Here are dozens of great places to visit and enjoy. For up-to-date listings on performances and events, check Entertainment Tri-State, available every Thursday in the Herald-Dispatch.
BLENKO GLASS: Located at Blenko Glass Company off of James River Turnpike in Milton. Historic museum on second floor of the Visitors Center features extensive stained glass display, history of the family-owned glass company, Country Music Award and U.S. Capitol lighting globe on display. Tours also available. Admission is free. Hours are: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and noon to 4 p.m. Sunday. Call (304) 743-9081.
CAMDEN PARK: Originally developed as a picnic area by the Camden Interstate Railway in 1903, Camden Park has survived into the 21st century as a traditional amusement park. Today, it is the oldest amusement park in West Virginia with about 30 rides, including the classic wooden roller coaster, The Big Dipper. Located at U.S. 60 West, Huntington. General admission is $20.99 per person, $14.99 for children under 4 feet tall and for seniors 55 and older. Starlight rate (entering the park after 5 p.m.) is $10.99 or $7.99 depending on when the park closes. Hours vary, but the park typically is open on weekends in May, Wednesday through Sunday in June, Tuesday through Sunday in July before hours trail off through August and September. Call (304) 429-4321. Go online at www.camdenpark.com.
HERITAGE FARM MUSEUM AND VILLAGE: Recreates turn-of-the-century Appalachian life in restored log buildings, including a pioneer village with blacksmith shop, antique shop, church, petting zoo, bed and breakfasts, museums, community room, old school house and more. Guided tours available all year 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Saturday (except for Thanksgiving, Christmas and, in the winter months, weather permitting). Admission: Guided two-hour tour, $8 (ages 13-64); $7 senior (ages 65 and older); and $6 (ages 3-12; age 2 and younger are free). Admission for guided one-hour tour, $6; $5 seniors and children. Admission for Petting Zoo/Nature Walk is $5. Groups of 15 or more qualify for special group rates when making advance reservations. Located at 3350 Harvey Road, Huntington. For more information, call (304) 522-1244, or visit www.heritagefarmmuseum.com.
HUNTINGTON MUSEUM OF ART: Conservatory, silver and portraits, firearm collections, gallery, glass, museum shop and various changing exhibits. Located at 2033 McCoy Road, Huntington. Hours are from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday. Admission is $5 per person or $18 for a family of four or more. Admission is free on Tuesdays and to Musuem Members and to President's Club Members and their guests. Call (304) 529-2701. Go online at www.hmoa.org.
COLLIS P. HUNTINGTON RAILROAD HISTORICAL SOCIETY INC.: Located at 14th Street West at Memorial Boulevard, Huntington. Hours are by appointment only. Operated by the Collis P. Huntington Historical Society. Free admission, donations accepted. Call (304) 736-7349.
MADIE CARROLL HOUSE: Located in the historic neighborhood of Guyandotte in Huntington. Tours of the historic house and small regional museum by appointment only. Call (304) 522-0325.
SPRING HILL CEMETERY: Located near the Fairfield West neighborhood of Huntington, this cemetery is the final resting place of many of the victims of the 1970 plane crash that killed 75 Marshall University football players, coaches and fans. It includes a monument to the lost team and the graves of several players who were never identified. Spring Hill is also the final resting place of many Civil War soldiers. Call (304) 696-5516 or log onto email@example.com.
J TAYLOR AUTO COLLECTION: 14th Street West, Huntington. A growing collection of cars and automobile items, geared toward the car lover. Free admission. Call (304) 522-2864 for times.
CLAY CENTER FOR THE ARTS AND SCIENCES: Clay Center houses the performing arts, visual arts and the sciences under one roof. The facility is home to the Avampato Discovery Museum, with rotating exhibits and hands-on activities for children. The Clay Center also houses the West Virginia Symphony Orchestra, the 1,883-seat Maier Foundation Performance Hall, the black-box Walker Theater, the large-format film ElectricSky Theater and more. Located at 1 Clay Square, Charleston. For information, visit www.theclaycenter.org or call (304) 561-3500 or (888) 241-6376.
