George Strait recently announced that his upcoming tour will be his last, but his fans will have plenty of chances to say goodbye in person as he visits 40 cities over the next two years. The country superstar didn't just route his farewell tour to the biggest ticket-selling markets; he says he chose each city very carefully because of some personal connection.

"These are cities that we have gone to a lot over the years," Strait tells GAC. "We just tried to pick the ones that were somewhat special to us and to just go and be able to say thanks. We start out in Lubbock. We’re going to go up there and play for a bunch of Red Raiders, that’s always fun. We always enjoy playing Lubbock. We’re going to end this next year in my hometown of San Antonio at the Alamo Dome. so that’ll be a great night also."

Strait's band members have been with him for most of his career, and the singer admits it was hard to break the news to them -- but it wasn't completely out of the blue. "I think they had it in the back of their minds," the legend explains. "It’s not like it’s going to happen tomorrow. Two years is a long time. We’ve got 40 dates to do in the next two years and they’re going to be so much fun. The band and I will have a lot of time to visit in that time about what we’re going to do after that."

Strait's the Cowboy Rides Away Tour kicks off January 18, 2013 and will visit 21 cities on its in its first year leg before wrapping up on June 1. Martina McBride will open 20 of those dates. Strait is planning 20 additional dates in 2014 before drawing the curtain on his touring career, though he plans to still perform occasional special events with his band.

Tickets for the 2013 portion of the Cowboy Rides Away Tour go on sale Oct. 12.

George Strait 2013 Tour Dates:

1/18 – Lubbock, Texas
1/19 – Oklahoma City, Okla.
1/25 – Salt Lake City, Utah
1/26 – Nampa, Idaho
1/31 – Sacramento, Calif.
2/1 – Fresno, Calif.
2/2 – Las Vegas, Nev.
2/15 – St. Paul, Minn.
2/16 – Grand Forks, N.D.
2/22 – Buffalo, N.Y.
2/23 – Hartford, Conn.
3/1 – Knoxville, Tenn.
3/2 – Lexington, Ky.
3/17 – Houston, Texas
3/22 – Greenville, S.C.
3/23 – Greensboro, N.C.
4/5 – Albuquerque, N.M.
4/6 – Las Cruces, N.M.
4/12 – Little Rock, Ark.
4/13 – New Orleans, La.
6/1 – San Antonio, Texas