Our insider's guide to planning the perfect country music vacation.
So much music, so little time. And there are enough star-packed festivals and can't-miss events to keep country fans hopping all summer long. Our summer travel guide will make sure you know about the biggest shows and hottest spots before loading up the family vehicle.
CMA Music Festival/Fan Fair
It's called "Country Music's Biggest Party" for good reason-200 country stars, 70 hours of live music and more than 130,000 fans, all congregating in downtown Nashville! Already lined up for this year's festival are Gretchen Wilson, Keith Urban, Montgomery Gentry, Rascal Flatts and many more. Fans can visit star booths for autographs, attend fan-club parties and enjoy the Music City club scene. "There's no place to have a better time than at the CMA Music Festival," says LeAnn Rimes. Four-day ticket packages are available by calling (800) CMA-FEST (262-3378) or visiting cmafest.com.
Keith Urban rocks this Midwest fest, and he'll be joined by Dierks Bentley, Big & Rich, SHeDAISY, Chely Wright and a host of others. For tickets, call (800) 795-8091 or go online at countrystampede.com.
Jamboree in the Hills
Fans call it the "Super Bowl of Country Music Festivals," and it would be hard to argue otherwise. It's been going on since 1977-and this year's jamboree is chock-full of stars, including Trace Adkins, Terri Clark, Travis Tritt, Trick Pony and more. You're encouraged to bring lawn chairs and stay all night. Call (800)624-5456 or click your way over to jamboreeinthehills.com.
Country Thunder USA
Twin Lakes, Wis. Tim McGraw will be storming this festival, leading a lineup that features Keith Urban, Hank Williams Jr., Southern rockers Lynyrd Skynyrd and more. Call (262) 279-6960 or head to countrythunder.com.
Merritt Mountain Music Festival (MountainFest)
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
MountainFest makes Vancouver the country capital of Canada for six days, with hot summer festivities and great entertainment. Tim McGraw rocks this year's 'Fest with additional performances by Neal McCoy and homegrown Canadians George Canyon and Paul Brandt. An estimated 128,000 fans will flock to western Canada for this one. Call (604) 525-3330 or visit www.mountainfest.com.