MUSEUM OF RADIO AND TECHNOLOGY: Located at 1640 Florence Ave., Huntington. Hours are from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday. Admission by donation. Call (304) 525-8890.
JENKINS PLANTATION: Located off of W.Va. 2, or Ohio River Road, about nine miles from Huntington. Located adjacent to the Greenbottom Wildlife Management Area. Historic home of Brigadier General Albert Gallatin Jenkins, C.S.A. Museum hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday. Call (304) 762-1059.
CEREDO HISTORICAL SOCIETY: Located at 501 Main St., Ceredo. Hours are from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday. For appointments, call (304) 453-3025.
WEST VIRGINIA STATE MUSEUM: Located in the Cultural Center, State Capitol, Charleston. Doors are open from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday and noon to 6 p.m. Sunday. Call (304) 558-0220. Library is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and the archives department is open Monday through Thursday 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and Saturday.
CALLEN MCJUNKIN GALLERY: Located at 1509 Chafton Road, Charleston. Hours by appointment. Call (304) 342-5647.
RENAISSANCE ART GALLERY: This non-profit co-op of tri-state artists is located at 900 8th St., Huntington. It features various changing exhibits, ongoing art classes and the National Miniature Exhibition each November. Hours are: Tuesday - Saturday 12-4 pm. Sunday, 1-4 pm. (304) 525-3235. For appointments call (304) 453-3187.
SILVER BRIDGE MEMORIALS: Located in Point Pleasant, Mason County, at 6th and Main streets and north of Kanauga at the State Route 7 rest area. On Dec. 15, 1967, during rush hour, the Silver Bridge, connecting Point Pleasant to Kanauga, Ohio, fell into the icy Ohio River. Forty-six people lost their lives when the bridge fell. Two memorials have been erected in their memory.
TU-ENDIE-WEI: Located at the meeting point of the Ohio and Kanawha Rivers in Mason County, this park commemorates the first battle of the American Revolution on Oct. 10, 1774. Congress proclaimed it as the official first battle in 1908. On site are a commemorative 85-foot granite obelisk, the graves of battle combatants and the Mansion House, a restored 1796 tavern and inn that serves as a museum. Also interred in the park are Chief Cornstalk, battle leader, and Ann Bailey, frontier scout.
MOTHMAN STATUE: Was it a real monster or just an elaborate hoax? The winged creature with the glowing red eyes was first sighted in Mason County in 1967, and now a statue of the Mothman is located near Gunn Park. Don't miss the annual Mothman Festival in mid-September on Main Street in Point Pleasant.
MOTHMAN MUSEUM: Main Street in Point Pleasant. Located in the heart of Mothman country, this museum is the world's only museum about the infamous Mothman. Visitors can experience multimedia presentations, rare Mothman archives and movie props. Don't miss the gift shop. Call (304) 675-6788 or log onto www.mothmanlives.com.
POINT PLEASANT RIVER MUSEUM: Main Street in Point Pleasant. Brings to life the people, boats and events that created the history of the Ohio and Kanawha Rivers through pictures, videos, artifacts and interactive exhibits, including a working pilot house. Displays of the great floods, sternwheelers, river disasters and a 17-foot model of the Silver Bridge, reference and gift shop. Call (304) 674-0144 or log onto www.pprivermuseum.com.
WV STATE FARM MUSEUM: Located at the north of Point Pleasant on WV 62. Visit a replica of a quaint early 20th Century village, including a doctor's office, blacksmith shop, a one-room schoolhouse, Morgan's taxidermy museum, sawmill, carpenter shop, loom house, newspaper office, military display, smokehouse, log homes, country store, barn complete with live animals, nature trail. Picnic shelters and primitive camping. Call (304) 675-5737 or log onto www.masoncountytourism.org.
