Thanksgiving is a great annual reminder of the importance of being thankful for the things we have in life. 

In the Roanoke Valley in Virginia’s Blue Ridge, there are a number of reasons to be thankful, and 2016 has been an amazing year for our region.

As we think about what makes this a great place to call “home” and the path we’re on toward the future, here are five things we’re thankful for in Virginia’s Blue Ridge.

1. Stunning Natural Beauty

Sharp Top Mountain Sunrise

It’s a special feeling to start a Blue Ridge Day by watching the sunrise over the Blue Ridge Mountains. Not only do our mountains provide a gorgeous natural landscape, they’re also easily accessible. It takes less than 10 minutes to get from one of our downtown communities to a trail that leads you to a breathtaking mountain summit. We’re lucky to have such an incredible mountain playground in Virginia’s Blue Ridge.

2. Collaboration & Community


A photo posted by CoLab (@colabroanoke) on

There’s an attitude of collaboration that continues to grow in Virginia’s Blue Ridge. From the thriving small business community and tremendous local resources like CoLab Roanoke, to the way local governments are working together to promote the region and bring major events to our area, such as the recent CIAA Football Championship, people understand the value of teamwork in Virginia’s Blue Ridge. 

3. A Broad Range of Cultures & Things to Do

Family at Mill Mountain Zoo

You may be drawn here by our mountains, but there are so many interesting parts of the culture and fabric of Virginia’s Blue Ridge. Whether it’s the amazing assortment of restaurants that feature international cuisine, attractions that can suit any interest, the various types of music you find at local venues and bars on any given night, or the wide selection of events on the calendar, there are so many great things to do for locals and visitors.

4. Exciting Times Ahead

As great as the past year has been in Virginia’s Blue Ridge, it’s only the beginning of what’s happening in our region! Companies are relocating to the area, as well as an energetic group of new residents who are excited to become part of the local community. The craft beer scene continues to grow with the upcoming arrivals of Ballast Point Brewing & Spirits and Deschutes Brewery, and we also continue to expand our outdoor assets with increased access to trails and blueways and the development of Explore Park. And with the arrival of passenger rail service expected in 2017, Virginia’s Blue Ridge will become even more connected to communities along the East Coast.

5. Local Pride & Awareness


A photo posted by Virginia's Blue Ridge (@visitvbr) on

There’s a local pride and energy that has become contagious over the past couple years. The success of the grassroots #Deschutes2Rke social media campaign highlighted that locals have a love for our region, and we want other people to know it. More people outside the area are finding out about Virginia’s Blue Ridge, and we’re excited about getting to share that experience with them when they visit.

Thank you for reading and for visiting our website! The entire team at Visit Virginia’s Blue Ridge wishes you a Happy Thanksgiving and hopes you have a wonderful holiday season!