Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Traveling South

Welcome to Roanoke, Va! This is a photo of downtown. We visited over the Easter weekend, partly to explore the town as possible place to live and also for a getaway. Downtown Roanoke contains a lot for a small place. The smells wafting from all the restaurants is enough to make you drool. The fresh food market place has numerous venders with fresh vegetables and fruit. A new art museum was being built when we visited. The Hotel Roanoke, built in the late 1800's is located there and has a beautiful fountain near the front.
Roanoke from the top near Mill Mountain Zoo. One neat thing about Roanoke was the mountain views all around the town. No matter where you looked, you could see views like this.

The Transportation Museum is just on the edge of town and has a miniature town and a running train inside in a glass case inside the building. Several real trains are located in the back that you can climb up in and go inside to see how they run. The also have old cars and buses. A cute little playground located on the side is great for restless kids!

The Mill Mountain Zoo is at the top near the Roanoke Star and just down the way from the Blue Ridge Parkway. The zoo is small and takes about an hour to stroll through. Perfect size for families with little ones.
All in all, the town has lots of things to do for it's size. I was really surprised how much there was and the diversity of the activites. They have two large malls, Tanglewood and Valley View, but not much shopping that we could find beyond that. Once you left the city, you were in the country and there didn't seem to be much beyond for shopping, etc. The food in every restaurant was great, even the chain restaurants. And everyone we met was friendly and helpful, from the director of the transportation museum to the hotel staff.
Visit if you get the chance!
"It has long been my belief that in times of great stress, such as a 4-day vacation, the thin veneer of family wears off almost at once, and we are revealed in our true personalities”
-Shirley Jackson

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