Country Music Highway
Home to spectacular mountain scenery and stars like Loretta Lynn and Chris Stapleton, this classic Kentucky road trip will sing through your memories long after your journey has ended.
For country music fans, the hills and hollers surrounding U.S. 23 are hallowed ground. Music and storytelling traditions run deep in this part of Kentucky, which has produced more hit country artists than any other region per capita, including Loretta Lynn, Crystal Gayle, The Judds, Chris Stapleton, Billy Ray Cyrus, Tom T. Hall, Ricky Skaggs, Keith Whitley, Dwight Yoakam and Patty Loveless.
This scenic roadway rambles through seven counties in far Eastern Kentucky, hugging the border of West Virginia and passing by some of Kentucky’s most beautiful state parks. Stop at museums that celebrate everything from music to coal mining, see a show at an iconic music venue or two, and take in the views from a site dubbed the “eighth wonder of the world.” Who knows? You just might be inspired to write your own hit tune.
MUST-STOPS ON THE COUNTRY MUSIC HIGHWAY (U.S. 23)@Model.HeadlineTag>
Ashland to Louisa@Model.HeadlineTag>
Swap the fiddles and steel guitars for the sounds of nature at Yatesville Lake State Park. Located six miles west of Louisa, the 2,242-acre lake offers excellent fishing for bass, bluegill and crappie, along with a golf course, marina and hiking trails.
Louisa to Van Lear@Model.HeadlineTag>
Loretta Lynn and Crystal Gayle aren’t the only famous musicians from the Van Lear area. Chris Stapleton grew up in Staffordsville, Hylo Brown was born and raised in River, near Paintsville, and Ricky Skaggs came up in nearby Cordell. Learn about all the musicians who hail from Eastern Kentucky at the U.S. 23 Country Music Highway Museum.
Van Lear to Prestonsburg@Model.HeadlineTag>
Prestonsburg is also home to the Kentucky Opry at the Mountain Arts Center. The Kentucky Opry troupe, formed in 1990 and consisting of Eastern Kentucky locals, presents a family-friendly evening of country, bluegrass, oldies and gospel favorites, with a little comedy thrown in for good measure. In addition to the Opry, the Mountain Arts Center features a jam-packed calendar of music and theater performances throughout the year.
Prestonsburg to Pikeville@Model.HeadlineTag>
Just a few miles away in downtown Pikeville, end your road trip by embarking on another one: the Hatfield-McCoy Feud Driving Tour. This self-guided drive begins in Pike County, home of the Kentucky McCoys, and stretches across the border into Mingo County, West Virginia, the territory of the rival Hatfields. Along the way, you’ll visit many points of interest and historic sites that shed light on the origins of the infamous feud.