Roanoke Named to ‘Top 25 Hiking Cities in the US’ List by CNN

The Roanoke Roanoke has long been known as an outdoor enthusiast’s haven, but being featured as one of the nation’s premier hiking destinations is an extra feather in the cap.

McAfee Knob in Roanoke is the most photographed overlook on the entirety of the Appalachian Trail. Known for its stunning 270-degree view, rock outcrops, fall foliage, and epic sunsets and sunrises.

Roanoke was recently featured as one of the “25 Best Hiking Cities in the U.S.” by Roanoke was featured at the top of the list behind only Boise, ID. – coincidence? We don’t think so!

Proximity to assets like green spaces, hiking trails, waterfalls, and mountains played a big role in which cities made it on the list. This is one of the main things people mention when talking about the Roanoke hiking scene – some of the most beautiful hikes in the U.S. are just a 15-minute drive from downtown.

This is timely news considering the City of Roanoke just announced over 100 miles of trails and greenways within its limits, and they plan to celebrate with a trail work day and party on Mill Mountain, September 23. And that’s 100 miles solely in the urban core!

Continue reading “Roanoke Named to ‘Top 25 Hiking Cities in the US’ List by CNN”

Home for the Holidays – Thanksgiving Edition

Home for the Holidays- Part 1: Thanksgiving Edition

Below is your guide to the “Best of the Roanoke Region” over the Thanksgiving holiday. Share this with your college students, adult children, or anyone coming to visit this season – and show off everything your community has to offer.

Get2KnowNoke has hand-selected the trendiest cocktail lounges, the best outdoor adventures, the tastiest eats, breweries you may not have tried, cool new shops that just opened, and so much more. We tried to highlight everything new that your friends and family may not have tried, as well as all the old favorites.

Nov. 22

Plan your Friendsgiving at one of the region’s top restaurants or grab a craft cocktail to celebrate.

Nov. 23

Move your feet so others can eat! The Drumstick Dash is a Roanoke Turkey Day tradition.

Nov. 24

#OptOutside this Black Friday and take advantage of our 1000s of miles of trail and greenways.

Saturday, Nov. 25

Snag great deals and local gifts on Small Business Saturday.
Not in the mood to shop? We’ve gotcha covered with our brewery crawl.

“Now that you can remotely work from anywhere in the world – why would you not choose a place with beautiful mountains, great dining, arts and culture, breweries for days, a huge outdoor community; where your commute is non-existent and adventure is boundless.”

-Julia Boas, Director of Talent Strategies for the Roanoke Regional Partnership

Wednesday, November 22 – Thanksgiving Eve (aka – Friendsgiving)

Plan Your Friendsgiving: Grab dinner with hometown friends at one of the region’s trendy new spots and Star City favorites.  

  • Stock (Downtown Roanoke): Inside the historic Firestation One building.
  • Fortunato (Downtown Roanoke): Homemade Italian restaurant serving handmade pastas, pizzas, craft cocktails, wine and beer.  
  • Bloom (Wasena): Restaurant and wine bar serving seasonal small plates and libations.  
  • Sidecar (Downtown Roanoke): Located next to Martin’s Downtown, this mid-century, art deco-designed modern bar and restaurant serving seafood, steak, and superior cocktails is a must do.
  • 1772 Rooftop Bar on Main (Fincastle): A rooftop bar featuring a bar made out of an old prop plane, and views overlooking the Blue Ridge Mountains. They have Wine Wednesdays with $5 glasses, and award-winning mixologists.
  • Local Roots (Grandin Village): This small eatery offering a menu of locally sourced plates.  
  • Tuco’s Taqueria (West End): Serving a selection of tacos plus a long list of tequilas and mezcals.   
  • New York Pizza (Vinton): A Vinton classic serving NY-style, thin-crust pizzas, subs, burgers, plus wine & beer.  
  • River and Rail Restaurant (South Roanoke)
  • Liberty Trust (Downtown Roanoke)
  • Anastasia’s Speakeasy (Rocky Mount)
  • Daleville Taphouse (Botetourt)

Thanksgiving Eve Downtown Roanoke: One of the biggest social nights of the year! See old and new friends at any of Downtown Roanoke’s bars. Our list of favorites will be pouring late so you can catch up with old and new friends.


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Thursday, November 23 – Thanksgiving Day

Get your dash on and earn your turkey by running or walking in this annual Roanoke tradition.

The Rescue Mission of Roanoke Drumstick Dash 5K: It’s not too late to sign up for Roanoke’s annual pre-meal run/walk. Move your feet so others can eat this holiday season! Sign up online or in person on Thanksgiving morning.  

There are several restaurants open for brunch or lunch options after the race, if you’re not too busy cooking yourself. Check out the VisitVBR “Where to Eat on Thanksgiving” list to learn where you can go.

