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 >
The history of Downtown Roanoke can be seen in its local museums, attractions, architecture, sites, and sounds.
The Downtown Roanoke skyline is dotted with iconic buildings and symbols of the city’s history, such as the beautiful cathedral at St. Andrews Church, the tudor-style architecture of The Hotel Roanoke & Conference Center, or the famous Dr Pepper and H&C neon coffee signs.
You can also hear the sounds of railroad history in Downtown Roanoke with the whistle from the “Old Gabriel” train whistle at the former Norfolk & Western Shops, or the roar of a locomotive making its way through downtown on the train tracks.
Even the flavors of downtown have their own unique history, as the Historic Roanoke City Market, which began in 1882 and is Virginia’s oldest continuously operating open-air market. A stroll along Market Street is one of the best ways to get to experience the local character of Virginia’s Blue Ridge.
Popular historic museums in Downtown Roanoke include:
Another excellent (and delicious!) way to learn about the history of Downtown Roanoke is by taking part in a Downtown Roanoke Food & Cultural Tour. Book a Tour >
You can also create your own self-guided walking tour with this Gainsboro History Tour of American American Culture >
Visit the spots listed below to experience the history of Downtown Roanoke.