Insider Tips for Roanoke

Insider Tips for Virginia's Blue Ridge

Be the travel expert with these great tips about visiting the Roanoke Valley in Virginia's Blue Ridge!

Have you ever met someone who seemed like a professional traveler with insights about great places to go and always knows the hidden secrets of an area?

With these insider tips, you'll be the professional traveler with Virginia's Blue Ridge as your area of expertise.

Find out about where you can always get a parking spot in Downtown Roanoke or get the inside scoop on the best places to hear great live music.

Some of our tips might even lead those with an adventurous spirit off the beaten path.

Parking in Downtown Roanoke

Downtown Roanoke

An insider knows not to believe the rumor that it's difficult to find parking in Downtown Roanoke. There are an abundance of available spots for the visitor who knows where to look.

On weekdays, many of the downtown parking lots and garages are free after 5pm, including the Elmwood Park Garage, Elmwood Lot, and Warehouse Row Lot. Many garages and lots (Elmwood Lot, Elmwood Park Garage, Gainsboro Garage, Campbell Garage, Higher Ed. Centre Lot) are also free on Saturdays and Sundays.

For iPhone and iPad users, you can download the PARK Noke app from Downtown Roanoke Inc. in the App store. This free application provides directions to parking lots and pricing information.

Learn more on our page about Downtown Roanoke Parking.

Farmers Markets

Farmers Market - Downtown Roanoke

Visiting the farmers markets in our area is a great way to discover the unique character and culture of the Roanoke Valley in Virginia's Blue Ridge.

You can sample the amazing produce grown in this region and check out the specialty goods made by locals. The farmers markets are also a great place to meet some of the special people who call this area home.

Virginia's Blue Ridge offers a variety of farmers markets that operate throughout different points during the year, including the Historic Roanoke City Market and Salem Farmers Market, which are open year-round.

The Vinton Farmers Market, Grandin Village Community Market, Catawba Valley Farmers Market, Rocky Mount Farmers Market, Botetourt County Farmers Market, and West End Community Market are a few of the wonderful seasonal markets to check out when visiting the Roanoke Valley.

Visit our Shopping section for a full list of local markets.

Shopping for Regional Products

Shopping at Ikenberry Orchard

There are parts of Virginia's Blue Ridge you can take with you after your vacation. A number of local stores and shops serve as great places to pick up gifts and souvenirs from Virginia's Blue Ridge.

Chocolatepaper, Appalachia Press, and many of the vendors at the Historic Roanoke City Market in Downtown Roanoke are perfect spots for photographs, postcards, and local flavors - including the world-famous Virginia peanuts.

You can also find unique memorabilia at the gift shops of the Virginia Museum of Transportation and Mill Mountain Zoo.

Downtown Salem offers handmade goods and local art at their quaint stores and Salem Farmers Market.

And for one-of-a-kind antiques, stop by Black Dog Salvage, known for its Salvage Dawgs TV show on the DIY Network.

Live Music

Concert at the Salem Civic Center

The character and culture of Virginia's Blue Ridge is inspiring artists to create a unique and funky music scene in the Roanoke Valley.

Visitors can experience these eclectic sounds by stopping at any number of venues that regularly feature live shows. Martin's Downtown Bar & Grill and The Blues BBQ Co. in Downtown Roanoke are two popular spots for local nightlife.

And to learn more about the deep roots of bluegrass in Virginia's Blue Ridge, make your way to Franklin County and hop on The Crooked Road: Virginia's Heritage Music Trail. There's also a party every week with the Friday Night Jamboree at the Floyd Country Store!

For more details, check out our Music section.

Public Art

LOVE Artwork in Downtown Roanoke

As a thriving community for the arts, the Roanoke Valley in Virginia's Blue Ridge is full of unique pieces and displays of art throughout the region.

The City of Salem features local artists with an art board display in Longwood Park, as well as displaying numerous pieces in the Olin Hall Galleries at Roanoke College.

The City of Roanoke and Roanoke County offer a variety of displays - including many painted brick signs and murals that have become artistic treasures and icons.

Visitors can also take in many striking sculptures such as the Martin Luther King Jr. Statue on Henry Street, bike rack in the Historic Grandin Village, dog statue at the Grandin Village Fire Station, or the LOVE artwork along the David R. & Susan S. Goode Railwalk.

See more great art by following the Art by Bike route throughout the area.

Ask Us!

Have questions? Looking for additional information? Feel free to reach out to us on social media to get in the know about all that's happening in Virginia's Blue Ridge!

Check out our Facebook page, follow us on Instagram, see what we've pinned on Pinterest, and definitely find us on Twitter - where we're always excited to share about how to experience a #BlueRidgeDay.

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