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The Shenandoah Valley’s Quirkiest Roadside Attractions

Shenandoah Caverns

The Shenandoah Valley is full of hidden gems and quirky roadside attractions that will captivate visitors of all ages. From a giant collection of parade floats to a dinosaur-themed park with some surprising twists, there’s something for everyone. So if you’re looking for a fun and unique road trip destination, be sure to add the Shenandoah Valley to your list! Here are some of our favorite must-see attractions.

American Celebration on Parade / 397 Caverns Road, Quicksburg

A whimsical and unique collection of parade floats decorated with vibrant colors and larger-than-life figures will enchant families at American Celebration on Parade. The floats celebrated some of the most iconic events in American history, including presidential inaugurations and Rose Bowl parades. Examine the floats up close to appreciate the artistry and craftsmanship that went into their creation and gain a deeper appreciation for their role in our cultural heritage. Whether you’re a history buff, an art enthusiast, or simply looking for a fun and educational outing, American Celebration on Parade is a captivating experience. The parade display is part of the Shenandoah Caverns complex, where you can venture underground to see one-of-a-kind geological formations, sluice for precious stones, and window shop into the past with the Main Street of Yesteryear display. Complete your adventure with a classic burger, fries, and a milkshake at the retro Caverns Café, which boasts a 1957 Bastian Blessing Soda Fountain. 

Still hungry? Stop at the Route 11 Potato Chip Factory to watch chips fry and try a sample. You’ll also want to visit the 1892 Meems Bottom Covered Bridge, which is the longest covered bridge in Virginia. This wooden structure spans the North Fork of the Shenandoah River and holds a spot on the National Register of Historic Places.

The Shenandoah Valley S Quirkiest Roadside Attractions

Valley Pike Farm Market / 3494 Lee Hwy, Weyers Cave

Valley Pike Farm Market lives in a Shenandoah Valley barn built in the 1800s. The historic bank barn was slated for demolition before it was deconstructed and moved piece by piece to its current location along Route 11 – ten miles from where it was originally built! The reconstructed space now serves as a vibrant community gathering place showcasing the region’s culinary and cultural heritage. It supports Virginia farmers and local makers by offering artisanal foods, handcrafted goods, local snacks, and over 300 craft beers and wines. Pop in on your commute for a beverage from the Rumor Mill Coffee Shop and homemade pastry from Sweet Creations. Visitors can also stay awhile, relaxing over drinks at the fieldstone bar or kicking back on the deck with sandwiches from the Boar’s Head Deli or classic burgers, tacos, or barbecue from the onsite food trucks. The market hosts events like live music, cider festivals, and floral workshops.

Valley Pike Farm Market is the perfect roadside stop for local shopping and eating as you explore nearby gems like Grand Caverns and Harmony Harvest Farm. Treasure hunters will love Rocky’s Gold, Silver & Antiques, and the Factory Antique Mall, which is the largest in the country.

The Shenandoah Valley S Quirkiest Roadside Attractions

Dinosaur Kingdom II / 5781 S Lee Hwy, Natural Bridge

Dinosaur Kingdom II is a quirky and interactive timewarp of a roadside tourist attraction that sends you and the kids back to a twisted version of 1864. You’ll see Civil War notables, including Abe Lincoln and Stonewall Jackson, pitted against a menagerie of life-sized dinosaurs. You’ll also encounter robots, slimers, giant insects, and a maze with a goofy sense of humor. Don’t worry if it’s a hot day because this walk-through park experience has plenty of shade, and one of the highlights is a water gun battle with Big Foot! The park is the brainchild of fiberglass sculptor Mark Cline, who creates attractions for theme parks all over the country. If you’re lucky, you’ll meet him at DKII or leading a Haunting Tales ghost tour in Lexington. 

Do you have more time to spend in Natural Bridge? Visit Natural Bridge State Park to walk under the massive limestone bridge and hike the trails. There’s a new disc golf trail and a children’s play area. The Caverns at Natural Bridge are the deepest on the East Coast and also a great place to cool off. Very close by is Virginia Safari Park, where you can meet exotic animals up close and personal. Pick a bouquet of fragrant blossoms in the wildflower field at Virginia Gold Orchard or wind for 1.7 miles through the 2,000-tree apple tree labyrinth at Halcyon Days Cider Co. The Pink Cadillac Diner, Layne’s Country Store, Natty B’s Cafe and Natural Bridge General Store are excellent nearby stops for food and ice cream. 

The Shenandoah Valley S Quirkiest Roadside Attractions

The Seven-Story Tall Mural, “Kaiya” / 200 Race Ave, Waynesboro

Kaiya,” world-renowned muralist Nils Westergard’s largest mural at the time of its creation in 2019, is a one-of-a-kind roadside attraction located at the edge of Waynesboro’s Constitution Park. Completed in just one week during the Virginia Street Art Festival, somber-faced Kaiya rises seven stories high on the side of the old Cassco Ice Plant building. Wearing a mantle of tulips, Kaiya watches over the city and sparks lots of discussion about what she might be thinking. Snap your selfie with Kaiya before exploring the rest of Waynesboro’s Street Arts Trail, which showcases original works of art by Westergard and others. 14 are located in the downtown footprint.

If you’re traveling with kids, the Blue Ridge Children’s Museum’s natural playground and Stone Soup Books’ eclectic collection of rescued books are located steps away. Next, take a stroll along the South River Greenway and photograph the river-themed LOVEworks installation. 

Downtown Waynesboro is home to over half a dozen art galleries, museums, and entertainment venues along with lots of independently-owned shops and a dozen local dining options.

The Shenandoah Valley S Quirkiest Roadside Attractions

Don’t miss these other Shenandoah Valley Roadside Attractions:

The Shenandoah Valley is a road-trippers paradise, with quirky attractions around every bend. So grab your camera and hit the road to discover these quirky roadside attractions for yourself!

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