FALL TRAVEL GUIDE
ALABAMA FAN CLUB & MUSEUM
Fort Payne, Ala.
Even as they became country's most famous and successful group, Alabama always remained tightly tied to their hometown of Fort Payne. Maybe that's why this small town at the northeastern tip of the state is home to the Alabama Fan Club & Museum, where you'll find mementos from throughout the band's long history, the head- quarters for their direct connection to their fans and even the warehouse that holds Alabama's production company.
(256) 845-1646 thealabamaband.com/fanclub.html
Day Trips From Fort Payne
About 50 miles from Fort Payne, The Tennessee Aquarium in Chattanooga features over 9,000 animals in a spectacular natural environment.
(800) 262-0695 tnaqua.org
Just 68 miles from Fort Payne, The U.S. Space And Rocket Center in Huntsville offers a tremendous collection of rockets and space memorabilia, as well
as hands-on learning experiences for the whole family.
(256) 837-3400 ussrc.com
MEL TILLIS THEATER
This year is your last chance to enjoy shows at Mel's theater - because he recently sold the building, which will be converted into an Assembly of God church. He'll be saying goodbye with shows all the way through New Year's, many including daughter Pam. From Nov. 1 through Dec. 14, fans can enjoy Mel's final annual Christmas shows.
(417) 335-M-MEL meltillis.com
More In Branson
With over 30 theaters featuring over 60 shows, it's no wonder Branson is known as "The Live Music Show Capital Of The World." It also features three theme parks, 12 golf courses and dozens of other attractions.
(800) 214-3661 explorebranson.com
Silver Dollar City has been Branson's top attraction for 40 years, entertaining over 40 million visitors. Enjoy the festivals, shows, rides and craft shops, all family-friendly and steeped in the culture of the Ozarks.
(800) 475-9370 silverdollarcity.com
BUCK'S CRYSTAL PALACE
Every Friday and Saturday night, Buck Owens and his band, The Buckaroos, hit the stage at the Crystal Palace. The club also features live music from lots of Buck's country friends, and great food to boot.
(661) 328-7560 buckowens.com
Day Trips From Bakersfield
About 30 miles from Bakersfield in Caliente, the Cowboy Memorial teaches the lifestyle of cowboys through memorabilia and exhibits, all surrounded by hundreds of acres of beautiful western land.
(661) 867-2410 tehachapi.com/cowboy
Try the thrilling "X"- the world's only "four-dimensional roller coaster" - or have fun with Bugs Bunny and his pals at the Looney Tunes Lodge during a trip to Six Flags Magic Mountain, 70 miles from Bakersfield in Valencia.
(661) 255-4100 sixflags.com/parks/magicmountain
BILLY BOB'S TEXAS
Fort Worth, Texas
No trip to Fort Worth is complete for country music fans without a visit to Billy Bob's, known for 20 years as the world's largest honky-tonk. The 127,000-square-foot entertainment venue is located in the historic Stockyards district of Fort Worth and was made world-famous as the central location of the movie Urban Cowboy. Billy Bob's not only features some of the top country entertainers, it also hosts live rodeo bull riding each Friday and Saturday night. A family-friendly place, Billy Bob's also has a variety of video and arcade games, pool tables and other attractions.
(817) 624-7117 billybobstexas.com
More In The Fort Worth area
See daily cattle drives at the Fort Worth Stockyards.
(817) 626-7921 fortworthstockyards.org
Day Trips From Fort Worth
For more great country music, and great grilled steaks, ribs and chicken, visit the Trail Dust Steak House in nearby Arlington. (972) 790-4091 traildust.com
The Deep Ellum and West End Historic Districts in Dallas, 32 miles from Fort Worth, also offer a variety of great dining and entertainment options.
DIXIE DANCE HALL
Hometown boy Tracy Byrd brought a great new addition to Beaumont in May when he opened his Dixie Dance Hall in the city's renovated Crockett Street Entertainment District. The dance hall is a 12,000-square-foot honky-tonk that features the best in country music, from local talent to occasional appearances by Tracy and some of his famous pickin' buddies - maybe even his Beaumont friend Mark Chesnutt. The club Tracy calls the "Best Little Dance Hall in Texas" is open Tuesday through Saturday from 7 p.m. to 2 a.m.
More In Beaumont
The legendary blues club Antone's recently opened a new location near the Dixie Dance Hall on Crockett Street. (409) 833-9113
Day Trip From Beaumont
Take a drive to the birthplace of country legend George Jones in Saratoga, about an hour from Beaumont.
Don't miss a dozen other hot spots you've got to check out in this year's Fall Travel Special in the current (10/15/02) 'Newsstand Issue' on sale now!