Dinosaur Land

Shenandoah Valley

Before heading into Shenandoah National Park and its stunning natural beauty, stop here for some fantastic man-made tackiness. Although it’s an 'educational prehistoric forest,' with more than 50 life-size dinosaurs (and a King Kong for good measure), you’d probably learn more about the tenants by fast-forwarding through Jurassic Park 3. But that’s not why you’ve stopped here, so grab your camera and sidle up to the triceratops for memories that will last a millennium.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Shenandoah Valley attractions

1. Museum of the Shenandoah Valley


Located in the town of Winchester, some 25 miles north of Front Royal, this museum comprises an 18th-century house museum filled with period furnishings,…

2. Skyline Caverns

11.78 MILES

Boasting rare, white-spiked anthodites – mineral formations that look like sea urchins – these caverns are Front Royal's main claim to fame. Guided tours…

3. Rappahannock Cellars

15.57 MILES

The major draw here is the setting: vineyard-covered hills shadow the horizon, like some slice of Northern Italian pastoral prettiness that got lost…

4. Bluemont Vineyard

16.67 MILES

Producing an award-winning Petit Manseng, this winery between Winchester and Leesburg is a wonderful lunch stop due to its spectacular location at the…

5. Barrel Oak Winery

17.13 MILES

Love visiting wineries but find that the junior members of your household cramp your style? This hilltop winery near Delaplane in Fauquier County is the…

6. Otium Cellars

21.6 MILES

Produces some unusual Austrian- and German-style wines, including a Grüner Veltliner, Blaufränkisch and Dornfelder. Often stages live music and hosts food…

7. National Sporting Museum

22.55 MILES

Middleburg is foxhunting territory (Middleburg's Hunt meets regularly), so it's not surprising that its main museum takes as its focus equine sports…

8. 868 Estate Vineyards

24.52 MILES

One of the smaller Loudoun Heights operations, this place is best known for its farm-to-table Grandale Restaurant (mains $25 to $32, open noon to 9pm…