Editor's note: It’s 2017 and Annual Conference planning is well underway! Join us July 16-19, 2017 at Hotel Roanoke, and experience the beauty, culture and attractions of the Roanoke Valley.
The Roanoke Valley is located in the heart of Virginia's Blue Ridge Mountains, offering an exciting blend of stunning natural beauty with a variety of urban and outdoor adventures. Located just 160 miles from Richmond, Virginia’s Blue Ridge is easy to reach through many modes of transportation. The Roanoke Valley regularly receives awards and accolades as a great place to live, work and visit. There is an unforgettable experience waiting for everyone in Virginia's Blue Ridge!
Our Star Attraction
Enjoy the breathtaking view from the Roanoke Star. This 100-foot tall neon structure sits atop Mill Mountain as the world's largest freestanding illuminated man-made star. The overlook, which is only 10 minutes from Downtown Roanoke and located off Milepost 120 of the Blue Ridge Parkway, offers stunning panoramic views of the surrounding valley and mountains.
Take a Hike
Learn why the region earned the title of "Best Trail Town" from Blue Ridge Outdoors Magazine. With a variety of hikes that range in all levels of difficulty, remember to pack your hiking boots when you visit Virginia's Blue Ridge. You can navigate along the Appalachian Trail, take in the stunning views of McAfee Knob and make your way to the top of the Peaks of Otter as part of your Blue Ridge Day.
Rich Rail Heritage
The roots of the region's iron horse history are as strong as the powerful locomotives that power through the heart of the city. The city of Roanoke was chartered in 1882 and immediately became a major rail crossing and manufacturing spot for Norfolk & Western Railroad. Now, the area's rail heritage is highlighted through the Virginia Museum of Transportation, O. Winston Link Museum and David R. & Susan S. Goode Railwalk.
A Vibrant Arts Scene
The art galleries of our region are full of captivating pieces and exhibits from artisans who will challenge you to see things differently. Visit the fascinating exhibits of the O. Winston Link Museum, Taubman Museum of Art and other galleries in Downtown Roanoke. Discover the art that is being created locally at the Olin Hall Galleries at Roanoke College, Eleanor D. Wilson Museum at Hollins University and Blue Ridge Institute & Museum.
A Shopping Spree
From the handmade goods at the Historic Roanoke City Market to the antique shopping at Black Dog Salvage, the region is full of unique, locally-made products. The Downtowns of Roanoke and Salem also feature charming boutiques where you won't be able to resist treating yourself. You can even sample artisan food products at local shops like chocolatepaper, The Candy Store and Heritage Family Market.
Hit the Water
Mountains aren't the only terrain with outdoor adventures in Virginia's Blue Ridge. Tell stories for years about the great fishing at Smith Mountain Lake and Roanoke River at Green Hill Park. Spend a day on the water at Carvins Cove, where the peaceful surroundings will make you feel like you're a world away. And get ready to explore with a kayaking trip along the Upper James River Water Trail through Twin River Outfitters.
Cheers to You
It's always a great time to enjoy our local wineries and breweries. Sample the delicious fruit wines at the Peaks of Otter Winery, drink in the fine wine and wonderful views of the Blue Ridge Mountains at Chateau Morrisette Winery, and follow the Wine Trail of Botetourt. If beer is your beverage of choice, the selection of IPAs, lagers, blondes, and porters from the breweries in the region will make any hour quite happy.
Virginia's Blue Ridge is the ideal destination for the family that likes to play together. With over 85 species of animals, you'll make some new friends at the Mill Mountain Zoo. Have a ball when you take the family out to the ball game to see the Salem Red Sox. And take in all the fun of Center in the Square in Downtown Roanoke, including the Butterfly Habitat in the Science Museum of Western Virginia, where you'll walk among exotic butterflies from around the world.
Thank you to Visit Virginia’s Blue Ridge for providing this information.