Part of the United States highway system, Route 11 runs south from New York to Louisiana. The route runs through the New River Valley from the Roanoke–Montgomery County border to the Pulaski–Wythe County border. It runs through the communities of Lafayette, Elliston, Shawsville, Christiansburg, Radford, Fairlawn, Dublin, and Pulaski. A drive through the route takes travelers to many notable places of the New River Valley. In this guide, it will read as if a traveler was going south from the Cities of Roanoke and Salem. If you are traveling north, you can read this article from the bottom-up.
Entering Montgomery County
When leaving Roanoke County (not to be confused with the City of Roanoke, a different legal entity) and entering Montgomery County, you are traveling on the merged routes of 11 and 460. One of the first businesses you come across is the Sunset Deli Mart, a combination of a gas station and convenience store. After passing it, you will enter the community of Elliston.
Ellison is a census-designated place in Montgomery County. Making a right turn on Green Hill Lane takes you to a Dollar General store. A right turn on Enterprise Road takes you to Eastern Montgomery Park which neighbors several corporations. The park is a location for children to play and for people all of ages to walk and picnic. Once you arrive in the “downtown” part of the community, there is a lot more to see.
Civic and educational locations in the area include the Elliston post office and East Montgomery High and Elementary Schools. There is also the Eastmont Thrift Store, only open on certain days and the Great Road Craft Guild, a store with locally made crafts that offers crafting classes. Going further, you will find a Marathon gas station on the opposite side of the road.
After some driving, you will enter the community of Shawsville, another census-designated place. Left of you is the locally owned Hale’s Restaurant, a dine-in place with many eating options. After passing Shawsville Middle School, you will encounter many eating and shopping options as well as gas station/convenience store options. Places to shop include Ponnie’s Boutique and Gifts (on Lewyn H. Gardner Lane) and Dollar General. Civic places include the Meadowbrook Public Library and Shawsville Post Office.
A scenic drive later, you enter Christiansburg, one of the most-populated towns in the Commonwealth of Virginia. One of the first stores you come across is The Salvage Junkies, an furniture store with many treasures. Shortly after, there is the combination gas station/convenience store Deli Mart.
Once you approach the Interstate 81 junction, there are several opitons for lodging. Eating options include Cracker Barrel and Denny’s. If you need fuel for you car or a snack, there is a Shell gas station in the area.
After driving under a bridge, there are even more places to go. Two hotels that are near the Interstate bridge include Econo Lodge and Hotel Shayona Inn. Franchise restaurant options include Hardee’s, McDonald’s, Pizza Hut, Ruby Tuesday, Subway, and Wendy’s. If you are looking for local flavor, restaurants include Country Cookin, Fatback Soul Shack, and Hunan House. Gas stations include 7-Eleven and Shell.
Entering residential Christiansburg, you will find a shopping plaza on the right side of the road. The plaza includes Dollar General, Food Lion, and Tractor Supply. You will also find additional food options including Domino’s Pizza, Dude’s Drive In, Due South BBQ, and Long John Silver’s. Making a left turn on Starlight Drive takes you to the historic Starlite Drive-In Theatre allowing you to watch a movie under the stars.
After passing the access to the drive-in theater, you will come across AutoZone, Marathon Gas, and O’Reily Auto Parts. When you reach BP, a left turn on Reading Road takes you to Kiwana’s Park, a town park with a playground and picnic shelter. Back on U.S. Route 11, the Salvatian Artmy Store is on the right. On the left is the Montgomery County civic facilities as well as the Montgomery County Visitor’s Center. (This is a great place if you want to learn more about what’s in the area.) Wade’s Foods offers groceries and Gardner’s Frozen Treats offers ice cream. Before approaching Main Street, you will come across the gas station Speedway and fast food restaurant Hardee’s.