MIDLAND TRAIL NATIONAL SCENIC BYWAY: This award-winning tourist highway takes travelers along U.S. 60 east from Kenova, W.Va., through Huntington, Charleston and the New River area before ending 180 miles later at White Sulphur Springs, near the state's border with Virginia. Highlights of the trail include historic sites such as the Toll House in Barboursville, the Wine Cellars of Dunbar, Booker T. Washington's cabin in Malden, the African-American Family Tree Museum in Ansted, the Carnifex Battle Museum in Summersville, and many more. The trail is also rich with outdoor adventures including Hawks Nest State Park. You'll also find tons of restaurants, museums, galleries and crafts and specialty shops along the way. For up-to-date travel information, log on to www.midlandtrail.com.
OHIO UNIVERSITY SOUTHERN CAMPUS: Collins and Riffe Centers and Bill Dingus Technology Center of the University. Located at 1804 Liberty Ave., Ironton. Call (800) 626-0513 for information on future exhibits.
FRENCH ART COLONY GALLERY: Monthly exhibits and galleries of all types of art are given. Located at 530 1st Ave., Gallipolis. Hours are 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Tuesday-Friday and 1-5 p.m. Sunday. Call (740) 446-3834.
LAWRENCE COUNTY HISTORICAL MUSEUM: An eclectic mix of Lawrence County memorabilia can be found. Located at 506 S. 6th St., Ironton. Hours are 1-5 p.m. Friday through Sunday, April through October and re-opening in November through the holidays. Displays change every six weeks. Group tours available by appointment. Gift shop. Call (740) 377-4550.
LAWRENCE COUNTY HISTORIC IRON FURNACES: Relics of Lawrence County's vigorous industrial past scattered throughout the beautiful wooded hills of Hanging Rock Iron Region and the Wayne National Forest. Details about the remains in the area can be found at the Lawrence County Convention and Visitors Bureau. Call (740) 377-4550.
TIMBRE RIDGE FARM: Eighty-six acres of rolling hills and farmland with a petting zoo and handcrafted country primitive items on display. For more information, contact Marlene and Carl Gruetter at (740) 256-1866.
'OLD ROUTE 75 TUNNEL: Visit the historic 165-foot tunnel, built in 1866, located at the intersection of US Route 52 and State Route 93.
BURLINGTON 37 CEMETERY ON CENTER STREET IN BURLINGTON: A memorial marker of the 37 slaves freed in 1849 by James Twyman, stands at the gates of this cemetery. All 37 names have been engraved in the marble stone to commemorate their courage. For more information, call the Lawrence County Convention and Visitors Bureau at (740) 377-4550.
OHIO RIVER BURLINGTON PICNIC AREA: This site where the original Lawrence County Courthouse once stood was the route to freedom taken by the Burlington 37 settlers from Madison County, Va. For more information, call the Lawrence County Convention and Visitors Bureau at (740) 377-4550.
MACEDONIA CHURCH OF COUNTY ROAD 120: This church is where the 37 slaves conducted their services. It is still used today for significant community events on Center St. in Burlington. For more information, call the Lawrence County Convention and Visitors Bureau at (740) 377-4550.
THE JOHN CAMPBELL HOME AT NORTH FIFTH STREET IN IRONTON: John Campbell was the founder of Ironton who also served to help runaway slaves. The slaves traveled through tunnels into the basement, up a back staircase and hid under the eves of the roof until Campbell could finalize plans for their move further north. The historic area can be found at North Fifth St. in downtown Ironton. For more information, call the Lawrence County Convention and Visitors Bureau at (740) 377-4550.
SCOTTOWN COVERED BRIDGE: In 1991, this historic timber frame covered bridge was preserved and is located on State Route 217 in Scottown, Ohio. A map of the historic location can be found at the Lawrence County Convention and Visitors Bureau.
FLOODWALL MURALS: The artwork alongside the Ohio River on Second Street in Ironton, Ohio, depicts the history and achievements in Lawrence County. The floodwall can be found in the Center Street area of Ironton.
