Roanoke is a commercial and cultural hub of southwest Virginia and has a plethora of museums, parks, and entertainment options for residents and tourists alike. There are many fun things to do in the city, from shopping and eating to drinking with the locals and hiking and cycling.
Downtown Market Street is a place full of restaurants in a small, walkable space. Families looking for child-friendly activities in Roanoke will find plenty of fun in the downtown area, with a variety of food and drinks as well as entertainment.
If you don't have much time, the Virginia Museum of Transportation should be one of the things you do in Roanoke. The museum highlights many trains that were built in the city's heyday, as well as interesting exhibits about planes, automobiles, and more. One of the best museums in Roanoke is the Taubman Museum of Art. The museum features art from the 19th and 20th centuries, as well as exhibits on Virginia's past, present, and future.
The Roanoke area is home to universities like Roanoke College, Hollins University, and the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine and Research Institute.
The opening of the newly formed Norfolk and Western Railway in 1869 marked the beginning of Roanoke's rapid growth. The new town was located at the western end of this railway line, later called Norfolk & Western, and was south of Salem.
When the land east of the mountains was developed, pioneers began to move to the western region of Virginia. The early settlers from eastern Virginia were joined by people from Pennsylvania, who were looking for new land in the Shenandoah Valley.
Roanoke visitors and residents can also enjoy Mill Mountain, one of the top mountain bike destinations in the world, which is easily accessible by bike. A covered pedestrian bridge over the railway tracks leads into the city center. Mill Mountain also has a mountain bike trail connected to the asphalt Roanoke Valley Greenway, as well as a network of hiking and cycling trails.
The Berglund Center offers theater performances, concerts, and comedy acts. Even if you don't see the shows, you'll find a lot to discover at the museum, from art to history, architecture to some food and drinks. Guests can enjoy games, live music, and a variety of other activities, as well as food, drinks, and entertainment.
The Roanoke Valley Visitor Center is located next to the historic train station and offers a variety of activities.