Some of the places in North County you can buy Western boots or kick up your heels:
Bit-N-Bridle, in Poway, 13654 Poway Road. 748-5877. If you're after a "Jackson the Jackass" calendar, a pair of Texas-made lizard skin boots ($575), Wrangler jeans, Western shirts or silver accessories by Montana Silversmiths, this is the place.
Boot World, in Escondido, 1348 W. Valley Parkway, 747-4911; and in Carlsbad, 2525 El Camino Real, Plaza Camino Real, 729-9923. Since opening its first San Diego County store in 1976, Boot World has grown into a six-store chain. Boots range from simple and affordable to exotic--ostrich, shark, lizard, elk, snake. You'll also find bolo ties, belts and an assortment of custom silver, gold, copper and chrome boot tips.
Howard and Phil's, in Carlsbad, 2525 El Camino Real, Plaza Camino Real, 434-1055; and in Escondido, 200 E. Via Rancho Parkway, North County Fair, 747-8886. For one-stop Western shopping, this place is hard to beat for belt buckles, boots (more than 1,200 pairs on display), jeans, leather jackets and hats.
R Hay & Grain, 535 Opper St., Escondido; 489-9775. Wrangler jeans and shirts in bright colors at bargain prices. The "R Hay & Grain" T-shirt, featuring a lineup of barnyard animals, is a must.
Beaver Creek Restaurant & Lounge, 1529 E. Valley Parkway, Escondido (in The Vineyard shopping center); 746-7408. Last Straw, the house band, plays country music Wednesday through Sunday nights. Free country dance lessons Tuesday through Thursday nights, 7 to 8:30.
Leo's Little Bit O'Country, 680 W. San Marcos Blvd., San Marcos; 744-4120. At least once a month, Leo's hosts nationally known country singers such as Sweethearts of the Rodeo, Gene Watson and Carlene Carter. Leo's has live music every night except Monday, and free dance lessons Tuesday through Saturday night from 7 to 8:30 and Sunday afternoons from 3:30 to 5:30.
Oakvale Lodge, 14900 Oakvale Road, Escondido; 749-3193. Live country music Friday and Saturday nights from 8 to 1 and Sunday nights from 4 to 11. Take a free dance lesson Friday night from 6:30 to 8 or Sunday afternoon from 2 to 4. Good down-home food, too.
Pomerado Club, 12237 Pomerado Road, Poway; 485-6511. Old Stone Lodge is setting for dancing to live local and national country acts Tuesday through Saturday nights, with free dance lessons offered Tuesday through Thursday nights at 6:30 and Saturday nights at 7. The lodge's new restaurant will have its grand opening Sept. 3.
The Red Eye Saloon, 1448 S. Mission Road, Fallbrook; 728-9956. Live country music Friday and Saturday nights.
Smitty's, 119 E. Broadway, Vista; 724-0510. Live country music with Hal Eddy and the Smokehouse Band Friday and Saturday nights from 9 to 1, Sunday nights from 7 to 11.