SHAWNEE STATE PARK, PORTSMOUTH: Nestled in the hills and hollows of the 63,000-acre Shawnee Forest, you will find Shawnee Resort & Conference Center. It offers a range of vacation attractions and amenities from golfing along the banks of the Ohio River to taking a dip in the indoor or outdoor pool. There are 65 miles of adjacent hiking trails, ideal for avid hikers or photographer looking to capture wildlife and wildflowers. Call (740) 858.6621 or log onto www.shawneelodgeresort.com.
PORTSMOUTH MURALS: More than 2,000 feet of floodwall space is dedicated to the colorful depiction of the Portsmouth area's history by internationally known muralist Robert Dafford. The Portsmouth Murals are viewed along Front Street, within walking distance of many shops, stores and dining in the historic Boneyfiddle District. More information and tours are available by calling the Portsmouth Convention and Visitors Bureau, (740) 353-1116.
THE BONEYFIDDLE HISTORIC DISTRICT OF PORTSMOUTH: This district has been refurbished to express intriguing architecture of Portsmouth's past. It is one of the city's oldest neighborhoods, offering visitors a glimpse of history in both structure and service. Antique shops and retail outlets embrace the historic significance of these century-old buildings. Whether looking for that special treasure or a quaint place to eat, you can relax and enjoy the hospitality.
SHAWNEE STATE UNIVERSITY IN PORTSMOUTH: Offers more than 80 bachelor's and associate degree programs. It sports a beautifully landscaped campus featuring 20 buildings, including the Advanced Technology Center that features one of only 50 Digistar II planetariums in the worlds. For more info about SSU, call (740) 351-2221 or toll free (800) 959-2778.
SOUTHERN OHIO MUSEUM: Located at 825 Gallia Street in the heart of downtown Portsmouth. You'll find the museum galleries and gift shop open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. every weekday but Monday, and Saturday from 1 to 5 p.m. Admission is voluntary. Call (740) 354-5629 or log onto www.somacc.com.
ASHLAND AREA ART GALLERY: Located at 1516 Winchester Ave., Ashland. Hours are from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. Other hours can be scheduled by appointment. Admission is free. Donations accepted. Call (606) 329-1826 or e-mail questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
PENDLETON ART CENTER: Located at 1537 Winchester Ave., Ashland. Several studios are housed in the Pendleton Art Center, which "strives to encourage and nurture artistic creativity, by providing a supportive and inspiring environment for artists," according to its Web site. Some studios are open daily; others by appointment with the artist. Pendleton hosts the First Friday Art Walk (5-9 p.m.) and Second Look Saturday (noon-4 p.m.) on the first Friday and Saturday of each month. Pendleton is also home to the Left Bank Cafe, serving sandwiches, soups and more from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Monday through Friday. Visit www.pendletonartcenter.com/ashland_ky.html.
HIGHLANDS MUSEUM AND DISCOVERY CENTER: History center with hands-on interaction for children. Located at 1620 Winchester Ave., Ashland. Hours are from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. Mondays scheduled by appointment. Admission is $4 and $3.50 for children and senior citizens. Call (606) 329-8888.
PARAMOUNT ARTS CENTER: Located at 1300 Winchester Ave., Ashland. Hours are from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday and closed Saturday and Sunday. Call (606) 324-3175.
KENTUCKY FOLK ART CENTER: Folk art and exhibition are rotated every three months along with a large permanent selection. 102 W. 1st St., Morehead, Ky. Hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday. Admission is $3 for adults, free for children 12 and younger and $2 each for seniors 55 and older and groups. Call (606) 783-2204 or log on to www.kyfolkart.org.
THE COUNTRY MUSIC HERITAGE EXHIBIT AT THE HIGHLANDS MUSEUM AND DISCOVERY CENTER: Located at 1620 Winchester Ave., Ashland.
