You can get your kicks on Route 66, but in Virginia, you’ll find that life is great on U.S. 58.
The road, Virginia’s longest, at 508 miles, runs just north of the commonwealth’s southern border, connecting Virginia Beach to the Cumberland Gap. In between, U.S. 58 runs through Halifax County, Pittsylvania County, Henry County and Patrick County—all part of the beautiful Dan River State Crossings region on the Virginia/North Carolina line.
U.S. 58 deserves a week or more to fully explore, rolling from the mountains to the seat, but the Dan River section contains enough adventure and attractions for its own trip. We’ve collected a few highlights, traveling from the west to the east.
U.S. 58 crosses the Blue Ridge Parkway at Meadows of Dan, a small community with loads of character. Start out at Meadows of Dan village, just off the parkway. Shop at the Meadows Mercantile, Christmas in the Meadows, Nancy’s Candy Company, Poor Farmer’s Market, and more. Take some extra time to relax on the wraparound porch at the Olde House in Meadows of Dan.
You can get lost in an all-encompassing resort getaway at nearby Primland. Stay at a lodge, cabin, or even a treehouse. While there, enjoy world-class golf, fishing, shooting, and fine dining—all without leaving the resort grounds.
U.S. 58 continues on through Stuart, the Patrick County seat and home to a range of shops and destinations, including the Wood Brothers Museum, which displays classic cars and memorabilia from one of NASAR’s founding teams. Admission is free, and the museum is open weekdays from 8:30 a.m. to noon and from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.
U.S. 58 continues across the county line and wraps around Martinsville, home to one of NASCAR’s most distinctive racetracks. The Martinsville Speedway is currently in its 72nd season, and 70th as a foundational track on the NASCAR circuit. Known as the “Paperclip” and “the Half-Mile of Mayhem,” Martinsville hosted one of NASCAR’s eight Strictly Stock races in 1949. That marked the first year of what’s known today as the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series.
H. Clay Earles carved Martinsville Speedway out of Henry County clay in 1947. The track quickly became a fan favorite for its unique layout: two 800-foot straightaways hooked together by short, tight and almost flat turns with just 11 degrees of banking. The demanding layout consistently produces some of the wildest racing each season.
While visiting, stop by Rania’s Restaurant, Bar, and Grill, which offers Italian, traditional American, Spanish and French cuisine selections. The restaurant also offers a full bar, with an international selection of liquor, beer, and wine.
Danville and Pittsylvania County
U.S. 58 passes through the city of Danville, known both as the third capital of the Confederacy during the Civil War and as the home of legendary racecar driver Wendell Scott, the first African-American to win a NASCAR race.
Find out more about Wendell Scott through the Danville Museum of Fine Arts & History’s biography from his induction into the Danville Hall of Fame. You can also visit the state historical marker dedicated to Scott in Danville on the stretch of road named for him.
U.S. 58 runs into more NASCAR history in Halifax County when it hits South Boston, home to famous brother drivers Jeff and Ward Burton. The road passes just north of the Dan River and VIRginia International Speedway, America’s first true “motorsport resort.”
VIR is built around a 3.27-mile multi-purpose road course that hosts amateur auto, motorcycle racing, and other track events. But while racing is the heart of VIR, the expansive 1,300-acre property also serves a vacation destination with a number of onsite hotel and lodging options. Within the property’s rolling hills and miles of lush forest, guests can enjoy unique amenities such as the exclusive Driver’s Club, karting, off-road racing, skeet shooting, pistol, and rifle ranges, skid pad, dining options, spa and more.
More to do
You can find plenty of ways to enjoy life on U.S. 58, but even more in the Dan River State Crossings. Here a few different ideas for trips.