Virginia History October 21, 2015
by Anna Strock 14 Retro Places In Virginia That Will Take You Back In Time
There are times when modern is nice, but there are times when you just don’t want every interaction to be on a touchscreen. When you find that special place that takes you back to an easier, simpler time…well, that’s just pure magic. There are plenty of places in Virginia that have held on to the beauty of the past without losing the fun and style of today. Here are just a few places you might want to check out when you’re feeling the need for some retro.
1. Splitsville, Fredericksburg
Styled with all of the grace and elegance of times gone by, Splitsville is a old school bowling experience with modern comfort and flair. Check out times and pricing at
2. Skeeter's Hot Dogs, Wytheville
Skeeter’s has been a Wythevilles staple since 1925. With lunch counter service and a bottle of Texas Pete hot sauce on every table, this classic joint is a favorite, not just for their tasty southern-style "red" hot dogs, but for the toppings that include minced onion, homemade chili and classic southern slaw. Visit them on Facebook at
Skeeter's World Famous Hot Dogs
3. The Exmore Diner, Exmore
Since 1954, the Exmore Diner has been a favorite for locals and visitors to Virginia's Eastern Shore. Featuring 1950s flair and many original fixtures and decor, Exmore serves up fresh, local seafood and homestyle comfort food that will remind you of your grandmother's kitchen. Visit them at
to learn more.
4. Dinosaurland, White Post
For more than 50 years, Dinosaurland has been one of Virginia's best known roadside attractions. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if many of you remember stopping there as a kid. (Or as an adult! There's no judgement here.) After all, who can resist giant fiberglass dinosaurs locked in battle? And if that doesn’t grab your attention, then surely the 70-foot long giant squid or 20-foot high King Kong will do the trick. Be sure to see all that Dinosaurland offers
6. Buchanan Grille Lunch Counter at Ransone's Drug Store, Buchanan
There used to be a time when the local drug store was more than just a place for prescriptions and the latest fashion magazines. Drug stores used to be a place to hang out after school, get a soda or share a meal. Ransone's Drugstore keeps the tradition alive with the Buchanan Grille Lunch Counter, serving up delicious home cooked food in an old school environment. Be sure to stop by for one of their famous breakfasts or burgers at 19771 Main Street in Buchanan.
7. Central Park Funland, Fredericksburg
For old-fashioned arcade fun, try Central Park Funland's mix of old school and new school video and arcade games. With over 100 games, plus rides, laser tag, go-karts, miniature golf, batting cages, mini bowling and more, you'll feel like a kid again. Find out more at
Central Park Funland
8. Starlite Drive-In, Christiansburg
If you're looking for a real-deal, authentic drive-in -- the kind you remember from when you were a kid -- look no further than the Starlite. Featuring old and new movies, a snack bar and authentic drive-in speakers, it doesn't get much better than movies under the stars. Visit them at
to learn more.
9. General Francis Marion Hotel, Marion
The Washington Post says walking into the General Francis Marion Hotel is like being "...a character in the boardgame ‘Clue.’" Built in 1927, the roaring ’20s are still very much alive in the mansion-like hotel with its original walnut paneling and oak floors. A Card Room features a black rooster sign, a throwback to prohibition when a black rooster meant "drinks served here." After undergoing major renovations in the early 2000s, the hotel offers modern amenities, but preserves all of the elegance of times past. Book your stay in this retro gem at
General Francis Marion Hotel
10. Skate-N-Fun Zone: Adult Retro Skate, Manassas
Get your old school groove on - and expect a few more blisters than you remember as a kid. Every Sunday night from 8pm - 10:30pm, Skate-N-Fun hosts an adult skate night with all the classics you remember from your early days at the roller rink, plus a few adult beverages you don't. And of course, the whole family can join for other special events, the arcade, the snack bar and skating year-round. Learn more at
11. The Old Luckett's Store, Leesburg
When your shop is more than 130 years old, it's kind of hard NOT to throw in a retro flair. Housed in a restored general store and family home, The Old Luckett's Store specializes in antiques, vintage goods and all around cool stuff. Find out more about their merchandise, location and hours at
12. Wright's Dairy-Rite, Staunton
Today, visitors to Wright's Dairy-Rite receive the same amazing food and friendly service that this family owned and operated diner / drive-thru provided its first customers in the 1950s. Order from a speaker or telephone from your car or table and enjoy Wright's specialties like homemade onion rings, burgers, footlong hotdogs, malts and sundaes. Visit
to plan your visit.
13. Pop’s Old Fashioned Ice Cream, Alexandria
Old-fashioned ice cream is served alongside old-fashioned ambiance at Pop’s. With everything from ice cream to egg creams to baked goods, Pop’s is a true ice cream parlor for the ages. Visit them at 109 King Street in Alexandria.
14. Retro Daddio, Williamsburg
As if the name doesn't say it all, this is the place to go when you're looking for anything from throwback art to comics to steampunk. With anything you could want when it comes to retro, Retro Daddio offers a shop in Williamsburg or online shopping at
What are your favorite retro spots in Virginia? If we’ve left some good ones off the list, we would love to hear about them in the comments below!
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