EXXON MARKETPLACE AT FALLS CREEK: Located right on U.S. 23 in Louisa. This super-sized stone gas station/restaurant/ souvenir stand that looks more like a castle, hosts some live music on the weekends and its store is filled with items from a dozen stars of the Country Music Highway. Call (606) 638-9999, www.lawrencecokytourism.com.
THE COUNTRY MUSIC HIGHWAY MUSEUM: Located just off of U.S. 23 in Paintsville, Ky., The Country Music Highway Museum opened in spring 2005 and is already a must-stop for country music fans. Enjoy the interactive exhibits featuring the memorabilia of Eastern Kentucky born and raised stars such as Tom T. Hall, Loretta Lynn, Rebecca Lynn Howard, Billy Ray Cyrus, Ricky Skaggs and others. Call (800) 542-5790 or go online at www.paintsville.org.
BUTCHER HOLLOW: From U.S. 23 south, take Highway 321 to Ky. 1107. Follow the signs to Loretta Lynn's Homeplace. Located in Van Lear, Ky., is the humble cabin home of country music stars Loretta Lynn and Crystal Gayle. Hang out on the porch and enjoy a $5 tour of the home, which is filled with memorabilia and photos. The singers' brother and longtime musician Herman Webb gives the personal tour and tells great stories of growing up with the famous "Coal Miner's Daughter." Make sure you stop by the No. 5 General Store, Webb's General Store, which is run by Herman and his daughter, Madonna. Call (606) 789-3397.
WORDS AND STUFF: This mom-and-pop bookstore, run by retired highway engineer Jim Tramel and his wife, Ann, is located at 1246 Route 302, just a stone's throw from Loretta Lynn's Homeplace of Butcher Hollow. Words and Stuff is a treasure trove of a regional bookstore featuring music from along the Country Music Highway, maps and thousands of new and used books that range from genealogy, coal mining, railroading and Appalachia to cooking, health, the classics and children's books. For more info: Call (606) 789-3592.
JENNY WILEY THEATRE: Jenny Wiley State Resort Park is located outside Prestonsburg, Ky., about 90 miles from Huntington. Located off U.S. 23/460 on KY 3, Jenny Wiley Theatre is one of the oldest regional outdoor theater companies. The park is named after legendary pioneer Jenny Wiley, who was captured in 1790 by Indians who killed her brother and five of her children. Wiley escaped after 11 months of captivity and walked a couple hundred miles back home from near South Shore, Ky., to southwestern Virginia. In 1800, Jenny Sellards Wiley and her husband Tom moved to the banks of the Levisa Fork of the Big Sandy River. After returning from captivity, she bore five more children. Call JWT at (877) CALL-JWT or (877) 225-5598. For more info on the park, call (800) 325-0142.
THE MOUNTAIN ARTS CENTER: Known affectionately as "The Mac," The Mountain Arts Center is an intimate 1,000-seat theater that hosts a full plate of national act concerts of all styles but most often bluegrass and country music. That includes the summertime music series, The Kentucky Music Trail. The MAC is perhaps best known for its homegrown show, The Kentucky Opry, which has helped hone such talent as Salyersville native country music star Rebecca Lynn Howard. For more info: Call (888) MAC-ARTS or go online at www.macarts.com.
EASTERN KENTUCKY EXPOSITION CENTER: Located in downtown Pikeville, the Expo Center is a 7,000 seat and 125,000-square-foot arena that hosts a wide range of concerts, athletics, car shows, rodeos, and other events. For more info: go online at www.eastky.expo.com or go online at www.smgworld.com.
APPALSHOP: Located at 91 Madison Ave., in Whitesburg, Ky., Appalshop is one of the most important media centers in Appalachia. Birthed in 1969 as an economic development project of the War on Poverty, Appalshop is a multi-disciplinary arts and education center producing original films, video, theater, music and spoken-word recordings, radio, photography, multimedia, and books in the heart of Appalachia. Call (606) 424-4074 or go online at www.appalshop.org.