b'Eastern Kentucky has captivated visitors for centuries from Daniel Boone and the earliest settlers to contemporary rock climbers seeking the world-class challenge of the Red River Gorge. Country musicians have blossomedAmericans, the Civil War, pioneerspast mistakes and the deadly price in Eastern Kentucky and made theand the coal mining industry.of a grudge.144 miles of the Country MusicDuring the Civil War, Kentucky wasJust north of U.S. 23 is Renfro Valley, Highway (U.S. 23) possible becausea border state and split betweenKentuckys Country Music Capital. of their talents. The stars of thethe North and South, and parts ofThe Renfro Valley Entertainment region include Billy Ray Cyrus,the area became battle grounds.Center showcases live Wynonna and Naomi Judd, RickyCoal mining is vital because itperformances of classic country, Skaggs, Loretta Lynn, Dwighthelped Eastern Kentucky growbluegrass and southern gospel.Yoakam and Chris Stapleton.economically and it is still important today.Along from Renfro Valley sits Berea, Visitors are promised an electrifyinga thriving arts and crafts town experience in Ashland at theU.S. 23 also connects Pikevillerecently named one of the Top Paramount Arts Center whichwhich has twice been recognised25 Art Destinations in the United was one of the first theatres toas one of the best small townsStates. At the heart of its crafts show talking films and it isin America and is the site of thetradition is Berea College where still furnished with the originalPikeville Cut-Through Project,students create fine furniture, equipment from 1931. one of the largest and mostwoven items, ceramics and wrought impressive civil engineering featsiron pieces. Berea is also home to Make time for the home of Lorettain history. Every April, hillbilliesdozens of other craft studios and Lynn in Butcher Hollow and thefrom all walks of life migrategalleries, including the Kentucky U.S. 23 Country Music Museumto Pikeville for three days ofArtisan Center, where handcrafted in Paintsville. The tour of thefun, friends, food, fiddlinitems and folk art abound. Birthplace of Loretta Lynn is led byand fireworks.her brother, Herman Webb, and heThe sites of the legendary isnt hesitant to answer questionsHatfield-McCoy Feud are located about the famous singer. throughout Pikeville and Pike U.S. 23 is best known for countryCounty. Each site features a music, but along the scenic drivemarker telling tragic stories from visitors can learn about Nativethe feud, serving as a reminder of KENTUCKYTOURISM.COM 11'