I was born & raised in Roanoke, Virginia — at least that’s what I tell people. Truthfully, we lived a little ways outside the city, smack in the middle of a beautiful county with not much in it. At times, I didn’t love it. Life moved slow & somewhat boring compared to my friends who spent time in Nashville, Atlanta, or DC. Now that I’ve spent time in all of those cities (all three are so much fun), I’ve learned to appreciate the little corners of Virginia that feel like home. If you’re ever in Roanoke, make sure to hit a few places on my list.
Downtown Roanoke is so much fun. If you’ve spent time in any major city, our little streets & classic style almost makes you feel like you’ve gone back in time. For the best view of the city, drive up to see the Roanoke Star. It’s kind of our claim to fame, the beacon of our town. It’s absolutely beautiful. Don’t miss it!
If you actually want to walk through downtown instead of settling for the bird’s eye view, I suggest Market Street — for exactly the reason you’d think. The City Market stretches for blocks, & local farmers and artisans pile in every day. It’s the best spot for great vegetables & little gifts. Right across the street from the market is one of my favorite boutiques, La De Da. If you’re looking to splurge on some Free People or Frye boots, this is your spot.
Downtown is great, but one of the coolest things about Roanoke is watching the countryside I’ve grown up in transform into a bustling little city center of its own. If you’re swinging by my house to say hello to Cinnamon (I own the world’s most precious dog), you have to explore my neighborhood for a while.
The best coffee in town is Land of a Thousand Hills, a fair-trade coffee shop based out of Atlanta. After you grab some espresso, walk next door to WillowPod, the cutest little home & crafts store in the world. If it’s a nice day, drive a few miles down the road to walk the Greenfield trails. Life is still sweet & slow in Botetourt County. I have logged so many miles & memories there. It’ll always be home in a way.
What are the hidden gems in your hometown? If I’m ever in the neighborhood, I’ll stop by 🙂