Located in the heart of the mountains, the Roanoke Valley in Virginia’s Blue Ridge is a destination that combines outdoor adventure and scenic beauty with a vibrant urban atmosphere.
It’s a place where you could hike to the top of a mountain, tour a local art museum, and climb aboard a steam locomotive – all before you’ve even had lunch!
There are so many fun ways to enjoy a Blue Ridge Day! Here are 10 ideas for things to do during your next visit to Virginia’s Blue Ridge.
1. Drive on the Blue Ridge Parkway
Discover why the Blue Ridge Parkway is known as “America’s Favorite Drive” and enjoy a road trip that will lead you along exciting turns and breathtaking vistas.
2. Visit the Roanoke Star
Stand beneath the world’s largest, free-standing, man-made star that stands high atop Mill Mountain. Then, take in the incredible view of the Downtown skyline and surrounding mountains from the overlook at the base of the Roanoke Star.
3. Take a Food Tour
If you want to learn about the unique history and character of Downtown Roanoke while also sampling some of its most iconic flavors, the Historic Downtown Food & Cultural Tour will hit the spot.
4. Check out Black Dog Salvage
Known for its hit show Salvage Dawgs on the DIY Network, Black Dog Salvage is a 40,000 square foot warehouse where you could easily spend the entire day browsing an incredible collection of architectural antiques and custom designed pieces.
5. Hike on the Appalachian Trail
Your bucket list has to include a hike to McAfee Knob – the most photographed location on the Appalachian Trail. For an 8.5 mile round-trip hike, you’ll be rewarded with stunning panoramic views of the mountains and one of the region’s most amazing summits.
6. Learn Our Railroad History
Step back in time and learn about the rich railroad history of Virginia’s Blue Ridge by visiting the O. Winston Link Museum and Virginia Museum of Transportation, which houses the iconic steam locomotives that were built in Downtown Roanoke at the Norfolk & Western shops. You can also take a walk through history along the David R. & Susan S. Goode Railwalk.
7. Mountain Bike at Carvins Cove
The second largest municipal park in the United States, Carvins Cove has plenty to offer – over 60 miles of scenic multi-use trails, including 50 miles of singletrack for epic mountain biking. Come ride in the Mountain Biking Capital of the East!
8. Take in the Arts & Culture Scene
From late-night music at Martin’s Downtown Bar & Grill to amazing exhibitions at the Taubman Museum of Art and Eleanor D. Wilson Museum at Hollins University, you’ll find all kinds of incredible local art in Virginia’s Blue Ridge. Groups such as the Roanoke Symphony Orchestra, Opera Roanoke, and Mill Mountain Theatre also keep the calendar full of exciting performing arts events.
9. Float the Roanoke River
Whether it’s a guided adventure with the pros from Roanoke Mountain Adventures, or you navigate your own way, the Roanoke River Blueway is easily accessible for a water adventure in Virginia’s Blue Ridge!
10. Drink Great Craft Beer
The craft beer scene continues to grow in Virginia’s Blue Ridge. With Parkway Brewing Company in Salem, Big Lick Brewing Company and Soaring Ridge Craft Brewers in Downtown Roanoke, and Twin Creeks Brewing Company in Vinton. There’s great craft beer on tap throughout Virginia’s Blue Ridge.
Ready for more fun in the Blue Ridge Mountains? Check out our Virginia’s Blue Ridge website to plan your next getaway