Close your eyes and think of Liverpool.  Even if you don’t know that much about the Beatles, Liverpool is, for many folks, synonymous with great music of the Beatles and beyond.   

This year is especially a good time to visit Liverpool. When I visited earlier this year I got the lowdown on the Beatles 50th anniversary next year; which is when the band came to America.

On Feb. 7, 1964  the single “I Want to Hold Your Hand” was released and it was a big deal around the world, litterally. 

So, for the Beatles anniversary what better way to show your love for the band than to visit Liverpool and walk in the steps of the Fab Four?

On the trip I made, it was already about “Beatle mania for next year’s festivities,” and I had the chance to visit one really cool location that many people credit as the band’s first step to success. The amazingly still original Casbah Coffee Club was a fan’s special treat.

The club is where the Beatles actually got their start when they were called the Quarrymen with Pete Best (his half brother gives the tours too).

The Casbah Coffee Club is still a virtual hole in the wall and the ceiling has been valued in the millions of dollars because of the designs drawn on it by the likes of John, Paul, Ringo and George. 

There is graffiti on the walls at the coffee club too that can be credited to the Beatles as well.

The Magical Mystery Tour is a must for music lovers. You get to see Penny Lane, Eleanor Rigby’s Grave, where the Beatles grew up and the tour ends at the Cavern Club where the Beatles played.  

There is a band that plays there now called the Cavern Club Beatles and they look and sound like the real thing.  

I insisted on going back and meeting them first hand. They were cool and they are coming to America next year to retrace the steps the Beatles took in 1964.

At Liverpool’s Albert Dock t you can take a journey through the lives of John, Paul, Ringo and and George. At the end is a set up of John Lennon’s piano in a white room that resembles his room in New York City.

Even more cool, I stayed at Hard Days Night Hotel in Liverpool and loved it.  It’s all about the Beatles, but subtle so it’s not in your face. In fact, it is the only Beatles inspired hotel in the world with unique artwork and in the heart of Liverpool, the perfect location just around the corner from the cool Cavern Club.   

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Rita Cook is a free lance travel writer whose column frequently appears in the Daily Light.