What's New in Virginia's Blue Ridge

Recently opened:

Hilton Garden Inn at South Peak - November 2014

  • Roanoke, VA hotel with magnificent mountain views
  • Close to downtown Roanoke, local businesses, shopping and attractions
  • Complimentary fitness center and indoor swimming pool with landscaped outdoor terrace
  • 2,500 sq. ft. of flexible meeting space accommodating up to 135 people
  • Complimentary business center
  • Relaxed on-site dining in The Garden Grille & Bar

Located in South Peak, Roanoke's luxury lifestyle community, the Hilton Garden Inn Roanoke hotel is conveniently close to the primary business corridor of Roanoke County - and just a short drive from downtown Roanoke and the Roanoke/Blacksburg Regional Airport. Enjoy easy access to major highways, shopping, healthcare facilities and recreation opportunities.


Hampton Inn & Suites (Downtown Roanoke) - Opening August 2015

  • currently under construction
  • 127 rooms
  • 3 floors
  • Lobby on the first floor, hotel floors built above Market Garage

Blue Ridge Parkway:

A $42,000 project to clear overlooks on the Blue Ridge Parkway has been completed thanks to money raised by Friends of the Blue Ridge Parkway through the sale of the specialty Virginia parkway license plate.  Overlooks from Adney Gap to the U.S. 220 interchange in Roanoke County were cleared by a 10-man work team over the course of one week.

Visitation to the Blue Ridge Parkway has increased in 2014.

50th Anniversary of Mill Mountain Theatre:

Productions include Hairspray, Beauty and the Beast, On Golden Pond, 42nd Street, the Hollins University Theatre Institute 2015 Winter Festival of New Work, plus new programs.

New programs have been launched to spur economic activity for the downtown merchants and restaurants including summer performances in Market Square and two new low-cost concerts.

DIY Network's Salvage Dawgs: (based in Roanoke)

Season 3 of the DIY Network's "Salvage Dawgs", featuring Roanoke's Black Dog Salvage, launched in October 2014 with episodes for Season 4 currently in production for 2015.

Explore Park Master Plan: (outdoor recreation off the Blue Ridge Parkway)

After acquiring the 1,100 acre park in 2013, Roanoke County is developing a Master Plan to shape the future of the park.  The goal is to create an outdoor adventure park with active and passive recreation, possibly including campgrounds, ropes courses, equestrian trails, archery and more hiking trails.   The focus for 2015 will be wedding/event rentals and a new monthly series of naturalist led hikes beginning in January. Working with the National Park Service, the park hopes to expand the educational offerings at the site as the tourism season approaches.

150 year anniversary of the 1865 emancipation of Booker T. Washington

During the weekend of June 20, 2015, Booker T. Washington National Monument will commemorate the 150th anniversary of the 1865 emancipation of Booker T. Washington and the nearly four million people released from the bondage of slavery at the end of the Civil War. The two-day, community event will involve living history portrayals of local events that occurred in the Hales Ford, Virginia area just prior to Washington taking his first breath of freedom in the summer of 1865 when a Union officer read the Emancipation Proclamation on the front veranda of the ‘Big House'. 

Craft Beer

Virginia's Blue Ridge Beerway "Explore-a-Pour"

The Roanoke Valley in Virginia's Blue Ridge Mountains is quickly developing into a popular location for craft breweries. The plentiful supply of top-quality water combined with the beautiful landscape and unique culture that exists in the region makes Virginia's Blue Ridge a natural choice for many beer companies.  Local breweries have joined together to collectively promote this emerging industry by creating the new Virginia's Blue Ridge Beerway.

This self-guided loop tour includes eight local breweries and is the perfect way to experience the flavors of Virginia's Blue Ridge and meet the people who are bringing these great beers to life.

Roanoke Craft Beer Tour

The new Roanoke Craft Beer Tour is a great way to explore the local breweries.  Launched at the end of September, this tour offers round-trip transportation to three breweries, approximately 12 beer tastings, guided brewery tour, and Beer Brewing 101. Water, snacks and quick "to go" cheeseburger from Texas Tavern are provided.  Transportation provided via the "Half Pint" bus that seats 14.  Tours are led Friday evenings and Saturday afternoons, private tours also available.

Rocky Mount, VA Redevelopment:

The Town of Rocky Mount, in Franklin County, has been revitalized with both private and public investments, making this main street town come alive once again with a state-of-the-art performance center drawing marquee talent, charming bed and breakfasts, new restaurants and art center.   

Daleville Town Center:

 Looking ahead:

  • Celebrating 100 years of National Parks in 2016
  • Smith Mountain Lake 50th Anniversary in 2016
  • Norman Rockwell at the Taubman Museum of Art in 2016
  • Passenger rail service returns to Roanoke in 2017

Norman Rockwell Exhibit 

The Taubman Museum of Art is delighted to announce that it will present the special exhibition "American Chronicles: The Art of Norman Rockwell" organized by the Norman Rockwell Museum and featuring over fifty five of the artist's most renowned paintings from March 18 to June 12, 2016.

This will be a special ticketed exhibition and the fee is under development

Passenger rail service returns to Roanoke in 2017

Passenger train service is scheduled to return to Roanoke in 2017, after being discontinued in 1979. Governor McAuliffe announced that the Commonwealth of Virginia, Amtrak, Norfolk Southern and the City of Roanoke are beginning the first phase of construction for the platform that will serve passenger rail service to Roanoke.