Who doesn’t love cruising a beautiful country road in the Piedmont and foothills of the Blue Ridge?
Waterways define the Dan River State Crossings, natch, but most people find cars to be the easiest way to explore it. We’ve charted out three roads that slice through welcoming towns, gorgeous countryside views and fun places to explore: US Route 8, US Route 158, and US Route 360.
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Route 8 plunges from the Blue Ridge Mountains, taking you on a twisty route south (or north, depending on your druthers) with beautiful vistas.
Drop from the Blue Ridge Plateau into Patrick County. Stop in Woolwine for a couple of the Dan River region’s best-kept outdoor secrets. Hike up Rock Castle Gorge or race the bike trails at I.C. DeHart Memorial Park. And if it’s peach season, make sure to check out Wade’s Orchard & Roadside Farm Stand.
Then head south to Stuart, the Patrick County seat. Visit Stuart’s retail shops and get a cup of coffee at the Honduras Coffee Company. Continue on and cross the state line in North Carolina. Continue on through the lovely communities of Campbell and Lawsonville.
When you get to Danbury, take some time to poke around. Get a snack and check out the arts and crafts at Artists’ Way Creations. Or grab a meal at Lulu’s Dan River Family Restaurant. Explore Moratock Park, with with picnicking, swimming, fishing, a children’s play area, ball field, walking trail, shelters, canoe access.
You can’t visit Danbury without stopping by Hanging Rock State Park—an outdoor adventure destination. For more, read our recommendations for an awesome Hanging Rock weekend. You can begin that pursuit of adventure in Danbury by checking in with Carolina Ziplines or an outfitter.
Continue on south and end your drive through the State Crossings region in Germanton, an unincorporated community on the Forsyth and Stokes county line. If hungry, grab a bite at the Little Creek Diner.
U.S. Route 158
U.S. 158 cuts west to east across North Carolina, including the Piedmont region that makes up the State Crossings.
Begin in Monroeton, where you can visit the Haw River State Park. The park is still new, but you can enjoy lovely scenery and the park’s first, 3.2-mile loop trail.
From there, head east to Reidsville, originally known as Wright’s Crossroads. In season, visit Reidsville’s farmers market for fresh fruits, vegetables and other treats. Walk downtown to explore local shops, or go birding on the Chinqua Penn Walking Trail. Make sure to cure your munchies at one of Reidsville’s many restaurants.
Drive on through Casville, which is known for its stunning Christmas lights displays. Pass on through Yanceyville, the Caswell County seat. Yanceyville hosts the annual Bright Leaf Hoedown and other events. For eats, hit up Briggs Barbeque, the Rio Grande Restaurant or one of Yanceyville’s other restaurants.
Continue to Leasburg, which sits on the Caswell and Person county line, and then Roxboro. Enjoy a meal at one of the city’s numerous restaurants. Top off your drive with a stop at Palace Pointe, where you can find bowling, pool tables, roller skating, bumper cars, arcade and eight movie theaters.
U.S. Route 360
U.S. 360 cuts across upper southern Virginia, running west-southwest from Richmond before reaching the State Crossings in Halifax County, beginning with Clover. Henrietta Lacks, an African-American woman whose cancer cells became one of the most important cell lines in medical research, lived much of her life here. She is remembered in Clover with a historical marker.
Drive west to Scottsburg, where you should take some time to visit Staunton River State Park. The 2,400-acre park offers woodlands, meadows and shoreline along the Dan and Staunton rivers. The park also includes an equestrian campground and access to Virginia’s largest lake, Buggs Island Lake.You can also find has Olympic-sized and wading pools, picnic shelters, three playgrounds, tennis and volleyball courts, several boat launches and more than 17 miles of multi-use trails.
Continue on and enjoy Halifax’s version of Main Street America. Find shopping and arts, along with a range of agri-tourism opportunities.
Drive on through the unincorporated communities of Vernon Hill and Keeling. You’ll eventually reach Danville, which also sits at the crossroads of U.S. 29 and U.S. 58. You can find so much to do in Danville that we did a story on how to spend an awesome weekend there.