further by offering original rock n’ roll memorabilia from the biggest concerts of the ‘60s and ‘70s.
If the Strange & Bizarre section isn’t enough, stop by the hobby section to check out a rare selection of collectible baseball and basketball cards.
Graveface Records & Curiosities
Location: Savannah, GA
Specialty: Pop culture toys, vintage arcade machines and taxidermy
We bet you’ve never been to a record store that also specializes in taxidermy. Graveface Records & Curiosities wears its name well. The record shop is owned by Ryan Graveface, record label owner and multi-instrumentalist of various bands, including the experimental electronic group Black Moth Super Rainbow. The shop is a quirky, paranormal reflection of Ryan’s interest in horror films and all things outlandish.
The storefront is unusual, but that’s what makes it lovable. Aside from a stockpile of roughly 25,000 records, the shop also sells cocktail bitters, vintage arcade machines and pop culture toys. You’ll usually hear one of the artists signed to Graveface Records’ independent label spinning on the record player behind the counter.
Along the Savannah River, you’ll find the spin-off Graveface museum in all of its horrific glory. The museum is a display of true crime, cults, roadside America, UFOs and sideshow artifacts. Play the horror-themed pinball if you’re brave enough!
Grimey’s Records & Preloved Music
Location: Nashville, TN
Specialty: Vintage pressings, CDs, cassettes and books
“Stay independent” is painted big and bold under a mural of the late John Prine, one of Nashville’s most influential country songwriters. It speaks to the pride Nashville locals have for the artists who paved their way down Music Row and joined the legendary Grand Ole Opry. Grimey’s Records helps make music in Nashville something sacred and communal.
Grimey’s Records opened in 2000 in Nashville’s Berry Hill area before relocating to East Nashville. The first floor of Grimey’s is full of new releases, CDs, cassettes, 45s, magazines and everything in between. Browse the “Staff Picks'' section or head downstairs to find the biggest collection of electronica records in the city. Grimey’s also sells a nice selection of books on the lower level, including highlighted work from local authors. No matter what you’re on the hunt for, Grimey’s has it.
Grimey’s is important to artists too. During the initial COVID-19 outbreak, Taylor Swift donated money to each member of the Grimey’s staff. You won’t find a nicer group of people to help you find records, place orders or answer questions.
Lost and Found Records
Location: Knoxville, TN
Specialty: Out-of-print records of all genres
You’ll find Lost and Found Records tucked away in a small blue house in North Knoxville. In many ways, a trip to Lost and Found feels like going to grandma’s house. Just up the stepping stones and across the wooden front porch you'll even find hot chocolate waiting for you. If there was an award for record stores with southern charm, it’d go to Lost and Found.
Have you ever been to one of those carnival funhouses? You get a similar feeling when visiting Lost and Found Records. Visitors are often surprised at the volume of records packed in such a small space, which also includes out-of-print LPs to add to your collection. They also stock new and used hi-fi audio equipment for those who want to upgrade their system or purchase replacements.
The knowledgeable staff deserves a spotlight of their own. Every visit leads to good conversation and helpful advice from a team of passionate people who love what they do. If you decide to spend Record Store Day with the Lost and Found staff, you’ll feel right at home.
Louisiana Music Factory
Location: 421 Frenchmen St, New Orleans, LA 70116
Specialty: Religious music and local artists
Louisiana Music Factory is an award-winning record store located in the heart of New Orleans. The record store has been a popular spot for local music lovers and veteran collectors since 1992. We highly recommend seeing some of the city’s most iconic sights after your crate-digging experience. Louisiana Music Factory is less than a block away from the New Orleans Jazz Museum, and if you keep walking you’ll approach Cafe DuMonde and Jackson Square.
Louisiana Music Factory is more than just a record store. Over the years, it’s grown into a hangout for enjoying music that originates from the Crescent City. Local musicians are encouraged to sell their music, throw record release parties and perform on the store’s stage.
With such a close proximity to St. Louis Cathedral, Louisiana Music Factory is also a popular stop for tour groups exploring New Orleans. The record store is essential for people who want a slice of the NOLA music scene.
All Day Records
Location: Carrboro, NC
Specialty: House and techno music
All Day Records was crowned the best record store in North Carolina by online record club Vinyl Me, Please. Founders Ethan Clauset and Charlie Hearon originally opened their doors because they wanted to tailor a record store to themselves, but it grew into a friendly musical haven for everyone. Aside from being the biggest distributor of house and dance music in the United States, All Day Records is a social beacon for people looking for an inclusive shopping experience.
Everything is for sale at All Day Records, including the record spinning behind the shop counter. Most record stores have a pricey shop-owner collection reserved for collectors with deep pockets. The All Day Records staff sells everything at a fair price without any limitations.
For a real dance party, head over to the store’s sister location, Nightlight. The venue showcases punk shows, film screenings and fundraising events. The owners work hard to support the community and a variety of social causes.
Location: Miami, FL
Specialty: Wide selection of reissued vinyl and unique gifts.
Ask anyone in Miami where the music lovers hang out—the answer is Sweat Records, the pillar of Miami’s music scene. In 2005, Sweat Records opened its doors to record collectors in Little Haiti and surrounding regions of Miami. Since then, the world-renowned shop has evolved into a cultural icon that receives a lot of positive attention from the press.
You’ll find a bit of everything at Sweat Records, including top records from local artists. Be sure to grab a drink from the shop’s vegan coffee joint to top off your crate-digging journey through Miami’s favorite record store.
Don’t miss out on “Classic Album Sundays''. Listen to the best albums and discuss the significance behind music that has shaped culture. It’s a great way to get involved and meet other record collectors.
Third Man Records
Location: Nashville, TN
Specialty: Country, folk, and blues
Third Man Records isn’t your average record shop. Jack White’s analog wonderland is the base of operations for his record label and distribution center. It also houses the world’s only recording facility with direct-to-acetate recording capabilities. Many of the records sold by Third Man are recorded live and pressed to vinyl under the same roof. Some of the artists who’ve recorded at Third Man Records’ in-house studio include Seasick Steve, The Dead Weather, The Black Belles, The Raconteurs and Jack White himself.
This unique little shop aims to keep the novelty of collectible music alive. In addition to the music produced by Third Man Records, the shop sells Blues reissues and a very narrow assortment of music. Folk music fans will love everything Third Man has to offer. They also have a great selection of 45s, many of which are Sun Records reissues.
Third Man Records sells their own line of effect pedals, and musicians can demo anything in the store. If you’re feeling ambitious, step into the shop’s recording booth, pick up the guitar and record your music straight to a vinyl 45!
Build Your Record Collection
The Southeast has deep musical roots that span across multiple genres, and many of the record stores in the area have become impactful within their communities. From Savannah, GA to Nashville, TN you’re bound to find something worthwhile to add to your record collection.
Ready to start shopping? Now is the perfect time to pull those records out of storage or start a new collection from scratch! Whether you’re new to vinyl or in need of a replacement record player, check out our Stir It Up turntables to enjoy your collection in style.