15 Best Things to Do in Dublin, VA

Dublin, VA
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Across the United States, nine places have the name Dublin, each with its distinct uniqueness.

One of these Dublins is in Southwest Virginia’s pristine green mountains within Pulaski County.

Dublin, Virginia, is a sleepy but charming town home to over 2,534 inhabitants.

This small community is part of the larger Metropolitan Statistical Area comprising the neighboring towns of Radford, Christiansburg, and Blacksburg.

Despite its size, it’s home to a significant vehicle operations assembly plant.

Amid its development, Dublin maintains its small-town vibes and welcoming atmosphere.

Like most countryside towns, Dublin has many hidden gems for travelers.

This town embodies an authentic classical Southern history and heritage.

It has historical landmarks, outdoor attractions, and a vibrant local scene.

Above all, it has outstanding natural sceneries and attractions.

Read the rest of this post to discover the best things to do in Dublin, Virginia!

Commune with Nature at Claytor Lake State Park

The waters of Claytor Lake State Park
KenPagliaro / Shutterstock.com

Dublin is abundant in natural sceneries and attractions.

To find such an attraction, head to the Claytor Lake State Park.

It’s a top-notch outdoor attraction offering you a wide array of activities on both land and water.

It’s a famous outdoor destination in Pulaski County for swimming, nature viewing, hiking, camping, and other activities.

A camping tent at Claytor Lake State Park
John M. Chase / Shutterstock.com

At the same time, it has a visitor’s center to get brochures and the state park’s map.

Claytor Lake, in particular, is a vast body of water spanning 4,500 acres, offering endless outdoor activities to enjoy.

Moreover, you can spend a few days at the Claytor Lake State Park through its cabins and lodges.

Don’t forget to bring sleeping bags and a tent because your visit to Dublin will likely lead you to this famous outdoor attraction along Ben H. Holen Drive.

Roam the Wilderness Road Regional Museum

Head to the Wilderness Road Regional Museum to start your Dublin adventure.

You can find this museum along Wilderness Road near Interstate 81.

The New River Historical Society owns and runs the museum.

Moreover, the Wilderness Road Regional Museum has earned fame in Pulaski County thanks to the Hance-Alexander House, constructed in the early 1800s.

The New River Historical Society purchased the two-century house to preserve its historical value.

At the same time, it also houses most of the museum’s archives, library, and permanent exhibits.

Roaming inside this museum offers you a deeper insight into Dublin’s history.

Join guided tours and see various displays, such as the 19th-century recreation of a country store, women’s handicrafts, and fashion.

Visiting the Wilderness Road Regional Museum is a surefire way to familiarize yourself with the town.

Calm Your Senses at Randolph Park

Your next stop is Randolph Park along Alexander Road.

This community park spans 87 acres, a donation from resident Evelyn Alexander.

Today, it’s one of the most famous spots in town where locals love to spend their weekends or even their regular days.

Randolph Park is known for its eight-lane lap pool, a favorite place for kids to cool down.

It has a 38-foot long slide adding excitement to those who want to swim there.

At the same time, there are numerous sports facilities for other activities and a vast green open space for relaxation.

Randolph Park is an excellent place for those who want to relax and have fun, making it a recommended town attraction.

Marvel at the D.C. Wysor Observatory and Museum

Besides natural and historical attractions, Dublin is also home to the D.C. Wysor Observatory and Museum.

This unique attraction is at the Dublin Elementary School.

It mainly features a state-of-the-art observatory telescope, which has already captured 65,000 objects from the sky.

Visiting this observatory lets you see projected images from the telescope through a viewing screen.

It lets you see celestial bodies clearly without climbing the observatory staircase.

Likewise, you can still see the telescope up-close to complete your visit there.

At the same time, you’ll see its library and museum’s vast collection of minerals, rocks, and fossils.

It also includes the enormous custom-built solar system model and other astronomical photographs.

Overall, the D.C. Wysor Observatory and Museum is a fascinating and mesmerizing place to visit, especially for astronomy enthusiasts.

Browse the Pulaski County Flea Market

The Pulaski County Flea Market is a sought-after activity in the area.