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Friday, November 24 – #OptOutside Black Friday

#OptOutside on Black Friday: The movement started by outdoor retail company REI in 2015 is celebrated here in the Roanoke Valley, an outdoor wonderland. Instead of spending your day stressed out in crowded stores, enjoy a beautiful outing in the Blue Ridge Mountains.

PRO TIP: Bring a bag on your adventure to collect litter and keep our region beautiful.

  • Blue Ridge Parkway: Explore the beauty of the most visited park in the US at any of these local stops.
    • Peaks of Otter: Take a leisurely stroll around Abbott Lake and enjoy the views from the base or challenge yourself to a hike up Sharp Top Mountain to 360 mountain views. 
    • Explore Park: Explore Park features hundreds of acres of trails, riverside views, and outdoor fun. Whether you want to get in a game of Disc Golf or take a bike through the 14 miles of trails, you are sure to get in some serious outdoor adventure. Finish the day at Twin Creeks brewpub.
    • Mill Mountain: Haven’t taken a visit to the city’s iconic star in a while? Take a trip up the Mill Mountain Greenway with a picnic at the star. With miles of hiking, mountain biking, and running trails, the zoo, and the botanical gardens – there is plenty to do for all ages.
  • Smith Mountain Lake State Park: Smith Mountain Lake State Park is a 1,148-acre state park along the shores of Smith Mountain Lake in Bedford County, Virginia near Huddleston. It is primarily a recreational area, offering water-related activities as well as camping, picnicking, hiking facilities, and a public beach.
  • Carvins Cove Natural Reserve: With 60 miles of trails for hiking and mountain biking, you are sure to find beautiful fall foliage at this outdoor hidden gem.  
  • Roanoke’s Regional Greenways: The greenways that lie within the City of Roanoke’s limits include Roanoke River Greenway, Garden City Greenway, Mill Mountain Greenway, Murray Run Greenway, Lick Run Greenway, and Tinker Creek Greenway.  
  • Jackson River Scenic Trail: Virginia’s newest and extremely scenic rails-to-trails project is just outside of downtown Covington. Easy access makes it popular for residents and visitors to walk, bike, or jog along the Jackson River in the beautiful Alleghany Highlands.

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Saturday, November 25 (Small Business Saturday)

Small Business Saturday #SBS: Shop ‘til you drop (or until you need a beer). Be a part of recognizing and contributing to our region’s entrepreneurs and small business owners. 

Support some of the area’s newest spots on this national holiday.

  • Txtur Living Showroom:
  • Mast General Store: Offers a variety of goods, tasty treats, apparel, and outdoor gear.   
  • The French Farmhouse: Modern farmhouse home décor, lighting, furniture, and holiday spirit.  
  • Roanoke Farmers Market Vendors: Connect and buy from the people growing locally sourced food and creating handmade pieces you can’t buy anywhere else! 
  • Crafteria: Find small-batch food and handmade goods from 60+ craftspeople. Find anything from records, holistics, coffee, candles, kitchy Applachia-themed gifts, jewelry, and woodworking. If you like digging for hidden treasures, the Crafteria will provide hours of entertainment.
  • Rock Outdoors in Hardy, VA

Other regional favorites:

Star City Beer Tour: The Roanoke Region has 16 craft breweries to choose from but one cool little nook of town has three all within a few blocks. Head to the trendy West End to check out of Roanoke’s neighborhoods on the rise.

IPAs, Stouts, and Pale Ales – Oh My! Try them all at these West End Breweries

  • Twisted Track: Offers pub fare and craft beer and ciders with a twist.
  • Golden Cactus: Brewing daily at this colorful, kid-friendly brewery with a greenhouse vibe.
  • Big Lick Brewing Co.: Outdoor fire pits and regular live music.
  • Blindhouse Beer Company: Saison-focused brewery offering draught pours and bottles to-go.
  • Twin Creeks: Two locations Vinton and Explore Park
  • Three Notch’d
  • Olde Salem Brewing: Two Locations
  • Living Proof: Rocky Mount
  • Starr Hill
  • Parkway Brewing

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Stay tuned! Our Home for the Holidays Part 2 will have a full calendar covering 21 days of planned events throughout December.

#SearchForLove2020 Photo Contest

We had such a blast searching for LOVE with you last year that we’re doing it again in 2020 … and there are some new love signs to find! The #SearchForLove2020 Photo Contest starts now and runs throughout February.

With more than a dozen love signs in the Roanoke Region, you’ll have no problem getting in on this contest. Use clues posted on Instagram Stories @Get2KnowNoke to find them throughout the month of February. Take photos at locations you LOVE and share! Continue reading “#SearchForLove2020 Photo Contest”