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Roanoke area Roanoke - Salem area
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Old 05-20-2006, 10:02 AM
92 posts, read 237,485 times
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Our family is going to Roanoke in June. What are good family activities to do there? Any historical sites that would be good to see?

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Old 05-20-2006, 10:21 PM
Location: Gaithersburg, Maryland
30 posts, read 136,979 times
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I would recommend visiting Natural Bridge. If you like railroads, Roanoke has a large railroad history I believe. I'm not sure what its like, but I know there is a huge lake there called Smith Mountain Lake, it might be worth it to check that out. Also there is the Blue Ridge Parkway, and Shenandoah National Park is a couple hours away too. There might be more but that's all I can think of!
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Old 05-20-2006, 10:26 PM
92 posts, read 237,485 times
Reputation: 55
Default thank you

Thank you so much for your reply! That is very helpful information.
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Old 05-21-2006, 11:46 AM
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Thumbs up Lots to see and do in Roanoke.

Roanoke has 2 museums dedicated to railroads. It was the heart of the old Norfolk & Western (N&W), now a part of the NS system.

The Virginia Transportation of Museum http://www.vmt.org/ has a fine collection of powerful old steam locomotives and other rolling stock, as well as indoor exhibit and model railroad operations.

A few blocks away is the Link Museum http://www.linkmuseum.org/, dedicated to the railroad photography of O. Winston Link. The late Mr. Link was quite famous for his night-time photo's of the last days of steam train operations on the N&W. He and his assistant set up elaborate flash bulb arrays to capture trains at night. His work is every bit "fine art" and worth a 1-2 hour visit.

Directly across from the Link is historic Hotel Roanoke, a must see. See http://www.hotelroanoke.com/ If your budget can afford it, this would put in walking distance of tons of things in downtown.

For more local links, visit http://www.visitroanokeva.com/

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Old 05-23-2006, 08:01 AM
Location: moseley va
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Default hi

wont you find a dance to go to up their they have music and food and nice people. go find a clif on a road you can look over at and take pictures
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Old 12-02-2006, 08:11 PM
Location: Roanoke VA
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Default Roanoke Tourism

I am amazed that so many people are suddenly "discovering" Roanoke. I have always known it was the "greatest kept secret" in America! Oddly, many locals have always known this and have tried to keep the world away! If you drive here via the Blue Ridge Parkway and come into the downtown area, you will notice an energetic urban center with museums, art galleries, over 80 ethnic restaurants, offices, retail, Hotel Roanoke, Farmers Market. One could spend the day just exploring just this part of Roanoke! In the suburbs, all of the comforts of Big Malls, etc etc. The scenery is spectacular at every angle.
I think to really appreciate Roanoke, one needs to explore the region. Drive about 30 miles and visit Smith Mountain Lake. There are two large river boats(one paddlewheel) that offer sightseeing excursions on the Lake, boat rentals, a state park with sandy beach with new cabins and campground. SML has become an "upscale" area now with migrants from other parts of the U.S. building multi-million dollar homes there. Drive east of Roanoke through the historic town of Bedford viewing outstanding scenery(not yet developed!!)pass a winery, apple farm(pick your own) and stop at Peaks of Otter Lodge.
Take the bus almost to the top of this mountain and hike the remainder. If you like history, drive 50 miles north to Lexington, home of Robert E Lee. Visit the Civil War town where he is immortalized as well as the campus of VMI and Washington & Lee. Drive to Lynchbug(50 miles) and visit Thomas Jeffersons'
second VA estate "Poplar Forest". Many tourists only see Monticello in Ch'ville. The Lynchburg site was his summer place. West Virginia is nearby with famous Snowshoe Resort only 1.5 hours away!! The best skiing on the East Coast plus whitewater rafting, bungee jumping off the New River Gorge bridge!! Remember, to complete the fabulous location of this place, you are only 3-4 hours from Washington DC, 6 hours to Myrtle Beach, SC(palm trees!!)
Maybe I shouldn't say more about Roanoke as the secret may get out!!
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Old 12-02-2006, 09:53 PM
84 posts, read 507,096 times
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I would also suggest the zoo. I believe it's the Mill Mountain Zoo (I know book store chains like Borders and Barnes and Noble have books re: visiting Virginia that are VERY helpful. I've lived in Va. all my life and still consult these books for help in finding fun things for my boys and I to do.) Also, further down the Blue Ridge Parkway is Mabry's Mill. I've been there several times as have my boys and we still love it....scenic, interesting and they have breakfast/lunch to boot at a very nice little restaurant. In Bassett area, about an hour from there....is Fairystone National Park. Interesting, .....camping, horseback riding (at least there used to be!), lake with swimming, and IF you're lucky you'll find a Fairystone (made like a cross). We've always loved it!!! Nearby is Philpott ****....made @ World War II, interesting for the kids if they are in to history stuff, my boys now 9, 11, 12 LOVE it!!! We've visited the Transportation Museum in Roanoke and LOVED it!!! Very nice.....and for comparison's sake....we currently live in Northern Va. and have been to National Zoo in DC, Smithsonian, etc. and still appreciate all of these areas. Have FUN!!!
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