November launches us into the holiday season and Virginia’s Blue Ridge is a prime destination to soak in the festivities and flavors.

From elaborately decorated trees to performance traditions like “The Nutcracker,” you will be treated to an unforgettable season.

Join us to get into the spirit. We have five reasons you should book a holiday getaway to Virginia’s Blue Ridge.


1. Holiday Lights & Decorations

Explore Park - Illuminights - Roanoke County

All around Virginia’s Blue Ridge there are communities hosting special light displays and putting up decorations to celebrate the season.

You'll want to make time for a visit to Roanoke County's Explore Park for its special Illuminights. This "Winter Walk of Lights" is a walking tour on a half-mile wooded path through an incredible display of over 500,000 lights! Following your walk through the lights, enjoy marshmallow roasting and artisan crafts at the Explore Park Christmas market. Illuminights tickets >

Other special light displays in the region include:

  • Land of Lights | Franklin County Recreation Park | November 25 - December 31 | Event Details >
  • Buchanan Festival of Lights | Buchanan Town Park | November 28 - December 27 | Event Website >
  • 2021 First Bank Tinsel Trail | Historic Fincastle | December 3 - January 1 | Event Website >
  • Luminary Nights | Natural Bridge State Park | December 10-19 | Event Details >
  • Christmas Eve Luminary Display | Town of Buchanan | December 24 | Event Website >

Learn More: Where to See Christmas Lights & Holiday Decorations in VBR >

2. Holiday Events 

Dickens of a Christmas - Carolers Singing

If lights and glamorous trees don’t set your heart on fire for the holidays, the events of Virginia’s Blue Ridge are sure to spark a flame. You'll find a variety of special holiday performances, festivals, Christmas markets, parades, and other popular holiday traditions.

Many of these events are also great opportunities to do some holiday shopping and support our local businesses and artisans who offer unique products that make for fantastic gifts.

Some of our signature holiday events in Virginia's Blue Ridge include:

  • Fashions for Evergreens - The Hotel Roanoke & Conference Center | November 25 - January 1
  • Dickens of a Christmas - Downtown Roanoke | December 3, 10, 17
  • Come Home to a Franklin County Christmas - Rocky Mount | December 3
  • Roanoke Symphony Orchestra's Holiday POPS Spectacular - Salem Civic Center | December 3
  • Gingerbread Festival & Gingerbread House Competition - Longwood Park | December 4
  • Holiday Lights Tour Bicycle Ride - Grandin Village | December 8 

Note - details regarding all events are subject to change at any moment, so we recommend checking event social media accounts and checking with organizers before you go for any last-minute details

3. Holiday Deals & Packages

Mast General Store - Roanoke, VA

Take advantage of special holiday packages and discounts for a getaway to Virginia's Blue Ridge Mountains! It's a great time to book a room at one of the many hotels or unique lodging properties in the region, and our special VBR Savings Pass will help you save with exclusive discounts at local shops, attractions and restaurants.

The VBR Savings Pass is free to use and downloads right to your mobile device - get the Savings Pass >

Looking for more resources? Take advantage of our list of Free Things to Do and check out our Ideas for a Weekend on a Budget in VBR.

4. Holiday Shopping

Ikenberry Orchards & Country Store - Christmas Shopping

Shopping may or may not be your favorite pastime. If it’s not, perhaps we can change that. In fact, once you window shop the independently-owned stores (such as Ikenberry Orchards & Country Store pictured above) of our charming downtowns, we’re confident you’ll want to actually shop them.

Expect to find everything from apparel and jewelry to outdoor gear and gifts to please a palate.

There are also lots of special holiday markets and events on the calendar where you can do all your shopping in one spot:

In the Town of Rocky Mount & Franklin County, they're encouraging folks to Shift the Spend with this year's holiday shopping and pledge to spend at least 20% of holiday spending on local goods & services. If you pledge to spending 20% locally, you'll be entered to win a $500 gift card! 

5. Holiday Flavors

Homestead Creamery Eggnog

The holidays are a delicious time of year in Virginia's Blue Ridge! We love the smells and tastes of the season with creative cocktails at local bars, decadent desserts and sweet treats at local restaurant & bakeries, unique brews and blends at local breweries, wineries, and distilleries, and many of the traditional favorite dishes that make for a special holiday meal.

So grab a boozy hot chocolate at Billy's in Downtown Roanoke, a pumpkin roll from Cupcakes & Canines in Botetourt County, a bottle of eggnog (pictured above) from Homestead Creamery in Franklin County, and some gluten-free gingerbread cookies from Corbin's Confections in Salem!

Learn More: Holiday Flavors in Virginia's Blue Ridge >    


Visit our Holidays section for more information to help you plan your holiday getaway to Virginia's Blue Ridge!

We also encourage you to follow us on social media and sign up to receive our free monthly e-newsletter to keep up with exciting things happening in the region.