Twang You Very Much: 10 Great Country Music Venues

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    Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, TN

    When it comes to country music, it doesn't get much more historic that Ryman Auditorium, the former home of the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, Tennessee. The iconic venue originally opened as the Union Gospel Tabernacle in 1892, before hosting the Grand Ole Opry from 1943 to 1974. To honor this hallowed place, a circle of the stage was cut out and inlaid at the Grand Ole Opry's new home.

    Photo courtesy of Photo courtesy of Ryman Auditorium

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    Grand Ole Opry House in Nashville, TN

    Each week since 1925, legends and rising stars of country music have taken the stage of the Grand Ole Opry, one of the longest running broadcasts in history. When the show debuted at its new home -- the Grand Ole Opry House -- in 1974, President Richard Nixon showed up and played a couple of songs for the audience.

    Photo courtesy of Grand Ole Opry

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    Ginny's Little Longhorn Saloon in Austin, TX

    One state which contributes heavily to the country music talent pool is Texas, and in the capital city, you'll find Ginny's Little Longhorn Saloon. This intimate honky tonk dive bar, housed within an old church on Austin's Burnett Road, attracts locals and tourists to hear live tunes from local and international country talent.

    Photo courtesy of Gary J. Wood

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    Rodeo Houston in Houston, TX

    If you want to see the biggest, hottest names in country music - like Toby Keith, Alan Jackson and Tim McGraw - Rodeo Houston's one of the best places to catch them live on stage.  Each Spring, the world's largest live entertainment and livestock exhibition descends upon Houston for nearly three weeks of nightly concerts.

    Photo courtesy of Beau B

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    Bluebird Cafe in Nashville, TN

    Where the Grand Ole Opry showcases stars who've "made it" in the industry, Nashville's Bluebird Cafe is the place to go to see the best songwriters in the biz.  This 100-seat listening room has seen some of the genre's most significant songwriters (and performers) take the stage.  Thanks to the popularity of the Nashville TV series, it's now nearly impossible to get a reservation there.  

    Photo courtesy of Denise Mattox

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    Cain's Ballroom in Tulsa, OK

    Cain's Ballroom, built in 1924, started out as the Cain's Dance Academy, where a dime would buy you a lesson. While this historic Tulsa venue has hosted a huge range of acts, including a historical performance by the Sex Pistols, country music holds a special place here; after all, it is Oklahoma!

    Photo courtesy of Kevin Pyle - Cain's Ballroom

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    Billy Bob's in Fort Worth, TX

    It doesn't get much more country than Billy Bob's in Fort Worth. When the venue isn't hosting country's biggest stars, you'll find live pro bull riding and a massive dance floor, where there's almost always someone two-stepping or line dancing to Texas country tunes.  Get your cowboy on.  

    Photo courtesy of Billy Bob's Texas

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    Dollywood in Pigeon Forge, TN

    Located in the Great Smoky Mountains of Pigeon Forge, Dollywood amusement park frequently hosts country music acts and special performances throughout the year, including special appearances by Dolly Parton herself. Pair the good music with a variety of rides and attractions, and Dollywood might just be the perfect way to introduce your kids to country music culture.

    Photo courtesy of Dollywood

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    Big Valley Jamboree in Alberta, Canada

    Some of the biggest acts in country music have come from Canada, such as Shania Twain, Emerson Drive and Terri Clark, so it should come as no surprise that Canada hosts some of the world's best and biggest country music festivals. The Big Valley Jamboree in Alberta is one of the largest music festivals in North America with a daily attendance of around 25,000 people.

    Photo courtesy of Taylor and Kevin

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    Blind Horse Saloon in Greenville, SC

    If you're looking for live country music in Greenville, South Carolina, stop in at the Blind Horse Saloon. Since opening their doors in 1995, the venue has hosted acts the likes of Brooks & Dunn, Travis Tritt and, most recently, Sheryl Crow and Blake Shelton, who both made surprise visits. When the saloon isn't hosted visiting performers, its own live band, One Eyed Jack, provides the entertainment.

    Photo courtesy of Fort Meade


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