Discover a region where inspiring natural beauty, varied outdoor recreation, rich country music heritage and fascinating folk culture beckons visitors to leave the hustle and bustle behind.
In Eastern Kentucky, the state’s famed bluegrass gently folds into the ruggedly scenic Appalachian Mountains. All around, natural beauty soars across narrow ridge tops, deep canyons, rim rock cliffs, and spectacular spring and fall foliage. Natural areas like Carter Caves State Resort Park, Jenny Wiley State Resort Park and Cave Run Lake lure visitors to enjoy world-class hiking, caving, fishing, paddling, golfing, boating, and traditional Appalachian cooking.
More Things to Do in the Kentucky Appalachians Region
Travel scenic byways like the Country Music Highway (U.S. 23), honoring the dozens of musical legends born and raised in the region. Stop at Butcher Holler, birthplace of Loretta Lynn, and uncover stories of the area’s rich mining heritage at the Coal Miners’ Museum. Take in a toe-tapping performance at Mountain HomePlace in Paintsville, Paramount Art Center in Ashland and the U.S. 23 Country Music Highway Museum, which hosts live bluegrass every Thursday night. And cultural hubs such as the Kentucky Folk Art Center put the work of imaginative and talented artists and artisans on proud display.
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Mountain cooking may not be fancy, but it’s known to nourish the soul. Dishes like soup beans, salmon patties and blackberry jam cake have gained newfound appreciation in recent years, and family-run restaurants offer a spirited taste of the region.