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What To Do In Stopover, Kentucky?


Modified: December 28, 2023

by Rosanna Gilbertson



Welcome to Stopover, Kentucky – a hidden gem in the heart of the Bluegrass State. Nestled in the scenic mountains of eastern Kentucky, Stopover offers a unique blend of natural beauty, rich history, and warm hospitality. Whether you’re passing through on a road trip or looking for a tranquil getaway, Stopover has something to offer for everyone.


With its picturesque landscapes, charming small-town atmosphere, and a wide range of activities, Stopover is the perfect destination for outdoor enthusiasts, history buffs, and those seeking a break from the hustle and bustle of city life. From exploring scenic hiking trails to immersing yourself in the area’s fascinating history, there is no shortage of things to see and do in Stopover.


As you explore this article, you’ll discover the vibrant history of Stopover, learn how to get here, find information on accommodations, dining options, and uncover the wealth of outdoor activities available in the area. Additionally, we’ll highlight the variety of museums and cultural attractions that showcase the rich heritage of Stopover. Plus, we’ll mention the shopping scene, the exciting events and festivals that take place throughout the year, and some nearby attractions and day trip options. So, get ready to discover all that Stopover has to offer.


So, whether you’re seeking a weekend escape or a memorable stopover on your Kentucky adventure, Stopover is sure to captivate you with its natural beauty, small-town charm, and unique attractions. So, pack your bags, hit the road, and get ready to experience all that Stopover, Kentucky has in store for you.


History of Stopover, Kentucky

The history of Stopover, Kentucky is deeply rooted in the coal mining industry that once thrived in this region. Originally known as “Ford’s Branch,” the town was renamed “Stopover” in the early 20th century due to its function as a stopping point for trains transporting coal.


Coal mining played a vital role in the development of Stopover. In the late 19th century, the discovery of coal deposits in Eastern Kentucky sparked a boom in the industry. With its rich coal reserves, Stopover quickly became a hub for mining operations, attracting a diverse population of miners, immigrants, and workers seeking employment opportunities.


During the early days of the coal industry, Stopover was a bustling community with numerous mines, company-owned homes, and essential facilities such as schools, churches, and stores. The town thrived as a close-knit community, with families relying on each other for support and solidarity in the face of the challenges posed by the demanding and often dangerous work of mining.


However, as the coal industry experienced fluctuating fortunes and technological advancements, the demand for labor declined, leading to the closure of many mines in the area. This resulted in a significant population decline and economic downturn in Stopover and other nearby coal mining communities.


Despite the challenges faced by the coal industry, Stopover and its resilient residents have persevered. Today, the town stands as a testament to the strength and perseverance of its people. While the once-thriving mining operations are no longer in operation, Stopover has found new opportunities for growth and reinvention.


As you explore Stopover, remnants of its mining heritage can still be seen, including old mine entrances and historical markers that tell the story of the town’s past. The history of Stopover is a living testament to the region’s rich coal mining legacy and the resilience and spirit of its inhabitants.


Today, Stopover is not just a town defined by its history. It has embraced its natural beauty and picturesque surroundings, attracting visitors from near and far. This blend of history and natural splendor makes Stopover a unique and intriguing destination for those looking to delve into the past and explore the wonders of eastern Kentucky.


Getting to Stopover

Getting to Stopover is a straightforward and scenic journey. Whether you choose to drive or prefer public transportation, there are several options available to reach this charming town in eastern Kentucky.


By Car: Stopover is conveniently located near major highways, making it easily accessible by car. If you’re traveling from the west, Interstate 64 is the primary route that will lead you to Stopover. From the east, take Route 460 or Route 80 to reach the town. The drive to Stopover offers stunning views of the Appalachian Mountains and the Kentucky countryside, making your journey as beautiful as your destination.


By Air: If you’re flying to Stopover, the closest major airport is the Tri-State Airport (HTS) in Huntington, West Virginia. It is approximately an hour and fifteen minutes’ drive from Stopover. From the airport, you can rent a car or arrange for a shuttle service to reach your destination.


