For a Retro Road Trip, Get Your Kicks on Route 11, Where Monumental Kitsch Abounds

An hour north of Roanoke, you’ll find larger-than-life attractions along U.S. 11 — the Route 66 of Virginia's Blue Ridge.

At Dinosaur Kingdom II in Natural Bridge, artist Mark Cline entertains guests with humor and reimagined history. PHOTO BY LINDSEY HULL FOR THE ROANOKE RAMBLER

SHENANDOAH VALLEY, Va. — Back in the day, summer road trips meant boredom in the backseat of the family car. We would ride for hours or days, staring out the window. If we were lucky, we’d see a billboard beckoning us to visit the world’s tallest cowboy. If we were luckier, we’d convince our parents to stop. 

Now we’re driving the car, and we can stop whenever we want.

Head just an hour north of Roanoke and you’ll find a stretch of highway booming with retro larger-than-life attractions to lure you in on your next Route 11 road trip. 

We’re talking giant cookware, dinosaurs, rock formations, the king of rock, and even the elusive Bigfoot. Keep your eyes peeled; you might encounter some surprises along the way.