Discover Roanoke

Discover Roanoke

We simply love living here in the Roanoke Valley – the people, climate, natural beauty, business opportunities, cultural events, and so much more.  There are very few places where we feel as at home as we do here in Southwestern Virginia.  Of course, we’re native to the area; so, we’re somewhat biased!

If you’re new to the area or considering moving here, let us help you learn more about life in the Greater Roanoke Valley of Virginia.  Please explore the following links to find out about the “Star City of the South”.

Cost of Living Calculator – One appealing aspect of life in the Roanoke Valley is the relatively low cost of living. This link will help you compare any two localities nationwide. Check to see how living expenses in Roanoke measure up to where you currently reside.

“Livability” Score for Roanoke Valley Communities – This link takes you to the score for the City of Roanoke itself, but does not represent the entire Valley. If you’re considering surrounding areas, be sure to look at those scores too. For example, areas such as Salem, Vinton, Cave Spring (SW County), Hollins (North County), and various other outlying postal address localities like Boones Mill or Troutville, all have their own scores which are independent of our central city. Each locality, in turn, has sub-scores for everything from Amenities and Weather to Crime and Education.

Demographics & Statistics – Here’s a link to an interactive map of Virginia on the US Census Bureau’s website. Click the local jurisdictions you might want to call “home” to learn more about their demographic makeup.

Local History  Here’s a well-written, informative history of our region, including its growth and development over the past 350 years. This link takes you to a page on the website for The History Museum of Western Virginia. If you’re a history buff, be sure to explore others parts of their site to learn more about upcoming events and current exhibits. – The Salem Museum & Historical Society places a strong emphasis on local history and is a wonderful spot to learn more about the people and events that have shaped our community.

Tourism & Outdoor Recreation – A comprehensive site for local attractions… there’s always “something to do” in Roanoke! – Tourism is a significant part of Virginia’s economy, and living in Roanoke gives you easy access to many year-round adventures and getaways. Learn why they say “Virginia is for Lovers” by clicking this link! – If you’re talking outdoor fun, this site has it all! Where can you ride a zip line or play Frisbee golf? Where are the best nearby hiking trails or most picturesque waterfalls? Find out all that and a whole lot more by clicking here. – Just a short commute from Roanoke you’ll find beautiful Smith Mountain Lake. With 500 miles of shoreline, “The Lake” (as locals call it) has become both a year-round residential community and a vacation destination. If you would like to learn more about SML, here’s a great place to start!

Civic Venues & Cultural Attractions

The Mill Mountain Star – Our best known local landmark!

Roanoke Civic Center From concerts to craft shows and sporting events to circuses, the Roanoke Civic Center offers something for everyone.

Salem Civic Center – The Taliafero Complex in Salem consists of a Civic Center, a 7,100+ seat outdoor stadium, and Lewis-Gale Field, currently home to the Carolina Baseball League’s Salem Red Sox.

The Jefferson Center – Formerly Jefferson High School, this beautifully renovated facility offers a more intimate venue for the performing arts and provides an educational outreach to local youth.

The Harvester Center – Located in Rocky Mount, the Harvester has an impressive variety and number of concerts. Check out their schedule… you’ll see names you know!

Mill Mountain Theatre – Entertaining Roanokers for over 50 years, Mill Mountain Theatre offers year-round live performances.

Center in the Square – Center in the Square is in the heart of Downtown Roanoke. This amazing facility offers two stages for live performances, three museums, a planetarium, a butterfly garden, several large scale aquariums, and a wonderful observation deck overlooking market square.

The Taubman Museum – Besides being one of Roanoke’s most striking pieces of architecture, The Taubman offers a wide variety exhibits and collections.

The Virginia Museum of Transportation – Roanoke’s early growth was tied, in large part, to the growth of the railroad.  The Transportation Museum preserves that heritage, along with featuring collections from “Rail, Road, & Air”.

The Roanoke Symphony – The RSO offers year-round concerts, ranging from Classical Music to Pops. Be sure you don’t miss out on enjoying this local treasure!

Roanoke Ballet Theatre – The non-profit school of dance is one of Virginia’s most prominent dance companies.

Mill Mountain Zoo – Yep, Roanoke even has its own zoo! Set atop Mill Mountain, overlooking downtown, this is a great afternoon getaway for kids of all ages.

Greenridge Recreation Center – Located in North Roanoke County, the Rec Center features an indoor pool, track, basketball courts, and more.

Transportation – Getting Here from There – Roanoke Regional Airport is currently served by five carriers. You can learn more about ROA by visiting their website. – Driving to the area? Check here for road conditions and traffic delays.

COMING SOON: Passenger Rail Service Returns to Roanoke!

Beginning in 2017, Amtrak is scheduled to begin daily round trip service to Washington, DC. Click here to learn more.

Local Hospitals

The quality and availability of healthcare in the Roanoke Valley is one of the many factors which make it such a popular retirement destination. Here are our local hospitals:

Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital – Located in South Roanoke, this is the largest of the local healthcare facilities and the area’s biggest private employer. With a system of local clinics, Carilion is a very influential part of the local economy, and its affiliations with Jefferson College of Health Sciences and the recently founded Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine make it an important component of the regions educational opportunities.

