You’re headed home to visit family, see old friends, and celebrate Thanksgiving – but who says you can’t have a little fun while you’re here? Get2KnowNoke has mapped out your game plan for an unforgettable holiday week in the Roanoke Region.

Get ready for Friendsgiving and cocktails at the hippest spots, a Turkey Day Drumstick Dash, Black Friday #OptOutside adventures, Small Business Saturday shopping tips, and a brewery tour. Let the festivities begin!

Nov. 22

Plan your Friendsgiving at 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.
We included our top brewery list, all near retail, for a quick sip in between shops.

“Now that you can remotely work from anywhere in the world – why wouldn’t you choose a place with beautiful mountains, great dining, arts and culture, breweries for days, and a huge outdoor community? In the Roanoke Region, your commute is non-existent, cost of living is low, 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 OR hit one of your favorite old stomping grounds.

  • Stock (Downtown Roanoke): Inside the historic Firestation One building. Enjoy an elevated dining experience within a 115-year-old firehouse. Stock offers a Nordic and Scandinavian-inspired cuisine, and a great ambiance to gather for cocktails.
  • 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.
  • Twin Creeks Distillery (Rocky Mount): Crafting spirits in the Blue Ridge foothills. Preserving old-time traditions at their moonshine and whiskey distillery and tasting room open Wednesday-Saturday (must be 21 and up).
  • 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. 
  • El Jefe (Salem): Tuco’s sister near Main St. Salem has a great outdoor patio with a large fireplace, a great garage door-style interior, and tasty tacos and tequilas to boot. Check them out at either location for a fun night.  
  • New York Pizza (Vinton): A Vinton classic serving NY-style, thin-crust pizzas, subs, burgers, plus wine & beer.  
  • River and Rail Restaurant (South Roanoke): This southern bistro led the way for fine dining in the Roanoke Region over a decade ago. They still set the bar for excellence and creativity when it comes to dining and cocktails. Reservation recommended!
  • Liberty Trust (Downtown Roanoke): A cool new addition to the downtown Roanoke vibe. This grand bank was recently transformed into a boutique hotel and dining haven. You won’t find a more interesting, retro vibe anywhere in town. You can even send a postcard to your friends who couldn’t make it (free for customers).
  • Anastasia’s Speakeasy (Rocky Mount): Shhhh…no one is supposed to know about this place. Sneak into this speakeasy-themed bar through a hidden door front to discover rare bourbons, tasty food, and clever cocktails.
  • Town Center Taphouse (Daleville-Botetourt): This is a popular meet-up spot in the beautiful Daleville Town Center. Where good friends go to try tasty craft beers, eat great food, and watch those Thanksgiving Weekend football games!

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.
  • Illuminights: (Limited tickets available Friday-Sunday of Thanksgiving week) Get into the holiday spirit through a dazzling world of over 650,000 lights at Roanoke County’s Explore Park. While you’re there shop for artisan crafts, roast marshmallows, and drop by the Brugh’s Tavern for a beer!

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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 economy, entrepreneurs, and small business owners. 

  • Txtur Living Showroom: This is a must-visit destination in the newly renovated Firestation One on Church Ave., right next door to the French Farmhouse. A custom-built furniture, manufactured right here in the Roanoke Region.
  • 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 (Grand Opening on Black Friday): If your family likes to celebrate the holidays at Smith Mountain Lake, then you have to check out the brand-spanking new boating, fishing, and outdoors shop in Westlake Center, featuring top brands like Boggs, Chubbies, Hydroflask, Sanuk, Drake, Huk and more.
  • Roanoke Mountain Adventures: Looking for a deal? Head to RMA in Wasena for a massive outdoor brand consignment store that has everything from bikes, to boats, to ski equipment. They also offer super fun e-bike tours if you’re feeling the weather.


Star City Beer Tour: The Roanoke Region has 16 craft breweries to choose from but one cool little nook of town has four breweries all within a few blocks. Head to the trendy West End to check out Roanoke’s neighborhood on the rise, or explore Virginia’s Blue Ridge and all the brews we have to offer.

Try them all at some of our region’s top 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 Brewing Company: The Vineyard Station location in beautifully renovated Vinton has lots of dining options nearby. Go for a hike or bike ride, and then check out their Explore Park location.
  • Three Notch’d Brewing Co.: Located in downtown Roanoke, is the perfect mid-shopping respite for tasty food and drinks. They also make craft cocktails.
  • Olde Salem Brewing: Tasty selections with locations on Main St. in Salem and Market St. in downtown Roanoke.
  • Living Proof Beer Co.: Check out their new tasting room in Rocky Mount.
  • Starr Hill Pilot Brewery & Side Stage: Offering live music and trivia on Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday over the holiday week.
  • Parkway Brewing: Beer manufacturer located in Salem, VA offering food trucks, live music, yoga, and wreath making over the holiday week.

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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.