Day One, Saturday, August 24, 2019
4:00pm Enjoy a Distillery Taste Tour of Dueling Barrels Brewery and Distillery, where handcrafted beverages are a toast to the proud spirit of the mountains and the passionate people who shape the region. Stories that move mountains live here, including the legendary Hatfields and McCoys feud, the dawn of Bluegrass music and starry nights spent making moonshine along the Tug Fork stream. Dueling Barrels invites you to explore this rich history and culture through the lens of brewing and distilling.
6:00pm Check in to Hilton Garden Inn, Pikeville (849 Hambley Blvd., Pikeville, KY 41501 (606) 766-2000).
7:00pm Enjoy dinner included and blue grass/country music entertainment at the hotel. Meals: D.
Day Two, Sunday, August 25, 2019
7:30am Enjoy breakfast at the hotel this morning prior to checking out.
8:30am Take a Hatfield and McCoy Tour. Pike County is home to most of the significant Hatfield and McCoy feud sites. The families of the Hatfields and McCoys feud leaders were of strong stock and from them have come leaders of many professions – business, education, medicine, governors, senators, lawyers etc. The clans, both Hatfield and McCoy, were honest, hard-working and proud. They came into the wilderness of Kentucky and Virginia (now West Virginia) and patented thousands of acres of land. The McCoys generally hail from the Kentucky side of the Tug River and the Hatfields from the West Virginia side. However, even during the famous feud, both families shared space on either side of the Tug. Often many would call their kin who would marry into the other family "traitors" or "turncoats". Once a member of the McCoy family married into the Hatfield family, they were said to be "Hatfield" and no longer "McCoy". Clan pride and family loyalty was strong, no doubt left over from their days in the homelands of Ireland and Scotland.
10:30am Depart with Coal Miner's Sack Lunch en route.
11:30am Visit the birthplace of Loretta Lynn – Butcher Hollow. Nestled between two fog-shrouded mountains up a "holler" just two miles southeast of the coal mining camp of Van Lear, the region that inspired country music star Loretta Lynn to write some of her most famous songs, most notably "Coal Miner's Daughter."
3:30pm Visit the Ralph Stanley Museum, a monument to Dr. Ralph Edmond Stanley, an American bluegrass artist, known for his distinctive singing and banjo playing.
5:00pm Check in to The Inn at Wise (110 E Main Street. Wise, Va
6:30pm Enjoy dinner included at The Inn at Wise with live entertainment! Meals: B, L, D
Day Three, Monday, August 26, 2019
8:00am Enjoy breakfast at the hotel this morning.
9:00am Depart for Big Stone Gap.
9:30am Meet your local tour GUIDE to tour the Harry Meador Coal Museum. Coal is to Big Stone Gap and the entire Appalachian region what automobiles are to Detroit, corn is to Kansas and oil is to Texas. Because coal mining, to a large extent, defines the area--how people live, where they work, and how they think and feel. The Coal Museum was put together, bit by bit and piece by piece, from the mini treasure troves and memorabilia of private homes and public buildings from Big Stone Gap and surrounding towns. For natives, the museum attempts to describe a personal heritage as well as provide a peek into the past. For others, it offers a rich educational experience concerning coal and its direct influence on local lifestyle.
10:15am Visit the National Historic Landmark, the Southwest Virginia Museum is in a 1890s Victorian stone mansion with original oak interior. The museum's collection includes more than 25,000 pieces and state of the art exhibits telling the story of the exploration and development of Southwest Virginia from the pioneer era of the 1700s to the mining "boom and bust" era of the late 1800s.
11:00am Visit and enjoy lunch at the John Fox Jr. Museum. The museum was the home of John Fox, Jr., a famous mountain author of many novels and short stories. Most well-known are "Trail of the Lonesome Pine" and "The Little Shepherd of Kingdom Come". "Trail of the Lonesome Pine" became the nation's first million copy selling novel and was later made into a movie. Menu: Chef's choice of entrée, one side item, dessert, tea and coffee and homemade rolls.
1:00pm Visit the June Tolliver House and gift shop. The first floor of the house displays antiques dating back from the turn of the century. Throughout its rooms are paintings donated by local artists, the majority of which are actors/actresses who, over the past 45 years, have held a starring role in the Trail of the Lonesome Pine Outdoor Drama. Upstairs you will find an archive of historic photographs that you must see to believe. Find the time, or better yet, take the time to stop by the June Tolliver House when you are in Big Stone Gap, Virginia. And while you're here, visit our gift shop -- you'll find books written by local authors, crafts made by local artisans and much, much more!
3:00pm Arrive at hotel to rest and prepare for dinner.
5:00pm Visit Historic Lays Hardware Center for the Arts and enjoy lite dinner of hotdogs and snacks at your own expense with live local bluegrass music and entertainment.
7:30pm Return to hotel for the evening and dinner on own. Meals: B, L.
Day Four, Tuesday, August 27, 2019
8:00am Enjoy breakfast at the hotel this morning prior to checking out. Baggage handling is included.
9:30am Travel the Daniel Boone Trail to the Natural Tunnel State Park. One of the nation's most historic routes, the Daniel Boone Wilderness Trail was blazed by the legendary frontiersman in 1775 from Long Island of the Holston at what is now Kingsport, TN, through the Cumberland Gap of Virginia and into Kentucky. It would become the route for hundreds of thousands of settlers of the western frontier.
