Offbeat, obscure, and downright weird—maybe even a little bit haunted—we’ve got the Virginia road trip adventure for you and your crew.
Whether you’re driving a Volvo V60 Cross Country Wagon or a sporty C70 convertible, there’s a weird and wonderful attraction just waiting along Virginia’s byways. Gas up the sedan or SUV and take off on an Old Dominion road trip to spots from White Post and Centreville to Virginia Beach, Locust Grove, and Bealeton.
3848 Stonewall Jackson Highway | White Post, Virginia 22663
Who knew Jurassic Park was right here in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley? Inspired by a Florida attraction (probably Dinosaur World), Dinosaur Land has been open for 50 years. There are more than 50 dinosaur statues of all shapes and sizes. Check out life-size versions of Velociraptor, T-Rex, and Megalosaurus. I have to admit, Stegosaurus and Apatosaurus are my favorites. No offense, meat-eaters. Before you leave, you have to stop in at the gift shop where you’ll find jams and jellies, Fenton glassware, Pennsylvania Dutch Candies, and lots and lots of dinosaur trinkets, treats, and tees.
Cox Farms |15621 Braddock Road | Centreville, Virginia 20120
Looking for a summer solstice pilgrimage right here in the U.S.? Look no further than Centreville. Backed by the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia (rather than the fields of Wiltshire, England) Foamhenge is a full-scale recreation of Stonehenge. Every dent, crack, and crevice has been expertly copied from the real stones. In foam. It’s even supposedly astronomically correct.
Fiberglass artist Mark Cline of Enchanted Castle Studio, who just happened to create some of the dinosaurs for the aforementioned Dinosaur Land, is the sculptor behind this wacky wonder. The foam sculpture was originally set up in 2004 at Natural Bridge as an April Fool’s joke that took off. It was dismantled and moved to Centreville in 2017.
Foamhenge is located on private property, so there is limited viewing. It’s closed entirely January through March and is open limited hours in the spring and summer.
The Cavalier Hotel
4200 Atlantic Avenue | Virginia Beach, Virginia 23451
The stately, and supposedly haunted, Cavalier Hotel sits on a hill overlooking the Atlantic Ocean and the north end of the Virginia Beach boardwalk. You can’t miss the giant letters spelled out on the lawn. Spectral sounds and sightings include meowing cats, a piano playing on its own, a friendly but disappearing bellman, and the ghost of Adolph Coors, who passed on at the hotel in 1929.
The Grave of Stonewall Jackson’s Arm
½ mile south of Wilderness intersection at Rt. 3 and Rt. 20 | Locust Grove, Virginia 22508
General Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson was accidentally shot (by his own troops) during the Battle of Chancellorsville in 1863. He died of pneumonia a week later, however, his left arm had to be amputated due to infection. A chaplain felt the arm should have a proper burial, and his brother’s estate at Ellwood Manor was chosen. There’s a headstone and everything. The 18th-century home is part of the National Park Service.
Giant Roller Skate
12099 Marsh Road | Bealeton, Virginia 22712
Get the whole group to gather for a photo by this fun roadside attraction. The actual skating rink, Rollerworks Family Skating Center, is closed, but the 10-foot tall roller skate remains. It’s made of wood and plaster and first appeared during the skating craze in the ‘80s. It’s been refurbished in recent years and is just as awesome as ever.
What’s your favorite Virginia roadside attraction? Have you ever been to a haunted hotel? Let us know in the comments.