Virginia Scenic Byways 

Traversing scenic winding roads, discovering the charm of small towns, stumbling upon quirky roadside attractions, and scoring local eats at farm stands and diners are just a few surprises you'll find along Virginia's byways. 

Discover countless scenic vistas, hidden gems, and some of the best camping and hiking destinations along 3,600 miles of Virginia Scenic Byways and lesser known routes below.

Mount Rogers Scenic Byway offers a variety of picturesque curves and interesting changes in the terrain as you follow one of two sections which traverse the heart of the Mount Rogers National Recreation Area.

The Nelson Scenic Loop in Nelson County is a 50-mile route incorporating the Blue Ridge Parkway with spurs leading to hiking, biking, birding, amazing scenery like Crabtree Falls, and many tasty wineries and breweries.

The Appalachian Waters Scenic Byway traverses Route 39 between Lexington and Summersville, West Virginia. Must-see stops along the route include Goshen Pass, Millboro, Warm Springs, and Hot Springs -- home of the historic Omni Homestead Resort.

Big Walker Mountain Scenic Byway passes through national forest and private land, showcasing mountain vistas, historic farm homesteads, and tree-lined forests in far southwest Virginia.

The Back of the Dragon is a route loved by motorcyclists for its winding cut-backs. Described as a “two lane ribbon,” it courses Route 16 between Tazewell and Marion.

Many scenic roads will lead you to 1,100 miles of shoreline along the Chesapeake Bay and the Potomac and Rappahannock Rivers, which define Virginia’s Northern Neck. Vineyards and wineries dot the landscape, and small towns, local restaurants, quaint inns, colonial architecture, and museums welcome visitors throughout the region.

The Wilderness Road: Virginia's Heritage Migration Route, was the primary route taken by early settlers to Southwest Virginia. It is an adventure through 23 Virginia localities and includes the Fincastle Turnpike and Carolina Road.

The Crooked Road encompasses more than 300-miles as it winds through the scenic mountain terrain of Southwest Virginia. Explore more than 92 attractions and 244 outdoor recreation sites along the Crooked Road, and don’t miss out on Virginia’s Appalachian crafts and heritage music at venues along the way. Check out the map to plan your route.

Plan your trip with the Virginia Scenic Byways Map and discover 3,600 miles of Virginia Byways.

  • Route 11 – The famous Route 11 runs north to south through the Shenandoah Valley, parallel to Interstate 81, from Clear Brook on the West Virginia line to Bristol on the Tennessee line. Follow this route to avoid highway traffic on a leisurely road trip filled with nostalgia, beautiful scenery, quaint downtowns, and an array of roadside foodie stops.
  • Route 13 – Route 13 on Virginia’s Eastern Shore offers family-friendly beaches, wildlife refuges, and a NASA Flight Facility. Begin your tour as you drive above open water across the 17.6-mile Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel, which connects Virginia Beach to the Eastern Shore, and enjoy low-key coastal life in charming coastal small towns like Cape Charles, Onancock, and Chincoteague.
  • Route 43 – State Route 43 runs from Bedford through Buchanan and into Eagle Rock. Rolling countryside, mountain vistas, pastoral scenery, wildlife, native wildflowers, and picnic areas are abundant. Visit the National D-Day Memorial, stop at Peaks of Otter Lodge, and end with a hike at Roaring Run Furnace in Jefferson National Forest.
  • Route 611 – Cumberland Mountain Scenic Drive, begins in Clintwood and winds 21 miles through the mountains, offering a variety of wildlife and outdoor recreation. Check out Birch Knob Tower and John Flannagan Dam and Reservoir, and take a five-mile detour to visit Breaks Interstate Park, the “Grand Canyon of the South.”
  • Route 10 – Route 10 from Smithfield to Chippokes Plantation State Park runs on the south side of the James River. Enjoy a waterside meal at Smithfield Station and then explore the shops of this historic ham hamlet before heading northwest to Bacon’s Castle, the 1665 Jacobean mansion and oldest brick structure in British North America.
  • Route 80 – Route 80 begins in Meadowview, Virginia near the town square and Harvest Table Restaurant. This route allows you to travel all the way to the Kentucky State line near Breaks Interstate Park. Along the way you will encounter mountainous terrain, scenic overlooks, state parks, and various small town communities.

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