For a scenic drive while traveling north-south in western Virginia, historic U.S. Route 11 runs from Winchester at the northern border of the Commonwealth to Bristol in the south. Built in the early 1900s, it runs parallel to I-81 and provides a slower pace that showcases life away from the fast lane. Traffic is light and tractor-trailers are rare. It has become my preferred route between Staunton and Roanoke so this week I once again found myself on this back road while leisurely driving to the Star City for lunch with friends. Leftover snow from a few days earlier covered fields and mountain ridges, and along river and creek banks.
With the Blue Ridge Mountains to the east and Appalachians to the west, the views are breathtaking any time of year. In Botetourt the James River meanders along Rt. 11 for a short distance. In Lexington I crossed over the Maury River. Along the way I passed historic and quirky sights such as the Pink Cadillac Café, Natural Bridge, vineyards, Devil’s Backbone Brewing Company in Lexington, Virginia Gold pear orchard, 30-acre sunflower field in Botetourt, Virginia Safari Park, and many more.