Before making a left turn, you will see Christiansburg Town Hall. The left turn takes you on Main Street where you will see several civic buildings such as the Christiansburg Police Department, Montgomery County Circuit Court, and the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office. If you turn left on Franklin Street, it will take you to the Christiansburg Business District where the New River Valley Mall is located. (Going further that way takes you to the campus of Virginia Tech and towards Giles County.)
Going down Main Street takes you to additional stores and restaurants. Stores include Antiques on Main, Dollar General Market, and Montgomery County Christmas Store. Restaurants include Burger King, Charlie’s, and Macado’s. There are also several barber shops/beauty salons and non-profit organizations.
Continuing on Route 11 will take you to Radford Street. At that point, you will approach restaurants Crab Creek and El Bronco, hotel Budget Inn, gas station Duncans Texaco, and the MCEAP Thrift Store. Making a right turn on College Street takes you to Downtown Park. Also close by are two horticulture-related stores including American Mulch & More and Corrinne’s, a flower shop.
Driving on you will see two home improvement stores including Floored and Hall’s Garage Doors. You will come across other stores such as Bargain Pawn, Crockett Home Improvement, Dajavu Consignment Boutique, Fisher Auto Parts, Precision Glass, Revelation Reptiles, Rugs & Stuff Factory Outlet. There is also the restaurant Country Kitchen.
It only takes some time to drive from the Christiansburg town limits to Radford city limits. Before entering Radford, there is a Sunoco Gas Station if you need to stop for fuel. After a brief scenic drive, you will enter a community mostly populated by university students. Restaurants in this area include Highlander Pizza, Macado’s, and Pollo Loco. Additionally, you will find Happy Stop Grocery.
At some point, you will approach the campus of Radford University, which is to your left. The university is home to the Radford Highlanders and many of their athletic events happen in their sports complexes on University Drive, a right turn from Main Street. There are several places to eat on campus whether you want to sit down or grab something to go. They also have a bookstore that sells Radford University and Radford Highlanders merchandise.
If you turn left on Tyler Avenue, it will take you to more food and shopping options. Continuing on Main Street takes you to a historic district of Radford. There are many small businesses you can support. Restaurants include Crumb & Get It, Nagoya Sushi, New River Cakes, River City Grill (on Third Avenue), Screamer’s Sports Grill, Sharkey’s Wing & Rib Joint, Riley’s Main Street Lounge, Souvlaki, and Viv’s Place. Stores include Game Quest, Lamour’s Boutique, P.R. Sturgill Fine Jewelry, Radford City Florist, Riley’s Uniques, Super Game Station, and Wall’s Jewelers. The Radford Theater is also on this street if you would like to watch a movie, as well as a BP gas station and several barber shops/beauty salons and banks.
After leaving downtown, you’ll pass Domino’s Pizza, Golden Bowl, and a Liberty gas station/convenience store. A right turn on New River Drive takes you to Bisset Park and a left turn on Wildwood Park Drive takes you to Wildwood Park. Both parks offer walking trails and other facilities. Moving on you’ll reach the Radford Public Library, CVS, and Applebee’s. Radford High School and John N. Dalton Intermediate School are also nearby. You continue on Route 11 by making a left turn on a bridge.
If you continue straight on Main Street, you will see the many places West Radford has to offer. The Glencoe Mansion Museum & Gallery, Mary Draper Ingles Cultural Park, Riverview Park, Ingles Farm, and several Radford City civic places are all in West Radford. Food options include Brick House Pizza, El Charro Mexican Grill, Radford Coffee Comapny Sal’s, and Sonic Drive-In. Shopping options include Elliot’s Military Surplus, Family Dollar, and Sew Biz. Driving this way takes you to Snowville, a sleepy community where Camp Ottari, Boy Scouts of America is located.
While driving on the bridge over the New River, you will enter Pulaski County and the community of Fairlawn, a census-designated place. You will see many businesses including restaurants and stores. You’ll come across hotels including the Executive Motel and Nesselrod Bed and Breakfast. There’s also Mexican restaurant Roca’s and Dollar Tree. A left turn on University Park Drive takes you to the historic St. Alabans Sanitorium.