By Bus: For those who prefer to travel by bus, Greyhound Bus Lines offers service to nearby cities such as Pikeville, Prestonsburg, and Williamson. Once you arrive at one of these bus stations, you can hire a taxi or arrange for a local transportation service to take you to Stopover.


By Train: Although there is no direct train service to Stopover, the Amtrak Cardinal Line connects nearby Ashland, Kentucky, with major cities such as Chicago, Indianapolis, and Washington, D.C. From Ashland, you can rent a car or arrange for a taxi to reach Stopover.


Once you arrive in Stopover, you’ll find that the town is easy to navigate, with most attractions and amenities located within a short distance. Whether you choose to explore on foot or prefer the convenience of a car, getting around Stopover is a breeze.


As you embark on your journey to Stopover, be sure to check for any road closures or traffic updates, especially during inclement weather conditions. Additionally, plan your travel in advance and consider the time of year, as the region experiences occasional snowy conditions during the winter months.


So, whether you’re driving through the scenic byways or arriving by bus or plane, reaching Stopover is an adventure in itself. Prepare for a picturesque journey and get ready to immerse yourself in the beauty and charm of this hidden gem in eastern Kentucky.



Stopover offers a range of accommodations to suit different preferences and budgets. Whether you’re looking for a quaint bed and breakfast or a comfortable hotel, you’ll find options that cater to your needs.


Bed and Breakfasts: For a cozy and personalized experience, consider staying at one of the charming bed and breakfasts in Stopover. These establishments offer comfortable rooms, home-cooked meals, and a warm, welcoming atmosphere. It’s a great way to immerse yourself in the local culture and receive personalized recommendations from your hosts.


Hotels and Motels: If you prefer more traditional accommodations, Stopover has a few well-appointed hotels and motels to choose from. These establishments provide comfortable rooms, modern amenities, and convenient access to the town’s attractions and activities.


Cabins and Vacation Rentals: For a rustic yet comfortable experience, consider renting a cabin or vacation home in Stopover. These options offer privacy, beautiful surroundings, and a chance to truly connect with nature. Perfect for families or those seeking a secluded retreat, cabins and vacation rentals provide a unique and memorable stay.


Campgrounds: If you’re an outdoor enthusiast or simply enjoy camping, you’ll find campgrounds in and around Stopover. These campgrounds offer facilities for RVs and tents, allowing you to fully immerse yourself in the natural beauty of the area. Wake up to the sounds of nature, roast marshmallows by the campfire, and enjoy a truly serene experience.


As Stopover is a smaller town, it’s advisable to book your accommodation in advance, especially during peak travel seasons or if you have specific requirements. Consider your preferences for location, amenities, and budget when choosing your accommodation.


Whichever option you choose, you’ll find warm hospitality, comfortable surroundings, and convenient access to the town’s attractions. The accommodations in Stopover are designed to ensure a restful and enjoyable stay so that you can make the most of your time in this charming part of Kentucky.


Dining Options

Stopover offers a variety of dining options that cater to different tastes and preferences. From down-home southern cooking to international cuisine, you’ll find a range of flavors and culinary experiences to satisfy your appetite.


Local Eateries: Stopover boasts several charming local eateries that serve up delicious comfort food. These establishments are known for their generous portions, friendly service, and warm atmosphere. Indulge in classic southern dishes like fried chicken, mashed potatoes, and homemade biscuits, or try regional specialties like country ham and cornbread. Don’t forget to save room for mouthwatering desserts like pecan pie or blackberry cobbler.


Barbecue Joints: Kentucky is known for its mouthwatering barbecue, and Stopover is no exception. Visit one of the local barbecue joints to savor tender smoked meats, flavorful sauces, and traditional side dishes such as coleslaw, baked beans, and cornbread. Whether you prefer pulled pork, smoked brisket, or fall-off-the-bone ribs, you’ll find barbecue that will tantalize your taste buds.


