Dinosaur Land

Roadside Americana is one of my favorite things about road tripping in the United States.  Weird art? Unique Collections? Home-made attractions? Mini-Museums?  I love all of it.

\"\"Recently on a road trip through Virginia, I realized I was close to Dinosaur Land. Dinosaur Land is a small landscaped park with dinosaur sculptures / statues positioned throughout a trail park.  It is the quintessential road side tourist attraction, complete with large shopping center. I had it flagged on my maps for years, and this was an opportunity I did not want to miss.

So off to Dinosaur Land we went!

A world of creativity

As you enter Dinosaur Land, you pass through the visitor center / gift shop and enter a fenced hallway with a velociraptor poised as a greeter.  Then you pass through haunted-woods tree-tunnel with cartoon eyes. As you emerge, you enter a large field speckled with creatures, including some fantasy characters you’ll recognize immediately.

This park was never meant to be a journey into scientific accuracy, but they do have signage that gives the dinosaur names and (very helpfully) the pronunciations.  You’ll have enough real material to give the kids a chance to name that Dino!  But you’ll also have enough entertainment for it to be a lot of fun, even educational.

\"\"There is a giant Megalodon shark that allows you to enter the ‘head’ and pose behind its giant white teeth. There is also massive giant squid or octopus, which you have to crawl under one of its arms to navigate the pathway. Everything invites imagination, interaction, and fun. For little kids, and the little kids at heart, there is something genuinely enjoyable about roaming these pathways.

I don’t know any facts about this park, so I hope I’m not representing it inaccurately. It looks like the dinosaurs are home made by a group of creative folks. I would like to imagine a family project of designing and building these dinosaurs during long summer nights with a bunch of spray foam, chicken wire, spray paint, and cold beers.  I’d love to be a part of those design parties. Your just know someone is still advocating for glowing red eyes!

The highlight of the park seemed to be the giant King Kong statue. He was built so that kids could climb up a set of stairs and then sit in his outstretched hand.  Every parent was diligently capturing dozens of photos of their kids sitting in King Kong’s big hand.

\"\"Despite the home made quality of these creations, I loved every single one of them.  This park is a visual playground begging for an afternoon stroll, lighthearted entertainment, and a chance to take amazing photos with or without your little ones.  It is exactly what Roadside Americana was meant to be!

If you have young kids, this place is surely to be a fun visit the whole family will enjoy.  If you are a kid at heart – you won’t go wrong visiting Dinosaur Land and taking tons of fun photos.

Oh…. and the shop has some amazing Dino swag.  I was sorely tempted to slap down some real cash.

Road Trip Stops

Check out the other locations we visited on this adventurous long-weekend

  • Bridge Walk!
  • New River Gorge National Park
  • Thurmond Ghost Town
  • Grandview Overview
  • Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum
  • Skyline Drive
  • Dinosaur Land