10 Things to do in Roanoke, VA for First Time Visitors

Roanoke, Virginia is among the most charming cities in the South. It’s nestled in between the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia where the sunrises and sunsets can be breathtaking. It’s an interesting place to visit and if you’ve never been there before, there are so many things to see and do that you may not know where to begin. We have a collection of recommendations for first-timers with some of the most unforgettable things to do while you’re there.

1. Visit the Roanoke Valley Greenways

To start your adventure exploring Roanoke, one of the best places to begin is with the Roanoke Valley Greenways. These are a network of 26 miles of hiking, walking and biking trails. What is so cool about this adventure is that the trails lead to the major landmarks within the city so you’re able to cover a lot of sightseeing ground while getting some exercise in the process. It’s a great place for anyone who likes walking or biking and wants to pack all of the sightseeing possible into one day.

2. Go to the Taubman Museum of Art

The Taubman Museum of Art is the one place that you should visit if you only have time to take in one sightseeing adventure. For starters, the museum itself is a part of the wondrous skyline of the city of Roanoke. The architecture is modern and unique enough, but what’s in the interior is well worth seeing. The museum displays the works of American artists from the Appalachian region and West Virginia. Here you’ll find works from Winslow Homer, Childe Hassam, Thomas Eakins and much more. Check to find out if the museum is hosting a special event when you’re in town because from time to time they hold workshops and feature special attractions that are child and family-centered.

3. Make a day of it at Mill Mountain Star and Park

Mill Mountain Star and Park is a wilderness park that features 600 acres of natural landscape and recreational activities. Here you’ll find a discovery center, a playground, the Mill Mountain Zoo, scenic views, the Mill Mountain Wildflower garden and ten miles of picnic areas and trails open to the public.

4. Tour the Virginia Museum of Transportation

The Virginia Museum of Transportation is a tour that is ideal for anyone interested in the history of transportation technology. There are several galleries that feature interactive and interpretive educational features. There is a railroad exhibit with several subsections that detail the development of the railroad system as well as aircraft exhibits that are thrilling for those who enjoy learning about the history and development of aircraft.

5. Read Mountain Preserve, Roanoke, Virginia

Read Mountain Preserve is set just outside of the downtown area of the city. This 250-acre preserve is much like a haven within the city. The park is open to the public and provides four miles of hiking trails that lead from the parking lot to the picturesque Buzzard Rock summit. At the end of the trail, hikers behold a lush forest and find themselves at the ideal elevation for observing an expansive view of downtown Roanoke, the surrounding countryside and a sweeping view of the valley. It’s an excellent observation location for taking landscape pictures.

6. Take a trip to Jeter Farm, Roanoke, Virginia

Jeter Farm is an interesting sightseeing location in Roanoke, especially if you’re there in the fall of the year. The farm has been in the same family for five generations and the family is happy to let visitors experience what it’s like to live on a farm. They also sponsor several seasonal events. People of all ages are welcome to enjoy hayrides, apple picking, pumpkin picking, drink a glass of apple cider and sample the tasty fall seasoned treats they have to offer.

7. Visit the O. Winston Link Museum

The O. Winston Link Museum is another popular tourist attraction in Roanoke. The museum features the work and life story of O. Winston Link, a famous American photographer of the 20th Century. His best-known works feature railroad photography. The museum is set up in the historic Norfolk and Western Railway Station which is a passenger train station that has been fully restored. Here you’ll find a massive collection of photographs, displays, prints and more.

8. Schedule with Roanoke Food Tours

Roanoke Food Tours is an absolute must for anyone who is interested in experiencing the richness of the cuisine of Roanoke. This has to be the most extensive tour of all that exists within the Roanoke food scene. While you’re sampling the food in this s3 hour walking tour, you’ll hear interesting stories as you pop in and out of local eateries.

9. Tour the Science Museum of Western Virginia & Hopkins Planetarium

The Science Museum of Western Virginia & Hopkins Planetarium is one of the most remarkable experiences you’ll have when in Roanoke. The attraction is a large educational complex that will require a few hours of your time at a minimum because there is so much to see inside. While touring, you’ll have the opportunity to actually engage in learning activities.

10. Schedule an adventure with Roanoke Mountain Adventures

Roanoke Mountain Adventures is the city’s full-service outfitter for outdoor sports. They offer a variety of different guides, tours, transportation, and outdoor adventures. Most of the tours are based on seasonal activities available. If you’re into the great outdoors and would enjoy getting involved, check them out and schedule an adventure while you’re visiting Roanoke.


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