Explore the Country Music Highway Beginning in Boyd County, KY

Jun 9, 2024

Did you know that Boyd County is the start of the famous Country Music Highway at US-23? That’s right, the famed highway is 144 miles long and runs north and south along the eastern part of the state of Kentucky. Covering seven counties, this trail was even recognized as a National Scenic Byway back in June 2002. 

Much of Kentucky’s history is deeply rooted in country music. As many of the locals will tell you, music is a huge part of Kentucky’s culture, and it sure is celebrated here in Boyd County. This seems fitting, seeing as how many talented musicians have come from Boyd County and our neighbors.

Artists such as Chris Stapleton, Tyler Childers, Loretta Lynn, The Judd’s, Tom T. Hall, Ricky Skaggs, Keith Whitley, Dwight Yoakam and Patty Loveless are all from around our neck of the woods. Each time you listen to their soothing voices, we hope you’ll think of our cozy county!

When visiting, guests have the opportunity to experience a bit of that history for themselves at destinations like the Paramount Arts Center–a music hub and staple of the community. The Paramount Arts Center hosted Billy Ray Cyrus when he filmed the music video for his iconic hit song “Achy Breaky Heart” in 1993. Since then, it has provided countless years of entertainment and joy to its patrons.

Today, guests can go to the Paramount Arts Center for a variety of entertainment, most at a fairly low cost. Have a laugh at a comedy show, rock out with your favorite musicians and even bring your kiddos along for child-friendly entertainment. It is one of the many wonderful historic landmarks that make Boyd County so special and loved by residents. 

To see the Paramount Arts Center, and other unique sites, we recommend a road trip down the Country Music Highway–starting in Boyd County, of course. Perhaps book a night at one of our lodging accommodations to get a good night’s rest and an early start to an exciting day. Wake up feeling refreshed and stop for a stop for a hot meal before hitting the road. While in town, stroll through Downtown Ashland as you browse local goods and finds.

The Country Music Highway is quite a beauty! Be sure to pack your camera and snap some photos of the scenic road along the way. To get in the road trip spirit, we suggest curating a country playlist of all your favorite Appalachian artists. 

Remember, that while the Country Music Highway is a harmoniously good time, it’s about more than just tunes. When visitors explore the highway, they’ll learn about Native American history, the pioneers, the Civil War and the coal mining industry. With so much to experience, guests will soon find they’ve discovered a hidden treasure.   

For more wonderful ways to kick off your journey down the Country Music Highway, you can find a full list of items to add to your itinerary here

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