Cafés and Bakeries: If you’re looking for a cozy spot to enjoy a cup of coffee or a delicious pastry, Stopover has a few charming cafés and bakeries. Grab a latte and a freshly baked treat to start your day, or stop by for a mid-afternoon pick-me-up. These establishments often offer a selection of sandwiches, salads, and other light fare to satisfy your hunger.


International Cuisine: Stopover also has a few surprises for those craving international flavors. You’ll find restaurants that serve Mexican, Italian, Chinese, and other cuisines. Sample tangy salsas and flavorful tacos, indulge in homemade pasta and wood-fired pizzas, or savor the exotic spices of Asian dishes. These international dining options provide a diverse culinary experience amidst the Appalachian mountains.


Fast Food and Chains: For those seeking familiar and convenient options, Stopover has a few fast food chains that offer quick and easy meals. Whether you’re craving a burger and fries, a sub sandwich, or a pizza, these familiar establishments provide a reliable option for a satisfying meal.


As you explore the dining options in Stopover, consider trying some of the local specialties to truly immerse yourself in the regional flavors. Take the time to chat with the friendly locals and ask for their recommendations – they’re sure to point you in the direction of the best food that Stopover has to offer.


Whether you’re looking for hearty comfort food, barbecue, international flavors, or a quick bite, Stopover has dining options to suit every craving. Enjoy the delicious cuisine and warm hospitality that make dining in Stopover a memorable experience.


Outdoor Activities in Stopover

Stopover’s natural beauty and scenic surroundings provide ample opportunities for outdoor activities. Whether you’re an adventure seeker or simply enjoy spending time in nature, Stopover has something for everyone.


Hiking and Biking: Explore the picturesque landscapes of Stopover by venturing out on the numerous hiking and biking trails in the area. Immerse yourself in the beauty of the Appalachian Mountains as you hike through lush forests, discover hidden waterfalls, and enjoy panoramic views from scenic overlooks. Biking enthusiasts can take advantage of the well-maintained trails that wind through the mountains, offering a thrilling ride amidst breathtaking scenery.


Fishing: Stopover is a haven for fishing enthusiasts. Drop a line in the tranquil lakes, rivers, and streams to try your luck at catching a variety of fish species, including bass, trout, and catfish. Enjoy the peace and serenity of nature as you await the thrill of a bite, and don’t forget to familiarize yourself with local fishing regulations and obtain any necessary permits.


Boating and Kayaking: If you’re a fan of water activities, Stopover has options for boating and kayaking. Rent a kayak or bring your own and paddle along the calm, winding rivers, taking in the scenic beauty that surrounds you. For those who prefer motorized watercraft, several lakes in the area allow boating and provide opportunities for fishing, swimming, and leisurely cruises.


Scenic Drives: Take a leisurely drive through the picturesque countryside and soak in the beauty of Stopover’s landscapes. Immerse yourself in the colors of fall foliage, enjoy the freshness of spring blooms, or marvel at the snow-capped mountains during the winter months. The winding roads and panoramic views make for a scenic journey and a memorable way to explore the area.


Photography: Stopover’s natural beauty provides a perfect backdrop for photography enthusiasts. Capture the stunning landscapes, vibrant sunsets, and the unique flora and fauna that inhabit the region. Whether you’re an amateur or a professional, the scenic wonders of Stopover offer endless opportunities to capture captivating images.


Picnicking and Camping: For a relaxing day outdoors, pack a picnic and head to one of Stopover’s parks or scenic spots. Enjoy a meal surrounded by nature’s beauty, breathe in the fresh mountain air, and bask in the tranquility of your surroundings. If you’re looking for an overnight adventure, consider camping at one of the campgrounds in the area, allowing you to fully immerse yourself in the natural wonders of Stopover.


With its abundance of outdoor activities, Stopover is a nature lover’s paradise. Whether you prefer a thrilling adventure or a peaceful retreat, the natural beauty of Stopover offers endless possibilities for exploration and relaxation.


