Visit Roanoke for All-Around Fun
Located in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains, Roanoke offers a little something for everyone. Whether you are interested in outdoor activities, shopping, history or a lively nightlife, Roanoke offers it all from shining stars to unique museums and rare animals and antiques. Read further to learn more about what you can see and do in Roanoke, Virginia.
Roanoke’s shining attraction is its star sitting atop Mill Mountain. As the world’s largest man-made star, the Mill Mountain Star measures about 88 feet in height. You can see the bright star long before you ever reach it at the top of the mountain. When you come to see the star, make sure you make plenty of time to explore the surrounding Mill Mountain Park, which features 900 acres of walking trails, scenic overlooks and picnic areas.
Also located here is another popular attraction, the Mill Mountain Zoo, which houses about 45 animals, including rare and endangered species like the red wolf, white-napped crane, Amur tiger and snow leopard.
Roanoke offers several fantastic museums such as the O. Winston Link Museum. Housed in a restored railway station, this museum displays an extensive collection of railroad photographs from the 1950s. At the Virginia Museum of Transportation, you can see a huge collection of locomotives, automobiles, buses and aircraft. The Science Museum of Western Virginia and Hopkins Planetarium is another excellent museum where you can view a massive marine aquarium and engage in hands-on exhibits about the weather, geology, the human body and light and sound. Learn about African American heritage and culture at the Harrison Museum of African American Culture. Located in a former high school, this museum displays many photographs, memorabilia, artifacts and art works.
Because of its location in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains, Roanoke features vast parklands and forests that offer plenty of outdoor activities. For example, the Jefferson National Forest offers thousands of acres where you can enjoy hiking, cross-country running, mountain biking, fly fishing, kayaking and canoeing as well as picnicking and wildlife viewing. One of the nation’s largest city parks, the Carvins Cove Natural Reserve, offers the likes of hiking, biking, horse riding, fishing, boating and more.
Arts and Culture
If you enjoy the arts, you will be spoiled for choice in Roanoke. If you want to view visual arts, the Taubman Museum of Art houses a nice collection of 19th and 20th century American art that includes decorative arts as well as manuscripts. For live performances, you will discover several options in the city such as the Roanoke Performing Arts Theatre, which presents Broadway shows, concerts and other productions. Other venues include the Mill Mountain Theatre, the Roanoke Children’s Theatre, the Roanoke Civic Center and the Shaftman Performance Hall, which hosts plays and concerts by the Roanoke Symphony Orchestra.
Shoppers will be delighted with Roanoke’s shopping scene. Here, you have the opportunity to shop in Virginia’s oldest open-air market, the City Market. At this award-winning market, you can hunt for a bargain among the many vendors selling the likes of fresh produce, homemade jellies and breads, handicrafts, jewelry, plants, art works and more. Conveniently located nearby hotel accommodations, the City Market is open year round, seven days a week. If you prefer shopping malls to markets, Roanoke has that covered as well with its Valley View Mall. This attractive mall offers a wide selection of name brand retail stores. Antique lovers will want to head over to the store, Vintage Europe Antiques, where you can find unique and authentic antiques from Europe.
For nightlife, you will find several appealing options in Roanoke from sports bars to pubs and lounges. Some of the most popular places that offer good food, music and entertainment include the local favorite, the Corned Beef and Company, as well as the Cornerstone Bar and Grill, and the lounge, Metro.
Although the city has experienced extreme temperatures in the past, Roanoke generally offers rather mild winters and summers. No matter when you visit, you will probably feel comfortable here. However, because of its location in the Roanoke Valley, the city does see some flooding from time to time.
Are you excited to travel to Roanoke? You can begin your trip today by checking out the online deals that are available and reserving a hotel that is right for your budget and preferences.