UPDATE: Virginia's Blue Ridge is Now Open in Phase Three

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 >


City of Roanoke Historic Sites

The City of Roanoke in Virginia’s Blue Ridge is full of history.

Formerly known as “Big Lick” because of the salt licks where Native American and animal trails crossed through the valley, the town of “Big Lick” began to really grow in the late 1800s with the arrival of the Shenandoah Valley Railroad. 

In 1882, the town was renamed to “Roanoke,” which is based off “rawrenock” - the Algonquin word for shell beads that were worn and used as trade goods, and the City of Roanoke was chartered in 1884.

Learn more about the history of the city of Roanoke by visiting some of the local museums and attractions that specialize in local history:

Other popular spots in the city that showcase its history include the Roanoke Star, The Hotel Roanoke & Conference Center, Historic Roanoke City Market, and the Grandin Theatre.

The following is a list of historic sites in the City of Roanoke.

Roanoke Valley Spotlight