Lewis-Gale Medical Center – This highly rated facility is located in Salem and has served the Valley for over 100 years. As part of the HCA family of hospitals, Lewis-Gale is affiliated with numerous local clinics and providers, as well as other regional hospitals in the New River Valley and Alleghany Highlands.

The Salem VA Medical Center – In this case, VA stands for Veteran’s Administration (not Virginia). Thank you to all who served and continue to do so.

K-12 Education – This interactive map will allow you to check ratings and get additional information for local public and private K-12 schools.  Once the map loads, search by zip code, city or specific school.

Local Colleges & Universities

When it comes to higher education, Virginia has abundant opportunity. Regionally, there are dozens of colleges, universities, and trade schools, such as Virginia Tech, UVA, Washington & Lee, and many others. Here are a few institutions which are part of our local communities.

Roanoke College – This 4-year institution, located in Salem, is consistently ranked as one of the top Liberal Arts colleges in the nation and was recently recognized by U.S. News as the #2 “Up and Coming” college. (It also happens to be Brian’s Alma Mater – Go Noke!)

Hollins University – Located in Roanoke County and nationally recognized as a leading all-women’s school, Hollins offers undergraduate degrees in 27 majors, along with 8 co-ed graduate degree programs. (… and Hollins is Rachelle’s Alma Mater!)

Virginia Tech/Carilion School of Medicine and Research Institute – Recently graduating its first class of medical students in 2014, this fully accredited training and research facility promises to be an increasingly significant part of the Valley’s educational and economic landscape in the future.

Jefferson College of Health Sciences – Founded in 1914 and located in Downtown Roanoke, Jefferson College specializes in the training and education of healthcare professionals.

Virginia Western Community College – As part of Virginia’s Community College System, VWCC’s programs of study give students affordable access to 2-year degrees in a wide variety of fields, including Business, Science, Healthcare, and Liberal Arts.

American National University – ANU, in Salem, offers business and technical training for career minded students.

Business Organizations

The Roanoke Regional Partnership – is a comprehensive site with information on the local economy, business opportunities, and life in the Roanoke area.

The Roanoke Blacksburg Technology Council – The RBTC is an organization that promotes the growth of the region’s technology sector.

Local Chambers of Commerce – The Roanoke Region has several Chambers of Commerce. This link will take you to a complete list where you can learn more.

Shopping & Retail Districts – The centerpiece of downtown Roanoke’s retail sector is the City Market Building and Farmer’s Market. Nationally recognized as a “Great American Public Place” the market district has a variety of stores, restaurants, and attractions. If you’re visiting, be sure to put this on your “to do” list! – A visit to Roanoke isn’t complete without discovering Grandin Village. Set in the heart of Southwest City, this small shopping district features the historic Grandin Theatre, Roanoke Natural Food Co-op, and more. – The largest and newest of the Valley’s indoor shopping malls, Valley View Mall features over 100 stores and restaurants, including nationally known chains along with a few local establishments you might want to discover. – On the south side of Roanoke, Tanglewood Mall features nearly 50 stores and restaurants. In addition, there are several nice outdoor malls nearby. – Near South Roanoke, a short distance from downtown, you’ll find Towers Shopping Center. Built in the 1950’s as the area’s first modern shopping mall, it has been refurbished and is now thriving with shops, grocery stores, and restaurants.

Hotels & Lodging

Holiday Inn, Tanglewood – This Holiday Inn is a popular place to stay on the south side of town. It is conveniently close to our office and to Tanglewood Mall.

Hampton Inn & Suites, Valley View – If you prefer to be closer to the airport or to Valley View Mall on the north side of town, you can’t go wrong with Hampton Inn.

The Hotel Roanoke Conference Center – If you want to make your stay extra-special, The Hotel Roanoke is the Valley’s classic “Grand Hotel”. Staying here gives you easy walking access to the downtown City Market area.

Local News Outlets – The Valley’s largest daily newspaper. – Roanoke’s local CBS affiliate, Channel 7. – Roanoke’s NBC affiliate, Channel 10. – Regional ABC affiliate, based in Lynchburg, Virginia. – Local News/Talk radio, found at 960AM and 107.3FM.

Local Governments

Click here to find a summary of local real estate tax rates.

Click here for a long list of Roanoke Valley kudos and awards over the past 20 years.

The following are direct links to the websites for our various local governments:

Roanoke City – Our central City.

Roanoke County – The surrounding County.

City of Salem – Our 2nd largest city, immediately west of Roanoke City.

Town of Vinton – A town within Roanoke County, to the east side of Roanoke City.

Botetourt County – A suburban/rural county to the north of Roanoke.

Bedford County – A largely rural county to the east of Roanoke between the Valley and Lynchburg.  Also, the north shore of Smith Mountain Lake.

Franklin County – A largely rural county on the south side of Roanoke.  This area includes the south shore of Smith Mountain Lake.