This flea market has operated for over 40 years through its organizers, the Dublin Lions featuring over 900 vendors.

More than 20,000 people flock to the flea market scouring treasure troves of rare collectibles they won’t find anywhere else.

The Flea Market happens twice a year, in June and September, usually scheduled for two weekends.

While browsing the flea market, you’ll find rare collectibles such as toys, furniture, clothes, board games, shoes, accessories, homeware, and other fascinating stuff.

At the same time, you’ll enjoy watching people haggle with the vendors for the best price.

Shopping at the Pulaski County Flea Market is an immersive experience you mustn’t miss.

Walk Down Memory Lane at the Dublin Depot

Exterior of the Dublin Depot
IxieVerns, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The Dublin Depot is a historical attraction that became a strategic site during the American Civil War in 1854.

It sits along E. Main Street, formerly known as the Newbern Depot.

Even after the Civil War, the depot remained in use for locals as a community center.

It offered local farmers back in the day to ship their produce and livestock to various markets across New River Valley.

Today, the Dublin Depot houses numerous businesses, including an antique shop, keeping its purpose alive for over a century.

Visiting this place lets you learn more about Dublin’s backstory.

At the same time, you can shop for some supplies or unique products from its tenant stores.

Honor the Fallen at the Battle of Cloyd’s Mountain-Virginia Historical Marker

Virginia was a significant battleground during the American Civil War.

The “Battle of Cloyd’s Mountain” is a testament to what happened in 1864.

The Union forces won the battle by destroying a significant bridge connecting the Virginia and Tennessee Railroad.

To commemorate the Union victory, the Conservation and Development Commission erected the Battle of Cloyd’s Mountain-Virginia Historical Marker in 1938.

This historical marker still stands today along Cleburne Boulevard in Dublin.

Visiting this place further provides information about Pulaski County’s involvement in the American Civil War.

Dropping by and taking photos are the best way to complete your visit to the Battle of Cloyd’s Mountain-Virginia Historical Marker.

See the Cougars in Action at Dobson Stadium

Dobson Stadium, also known as Kenneth J. Dobson Stadium, is the home field of the Pulaski County Cougars football team.

At this stadium, you’ll also find Joel Hicks Field, a prime venue for track and field competitions.

Locals in Dublin and other parts of Pulaski County gather at this stadium to watch the Virginia High School League games.

The stadium usually gets packed with fans, especially when the Cougars play home games.

Visiting this place offers you the sporty side of Dublin’s locals, which you can enjoy, especially if you love sports.

Aside from football, other sports events are also happening at Dobson Stadium.

It’s a worthwhile place in town to see, especially if you want one-of-a-kind entertainment.

Discover Dublin’s Gastronomic Scene

Dublin may lack the size, but it’s home to more than a dozen diners and restaurants, each offering its signature dishes.

So, part of your itinerary should involve a food trip, tasting local favorites and unique dishes you’ll only find in town.

First on your list is the Fatz Café along Alexander Farm Road, known for its Calabash chicken.

Your next stop is the Mason Jar along State Park Road, and taste its signature crab recipes.

Breakfast lovers should head to the Omelet Shoppe along State Park Road.

If you have extra room for another meal, check out Waffle House or perhaps go Mexican at Cinco De Mayo.

You should also try visiting other noteworthy restaurants such as Patty’s Kitchen, Verona’s Pizzeria & Italian, and the Frosted Sugar Cookie.

Join the New River Valley Fair

The New River Valley Fair happens every July.

This annual event happens at the Fair Grounds Circle.

Visiting the fair shows guests how locals showcase their agricultural and livestock products to everyone.

At the same time, have fun with the activities lined up during the entire fair.

While visiting the fair, you won’t just see the finest livestock up for bidding.

You’ll also enjoy various activities at the petting zoo and the circus and indulge in delicious food and drinks.

The New River Valley Fair offers a festive Dublin event you mustn’t miss.

So, don’t forget to list this fair in your itinerary.

Other Things to do Nearby

Vast natural areas surround Dublin and other pocket towns and cities, each boasting its tourist attractions.

After exploring Dublin, check out some of the most recommended places nearby.

