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Throughout the year, Ashland offers a pleasing blend of history, culture, scenic venues, outdoor recreation and annual festivals, guaranteed to provide you with true Southern Hospitality! Ashland is minutes from I-64 and a direct link on the colorful US 23-Country Music Highway. This accessibility makes Ashland a perfect stop during your travels.
One of the oldest towns in Kentucky, Barbourville is home to the Knox Historical Museum. Barbourville is the site of the first Civil War shot fired in Kentucky. While in the area, visit Dr. Thomas Walker Park and Kentucky Communities Craft Village nested in the heart of Appalachia. Each April, a Redbud Festival and Quilt Workshop are held on the campus of Union College. Each October, the Daniel Boone Festival is held with a parade, queen contest and a visit from the Cherokee Indians of North Carolina.
The Corbin exits on I-75 are the closest access points to 5,600-acre Laurel River Lake. Corbin sits on the shores of this beautiful lake. Within an hour’s drive are six state and national parks, countless attractions and high adventures such as hiking, camping or golf.
CUMBERLAND / BENHAM / LYNCH
Visit this beautiful scenic area in the majestic mountains of Southeast Kentucky. You will enjoy Kingdom Come State Park, the highest park in the state at 2,700 feet, which hosts some of the most extraordinary natural rock formations in Kentucky. Cumberland is the “Black Bear Capital of Kentucky” and is host to the annual Kentucky Black Bear Festival held the second weekend in May. They also host the Kingdom Come Swappin’ Meetin’ the first full weekend in October at Southeast Kentucky Community & Technical College.
Come home to the Mountains! If you a can’t stop, smile as you go by. Hazard is home of the Black Gold Festival and the Greater Hazard Area Performing Arts Series. All trails in Hazard and Perry County lead to adventure and include walking, hiking, biking, horseback riding and ATV/dirt bikes excitement.
Harlan is one of Kentucky’s most ruggedly beautiful mountain areas. It’s paradise for hikers and campers. The most spectacular scenery is along the Little Shepherd Trail, winding for 38 miles along the crest of the 2,800 foot-high Pine Mountain.
Walk over the famous “Wilderness Road” in Levi Jackson State Park where over 200,000 pioneers traveled to Kentucky duringthe twenty years from 1775 to 1796. McHarque’s Mill, a restored water-powered grist mill, features a world class collection of millstones. The Mountain Life Museum, with its pioneer settlement, and Indian artifacts and camping, offer London’s visitors an abundance of things to do and see.
Founded in 1823, Louisa / Lawrence County is located off US 23-Country Music Highway and home to Yatesville Lake State Park. During the Civil War, President James Garfield occupied Louisa from December 1861 until the war was over. Louisa is also home to Fred M. Vinson the 13th Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court. Festivals include an Old Fashion County Fair, held the first weekend in August, and one of the largest Eastern Kentucky festivals, Lawrence County Septemberfest, held the first weekend after Labor Day each year.
Morehead is a great area for outdoor recreation. It is best known for Cave Run Lake with 8,270 acres and 166 miles of shoreline. Some call it Kentucky’s best kept secret. This scenic lake is outstanding for sailing and fishing. Cave Run is surrounded by the Daniel Boone National Forest. While visiting Morehead, don’t miss the fascinating collection at the Kentucky Folk Art Center on First Street which is home to artwork constructed from found objects made by renowned Kentucky Folk Artists.
Nestled between the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains and the Kentucky Bluegrass Region, the charming downtown is unique with an art gallery, gift shops and restaurants. Play a round of golf at Old Silo, one of Kentucky’s Best Public Golf Courses or take a tour at Ruth Hun Candy, the official candy of Churchill Downs and the Kentucky Derby Museum.
MT. VERNON/ RENFRO VALLEY
Renfro Valley is Kentucky’s Country Music Capital. For over 50 years, Renfro Valley has offered the very best in good wholesome family fun. It all began in 1939 with John Lair’s radio broadcasts. Stage shows feature a wide range of country music and concerts by country music’s brightest stars. You will be clapping your hands, stomping your fee or holding your sides with laughter.
The Painstville area is known at the birth place of country music queen Loretta Lynn, the “Coal Miner’s Daughter.” You will find directions to her childhood home, Butcher Hollow, at the Paintsville Visitor Center. Beautiful Paintsville Lake, with its steep, rocky cliffs and wooded coves, is perfect for boating, skiing, and fishing. Don’t miss the nearby Mountain Home Place, a living history village depicting the rugged way of life on the Appalachian plateau in the mid-1800’s, as costumed interpreters go about their day-to-day chores.
Travel back in time and visit six restored sites of the most famous feud of all time! The Hatfields and McCoys began their feud in 1865 and continued for twenty years. We celebrate our Appalachian heritage in the spring with the Hillbilly Days Festival in downtown Pikeville. Historic Pike County is home to various museums, such as the Railroad Museum, Heritage Museum, numerous historical homes and Dils Cemetery, where members of the McCoy family are buried. Come experience our Highlands hospitality and take home a treasure trove of memories.
The “Star City of Kentucky” has set the stage with star performances at the Mountain Arts Center, Jenny Wiley Theatre, the East Kentucky Fair and the Kentucky Highland Folk Festival. Enjoy star lodging, dining, hospitality and specialty shopping.
RED RIVER GORGE AREA
The U.S. Forest Service has designated 13,000 acres of the Daniel Boone National Forest as a National geologic area in recognition of its unique natural features. Vacationing families enjoy canoeing, backpacking, rock climbing and picnicking in the Red River Gorge. See the splendor of the forest by taking a hike on one of the many trails.
Williamsburg is located 11 miles north of the Kentucky-Tennessee border off I-75. The city is a great access point for both Cumberland Falls and Big South Fork Recreation areas. You will also find the Hal Rogers Family Entertainment Center, complete with a water park. When arriving from the north or south, stop at their large tourism center for all your local attraction information.