Music is everywhere along Kentucky's Country Music Highway, but there are definitely other must-see attractions. Here are a few of the sites you will want to visit.
Ashland: Begin at Ashland, birthplace of country music legends the Judds and Billy Ray Cyrus. Visit the Paramount Arts Center, housed in the historic Paramount Theater in downtown Ashland. The Ashland Paramount Theater was built in 1930 using the design of a model theater created by Paramount Pictures for construction at the Chicago World's Fair of 1932.
Highlands Museum and Discovery Center: Also in Ashland is the Highlands Museum and Discovery Center. The Country Music Heritage exhibit and other displays give a wonderful overview of the Country Music Highway.
Prestonsburg: The best way to get oriented in Prestonsburg is to first stop by the tourism office for maps and information about not only the town of Prestonsburg but also the surrounding area and attractions, including Loretta Lynn's childhood home in Butcher Hollow between Prestonsburg and Paintsville, the Kentucky Appalachian Artisan Center, and the Samuel May House.
Middle Creek National Battlefield: This area was impacted by the Civil War, and Middle Creek National Battlefield outside Prestonsburg tells the story. At the Battle of Middle Creek, an obscure Ohio professor and newly minted colonel in the Union army attacked and defeated the Confederate forces. James Garfield's victory on the battlefield led to a military career that eventually propelled him to the presidency.
Pikesville: Pikesville was the boyhood home of singer Dwight Yoa kam. Stop at the tourism office for more information, especially for a map of the Hatfield–McCoy Driving Tour.
Pikesville Cut-Through: Pikesville Cut-Through is an engineering feat second only to the Panama Canal as the most extensive land-moving project in the Western Hemisphere. The cut is more than 1,300 feet long and 523 feet deep and required the moving of a mountain, major highway, railroad, and river.
Breaks Interstate Park: Comprising 4,500 acres of lush mountain scenery and 13 miles of hiking trails, this park is also home to the deepest gorge east of the Mississippi River. The chasm is named for the break in Pine Mountain caused by the rushing waters of the Russell Fork of the Big Sandy River. Visitor activities and services include a restaurant, museum, gristmill, guided tours, spelunking, horseback riding, and driving and biking trails.
Elkhorn City: Elkhorn City was the girlhood hometown of Patty Loveless and home of the Elkhorn City Railroad Museum. More than 1,000 pieces of railroad memorabilia are on display.
Tune into some of the best country music radio stations in the country and enjoy the views that have inspired songwriters. From mountain music venues to museums honoring the well-known musical artists who have called this area home, the byway is a celebration of Appalachian and Country Music.
Find more useful information related to Kentucky's Country Music Highway:
- Kentucky Scenic Drives: Country Music Highway is just one of the scenic byways in Kentucky. Check out the others.
- Ashland, Louisa, Prestonburg, Pikesville: Find out what there is to do in these cities along Country Music Highway.
- Scenic Drives: Are you interested in scenic drives beyond Kentucky? Here are more than 100 scenic drives throughout the United States.
- How to Drive Economically: Fuel economy is a major concern when you're on a driving trip. Learn how to get better gas mileage.