Feel the Rush at Motor Mile Speedway

Daytime view of Motor Mile Speedway
Mojo Hand, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Motor Mile Speedway is a famous racing venue that hosts the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series.

Before visiting this speedway, you must drive to Fairlawn, Virginia, eight minutes from Dublin.

This speedway is not just the home for NASCAR races.

It also features local races pit late model stock cars, street stock, limited sportsman, modified cars, and U Can Afford Racing or UCAR.

At the same time, it also hosts special events such as the Monster Truck Show every Fourth of July.

Chances are, you’ll see a race, either a local or a major one, during your visit since it has a stacked schedule throughout the year.

So, don’t forget to drive to Fairlawn and see the Motor Mile Speedway for an exhilarating experience.

Dig up the Past at Ratcliffe Transportation Museum

The Ratcliffe Transportation Museum offers historians and enthusiasts a unique combination of national and local exhibits.

It mainly features cultural significance deeply tied with the region’s railroad industry.

You can visit this historical attraction in the neighboring town of Pulaski, Virginia, a 13-minute drive southwest of Dublin.

Joining guided tours gives you a fascinating experience.

You’ll see up close historical artifacts, old machinery and vehicles, and other items that chronicle the past of Pulaski County.

One of the main historical exhibits in this museum is the Milton Brockmeyer Train Diorama.

The diorama narrates the town’s growth in the New River Valley.

Check out the Ratcliffe Transportation Museum to answer your questions about the historical attractions outside Dublin.

Hear Scary Stories at the St. Albans Sanatorium

For a scary but exciting experience, head to the St. Albans Sanatorium in Fairlawn, ten minutes from Dublin.

This building, constructed in 1892, initially served as a Lutheran boys’ school.

However, it closed in 1911 and reopened a few years later as an institute for the mentally disturbed.

If you ask Fairlawn locals, they’ll tell you that the 120-year-old sanatorium has a grim past.

Grisly accounts of inhumane treatment of patients and experiments ultimately led to the sanatorium’s closing.

From then on, it became a famous haunted location for television shows, paranormal experts, and curious people.

Explore the empty and decaying halls of the sanatorium and learn more about its grim past.

At the same time, you can feel its eerie atmosphere that will send shivers down your spine.

Don’t forget to take photos at the St. Albans Sanatorium!

Who knows, your camera might capture paranormal entities in this infamously haunted location?

Have Fun at Wonder Universe: A Children’s Museum

The Wonder Universe: A Children’s Museum mainly focuses on nurturing the creativity and curiosity of children through its exciting interactive museum.

To visit this attraction, you must drive to Christiansburg, Virginia, 22 minutes from Dublin.

This children’s museum is famous for its wholesome experience wherein kids can tour through 18 play-based interactive exhibits.

It’s an excellent place for a wholesome family activity, especially if you bring your kids.

The interactive exhibits cover science and technology, history, construction, culture, and arts.

They’ll enjoy various activities with fellow visitors during their tour, making the Wonder Universe: A Children’s Museum a must-visit place near Dublin.

Cherish Nature’s Beauty at the Heritage Community Park and Natural Area

The Heritage Community Park and Natural Area encompass over 169 acres of pristine natural beauty.

It’s a famous location for naturalists and wildlife enthusiasts in Pulaski County.

To visit this natural attraction, you must drive to Blacksburg, Virginia, 26 minutes from Dublin.

This area comprises meadows, sedge marshes, cattail, streambeds, and floodplains.

It’s home to over 120 bird species such as yellow-breasted chat, willow flycatcher, and whip-poor-will.

At the same time, migratory birds make a stop at this natural area, making it an excellent place for birdwatching activities.

Moreover, local wildlife such as long-tailed deer, white-tailed deer, river otter, muskrat, and wild turkey are commonly seen in this area.

The Heritage Community Park and Natural Area offers a tranquil natural landscape filled with thriving local flora and fauna.

Final Thoughts

Dublin, Virginia, Pulaski County has dozens of attractions to explore.

Discover Dublin’s attractions, join its various festivals, and even venture out of town to make the most of your trip.

Plan your trip today and enjoy the best things to do in Dublin, Virginia!