Journey to Virginia's Blue Ridge to experience adventurous days filled with exciting outdoor fun, rich history, bustling arts and culture, and tasty eats.
Our scenic landscape is lush with a metro-mountain mix of things to see and do, and brimming with unbridled energy and activity. Capture plenty of memories for your scrapbook as you explore the heart of the Roanoke Valley through romantic hideaways, family thrills, vibrant arts and culture, natural wonders and more.
For a romantic weekend getaway, first check-in to a local bed and breakfast in Roanoke's Old Southwest neighborhood. You'll find beautifully restored homes that offer a welcoming blend of warm hospitality, local charm and comfortable amenities. After you unpack, grab your sweetheart's hand for a relaxing stroll through the historic neighborhood, which features celebrated city history, architecture and pioneering spirit. Dine amid the cozy ambiance and amazing mountain views at Carlos Brazilian International Cuisine. Watch the sunset from the outdoor patio while you sample a variety of savory cuisine. After dinner, fall in love with picturesque views of the Blue Ridge Mountains from one of the most romantic spots in Virginia's Blue Ridge - the Roanoke Star and Overlook.
Start your family adventure among new friends at the Mill Mountain Zoo in Roanoke. More than 85 species of animals from around the world call the zoo home, including a snow leopard and a red panda. Explore by foot, but also by mini-train with a ride on the Zoo Cho. Next, make your way downtown for lunch at the Historic City Market Building, which features nine different restaurants serving a variety of cuisines for the entire family. For dessert, try a blend of sweet snowball flavors in an icy treat from Bayou Snowballs. Afterwards, stretch your legs along the David R. and Susan S. Goode Railwalk to the Virginia Museum of Transportation for an afternoon of discovery and hands-on fun as you learn about the iconic steam locomotives on display.
Enjoy dinner at the family-favorite Mac and Bob's Restaurant, which has been a downtown Salem staple for 30 years. After dinner, head out to the ball game to see the Salem Red Sox compete in Carolina League play at Salem Memorial Stadium from April through August. The Red Sox, one of six minor league affiliates of the Boston Red Sox, boasts a popular promotional schedule each season, which includes Family Night Fridays, Bark in the Park and Player Poster Giveaways.
If you look to be inspired by the region's culture and creativity, the Artist Itinerary will lead you on an imaginative tour of exclusive fine art, beautiful photography, handmade jewelry and other custom finds among outdoor vendors and at an array of art galleries in downtown Roanoke. A short walk away, the Taubman Museum of Art offers an amazing artistic experience complete with various exhibits and the kid-friendly and interactive gallery, Art Venture. Wind down with savory flavors and soulful sounds of the live music at Blue 5 or catch an independent film at the Historic Grandin Theatre.
To delve into the storied past of the region, take the Blue Ridge Parkway north to Bedford for a glimpse of the National D-Day Memorial, created to honor those who gave their lives to protect our country in World War II during the invasion of Normandy. From there, take Route 122 southwest to Franklin County for a tour the Booker T. Washington National Monument near Smith Mountain Lake. The monument, the birthplace of Booker T. Washington, recounts some of the early influences of Washington's life and provides insights into what life was like for slaves during the 1850s. As you make your way back toward Roanoke, stop by Homestead Creamery in Burnt Chimney, grab a seat on their charming front porch and enjoy a scoop of delicious ice cream. The local favorite is one of the best kept secrets in Virginia's Blue Ridge.
But Blue Ridge Days don't end there. There's plenty of fun for nature lovers, foodie fanatics and history buffs, too. For those just passing through, the Quick Stop itinerary shares some quick-hit options that are sure to satisfy visitors with just a few hours to spend in Virginia's Blue Ridge. For more Roanoke Valley itineraries, visit http://www.visitroanokeva.com/visitors/blueridgedays/