Museums and Cultural Attractions

Stopover is not just a town of natural beauty; it also boasts a rich cultural heritage and several museums and attractions that showcase the history and traditions of the region. Immerse yourself in the local culture by visiting these fascinating sites.


Coal Mining Museum: As a town with deep roots in the coal mining industry, Stopover is home to the Coal Mining Museum, which offers a glimpse into the past. Explore exhibits filled with artifacts, photographs, and interactive displays that depict the life of a coal miner and the impact of mining on the region. Gain a deeper understanding of the challenges, triumphs, and stories of the coal mining community that shaped Stopover.


Heritage Museum: Discover the rich history and heritage of Stopover at the local Heritage Museum. Housed in a historic building, the museum showcases the town’s evolution, exploring its early days as a mining community, its cultural traditions, and the resilience of its people. From historical photographs and documents to artifacts and personal stories, the Heritage Museum provides a comprehensive journey through Stopover’s past.


Appalachian Crafts: Stopover is also known for its Appalachian crafts and traditional arts. Visit local artisan shops and galleries to admire and purchase handcrafted pottery, woodwork, quilts, and other unique creations. Engage with the artists, learn about their techniques, and support the preservation of Appalachian craftsmanship.


Music and Folklore: The Appalachian region has a rich musical heritage, and Stopover is no exception. Immerse yourself in the sounds of traditional Appalachian music by attending local music performances or festivals. From lively bluegrass and country tunes to soulful folk ballads, the music of Stopover reflects the spirit and culture of its people.


Local Fairs and Festivals: Stopover hosts various fairs and festivals throughout the year, celebrating the region’s culture, traditions, and achievements. These events feature live music, arts and crafts, food vendors, and family-friendly activities. Don’t miss the opportunity to mingle with the locals, sample regional cuisine, and experience the vibrant community spirit that brings Stopover to life.


Community Theater: If you’re a fan of the performing arts, keep an eye out for local theater productions in Stopover. The community theater showcases local talent and puts on entertaining performances that range from small-scale productions to larger-scale plays and musicals. Support the local arts scene and enjoy an evening of live theater in the heart of Stopover.


As you explore the museums and cultural attractions in Stopover, you’ll gain a deeper appreciation for the rich heritage and vibrant community spirit that define this charming town. Whether you’re interested in history, traditional arts, music, or simply immersing yourself in the local culture, Stopover offers a variety of experiences that will leave you with lasting memories.


Shopping in Stopover

Despite its small size, Stopover offers a unique shopping experience that showcases the region’s artistic talent and local craftsmanship. Explore the local shops and boutiques to discover one-of-a-kind treasures and support the local economy.


Artisan Shops: Stopover is home to several artisan shops that highlight the unique craftsmanship of the region. Browse through a variety of handcrafted items, including pottery, woodworking, jewelry, candles, and more. These shops provide a great opportunity to find unique souvenirs or gifts that reflect the beauty and spirit of Stopover.


Antique Stores: If you enjoy hunting for vintage treasures, Stopover has a couple of antique stores for you to explore. Browse through a wide range of antique furniture, vintage collectibles, and unique curiosities. Whether you’re a seasoned collector or just beginning your antique journey, you’re sure to find something that catches your eye.


Local Boutiques: Stopover’s local boutiques offer a carefully curated collection of clothing, accessories, and home goods. From trendy fashion finds to vintage-inspired pieces, these boutiques provide a unique shopping experience. Discover stylish apparel, handmade accessories, and thoughtful decor items that reflect the charm and character of the region.


Farmers Markets: If you’re looking for fresh produce, local products, and a taste of the region’s agricultural bounty, make sure to visit the farmers markets in Stopover. These bustling markets offer a wide array of seasonal fruits and vegetables, homemade jams and jellies, artisanal cheeses, baked goods, and more. Connect with local farmers, support sustainable agriculture, and enjoy the flavors of Stopover.


