10 Best Things to Do In Roanoke, Virginia looks at one of our favorite cities in the state of Virginia. The city of Roanoke is located in the Blue Ridge Mountains, southwest Virginia. The city covers 111 square kilometers, and it has a population of 99,920 as per the statistics of 2018. This city is famously known for the Roanoke Star and the Mill mountain star. Roanoke is home to various museums, trails, picnic areas, and zoo, among others, that you can visit during your stay in the region.
Here are the 10 best things to do in Roanoke, Virginia:
# 10 – Taubman Museum of Art
A visit to the Taubman Museum of art is one of the best things you can do in Roanoke, Virginia, should you be in the region, and you love art. The museum of art building itself is amazing and breathtaking. Taubman museum of art features mainly American artists and a large collection from West Virginia and the Appalachian region. Additionally, during your visit to the museum, you will get a chance to view over 2000 permanent and unique collections that are spread across 11 different galleries. You will also get a chance to see the works done by Thomas Cowperthwaite Eakins, Purvis Young, and John Cage, among others. Furthermore, during your visit, you will also see visiting exhibits, including artwork by some of the United States top artists like John James Audubon and Norman Rockwell. While visiting this museum, you will get a chance to view amazing displays of photography, folk art, and design-related material.
# 9 – Smith Mountain Lake
Do you love fishing, swimming, or boating? If yes, you should never fail to visit Smith Mountain Lake. During your visit to this 21000-acre lake, you will be provided with bait and gear that you will need for fishing. Additionally, you will get a chance to see different fish species like crappies, bluegills, or largemouth if you hook them while fishing. You may also get a chance to swim on the family-friendly beach. Moreover, you may get a chance to go water-skiing, boating, sailing, wakeboarding, and even jet skiing during your visit to the lake.
# 8 – Virginia Museum of Transportation
There is an abundance of the railroad and other transportation cultures found in Roanoke should you be interested. While in the museum, you will learn about the history and the importance of the development of transportation technology. Additionally, during your visit to the museum, you will be able to view multiple permanent galleries. Inside the Virginia museum of transportation, there is a railroad exhibit that features five subsections elaborating local and regional use and development of railroading. During your visit to the aviation gallery inside the Virginia Museum of Transportation, you will be able to see demonstrations of both historical and modern aircraft plus authentic, historical hot air balloon, a gyrocopter, a hang glider, among others.
# 7 – Mill Mountain Zoo
If you love and care for animals and you want a place for your kids to have fun while in Roanoke, then you should visit the Mill Mountain Zoo. This zoo is a sanctuary and educational center. During your visit to the zoo, you will be able to see and learn about creatures that are found there. Besides, you will be able to see a varied collection of species of amazing creatures like snow leopards, cougars, red wolves, red pandas, black hornbills, tufted deer, and crested porcupines, among others during your visit. You will be able to engage with these amazing creatures, understand their natural environment and behaviors.
# 6 – Science Museum of Western Virginia
This museum is a large educational complex, and you can visit it at any time since it is open throughout the year. During your visit to this museum, you will get an opportunity to engage with science and learn through various interactive activities. Additionally, the museum features various permanent exhibits that you will be able to see. The exhibits will also help you understand and keep in touch with the earth, the human body, science labs, and many others. Finally, during your visit, you will get a chance to visit the butterfly garden and see and engage with various species of live butterflies.
# 5 – Bottom Creek Gorge Preserve
If you are an outdoor photography enthusiast, birder, and nature lover, you should not miss visiting the Bottom Creek Gorge Preserve while in the region. The bottom Creek is found almost 20 miles south of Roanoke. Inside the bottom creek gorge preserve, you will find vast hardwood forest, an unspoiled landscape, and the second-largest waterfall in Virginia that you can get to through the well-marked trails. Additionally, during your visit to Bottom Creek Gorge Preserve, you will be able to see numerous species of birds, including wild turkeys and owls. You will also be able to see the unique and amazing topography of the gorge.
# 4 – McAfee Knob
Do you love hiking? Well, if you do, a visit to the McAfee Knob will be worthwhile for you. It would help if you also took your camera while visiting one of the most photographed spots in the Appalachian. You will get a chance to hike in one of the challenging and steady elevations. Additionally, during your visit, you will get a chance to sit on the iconic rocky ledge of McAfee Knob and get spectacular panoramic views of the Blue Ridge Mountains.
# 3 – O. Winston Link Museum
A visit to Roanoke without stopping by this museum is not considered being in Roanoke if you love photography and artistic works. During your visit to this museum, you will get a chance to view the major works of an American photographer called O. Winston Link, famously known for his artistic niche in railroad photography. Additionally, you will be able to see a gallery containing a collection of several prints, photographs, and displays that showcase the works of O. Winston during your visit. Some of the photographs in this museum have information about the early life, career, and success of O. Winston.
# 2 – Harrison Museum of African American Culture
If you want to understand the rich legacy, history, and the contributions of African Americans in southwest Virginia, you should visit this museum while in Roanoke. During your visit to the museum, you will get a chance to view the memorabilia, photographs, and objects relating to the African American Roanoke.
# 1 – Roanoke City Market
Do you want to understand, mix, and socialize with the native people of Roanoke, Virginia? A visit to the Roanoke city market will get you a chance to meet and socialize with the resident. Additionally, during your visit to this market that is located in the heart of the city, you will get a chance to buy local produce, meat, cheese, and flowers, among others. In this market built in the 1920s, there are amazing buildings and mosaic-tiled entrances that you will admire. Last, if you are hungry during your visit to Roanoke City Market, you can visit the local restaurants located in the market and have a taste of the local traditional food.