Country Music Highway
Fire up a Ricky Skaggs tune and your car’s engine and hit this winding ribbon of mountain road for a one-of-a-kind Kentucky adventure. Highway 23, the ‘Country Music Highway’, is 144 miles along the state’s eastern part. It stretches from Greenup County in the north to Letcher County in the south. This National Scenic Byway provides an introduction to many musical legends who have emerged from these ancient Appalachian hills and hollows, such as Skaggs, Patty Loveless, The Judds, Billy Ray Cyrus, Crystal Gayle, Hylo Brown, Gary Stewart, Rebecca Lynn Howard, Dwight Yoakam and many more.
You should allow two days for a leisurely drive, which connects the towns of Greenup and Whitesburg. At the midway point, near Paintsville, you will find legendary Butcher Hollow, where a dusty gravel road leads to the humble log cabin in which the Queen of Country Music, America’s beloved ‘Coal Miner’s Daughter’, Loretta Lynn, was born on April 14, 1935. Today, her brother, Herman Webb, still gives tours of the family home.
In Prestonsburg, visit the Mountain Arts Centre, a performance hall home to the Kentucky Opry, a musical variety show modelled on the one in Nashville, Tennessee.