Day One: Arrive at the Roanoke Valley Visitor Information Center and receive a personal welcome and sightseeing tour led by a local step-on guide. Your first stop will be the Roanoke Star and Overlook where you'll see the Valley's famed neon star and take in a stunning view of the region.
Next is shopping and browsing at the Historic Farmers' Market, where there are lots of unique shops, galleries and restaurants. A tour of the #1 Fire Station follows. The station was built in 1907 and is modeled after Independence Hall in Philadelphia.
Then, tour the Virginia Museum of Transportation which houses nearly 60 pieces of rolling stock including the Class J-611 and 1218 steam engines. Top off your first day with dinner and a private tour of the O. Winston Link Museum or a live evening performance.
Day Two: A short 40-minute ride takes you to the National D-Day Memorial, a moving tribute to allied forces who landed in France in 1944. Following the Memorial, enjoy a relaxing cruise aboard the Virginia Dare on scenic Smith Mountain Lake. Then, learn about the life of the famous African-American educator at the Booker T. Washington Monument.
Day Three: Relax and enjoy the scenery on the beautiful Blue Ridge Parkway and enjoy stops at Mabry Mill, one of the most photographed places on the Parkway followed by lunch and wine tasting at Chateau Morrisette Winery.
Day One: When you arrive, go directly to the Roanoke Star on Mill Mountain for a breathtaking view of the region and check in on Facebook. Take a photo at the overlook and add it to Instagram (Don't forget to use our #BlueRidgeDay hashtag!) or check out the starcam to see your group on camera - www.roanokeva.gov/starcam. (For a more active day, hike up Mill Mountain.)
Next, head to Center in the Square where you will find the Science Museum of Western Virginia to take in the latest interactive exhibit and butterfly garden. The view from the rooftop and aquariums in the lobby are worth the trip. Add in the History Museum of Western Virginia for historic tidbits on the region.
For lunch, you have eight restaurant options to choose from in the City Market Building, which is set up just like a food court. Not far from your lunch spot, head over to the Taubman Museum of Art for a walk through contemporary art galleries and participate in the interactive part of the museum - ArtVenture.
Afterward, take the railwalk to the Virginia Museum of Transportation for a history lesson in transportation, including rail, auto and aviation.
Check-in at your hotel and dress comfortably to watch a Salem Red Sox Baseball game from box seats while eating Cracker Jacks and hot dogs. Overnight at a group-friendly hotel.
Day Two: Choose from a visit to Dixie Caverns and hike a portion of the Appalachian Trail with Muddy Squirrel (an outdoor adventure guide) or tour the National D-Day Memorial and Thomas Jefferson's Poplar Forest.
Day One: Begin your tour at the Visitor Center for a welcome and restroom break. Your first stop will be the Virginia Museum of Transportation, where your group will learn about the role that African-Americans played with the growth of the railroad.
Grab a box lunch at the Roanoker Restaurant on your way to tour the Booker T. Washington National Monument for a glimpse of the birthplace of the well-known black educator.
Day Two: Follow the Historic Gainsboro Tour of African American Culture. Learn about the Gainsboro neighborhood and how it played a critical role in the development of African American culture in the region.
You'll visit the Martin Luther King, Jr. statue at the "Henry Street" Bridge, where inspirational quotes are etched into the ground and excerpts from speeches made by Dr. King are broadcasted around the area.
The tour also features Dumas Center for Artistic and Cultural Development, which is the former Dumas Hotel. The hotel provided accommodations to many world renowned singers and musicians who performed in the area, including Louis Armstrong, Dizzy Gillespie, Duke Ellington, Ella Fitzgerald and many more.
Visitors will learn about the unique history of the Gainsboro Library and see the homeplaces of former African American residents in the Gainsboro community.
Arrive at the Roanoke Valley Visitor Information Center and receive a personal welcome and sightseeing tour led by a local step-on guide. Your first stop will be the Roanoke Star and Overlook where you'll see the Valley's famed neon star and take in a stunning view of the region.
Next is shopping and browsing at the Historic Farmers' Market, where there are lots of unique shops, galleries and restaurants for lunch on your own (other options include a lunch at the historic Hotel Roanoke or picnic at the Virginia Museum of Transportation.
In the afternoon, a focus on our rail heritage allows the group to explore the Virginia Museum of Transportation, which houses nearly 60 pieces of rolling stock, including the Class J-611 and 1218 steam engines. Conclude this tour at the O. Winston Link Museum to experience the photography of O. Winston Link, who captured the last days of the steam locomotive and the culture that surrounded it in 1950s Appalachia.
Build your itinerary by making the most of your visit at all the best southern cuisine stops. Spend the day sightseeing and tasting several local delights, including: