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10 Best Things to Do in Roanoke VA

1. Blue Ridge Parkway

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There is nothing better than spending a day outside in nature. Fresh air will recharge you for upcoming challenges at work. An awesome parkway to visit and relax is perfect. The Parkway is 469 miles long, stretching from the southern corner of Shenandoah National Park in the old state of Virginia. to the beginning of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park located in the very next State of North Carolina. This area is very nice during the summer, full of flowers and nice trees. River Valley is so nice for a sandwich type of picnic. Roanoke is perfectly located in a great spot of Virginia’s Blue Ridge, which provides access from all sides of the city. While we were driving around, we found Pine Tree Overlook, which is located in the middle of milepost 95 and 96.

Do you like biking? Awesome! You came to the right spot. You are just about to start your 300 miles long trip of biking trails. Make sure to visit Mill Mountain Parks well which is maintained by locals; so is Carvins Cove. If you forgot your bike at home, no problem! You can rent them and any other gear that you may need from the shops in the Roanoke area. These shops sell a variety of items and the price is very competitive. If you are a more skilled bicycle rider, you will probably need some known brands which offer more protection on the path.

2. Black Dog Salvage

For all of you with a strong love and passion for architecture, visiting this site will be an amazing experience. Imagine being inside of an almost 40,000 square foot gigantic artsy warehouse. The art seems almost endless. Just make sure you allow enough time to see all of it. All the walls around you are covered with antiques with almost no space in between. This is the place where you are going to get a lot of inspiration for your interior home design.

3. Roanoke Valley Greenways

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We are not yet done talking about your addiction to outdoor activities. Roanoke Valley Greenways has over 30 miles of walking paths spread through their beautiful mountains and the city. It is a great place for you to burn thousands of calories without even noticing it. If you love canoes – you came to the right place.

4. Virginia’s Blue Ridge Cheers Trail

We are going to grab your attention! All beer lovers – it is your turn. After riding a bicycle and walking for so many hours, we are finally ready to sit down and have a beer. This place is full of breweries. One of the most popular spots for beer buddies is the Big Lick Brewery. There are also options available for wine lovers.

5. Roanoke City market

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This is the perfect place for you to eat and shop. However, this is not just another regular market with a big name and thousands of stores located across the United States. You just came to the site with a very long history and tradition. This market was open way back in 1882. You would be correct if you assumed that this is the oldest market in the state of Virginia. This is the place where all the local farmers come to sell their fruits and fresh vegetables. There is nothing better than the home-grown type of food. It is rich in nutrition, affordable, and just knowing that you are supporting small local businesses will give you pleasure.

6. Roanoke Virginia Museums

This place is perfect for relaxing after you have a run-around day. The downtown area of Roanoke has several museums available for cultural uplifting. Once you reach Roanoke’s train station, right next to it will be O. Winston Link Museum. He was a photographer with a lot of passion for smoky steam engine trains. He took the time necessary to create his collection and his work will remain known for generations to come.

7. Staying spots in Roanoke

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Hotels and motels are located in this area, so there is a place to stay for everyone’s taste and pocket. For all of us with deeper pockets – Hilton will give you the chance to earn Hilton points on your AmEx card. Google search will provide you all kinds of results as always, but you can speed up this process and book accommodation at

8. Mill Mountain Star Trail

If you are planning to visit this site – be prepared to reach one of the highest points in the area. This beautiful trail is located near Roanoke River. Real hiking lovers are going to experience a high elevation of almost 840 feet. Dogs are allowed, but they have to be on a leash. If you are taking your kids on this trip, don’t forget to visit Mill Mountain Zoo. This place is a total hotspot as soon as the winter ends. People from all over the world love spending their vacation in Virginia.

9. Smith Mountain Lake

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This place is an excellent place for fishing and family picnics. Clearwater and the fresh smell of local trees adds to the appeal. This lake is full of fish waiting for you to catch them. The water temperature is warmer during the summer, so you feel like you are in some SPA center. Renting a little boat and exploring the area might be very interesting for your kids.

10. Living-Coral Reef Aquarium

This place will give you a real ocean feeling. We are talking about an 8k gallon Aquarium. This gigantic aquarium holds over 420 fish and over 100 different kinds of corals. This is the largest aquarium, not just in Virginia, but in the whole Mid-Atlantic. You will be able to see jellyfish in 300+ gallon tanks of water. Finally, once you get to the center’s green roof, which is built on multiple levels, you will be able to see the whole downtown of Roanoke.

About Marta Sebos