Tips, leads, stories from travelers, plus Roadsideamerica.com Team reports on quirky museums, ironic monuments, and must-see oddities! Trip planning caution: Some tips may not be verified. Over time, attractions change, move, burn down. What's a vacation without a little risk? Submit your own tip.
- Natural Bridge, Virginia - Dinosaur Kingdom - Enchanted Castle Studios
This April I'm opening a new attraction on the property of Professor Cline's Haunted Monster Museum called Dinosaur Kingdom.
You will enter Dinosaur Kingdom through an abandoned palentologist shack from the 1800s. I'll be molding my Mexican workers' faces to have statues of them fighting the dinosaurs. I'm planning to animate the dinos for realism and will have the Mexicans looking so real I'm going to paint green cards sticking out out their back pockets.
Also for April Fool's Day this year I'm going to place a Bin Laden statue on one of my camel statues and have it "ride" to various places around Roanoke, Virginia. I hope to raise money for the American Cancer Society by having the businesses "pay" to have Bin moved off of their property so as not to be accused of being in cahoots with Al Qaida.[Mark Cline, 02/14/2005]
The light bulb is always on over Mr. Cline's head! Wish we lived in his neighborhood.... Dinosaur Kingdom is being populated by the prehistoric inhabitants of the Town That Time Forgot, Glasgow, Virginia, with a little added animation. Sez Mark: "The town of Glasgow thanked me for the use of the dinos over the last two years, claiming it brought lots of excitement and wonder to its citizens and tourists alike."
- I-81 to the exits for Natural Bridge, then follow US 11 into town. At the junction of Hwy 130 and US 11, across Hwy 130 from the entrance to the Natural Bridge attraction. Take the small road up the hill to the parking lot. The entrance to the path up the hill to the attraction is at the far east end of the parking lot, marked by a gate.
- Closed due to nearby fire. Will reopen in 2013.
- Natural Bridge, Virginia - Pink Cadillac Diner
Gorilla with biplane is temporarily on top of a building in Roanoke. Waitress didn't know which building. Humpty Dumpty is no longer there either.[Jaybeeyell, 05/26/2012]
The King Kong was moved to the Taubman Museum of Art in Roanoke, where artist Mark Cline had a temporary exhibition of his madcap work early in 2012. We hope Kong returns soon.
Pink Cadillac Diner
- 4743 S Lee Hwy., Natural Bridge, VA
- Pink Cadillac Diner. I-81 exit 180-B, turn right on US 11.
Natural Bridge, Virginia - King Kong Crushing Airplane
Is actually exit 180-B, but the Pink Cadillac Diner is adorable. Food was good, cheap, and service was great.[Sarah, 08/09/2011]
Natural Bridge, Virginia - Pink Cadillac Diner
Mark Cline's big gorilla is still next to the Pink Cadillac Diner (and maybe the folks at Dinosaur Land should get in touch with him about a new biplane -- the one in Kong's hand at the Pink Cadillac looks way better than the replacement plane at Dinosaur Land...) The diner also has a pink Cadillac out front (of course) and an Elvis statue inside. I really liked the little guy who greets you at the front door of the restaurant, holding a menu that says "2 Eggs" (crossed out), "Omelette" (crossed out), "Scrambled Egg" (crossed out), and finally "Ham!" He's probably a re-purposed Humpty Dumpty, and he looks more like some of the whimsical pieces (as opposed to the scary pieces) that are at what's left of Mark's Enchanted Castle Studios.
The restaurant itself has obviously been around awhile, and when I quizzed my server on its history, she pulled out a vintage postcard that showed that the restaurant was once part of a motel made up of small individual cabins called Tiny Town.[Dean Jeffrey, 02/21/2008]
Natural Bridge, Virginia - Pink Cadillac Diner - Pop Psychedelic Mess?
At the Pink Cadillac Diner, along with King Kong crushing an airplane, Humpty Dumpty sits creepily near the entrance.
Inside the diner you can find a bronze statue of Elvis, cardboard cut-outs of The Duke and James Dean, a big stuffed pink flamingo, photos from yesteryear, and more. The food is good and varied, consisting of burgers, chicken sandwiches, chili, chili dogs, and liver. They have beer and hand-dipped ice cream as well.
On the wall facing the road, in the big dining area (to the right when you first walk in), above a window next to Betty Boop, is a foam-board "painting" of an unknown scene. I don't have a picture, but it is one of a kind: a Cadillac with a French flag in its window is on a desert road, with a snake in the foreground, a cross, and tons of other confounding imagery. The tripped-out color scheme suggests its inspiration. Be sure to look at it for more than 10 seconds and try to come up with a conclusion.[VCOM, 03/24/2007]