Summer time lasts between June and September, bringing fine weather and high temperatures, making it the ideal time to visit for sightseeing. However, crowds can be higher in peak season. Try a break on spring time for cheap flights and accommodation bargains and great weather for outdoor activities, but be aware that holidays like Memorial Day Weekend (in May) can be busy.
Famed for its neon illuminations, Roanoke offers an enchanting blend of history, natural beauty and access to major cities like Washington DC.
The city is one of Virginia’s major cultural centres, with a large student population and many theatres, museums and galleries to enjoy. Check out the photography of local legend Winston Link, see the Elvis memorabilia at Mini Graceland or see some of the finest works by regional artists at the Taubman Museum of Art.
There are also some fascinating museums, like the Museum of Transportation, featuring period planes and cars from the early 20th century, as well as the city’s collection of vivid neon signs. Tour the centre of the city in the evening and see some of America’s oldest advertising signs, promoting products like Dr Pepper, or climb to Mill Mountain to see the illuminated star.
Roanoke is an ideal gateway to the Appalachian Mountains, where visitors can hike, swim, canoe, cycle, fish, hunt and camp to their hearts’ content. Visit small town venues to see Bluegrass music in the heartland of American folk culture or just savour the natural beauty of the region by driving the Appalachian backroads.
The city is also close enough to Washington to make a day trip simple. Visit world famous attractions like the Capitol, the White House and the Lincoln Memorial, and see the machinery of American government at work.
But you don’t need to leave Roanoke to enjoy your stay. Tour the city market and pick up fresh herbs, fruit and veg from Virginia’s farms, acquire unique souvenirs at the town print works or shop till you drop at the Valley View Mall. From shopping to outdoor appeal and rich history, this is a destination for all to enjoy.
Getting around town is easiest by car, and those renting a vehicle will find it easier to reach more distant attractions like Washington DC. However, there is a good bus service, which reaches towns in the valley as well, including the city of Blacksburg. Roanoke also promotes itself as one of the best places in Virginia for cycling, and it is easy to rent a bike during your stay.
Getting into town from Roanoke-Blacksburg airport (ROA) should be no problem at all. There are taxis waiting outside, as well as specialist limousine and shuttle bus services to choose from. Major car rental outlets are also represented in the main terminal building, and commuter buses also travel between the downtown district and the airport.