Local Bonnie Chavez shares some of her favorite spots, things to do, and recommendations in the area for the LGBTQIA fam.
Roanoke in Virginia’s Blue Ridge is a vibrant and welcoming community to visitors from all backgrounds, including the LGBTQ+ community.
We encourage you to plan your next metro mountain adventure and explore the incredible variety of outdoor trails & recreation opportunities, diverse arts & cultural scene, unique local flavors, and exciting special events that take place throughout the year.
There are also unique experiences and opportunities to connect with Roanoke’s local LGBTQ+ community and learn more about the history of the city.
"Roanoke is a magical place. When I moved here in 2001, a stranger in a new city, I experienced the gift of
hospitality from so many people, who welcomed me in my authenticity and wholeness. I am glad to be part
of our City Council who celebrates our rich diverse, multi-cultural and inclusive citizens and landscape.
Welcome to Roanoke!" — Joe Cobb, Vice Mayor and Member of Roanoke City Council
Learn more - City of Roanoke LGBTQ+ Community Guide >
The Roanoke Diversity Center is a great local resource and organization that exists to support, educate, empower, and advocate for LGBTQ+ individuals and groups in the Roanoke Region. The RDC regularly hosts special events and programs, and also features a special Community Guide with information about LGBTQ+ owned & LGBTQ+ friendly businesses and more.
Taking part in the Roanoke LGBTQ+ History Walking Tours (which are free and hosted monthly) are a great way to learn more about Roanoke’s LGBTQ+ past. The tours are hosted by the Southwest Virginia LGBTQ+ History Project and showcase popular local neighborhoods & places of interest, including Roanoke’s Old Southwest Neighborhood, Downtown Roanoke, and Salem Avenue-Roanoke Automotive Commercial Historic District.
You can also plan a visit around Roanoke’s annual Pride Weekend and Pride in the Park Celebrations, which occur in the spring. And join the fun of the fall celebration for the Southwest Virginia Pride Fest - September 16, 2023 >
Local organizations also host a variety of special events and activities in celebration of Pride Month in June.
Visit our Things to Do page for additional information about unique experiences in Virginia’s Blue Ridge.
"When I’m traveling, I sometimes surprise people when I say Roanoke is this incredible melting pot of people, lifestyles, and cultures smack dab in the middle of the Blue Ridge Mountains, but it’s true!" — Mark Lynn Ferguson, cofounder of Woodshed: An Appalachian Joint and Crafteria: Handmade Food & Goods
Roanoke's longest standing dance club is queer! The Park originally opened in 1978 and has been spinning dance music since the days of disco. Today, it hosts some of the best DJs on the East Coast and raging drag shows. It's one of many fun bars to check out in Downtown Roanoke.
Roanoke is full of LGBTQ+ friendly bars & restaurants, offering a variety of local flavors featuring bold cuisine and influences from around the world. For a craft beverage, check out the craft breweries, wineries, and distilleries that are part of Virginia’s Blue Ridge Cheers Trail.
Be inspired by the local arts & culture scene of Virginia’s Blue Ridge. From public murals and street art you’ll find throughout the city, to the amazing museums and galleries, art is an integral part of the fabric of Roanoke.
The region also boasts lots of opportunities to enjoy the performing arts, including live music, theatre, comedy & improv shows, and more.
Virginia’s Blue Ridge features over 1,000 miles of trails for hiking, biking, and paddling, making it the perfect destination for an outdoor adventure.
With options such as hiking on the Appalachian Trail, mountain biking at Carvins Cove, taking a scenic drive on the Blue Ridge Parkway, and floating the Roanoke River Blueway, you’ll love turning Roanoke into your own mountain playground.
Whether it’s a beautiful hotel in the heart of Downtown Roanoke, a campsite along the river where you’re surrounded by nature, or a cozy B&B in a historic home, there are a variety of lodging options and places to stay for your next getaway to Virginia’s Blue Ridge.
To learn more about visiting the Roanoke Region in Virginia's Blue Ridge, be sure to sign up to receive our free monthly e-newsletter and give us a follow on social media. You can also learn get more information by requesting a free copy of our Virginia's Blue Ridge Visitor's Guide.