I live in the region.
I couldn't tell you much on the best area thing, but I can give you some info on just the area in general. This applies to Roanoke County, City,
Bedford, Botetourt, Salem, and all the counties around Roanoke City I guess. I live in Botetourt.
Roanoke is one of the most digital cities in the world, and has won
1st place in the Digital Cities Survey
(a national thing)
four times as of 2005, out of five years of the survey.
The local paper, The Roanoke Times
, is pretty popular too, and I think there's a higher percentage of adults that read it than any other local
paper anywhere else in the country.
As far as things to do...
Downtown there's the Roanoke Civic Center, which is where you'll most likely go to catch any concerts that come through. Motley Crue was there
recently, or maybe are going to be there; I'm not keeping up. I think it's undergoing some renovations right now. The local symphony, the Roanoke
Symphony Orchestra, plays there, too. And I think most major plays or etc. dramas that come through usually try for the Civic Center over other local
venues as well.
Towers Mall is near the Civic Center, which is more dated than some other malls around here (like the Tanglewood Mall, which is also in near the
downtown area), but has some interesting shops and more cultural things than the newer malls.
If you need music supplies, Ridenhour Music is at Tower's, and that's where you'll probably want to go if you don't order things off the internet.
There was another store around here called Noteworthy, but I think it went out of business. Also, there's a bread store called Heartland Bakery down
at Tower's. I'm only mentioning these guys because their bread is AWESOME. They make everything themselves from scratch right there in the bakery at
Also downtown there's a place called Center in the Square, and there's a multi-story science museum down there that you could check out some time,
and across the street there's a two-story building packed full of food stalls, from Italian to seafood to candy and a lot more.
If you're into trains, Roanoke grew up on railroads and locomotives, so there's a train museum and a lot of train stuff in general around the
If you go downtown, you'll see this stuck on the side of a mountain:
That's the Roanoke Star, and if you head up there to check it out, there's a zoo up there (Mill Mountain Zoo). The
Mill Mountain Theatre
is up around there, too, if you're into drama.
The Blue Ridge Parkway runs through the area, and you should check that out if you haven't already. It's beautiful up there, especially during the
fall in my opinion. I'm just an autumn kind of person I guess. There's a place called Peaks of
that you can hike to, and there are camp grounds around there if you're into camping or hiking or nature things in general.
I hope that helps some. If you want to know anything else you can ask, and if I can help I'll try.
[edit on 25-3-2006 by bsbray11]