Exciting festivals and events throughout the year!
Virginia's Blue Ridge is now open in the Phase Three stage of the Commonwealth's Forward Virginia plan. Learn more about the program and what it means for various types of businesses & experiences in the region with our Phase Three Guidelines page. Phase Three >
As much as we'd like for you to stay longer, there are times when you simply don't have much time to visit the Roanoke Valley in Virginia's Blue Ridge.
While we hope you'll come back another time for a longer visit, this page features some ideas for how to spend a visit that involves being in the area for a few hours.
It includes some ideas for activities you can enjoy with a limited amount of time, while still making sure you stop by some of our most iconic attractions that you can't miss when you visit Virginia's Blue Ridge.
Also, we recommend stopping by the Virginia's Blue Ridge Visitor Information Center in Downtown Roanoke to get helpful resources, including maps and brochures, for when you begin planning your next trip to the Blue Ridge Mountains.
Here are a few ideas for how to enjoy a quick trip to the Roanoke Valley.
Visit the world's largest freestanding, man-made illuminated star! The 100-foot tall neon star is located atop Mill Mountain and the overlook at the base of the Roanoke Star provides a gorgeous view of the surrounding valley and mountains. Located off Milepost 120 of the Blue Ridge Parkway and only 10 minutes from Downtown Roanoke.
Learn about the rich railroad heritage of the region by visiting the Virginia Museum of Transportation in Downtown Roanoke. The museum features the iconic steam locomotives that were constructed in Roanoke for many years. You can also see an incredible collection of railroad photography at the O. Winston Link Museum in Downtown Roanoke.
Sample fresh produce and local goods of the area by stopping at one of our great farmers markets. The Historic Roanoke City Market, Salem Farmers Market, and Vinton Farmers Market are all open daily and feature wonderful items.
You can't come to Virginia's Blue Ridge without experiencing "America's Favorite Drive!" The Blue Ridge Parkway winds through the heart of the region, and if you're traveling along Interstate 81, the Parkway is a great alternative that runs parallel to the interstate through much of the region - offering the opportunity to experience this beautiful drive while not sacrificing much travel time.
Whether you just want to stretch your legs and walk around a charming downtown area, enjoy a delicious local restaurant, visit one of Virginia's oldest farmers markets, or browse through some wonderful art galleries or museums, all those activities are readily available in the extremely walkable Downtown Roanoke.
For more ideas about how to spend your visit to our area, check out our section on Things to Do in Virginia's Blue Ridge.