Specialty Stores: Stopover is also home to a few specialty stores that cater to specific interests. From outdoor gear and sporting equipment to handmade crafts and home decor, these specialty stores offer a diverse range of products. Explore these unique shops for an unforgettable shopping experience.


When visiting Stopover’s shops, take the time to chat with the friendly store owners and artisans. They are often eager to share stories, provide recommendations, and offer insights into the local community. Shopping in Stopover is more than just purchasing items; it’s about connecting with the people and supporting the local economy.


So, set aside some time during your visit to explore the shopping scene in Stopover. Stroll through the streets, discover hidden gems, and take home a piece of this vibrant Appalachian town as a lasting memento of your visit.


Events and Festivals

Stopover is a town that loves to celebrate its culture, traditions, and community spirit. Throughout the year, Stopover hosts a variety of events and festivals that showcase the vibrancy and unique charm of the region. Whether you’re interested in music, arts, food, or family-friendly activities, there’s an event for everyone in Stopover.


Music Festivals: Stopover is known for its love of music, and there are several music festivals held in the town and its surrounding areas. From bluegrass and country to folk and Americana, these festivals feature live performances by talented musicians from the region and beyond. Enjoy toe-tapping tunes, connect with fellow music enthusiasts, and experience the magic of live music against the backdrop of the Appalachian mountains.


Craft Fairs and Art Walks: Stopover’s rich artistic community is celebrated through craft fairs and art walks that showcase local artisans and their unique creations. Explore a variety of handmade crafts, artwork, pottery, jewelry, and more. Engage with the artists, learn about their techniques, and take home a one-of-a-kind treasure that encapsulates the artistic spirit of Stopover.


Cultural Celebrations: Stopover embraces its cultural heritage through various cultural celebrations that take place throughout the year. These events highlight the traditions, food, music, and customs of the diverse communities that call Stopover home. From heritage festivals to cultural parades, visitors can immerse themselves in the vibrant tapestry of the region’s multicultural heritage.


Food Festivals: Food lovers can rejoice in the food festivals that tantalize taste buds with the flavors of Stopover. Indulge in local delicacies, sample regional specialties, and experience the culinary diversity of the area. From barbecues and chili cook-offs to harvest festivals and farm-to-table events, these festivals offer a delicious exploration of Stopover’s food scene.


Holiday Celebrations: Stopover knows how to celebrate the holidays in style. From festive parades and tree lighting ceremonies during Christmas to fireworks displays and community picnics on Independence Day, holiday celebrations bring the community together and create lasting memories for locals and visitors alike.


Community Gatherings: Throughout the year, Stopover hosts various community gatherings that foster camaraderie and a sense of belonging. These events include farmers markets, outdoor concerts, movie nights, and picnics in the park. It’s an opportunity to connect with the locals, experience the warm hospitality of Stopover, and create cherished memories.


When planning your visit to Stopover, check the events and festival calendar to see if any festivities align with your travel dates. Attending these events gives you a unique insight into the town’s culture, allows you to connect with the locals, and offers a memorable experience to cherish.


So, whether you’re tapping your toes to live music, admiring local craftsmanship, savoring delicious food, or joining in the community festivities, Stopover’s events and festivals provide an immersive and unforgettable experience for all.


Nearby Attractions and Day Trips

While Stopover itself offers a plethora of activities and attractions, the surrounding area is also filled with enticing destinations that make for perfect day trips. Explore the beauty and charm of eastern Kentucky by venturing beyond Stopover to discover these nearby attractions.


Breaks Interstate Park: Located just a short drive from Stopover, Breaks Interstate Park is often referred to as the “Grand Canyon of the South.” This expansive park spans the borders of Kentucky and Virginia and offers breathtaking views, hiking trails, picnic areas, camping facilities, and even a scenic river gorge. Marvel at the natural wonders, relax by the lake, or embark on an outdoor adventure in this pristine and picturesque location.


