U.S. 23 Country Music Highway
Running through seven far eastern counties of The Kentucky Wildlands, the Country Music Highway is the 150-mile stretch along U.S. 23 that has produced more million-selling artists that any other region per capita in the world. Loretta Lynn, Crystal Gayle, The Judds, Chris Stapleton, Tyler Childers, Billy Ray Cyrus, Ricky Skaggs, Dwight Yoakam, Patty Loveless, Keith Whitley, Tom T. Hall and more have proudly called this region home.
Take a road trip down this legendary highway and find the birthplaces and homesteads of many of country music’s most well-known stars. See the world-renowned “Cabin on a Hill in Butcher Holler” in Van Lear — immortalized in song as the birthplace of both Loretta Lynn, the Queen of Country Music, and her sister, Crystal Gayle. Be sure to stop at Webb’s Grocery general store in Van Lear to ask about a tour or just to grab an RC and Moonpie. Visit the birthplaces of The Judds and Billy Ray Cyrus in Ashland and Flatwoods, then stop in the nearby legendary Paramount Arts Center opened in 1931 and designed by art deco legends Rapp and Rapp (the same designers of the great Chicago Theatre). Pull off at the U.S. 23 Country Music Highway Museum in Staffordsville to see the exhibits and learn about the Kentucky roots of your favorite stars, and catch the Front Porch Pickin’ live bluegrass show there every Thursday. Check out the nearby Renfro Valley Entertainment Center for more live musical performances throughout the year.
Along this scenic highway, you’ll find local museums and authentic homespun stories from music to coal mining, as well as gorgeous natural wildlife areas and parks to explore, such as the East Lynn Lake Wildlife Management Area and the Jenny Wiley State Resort Park.