Scenic Drives in Southwest Virginia

Scenic Drives in Southwest Virginia

Blue Ridge Parkway Crooked Road

We know you’re itching to explore Southwest Virginia and have some fun! We have taken some time and crafted an exceptional set of itineraries just for you! No matter what type of explorer you consider yourself, we have just the right things in mind for you! Today we are kicking off our itinerary list with SWVA scenic drives!

Please note some locations may be currently closed or limited due to COVID19. Be sure to check with specific localations while exploring at this time.


Scenic Drives

One thing that makes Southwest Virginia such a special place is our beautiful and scenic backroads and byways. Along many of these paths you will find breathtaking views, cultural history, and loads of fun destinations to visit along the way. Here are a few of our favorite scenic drives in Southwest Virginia.

Back of the Dragon

Scenic viewpoint from Back of the Dragon

Stretching from Marion to Tazewell, Virginia, the Back of the Dragon is a motor enthusiast dream! Complete with 32 miles of roadway with 438 curves and an elevation of 3500 ft, you’re guaranteed to see some wonderful landscapes, wildlife, and breathtaking experiences. Aside from enjoying a nice day drive, you can also stop by the two connecting towns to enjoy a nice meal, parks & recreation, and shopping.

Back of the Dragon

Town of Marion

Town of Tazewell

Blue Ridge Parkway

Credit: Blue Ridge Parkway Association

The scenic Blue Ridge Parkway is 469 miles of wonder stretching from Virginia to North Carolina. There are plentiful options for driving, hiking, biking, camping, and history. With so much to do and explore it’s easiest to plan this trip ahead and maybe even plan a few days or a weeks worth of time. The Blue Ridge Parkway website hosts a lot of great information, itineraries, and options while on your trip. Be sure you bring your camera!

VA State Route 80

Meadowview Town Square at Rt. 80

Route 80 is another winding road traveling out in the country. The route begins in Meadowview, Virginia near the town square and Harvest Table Restaurant. This route will allow 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 SWVA communities. Route 80 is a popular route among motorcycle enthusiasts and even some bicyclists.

U.S. Route 58

US 58 Abingdon, Virginia

Another fun route that travels from end to end in Virginia is Route 58. This fun road is great if your planning a longer road trip in Virginia and want to encounter a lot of communities, scenery, and stops along the way. Although this route isn’t always as winding as some of the others, it’s still an enjoyable ride for motorcyclists and roadway seekers alike. Route 58 is packed full of history, things to do, and places to go. You’ll find everything from music, food, places to stay, photo opportunities and more. It takes roughly ten hours to travel from end to end.

Virginia Tourism has a fantastic blog series mentioning many things Route 58 has to offer.

Drive Through Area Downtowns

Downtown Damascus Virginia

There’s nothing quite like driving through history downtown districts. With plentiful shopping, dining, and lodging options available there’ no mistaking these trips. Many of our small town communities are within close driving distance of each other and visiting multiple locations in a day is no problem at all. Each town has their own unique traits and fun things to offer. Take a step back in time, see local art, hear local music, shop local business, and dine at local eateries. You can also visit local area tourism offices to find out more about what each community has to offer. Here are a few communities we might mention:

  • Abingdon
  • Damascus
  • Marion
  • Wytheville
  • Saltville
  • Glade Spring
  • Bristol
  • Floyd
  • Tazewell
  • Chilhowie

To find out about more locations in SWVA you can visit the areas section of our website HERE!

The Crooked Road

A 330-mile long driving trail packed full of music, history, and fun! The Crooked Road is home to music venues, concert series, and family-friendly entertainment around every corner. The Crooked Road began in 2003 and includes 19 counties, 4 cities, 50 towns, and many music venues. Along The Crooked Road, you can learn a lot about SWVA music and heritage by visiting various landmarks around the region. To name a few along the way:

To find out more about The Crooked Road, you can visit their website HERE.

Join us as we continue this “Great American Roadtrip” series as we continue to visit places to go and things to do around Southwest Virginia!