Pikeville: For a taste of small-town charm, visit Pikeville, a nearby city with a rich history and unique attractions. Explore the Pikeville Cut-Through, a man-made marvel that showcases the town’s engineering ingenuity. Visit the historic Pike County Courthouse, stroll along the picturesque riverfront, or attend a live performance at the Appalachian Center for the Arts. Pikeville also hosts various festivals and events throughout the year, making it an exciting day trip destination.


Elkhorn City: A short drive from Stopover will take you to Elkhorn City, a scenic town nestled at the confluence of the Russell Fork and Elkhorn Creek. Outdoor enthusiasts will love exploring the rugged beauty of Elkhorn City’s surroundings, including the nearby Breaks Canyon. Enjoy hiking, kayaking, and fishing opportunities, or simply take in the tranquil beauty of the river and mountains.


Historic Towns: Eastern Kentucky is dotted with charming historic towns that are worth exploring on day trips from Stopover. Visit Prestonsburg, which boasts historic architecture, a vibrant arts scene, and the Mountain Arts Center, a popular venue for live performances and cultural events. Take a trip to Paintsville and explore the Mayo Mansion, a beautiful Georgian-style home that has been converted into a museum. These towns offer a glimpse into the past and provide a deeper understanding of the region’s heritage and culture.


State Parks and Wildlife Refuges: Enjoy the great outdoors by visiting nearby state parks and wildlife refuges. John Flannagan Dam and Reservoir, Fishtrap Lake State Park, and Jenny Wiley State Resort Park offer opportunities for boating, fishing, hiking, and wildlife spotting. Immerse yourself in the tranquility of these natural settings and discover the diverse wildlife and plant life that call eastern Kentucky home.


When planning your day trips from Stopover, consider the interests of your travel companions and the activities that appeal to you. Whether you’re seeking outdoor adventures, cultural experiences, or historical immersion, the surrounding area of Stopover has an abundance of attractions to explore.


So, set aside a day or two during your visit to Stopover, hop in the car, and embark on an adventure to uncover the hidden gems and natural wonders that await in the neighboring towns and parks of eastern Kentucky.



Stopover, Kentucky, may be a small town, but it is brimming with natural beauty, rich history, and a warm sense of community. Whether you’re passing through or planning a longer stay, Stopover offers a myriad of attractions and activities that will leave you captivated and wanting more.


From exploring scenic hiking trails amidst the Appalachian Mountains to delving into the town’s coal mining heritage at local museums, there is something for everyone in Stopover. The charming bed and breakfasts, hotels, and cabins provide comfortable accommodations, while the local eateries offer mouthwatering southern cuisine and unique flavors.


Stopover’s cultural attractions, including museums, art galleries, and community theaters, showcase the town’s rich heritage and artistic talent. The local festivals and events celebrate the traditions, music, and culinary delights of the region, creating memorable experiences for visitors.


For outdoor enthusiasts, Stopover is a dream destination. The numerous outdoor activities available, such as hiking, biking, fishing, and boating, allow visitors to immerse themselves in the natural splendor of the area. The scenic drives, photography opportunities, and picnicking spots offer peaceful moments to connect with the beauty of the surroundings.


If you’re interested in exploring beyond Stopover, nearby attractions and day trips to places like Breaks Interstate Park, Pikeville, and historic towns provide additional opportunities for adventure and discovery.


In Stopover, you’ll find more than just a place to visit – you’ll find a community ready to welcome you with open arms. The friendly locals, proud of their town’s heritage, are eager to share their stories and recommendations, making your visit even more enjoyable.


So, immerse yourself in the charm and natural beauty of Stopover, Kentucky. Experience the warmth of its people, uncover its rich history, indulge in its delectable cuisine, and get lost in the breathtaking landscapes. Whether you’re seeking relaxation, adventure, or a deeper connection with the local culture, Stopover is sure to leave a lasting impression.


Pack your bags, hit the road, and embark on a journey to Stopover – a hidden gem that promises an unforgettable experience in the heart of eastern Kentucky.