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Roanoke is a sleepy little town no more. Tucked in the bucolic foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, this bustling hamlet complements its iconic outdoor attractions – the Blue Ridge Parkway, the Appalachian Trail – with a slew of new urban offerings. The butter on this rising biscuit? The city’s Southern hospitality.
The revamped Market District is the lively heart of downtown. Here, farmers sell produce beside indie shops. The special exhibits always shine at the Taubman Museum, an eye-catching building that looks ready to take flight. Farm-to-table eateries embrace the region’s agricultural bounty, but your most memorable meal might be a “cheesy western” at divey Texas Tavern.
To explore the urban outdoors, bike the Roanoke River Greenway or hike up Mill Mountain, a striking landmark overlooking downtown. The illuminated star on the summit provides Roanoke its nickname: Star City. Further afield, take a photo of McAfee Knob, picnic along the Blue Ridge Parkway or paddle the Upper James River Water Trail. With six regional microbreweries, a post-adventure beer is easy to find.