Roanoke, the commercial and medical center of western Virginia, is rich in history and Virginia tradition. Diverse products manufactured include railroad cars, fabricated steel, electronic components, furniture, plastics, textiles and clothing.
Surrounding lakes, state parks and national forests offer recreational opportunities, including hiking, picnicking and camping along the Appalachian Trail and the Blue Ridge Parkway. Fishing and boating are popular activities at nearby Smith Mountain Lake State Park.
Downtown Roanoke boasts many historic landmarks, including a 1907 fire station, a historic farmers market and the Tudor-style Hotel Roanoke. The city's farmers market was first opened in 1882; it still operates daily on the same site, downtown on Market Square. The 3-day Roanoke Festival in the Park , a local tradition since 1968, takes place Memorial Day weekend in Elmwood Park at Elm Avenue (SR 24) and Williamson Road (SR 116). A city landmark, the 100-foot-tall Roanoke Star was erected on top of Mill Mountain in 1949; the star is illuminated each night, and the site offers a scenic overlook of the Roanoke Valley.
Visit Virginia's Blue Ridge 101 Shenandoah Ave. N.E. ROANOKE, VA 24016. Phone:(540)342-6025 or (800)635-5535
The visitor information center offers a map detailing a walking tour of downtown Roanoke.
Off I-581 exit 3E, Valley View Mall (4802 Valley View Blvd. N.W.) offers more than 100 stores, including Belk, JCPenney, Macy's and Sears. Tanglewood Mall (4420-A Electric Rd.) features Barnes & Noble, Belk and T.J.Maxx.