Stop at the Wilderness Road Blockhouse, an important landmark for frontier travelers and served as the gathering place for hundreds of pioneers traveling the Wilderness Road to Kentucky between 1775 and 1800. Note: Members of the Daniel Boone Wilderness Trail Association will have historical interpreters available for short presentations focusing on the history of the Blockhouse and frontier cooking.
1:00pm Enjoy lunch while visiting Heartwood, tucked into Virginia's ancient mountains and home to music, crafts and food of the Crooked Road. Delight in the epicurean experience of locally produced foods in a Farm to Table Dinner. Sometimes at Heartwood there are local musicians gather to entertain us with distinctive music from the area.
2:00pm Depart with GUIDE for tour of: Abingdon White's Mill, a historic grist mill dating to the mid-1800s. Enjoy blue grass entertainment, moon pies and Coke or peanuts and RC Cola. The Abingdon Olive Oil Company, a tasting gallery and shop featuring over 68 varieties of Olive Oils & Balsamic Vinegars.
5:00pm Check in to local area hotel (TBA).
6:00pm Following hotel check-in you join our other groups at a local events center for a dinner show that begins with Virginia Country Cooking and ends with a Tribute to a pair of Country Music Legends. This evening's musical feature is a concert by American Pride a group that performs the music of the Statler Brothers, native sons of Virginia. You'll hear their tribute song to Johnny Cash, (who discovered them) "We Got Paid by Cash" and many other originals such s "Flowers on the Wall" and "My Only Love." Meals: B, L, D.
Day Five, Wednesday, August 28, 2019
8:00am Enjoy breakfast at the hotel this morning. (DI)
9:00am Depart. Visit the Birthplace of Country Music Museum - Today begins at the Birthplace of Country Music Museum. A Smithsonian affiliate it is dedicated to the telling of one story only, an event that Johnny Cash called The Big Bang of Country Music. In 1927 a talent scout for the Victor Talking Machine Company had four men carry a portable recording device into a Bristol hat factory and invited local musicians to record the music of the Appalachians. Through this museum, because of "The Bristol Sessions" the region's rich music legacy sings loud and proud today. The legendary Carter Family and Jimmie Rodgers were among the first artists ever recorded. Bristol Motor Speedway Tour - Then your afternoon highlight is the Bristol Motor Speedway where you do a lap on the high-banked track known as "The World's Fastest Half-Mile!" You'll also see Pit Road and the Bristol Dragway known as "Thunder Valley." Free Time in Downtown Bristol - After the museum you have free time in downtown Bristol where State Street separates Virginia from Tennessee. You will find quaint shops, antiques, boutiques, fine art and more. You can take a selfie with the famous Bristol sign, stand in Two States at once, and buy yourself a milkshake at the Burger Bar (rumored to be where Hank Williams ate his last meal). This afternoon at the Cameo Theatre, enjoy a matinee concert featuring the Music of Patsy Cline, a native of Winchester, VA who had such hits as "Honky Tonk Angel," "Walking After Midnight," "Crazy," "Sweet Dreams," and "I Fall to Pieces." This show also features a tribute to Patsy's friend Loretta Lynn and you will hear some of her greatest hits such as "Coal Miners Daughter," "Don't Come Home a Drinkin'," "Louisiana Woman, Mississippi Man," "I'm a Honky Tonk Girl," and many more. Did you know that Loretta recorded "I Remember Patsy?" It was an album dedicated to Patsy Cline after she died in a plane crash in 1963 and Loretta covered some of Patsy's biggest hits including "She's Got You" and "Why Can't He Be You."
Enjoy dinner at Martha Washington Inn & Spa, a historic hotel combining Southern charm with modern elegance. "Johnny Cash Now" with June at the Barter Theater is your second historic venue today. Barter Theater opened its doors on June 10, 1933, proclaiming "With vegetables you cannot sell, you can buy a good laugh." The price of admission was 40 cents or an equivalent amount of produce. Four out of five Depression-era theatre goers paid their way with vegetables, dairy products and livestock. Can you imagine a live hog for the price of admission? To the surprise of many, all the seats for the first show were filled. The concept of trading "ham for Hamlet" caught on quickly. At the end of the first season, the Barter Company of Performers cleared $4.35 in cash, two barrels of jelly, and a collective weight gain of over 300 pounds. Tonight, enjoy a show by Gray Sartin, a tribute artist who will make you believe you are at a live concert with Johnny Cash in 1968. He will introduce his band the Tennessee Three, who are not just playing instruments but who are playing the parts of Johnny's original band members. You will also see and hear an actress playing the part of June Carter, Johnny's wife as they perform classics such as "Jackson," "Long Legged Guitar Pickin Man" and "Ring of Fire." This group performs in a 90-minute musical show that will allow you to be caught up in the nostalgia of the moment. Meals: B, D.
Day Six, Thursday, August 29, 2019
8:00am Enjoy breakfast at the hotel this morning prior to checking out. Baggage handling is included.
10:15am Enjoy Brunch at The Merc in Draper, VA. Experience a culinary treat that will please your palate with fresh and locally sourced goods. While your taste buds are being engaged, local entertainment will treat your ears and set the scene with bluegrass tunes.
12:00pm Depart for home. Meals: B, L.
This itinerary is approximate. The exact times, days and destinations may vary due to unforeseen circumstances.