Located in Southwest Virginia in Roanoke Valley, Roanoke is the largest city off the Skyline Drive, 105 miles long and built between 1931 and 1939, on the Blue Ridge Parkway that spans the 195,000-acre Shenandoah National Park and Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The city is one of the oldest in the country and is an anchor for commerce. In existence for over 125 years, the downtown City Market features fresh produce, flowers, and hand crafts by local artists.
Among the many attractions and points of interest are the 100-foot high illuminated Roanoke Star on Mill Mountain erected in 1949, Historic Fincastle, Jefferson Thomas’ Poplar Forest, Explore Park, MacArthur Memorial, Blue Ridge Parkway, and Mill Mountain Zoo. Also, the Toy Museum at Natural Bridge, Science Museum of Western Virginia and Hopkins Planetarium are worth seeing. If you are looking for some outdoor activities, Roanoke offers camping at Roanoke Mountain and Smith Mountain Lake State Park.
Sporting events such as professional and college sports, including baseball, football, basketball, and hockey are held in the Roanoke Civic Center. For golfers, there are six public and semi-private courses: Ashley Plantation, Countryside, London Downs, Draper Valley, Hanging Rock, and Westlake.
Sometimes referred to as the "Festival City", events include Roanoke Festival in the Park, Downtown Roanoke’s Railway Festival, Henry Street Festival, Vinton’s Dogwood Festival, the Virginia Championship Chili Cook-off and Strawberry Festival, Blue Ridge Garden Festival, Fall Fest on the Market, and Celebration of Fall and Winter.