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Journey back to the time of dinosaurs

by Ana Eastep

By Gina Gallucci-White 

While taking a road trip through Virginia to hot spots such as Luray Caverns or Shenandoah National Park’s Skyline Drive, take a break to stretch your legs at a truly entertaining and kitschy place. If you have kids, Dinosaur Land is a must-see.


This family-friendly roadside attraction dates back more than 50 years and takes guests back in time. (Way before the first “Jurassic Park” movie was released.) The park, which offers a self-guided tour, features more than 50 life-sized dinosaur statues along with a number of other well-known creatures from nature (made in large scale) such as a shark, praying mantis, cobra and octopus. A visitor favorite is a 20-foot King Kong (you can stand in his hand).

Some older statues are made of plaster while others are more modern and constructed of fiberglass. 

There is a sign by every statue telling visitors the proper name for and giving a few brief facts about each dinosaur. Most of the trail is well shaded thanks to tall trees so you can skip the sunblock for this trip if going during the summer months. 

While it is fun to see the statues, the best part is taking pictures with them. You can just stand in front of them and smile, but where is the fun in that? Social media is all about the likes so why not make some interesting pictures? Pretend a carnivore is after you. Grab some grass and feed an herbivore.

Like all theme parks, there is a huge gift shop featuring a wide variety of dino-themed products. 

For those looking for eclectic stop in Virginia as a way to break up a monotonous trip, look for the huge Tyrannosaurus Rex and Brontosaurus on Stonewall Jackson Highway. You can’t miss them.

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