Taking a field trip from Richmond to Roanoke, VA

Skyline over Roanoke, VA

Photo via Wikimedia Commons, JC7792

We’re hitting the road again for a day trip out west. The Roanoke, VA has a lot in common with Richmond. It plays host to large festivals, local breweries, and lots of outdoor funall with the backdrop of the Blue Ridge Mountains.

Roanoke is about two-and-a-half hours away from Richmond. But don’t worry about the longer drive — it’s scenic once you pass onto the Blue Ridge Parkway, celebrated as one of VA’s National Parks.

The Mill Mountain Star reigns over the Roanoke Valley at night.

The Roanoke Star is actually three stars, designed with neon tubing. | Photo via @aerowingva


You’ll know you’ve reached the Star City by the landmark which gave Roanoke this nickname: The Mill Mountain Star. It began as a fun Christmas decoration, lit for the first time in November 1949.

Pro tip: Hike or drive up the mountain trail to see a birds-eye view over the Roanoke Valley. Check it out now on the city’s live StarCam.

Eat + drink

Fork in the Market | 32 Market Sq. | Located in the historic City Market Building downtown, it features a variety of family faves like pizza, burgers, and local craft beers.

Starr Hill Pilot Brewery and Side Stage | 6 Old Whitmore Ave. | Sound familiar? The brewery’s OG location features all of its popular brews + a back patio for food trucks by the Roanoke River.

Roanoke River Greenway bridge.

The Roanoke River Greenway spans about 15 miles across the city. | Photo via @playroanoke


Roanoke River Greenway | River’s Edge to Bridge Street | A 15 mile paved path which leads cyclists and runners to major sections of the city, without having to dodge cars. Roanoke is known as America’s East Coast Biking Capital, so the greenway is the place to be on two wheels.


Virginia Museum of Transportation | 303 Norfolk Ave. | Like Richmond, Roanoke was born on the river and the railroad.

Roanoke Pinball Museum | 1 Market Sq. SE, second floor | Button mash on classic pinball machines dating back to the 1930s, or more modern ones with themes like “Stranger Things,” “Star Trek,” and “Ghostbusters.”

We’ve already covered a day trip to the east with Williamsburg, but we’re not done exploring yet. Let us know where you’d take a day trip.

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