Put an end to cabin fever and explore! Here are some winter adventures and experiences waiting for you in Virginia’s Blue Ridge!
Lace up your boots and bundle up tight for epic mountain experiences you won’t soon forget. Sharp Top Mountain at the Peaks of Otter is a 3.5 mile hike that leads to an incredible summit that offers a 360-degree view of the surrounding mountains.
You can also experience the beauty of waterfall hikes and streams during the winter along the trails for Apple Orchard Falls, Roaring Run, and Bottom Creek Gorge. During the coldest periods of winter, the frozen falls are stunning to see in person.
We also explore the region on two wheels during the winter season with biking on the Roanoke Valley Greenways, as well as rocky trails that hold up well during the winter season, such as the North Mountain Trail System in the Jefferson National Forest, or a gravel ride in Botetourt County.
NOTE - Please take trail conditions into consideration before planning any winter hiking or biking adventures in Virginia's Blue Ridge. Activity on trails when there's lots of moisture on the ground and muddy conditions can cause long-term damage. Let's all be responsible Trailsetters!
Valentine's Day is just around the corner and there's always something special about a romantic winter getaway to the mountains. There's no reason that the change of seasons should stop you from entering vacation mode—and cooler weather is often best embraced, not escaped.
Marry the magical ice and snow with cushy amenities like the Salt Foot Sanctuary and Spa Services, dine at the restaurants featuring a stylishly rustic american cuisine experience with offerings from The Regency Room, and The Pine Room & 1882 Lobby Bar, or rekindle the romance, sleep in and enjoy the blissful Hotel Roanoke experience.
It’s easy to spend a day discovering what downtown Roanoke has to offer and it is all within walking distance to The Grand Old Lady— art galleries, shops, restaurants and breweries along Market Square and beyond!
The family will love participating in the art-making process and exhibits at the Taubman Museum of Art. Next, learn something new at the interactive exhibits at the Science Museum of Western Virginia or check out the assortment of activities and experiences at the Kids Square Children's Museum. And finally, see who in the family can claim the title of "Pinball Wizard" by playing some games at the Roanoke Pinball Museum or classic arcade favorites like PONG at the Roanoke STARCADE.
Get an up-close look at our incredible railroad history in the region with a visit to the Virginia Museum of Transportation, featuring an impressive railyard with more than 50 pieces of rolling stock, including locomotives that were designed and built in Downtown Roanoke.
When the day is done, feed your inner foodie at one the many great award-winning restaurants downtown!
MILES OF FUN ALONG THE BLUE RIDGE PARKWAY!
Hands down one of the best drives you can take in the U.S. is on Virginia’s Blue Ridge Parkway. Consistently named one of the top drives by Travel + Leisure and the Travel Channel, the Blue Ridge Parkway winds through 469 miles of pure bliss. Surrounded by national forest and stunning mountain views, the parkway is one of the most-visited parts of the National Park System.
Sometimes winter brings enough snow to close the Blue Ridge Parkway. While that may be frustrating for some, it’s just the news others wait for. Snow on the Parkway means cross-country skiing is officially in season.
Drive to a Parkway entry point and strap on the skis to head off on a snowy adventure not often found in other areas of the Commonwealth. In the winter, the Blue Ridge Parkway is “America’s Favorite Snow Trail,” and you heard it here first.
The perfect way to fuel your trip is through the Road Trip to the Blue Ridge Mountains package! The Tudor-style hotel is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is an iconic destination in Virginia. Surrounded by the vast Blue Ridge Mountains, you’ll get to wake up to the beautiful hues of winter and the backdrop of the distant peaks.
LIVE LIKE A LOCAL
Welcoming guests since 1882, The Hotel Roanoke & Conference Center is the gateway to Virginia's Blue Ridge. HEre are a few quirky, under the radar experiences every local would recommend.
Is that a star on a mountain? What is there a 100-foot neon star you see as you drive into Roanoke? Constructed in 1949 atop Mill Mountain, it was only meant to serve as a seasonal Christmas decoration, but the community decided to keep it up year-round. Take a drive up the paved Prospect Road to see it up close – and enjoy it’s vantage of the city from 1,045 feet. Plus there are great hiking and biking trails to explore the winter woods!
Experience the Roanoke Food Tours! Another great partner of Hotel Roanoke, these guided walking food tours are specially designed to incorporate history, architecture, culture, and relevant culinary treats from local iconic restaurants and shops in downtown Roanoke.
While the hit DIY show Salvage Dawgs has ended it's impressive run, Robert and Mike still offer amazing finds at Black Dog Salvage! Meet the stars of the show and peruse their warehouse to find the perfect upcycle, repurpose, or found piece to make your own.