Founded as a railroad town, the region still celebrates its unique railroad history and heritage.
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 >
Downtown Roanoke is the historic center of the City of Roanoke and home to many popular amenities and attractions.
This walking tour provides the opportunity to see a variety of historic buildings, art, and architecture, which is evident on every corner.
The former passenger train station was remodeled in 1949 by renowned industrial designer Raymond Loewy. The last passenger train stopped at the station in 1971, which is now home to the Virginia's Blue Ridge Visitor Information Center and O. Winston Link Museum.
This striking marvel of modern architecture is one of the premier art museums in Virginia and boasts a variety of permanent collections and temporary exhibits.
Legend has it that whoever drank from this fountain would always return to Roanoke. Horses would drink from the street side while people drank from the dog's mouth. It's located beside the Wells Fargo Tower building, which dominates the city skyline with its copper rooftop.
This iconic facility originally served as a marketplace where meatcutters offered their products in various stalls. It now serves as multicultural food court with a variety of local restaurants.
Built to house W.E. McGuire's Farmer's Supply Co., which sold buggies, wagons, seed, and other farm products, this building is now home to Center in the Square. The center features multiple museums, aquariums, and many things that make it a must-stop during your tour of Downtown Roanoke.
As one of the oldest markets in Virginia, it's a great place to browse local produce, plants, and handmade crafts. And don't miss the unique architecture of the buildings along Market Street.
This classic fire station has a facade that was loosely modeled after Independence Hall in Philadelphia. The interior was constructed for the era of horse-drawn fire wagons and the original brass poles and tin ceiling still exist today.
This fountain recognizes Roanoke's seven Sister Cities around the world. The pool is lined with historic bricks that were used on the city's early streets.
A red granite monument that serves as a tribute to Frederick J. Kimball, who served as President of the Norfolk & Western Railway and helped establish Roanoke as the railroad's headquarters.
Renovated in 2013, Elmwood Park features fountains and a collection of art pieces while also being one of the premier outdoor event venues in Virginia's Blue Ridge.
The recently renovated Public Library is a wonderful place to take kids, and the Virginia Room has many amazing artifacts and archives relating to the region's history.
Many early businesses advertised with painted signage on building facades, and some of those signs can still be seen today on Church Avenue. The iconic "Uneeda Biscuit" sign is a popular photo spot in Downtown Roanoke.
One of the iconic landmarks of the Roanoke Valley, this classic restaurant is open 24-hours-a-day and is famous for its "chile" and "Cheesy Western" burger.
A Gothic style church with a prominent bell tower that rests on footings as deep as the tower because of the limestone spoil and caverns underneath.
The building that houses various city departments is named after Roanoke's first African American mayor. It adjoins the gorgeous Neoclassical Revival municipal building (1915) that faces Campbell Avenue.
This station served as the hub of freight operations for much of the country in the 20th century. In 1986, it became home to the Virginia Museum of Transportation, which boasts an incredible collection of locomotives.
This striking art deco building was originally the location of a dry goods firm. After being damaged by multiple fires in the 1930s, the exterior was covered for many years before eventually being restored to its original art deco splendor.
The steel truss bridge was constructed by the Norfolk & Western Railway in 1891, but restored in 2008 as a walkway with a memorial plaza and statue that honors Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Formerly known as the Hotel Hampton, which served African Americans during the days of segregation. It was known for holding informal late-night concerts with many world-renowned African American jazz musicians who would perform in the city and stay at the hotel.
Formerly the Lincoln and Strand Theatres, it was a theatre and nightclub that served the African American community. Nationally-known film producer Oscar Micheaux had an office at the theatre.
This location served as the N&W Railway headquarters for more than 50 years, and it now serves as an institutional space for 16 area colleges and universities, as well as residential apartments.
One of the original settlements of the area that became the African American community during segregation. Patton & Gilmer Avenues now serve as the residential historic district.
The land for the library was gifted to the city after Virginia Lee, a Gainsboro resident, wrote a letter to the Catholic church in Rome. The priest agreed to the request and also received approval from Pope Pius XII. Lee served as the librarian for 43 years.
One of the state's leading examples of High Victorian Gothic Architecture, the church still serves as an iconic symbol of the city skyline. The dramatic interior of the church features vaulting, carving, stenciling, and stained glass.
This half-timbered Tudor revival hotel was constructed and operated by Norfolk & Western Railway for over 100 years. Recognized as a local landmark, it was donated to Virginia Tech in 1989 and restored to its original beauty, along with a state-of-the-art conference center.