Appalachian Information Technology Extension Service

Welcome to Roanoke!

Come early...stay late! Roanoke, the Star City of the South, is known for its beautiful scenery and the tremendous recreational opportunities in the surrounding mountains.

Visit Roanoke:


  • Natural Bridge in Rockbridge County is a geological wonder and one of the oldest tourist destinations in the United States.

  • Most visited National Park in the United States and America’s favorite drive - Blue Ridge Parkway. The Parkway is 469 miles long, and 216 of those miles are through Virginia.


  • From WWII soldiers remembered at the National D-Day Memorial, to the inspiring story of African-American educator Booker T. Washington, our history is proudly on display for the enrichment of everyone.

  • Over 43 million Americans can trace their heritage to the families that migrated along the Wilderness Road. We invite you to blaze your own trail of discovery along the Wilderness Road and relive America's unique history and heritage.

  • Visit the Appomattox Court House National Historical Park, the site of the end of the Civil War. Located only 70 miles from Roanoke, VA


  • Part of the Appalachian Trail, the longest footpath and most famous hiking trail in the United States. Virginia has 550 of the 2,180 total miles of the Trail - making it the state with the most miles of the Appalachian Trail.

  • A six-mile round trip hike to McAfee Knob - the most photographed site along the Appalachian Trail—provides a 270-degree panorama of the Catawba Valley and surrounding mountains.

  • More than 1,000 miles of hiking trails within an hour’s drive of Roanoke.

  • Carvins Cove Natural Reserve - with more than 40 miles of trails and an 800-acre reservoir, the largest conservation easement in Virginia offers a variety of recreational activities, including hiking, mountain biking, fishing, horseback riding, and boat rentals. It is also Virginia’s largest conservation easement.


  • Smith Mountain Lake is Virginia’s largest manmade lake and is ideal for boating, skiing, boarding, sailing, and fishing.

  • The Upper James River Water Trail is a 14-mile section of the James River in Botetourt County that provides outstanding fishing, tubing, kayaking, and canoeing.

  • Over 22 miles of greenways, which connect the valley’s charming neighborhoods to its natural beauty.

  • New River is the second oldest river in the world and one of the few that flows north. It also offers incredible opportunities for fishing, kayaking, canoeing, and tubing.

  • Part of the TransAmerica Bicycle Trail by the Adventure Cycling Association.

  • Splash Valley Water Park is a 20,000-square-foot indoor/outdoor aquatic facility that features water slides, a current river, hot tubs, children’s spray area, a zero entry pool, and more.

  • A variety of streams, rivers, and lakes offer wonderful fishing as part of the Fish Virginia First campaign.

  • Roanoke Outside is a community initiative (public and private) to connect people with the outdoors. On RoanokeOutside people can access maps, get trip ideas, find out where to rent equipment, hire a guide, check out local events, and much more. Roanoke Outside also puts on the Blue Ridge Marathon (America’s Toughest Road Marathon) and the Roanoke GO Outside Festival.


  • Home to four Virginia state parks: Douthat, Smith Mountain Lake, Claytor Lake, & New River Trail. Douthat State Park was named one of the nation’s 10 best by Outside Family Vacation Guide. It is one of the original six Virginia State Parks.

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