Virginia's “Best Mountain Town” Tour
In November, 2012 Blue Ridge Outdoors Magazine held an online contest to vote for the best mountain town along the Blue Ridge Parkway and Roanoke won "Best Mid-Sized Mountain Town", the only mountain town in Virginia to win a category! Here we have put together a tour that allows you to see everything this mountain town has to offer.
Begin your tour at the Roanoke Valley Visitor Information Center, housed in the former Norfolk & Western Railway Passenger Station. Enjoy a step-on guided tour of the Valley, including a trip to the Roanoke Star and Overlook atop Mill Mountain. In the Historic Downtown district, the group will enjoy browsing the Historic Farmer's Market and eat in one of over 20 locally owned restaurants. The Taubman Museum of Art is a fantastic place to spend the afternoon looking at modern and contemporary art. Just 3 blocks away is the newly renovated Center in the Square. Be sure to check out their 5,500 gallon aquariums and the interactive touch screens in the lobby. Plan to spend the rest of the day exploring the Science Museum of Western Virginia along with the butterfly garden, History Museum of Western Virginia and Harrison Museum of African American Culture. Top off your evening with dinner and a performance at Mill Mountain Theatre.
Spend your day driving along the Blue Ridge Parkway. Stop at the Blue Ridge Parkway visitor center for an orientation to the Parkway and head south along the scenic byway to one of the most photographed spots in Virginia, Mabry Mill. Take in lunch and a tour at the Chateau Morrisette Winery and find Floyd's Country Store on your return to Roanoke. For your evening activity enjoy dinner and a movie at the O. Winston Link Museum.
Head east to the National D-Day Memorial, located in Bedford, VA, which sustained the highest per capita D-Day losses in the nation. The nine acre memorial features an English garden, invasion tableau and victory arch symbolically recreating the D-Day journey from planning to battle to victory. Head to Smith Mountain Lake for a lunch cruise on the Virginia Dare, then visit the Booker T. Washington National Monument, which honors the life and legacy of the "Up from Slavery" author. On your return to Roanoke, stop for an ice cream break at Homestead Creamery and end the day with a picnic dinner at the Virginia Museum of Transportation.