Our friends at AAA Car Care Center encourage us to hit the road this summer and check out Roanoke, VA.
A drive through the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains will take you an artsy, eclectic which revels in the enjoyment of the outdoors.
Recently named a Top Adventure Town, Roanoke is the perfect location not set out on a multitude of outdoor treks.
If you are an avid mountain biker, you will be happy to know that Roanoke is Mountain Bike Capital of the East, being the only IMBA silver-level ride center on the east coast.
You can choose between a short 30 min ride or an all-day adventure. And difficulty levels can also vary from a gentle scenic ride to a ride that will leave you needing a shuttle home.
For road cyclists, many of the over 2,500 designated scenic byways in Virginia are located within the Roanoke Region.
The region offers several beautiful routes including the Blue Ridge Parkway, the Salem Bike Route and Scenic Rout 39. The temperate weather and access to so many miles of great rides are some of the reasons Roanoke is becoming known as a cycling Mecca.
In fact, biking is so popular, even as a main source of daily transportation, that the city is promoting cycling in it’s RIDE Solutions program.
This free program not only promotes and develops bicycling as a prime alternative method of transportation, but provides registered members up to four free cab rides per year in case of emergencies such as sudden inclement weather.
And Biking is not all there is to do! As the largest city on the Appalachian Trail, Roanoke is a great starting point for some incredible hiking.
There are over 600 beautiful miles of trails awaiting you in the Roanoke Valley. Like the biking trails, all levels of difficulty are available for hikers.
(Roaring Run Falls)
Do you love waterfalls? There is a whole weekend waterfall itinerary for you to enjoy.
Apple Orchard Falls, Stiles Falls, Bent Mountain Falls, Falls Ridge are several of the waterfalls you can see, and let’s not forget, Virginia’s best know waterfalls: Cascade Falls.
(Apple Orchard Falls)
Are you looking for an amazing scenic overview? An easy hike is the Mill Mountain Star Trail which leads you to the Roanoke Star.
If you are up for a bigger adventure. Try the Peaks of Otter, or better yet, McAfee Knob. A 4.4 mile hike takes you to the top of Catawba Mountain. This exertion will bring you to an elevation of over 3100 feet and will reward you with what has been recognized by USA Today Travel as one of the most spectacular hikes in the United States!
But outdoor adventures are not all Roanoke has to offer. The heart of downtown is the site of the Historic Roanoke City Market, which was established in 1882.
Open 7 days a week, year-round, this market has vendors offering everything from locally grown fruits and vegetables to meats, cheeses, baked goods and hand crafted artisan items.
After strolling around the market, have nice lunch at your choice from a plethora of restaurants surrounding the square.
In the mood for seafood, a good burger or some spicy curry? You will find an amazing selection of restaurants just a few steps away.
A short trip just out of Roanoke takes you to the Virginia Safari Park. This drive through safari gives you a “close encounter” with many types of (non-carnivorous) animals as you feed them through your car windows.
If you are brave enough, you can get a one of a kind selfie and a great story to go along with it.
And if all of that isn’t enough to entice you to visit Roanoke, it’s also a great home base to check out many of the surrounding small towns and areas, and yes even that alpaca farm you’ve been wondering about.
So make sure to put Roanoke, Virginia next on your list of great road trips!
And…like we always say, Safety First!
Before you hop in your car – make sure it is road ready. Our friends at AAA Car Care Center are always ready to help you get safely on the road and off to your new adventure.