"Trains built Roanoke. Science saved it," headlined a September 2016 article in Politico Magazine about the city that Virginia Tech Carilion calls home. Roanoke is going through a revitalization, capitalizing on the region's great outdoor amenities, while attracting businesses to the region.
The Roanoke Regional Parnership captured our sentiments about the area in which we live and learn in this new Work Hard, Play Hard, Live Easy video.
What our graduates love about Roanoke
The Great Outdoors
The majestic Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia that surround the Roanoke Valley provide a scenic backdrop for everyday life here.
But to fully enjoy your Blue Ridge Mountains experience you've got to put on some sturdy shoes and hike, bike, climb, paddle, or drive among them.
The region has received numerous awards and accolades for our outdoor amenities, including being named a Top Mountain Town and Top Trail Town from Blue Ridge Outdoors Magazine. The Roanoke Valley was also named one of the ten most bike-friendly areas in the United States by USA Today Travel.
Blue Ridge Parkway
The Blue Ridge Parkway winds through the heart of Virginia's Blue Ridge Mountains. At 469 miles, this scenic drive winds along the Blue Ridge Mountains and offers visitors the opportunity to enjoy some of the best mountain views in the world.
The Parkway is operated by the National Park Service and is the most visited unit in the National Park System. Travelers can take the Parkway north out of the Roanoke Valley and make their way to Shenandoah National Park and Skyline Drive or south toward Great Smoky Mountains National Park and Grandfather Mountain in North Carolina.
The Blue Ridge Parkway also connects you to interesting locations in Virginia's Blue Ridge. The Parkway is only a 10-minute drive from Downtown Roanoke and there are six different entry points to this world-famous road throughout the region.
Arts and Culture
Is it a violin? Or a fiddle? In the Roanoke Valley, it's both. That's because we're home to the widest variety of music and cultural activities you'll find anywhere in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Spend your day combing through fine art at the Taubman Museum of Art or historic railroad photography at the O. Winston Link Museum.
Discover the region's rich visual and performing arts along the Round the Mountain: Southwest Virginia's Artisan Network or Arts Along Virginia's 460 trails. Or snag a work of folk art at a local gallery. Sit back and enjoy live theatre, ballet, opera, and the Roanoke Symphony Orchestra. Then, hit the town for a night cap of music and entertainment.
Feeling festive? We've got just the thing for that. Each year, the greater Roanoke Valley hosts so many festivals, you'll swear we celebrate just about everything. Strawberries. Chili. Blues and barbecue. Downtown Roanoke is where you'll find lots of big events like Festival in the Park and Local Colors - a celebration of the many cultures that shape our growing region.
Not to be outdone, Salem is home to the annual Salem Fair, Olde Salem Days and many more fun events. Smith Mountain Lake, area wineries and the charming small towns across the region also host unique festivals and events all year round.
Find out more about the annual events in Virginia's Blue Ridge.