The "age of the Dinosaurs" lasted for about 160 million years.
We're BIG on FUN
Dinoland USA isn't just for scientists, tourists from all over flock here for big fun you can't find anywhere else.
The Boneyard
Marvel at the richest deposit of dinosaur fossils in the country. The Dino Institute has opened this active dig site for your enjoyment.
Time Travel
You read that right! The Dino Institute and Chrono-Tech, inventors of the CTX Time Rover, invite you to visit the Cretaceous period, 65 million years in the past!
The Hip Joint
After a long day of adventure and discoveries, unwind and socialize at the Hip Joint.
Cretaceous Trail
Explore the living past as you journey through various types of Cretaceous era plants, living surviors and their closely related decendents.
Chester & Hester's Dino-Rama
Dino-Rama is like an all-year-long state fair with a dinosaur twist. Located right off of highway 498, thrill rides and carnival games guarantee fun for all ages.
Dinosaurs lived on all the continents, including Antarctica.
EAT Like a dino
Whether you are looking for a quick snack or have a dinosaur-sized craving for an all-American meal, we got you covered.
(at the lodge)• Burgers •
• Sandwiches •
• Tossed salads •
Dino-Bite Snacks
(lodge walk-up counter)• Ice cream •
• Sundaes •
• Floats •
• Pretzels •
(next to The Boneyard)• Chicken chips •
• Milkshakes •
• Margaritas •
• Beer •
Dino Diner
(in Dino-Rama)• Nachos •
• Beer •
• Churros •
All non-avian dinosaurs went extinct about 66 million years ago.
Where to SHOP
No vacation is complete without souvenirs to take home to your loved ones. Share the excitement and hold on to the memories by visiting one of our local gift shops.
Dinosaur Treasures
Chester and Hester's is a destination like no other. Get lost in the whimsical decor and explore a large variety of unique novelty gifts.
D.I. Gift Shop
For the serious dino lovers and inspiring paleontologists visit the Dino Institutes own gift shop. Proceeds go directly to the Institute, funding the future of education.
We live closer in time to the T-Rex than the Stegosaurus did.
LEARN our planet's past
We may be the number one tourist destination for dinosaur themed fun, but we are also the proud home of the nations most prestigious academic institute.

"Uncovering the mysteries of the past is the key to the future."

Excitement awaits those of you ready to embark on a significant scholarly endeavor. The Dino Institute is now offering on-site classes for grad students and intern programs. Hunt for clues into our planet's past through hands-on traditional paleontology in an active dig site or through cutting edge high-tech research methods in our state-of-the-art facility. Enroll today.


Spinosaurus is the largest meat-eating dinosaur, measuring 50 feet.
PHOTO Galleries
Explore the landmarks, traditions, and hidden gems of Dinoland USA through our featured photo galleries below.
City Highlights
Intern & College Pranks
Dinosaur Treasures
Hometown Rocks
Intern Awards

City History

In 1947, outside a rustic fishing lodge off Highway 498, this small rural area was forever changed when dinosaur enthusiast Dr. Bernard Dunn discovered a fossil of rare caliber. After confirming his discovery, Dunn and his interns relocated to Diggs County, began excavating, and purchased the lodge to use as their new dormitory and cafeteria.

When word got out, students from all over flocked to the dig site. In 1949 the Dino Institute was officially formed, within the lodge, offering on-site classes for graduate students. To help fund their research programs the cafeteria was converted into a restaurant, opened to the public. As tourism increased, a walk-up counter named Dino-Bite was opened for passing motorists. Eventually, a makeshift visitor's center and museum were also set up within the lodge.

As the dig site grew the students looked for creative ways to expand the lodge. A Quonset hut was added for maintaining service vehicles, semi-permanent tents were added for storing provisions and camping gear, and an Airstream trailer was connected to the lodge for additional recreational space.

Since its establishment, the Dino Institute earned itself a prestige reputation. With the need for additional research space and classrooms, a new state-of-the-art facility was constructed, opening on April 22, 1978.

In 1997 the Institute's executive committee hired Dr. Helen Mash as their new Director, to solve the Institute's increasing financial difficulties. Dr. Marsh is the author of “Finding the Bucks in the Bones” and built a reputation as a financial consultant, helping universities to maximize revenues.

Dr. Marsh's first major initiative as Director was acquiring worldwide rights to a research project developed by Chrono-Tech, a small relativity lab in Arizona which recently lost its largest government research grant. Half a year later that acquisition led to a world-changing discovery, stunning the scientific community. Dr. Marsh announced the CTX Time Rover, an invention that made time travel possible which allowed scientists to observe dinosaurs first hand. In 1998, to help subsidize costs of the new facility, tours to the Cretaceous Period became open to the public.

Wanting to cash in on The Dino Institute's success, local entrepreneurs Chester and Hester began selling souvenirs at their gas station. When gifts started outselling gas they converted the entire service station into a large gift shop, naming it Chester and Hester's Dinosaur Treasures. As profits rose exponentially the elderly couple bought a nearby lot of land to build a small Dinosaur themed amusement park.

Chester and Hester's Dino-Rama was born, providing much-needed fun to scientists and the passing tourists. This roadside attraction includes games, rides, and laffs for all ages. The main attraction is Primeval Whirl, a small coaster which is a playful parody poking fun at The Dino Institute's Time Rovers.

Whether you're looking to enroll in a prestigious academic institute, get your hands dirty making a new discovery, explore high-tech methods of artifact recovery, or have some simple fun and a good laff, then Diggs County is the place for you!