At the first traffic light, there is a Speedway gas station, Bojangle’s, and Goodwill. The other side has a shopping center with Fu Lin, Kroger, McDonald’s, Rural King, Scarlette’s Radford Plaza (a movie theater), and others. Driving on leads to more restaurants such as Cook Out, Hank’s Drive-In, Hardee’s, Little Caesars, Long John Silver’s, and Wendy’s.
A right turn on Peppers Ferry Road takes you to additional food and shopping options nearby including a Walmart. Continuing this way takes you to Christiansburg and Blacksburg as well as the Pete Dye River Course of Virginia Tech, located in Fairlawn. Sheetz is also accessible near the turn. Going further on Route 11 takes you to the Town of Dublin. The last thing you’ll pass in Fairlawn is the Dogwood Lodge, a hotel.
You’ll eventually enter Dublin. You’ll come across restaurants such as Little Caesars, Olykoek Donuts, and Patty’s Kitchen as well as the store The Branded Blonde. You’ll come across more to see when you reach a traffic light including CVS and Walgreens. Driving further gives you the option to turn on a bridge allowing you to go two different ways: one way goes to Giles County and the other takes you to Newbern. The Newbern way has fast-food restaurants, shopping centers including Walmart, and local attractions such as Randolph Park and the Wilderness Road Regional Museum. It also takes you to the Pulaski County Visitor’s Center, The Draper Mercantile in Draper, and the Blue Ridge Scout Reservation in Hiwassee.
Go straight to continue on Route 11. After passing an Exxon, you will arrive at the entrance to New River Community College, a two-year college serving the New River Valley. The location is home to the annual NRCC Comic-Con, a fandom convention for fans of superheroes, science fiction, and fantasy. There is also the NRCC bookstore with merchanise for the college. Between Dublin and Pulaski, there is a gas station/convenience store combination called Cougar Xpress.
Pulaski Elementary School is located near the Pulaski town limits. After entering the Pulaski, you will come across a Walgreens. A left turn on Memorial Drive takes you to a shopping center with an Ollie’s and Magic Mart. As you take a drive in Pulaski, you will take a left turn on North Washington Street. This takes you through Downtown Pulaski.
There are several little shops on this street including Flowers by Dreama Dawn and the Blue Ridge Fudge Lady. Other places in Downtown Pulaski include Al’s on First, The Coffee Grinder, Fine Arts Center for the New River Valley, Jackson Park Inn, Lis De La Valle Bridal Shop, Pulaski Theatre, and Wings Tails & Fins Pet Store. Additionally in the area, there are the Pulaski County Library and the Pulaski Post Office.
You will also come across Jackson Park, the Pulaski Train Depot and the Dora Trail. Dora is a 2 1/2 mile trail that takes you to the New River Trail, a 57-mile hiking and biking trail that goes from Pulaski to the City of Galax. On the right side of the road is a Dollar General and the Raymond F. Ratcliffe Memorial Transportation Museum, a non-profit museum that covers local Pulaski history. Exhibits include antique cars and a giant-sized model railroad.
After passing Marathon Gas, you will see the historic Calfee Park, the home to the Minor League baseball team the Pulaski Yankees. Driving past, you will go up Draper Mountain. Draper Valley Overlook is located near the top. There are two overlooks on both sides of the highway. You will get nice views of Draper Valley as well as a system of hiking trails.
Leaving Pulaski County
After the mountain, you will reach an Interstate 81 junction with New River Sports being nearby on Kirby Road. You continue on Route 11 by taking the southbound entrance ramp towards Bristol. Continuing straight takes you towards Hillsville, best known for its annual Labor Day Flea Market. At some point on the Interstate, you will enter neighboring Wythe County. You continue on Route 11 by taking exit ramp #73 which goes into the Town of Wytheville.