Virginia’s Blue Ridge offers an incredible variety of memorable adventures. From mountain tops to downtown dining, Roanoke and the surrounding region would be the perfect area to spend a never ending Groundhog Day!
Take a look at the eight activities we would put on repeat to experience again, and again, and again, and… you get the picture.
1. The Hotel Roanoke
It’s 6:00 a.m. and if Bill Murray has taught us anything, that’s when Groundhog Day begins! Your wakeup call from The Hotel Roanoke front desk is right on time. Built in 1882, the historic hotel offers the perfect jumping off point for your Groundhog Day adventures.
With a full day of activities ahead, it’s important to fuel up with a hardy breakfast. Take a short walk across the pedestrian walkway high above the Norfolk Southern railroad line and the smell of sizzling bacon will lead you to Scrambled. Located inside the historic Roanoke City Market Building, Scrambled prides itself on serving a fast, casual breakfast throughout the day. The ‘Star City Scramble’ plate is the ideal meal to kick off your active day ahead.
2. Roanoke Star
Walk off that delicious breakfast with a hike up Mill Mountain’s ‘Star Trail’ to reach one of the most iconic sites in Virginia’s Blue Ridge, the Roanoke Star and Overlook. Weighing in at 10,000 lbs. and standing 88.5 feet high, Roanoke’s neon icon overlooks the city from high atop Mill Mountain. Snap a star selfie or send your friends a text with the StarCam live web link and wave goodbye before heading to your next stop.
3. Mill Mountain Zoo
Don’t head down the mountain just yet. While you’re on the peak, stop by the Mill Mountain Zoo and have a chat with the Red Panda, enjoy the antics of the Asian Small-Clawed Otter or get to know the Sulcata Tortoise. The zoo is home to more than 170 animals from nearly 90 species, 21 of which are vulnerable species.
4. Downtown Roanoke
By now, your Groundhog Day adventures have no doubt worked up an afternoon appetite of enormous proportion. Why not satisfy your hunger, quench your thirst and learn more about Roanoke’s rich history and bright future in one fell swoop? Head down Mill Mountain and meet up with the Historic Downtown Roanoke Food Tour! It’s the tastiest way to discover Roanoke like an insider. Explore Roanoke’s unexpected history, unique architecture and one-of-a-kind cuisine.
5. Carvins Cove
Having experienced downtown and the surrounding neighborhoods, it’s time to trade the trolley for the trails, and head to some of the most gnarly mountain biking trails on the east coast at Carvins Cove. Stop by Roanoke Mountain Adventures on your way, rent a bike, and head to the Cove! With 40 miles of well-marked and painstakingly maintained trails ranging in difficulty from novice to expert, Carvins Cove Nature Reserve boasts 12,700 acres of outdoor opportunity.
6. Recovery at Parkway Brewing
Riding the Cove has no doubt drained you and it’s time to recover. On your way back from Carvins Cove, stop by Parkway Brewing Company for a local craft brew that you’ll want day after day. (Which is ideal in this case!) Parkway offers a wide variety of craft beers from its approachable Bridge Builder Blonde to the famous hopped up deliciousness of Parkway’s Get Bent IPA. Recovery never tasted so good.
7. Dinner Downtown
Grab a quick shower at Hotel Roanoke and it’s time for a downtown dinner that’s good enough to enjoy night, after repeating night. A wide array of menus are at your fingertips and within walking distance from the hotel. Martin’s live music and unique mac and cheese offerings could be your style, or a slice of pizza as big as your head at Benny Marconi’s.
For tonight, choosing the exciting vibe and creative menu of Lucky seems appropriate. With a focus on superb ingredients and expertly crafted cocktails, Lucky’s menu showcases culinary creativity and beautifully plated meals from the most talented chefs and bartenders in Virginia’s Blue Ridge.
8. Late Night Fun
It’s time to say goodnight to your perfect, never ending Groundhog Day with a night out! Live music can be found nearly any evening of the week in Roanoke and spots like Corned Beef & Co. keep the party going all night! Finish off the night with a quick trip to the famed Texas Tavern, a 24-hour downtown staple. Known for its rich history, as much as its tight quarters, the Texas Tavern has served tens-of-thousands of hungry patrons 10 at a time since opening in 1930.
Insider’s tip: Order a ‘Bowl With’ and a ‘Cheesy’ to finish off the night... just don’t ask for ketchup!
Wake up. And repeat!
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