Anne Hayden Hall, Contributor

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Not going anywhere for spring break? Is it a lazy day and there’s nothing to do? Don’t worry! There’s so much to do in the Roanoke Valley. Just because you’re at home and not laying on the beach on an exotic island doesn’t mean you can’t make the most of your spring break. Here are ten places in the Roanoke Valley that are worth visiting.

  1. One of the places that you should pay a visit to this spring and summer, is the Mill Mountain Star. The Mill Mountain Star is a huge destination for tourists that come from all over. The star is a great place to come and visit and soak in the great view of Roanoke City. It was constructed at the top of Mill Mountain in 1949. The star is the world’s largest freestanding illuminated man-made star. Roanoke earned the nickname “Star City” because of the Mill Mountain star. The Mill Mountain Star is a great place to visit when the weather is nice out and to enjoy the view of the city and see the iconic landmark!
  2. Want to get out exercise and enjoy the nice spring weather? Then the Greenway is perfect for you! The Roanoke Valley Greenway is thirty miles of outdoor recreation and loops around the whole region. The greenway is a great way to get out and exercise. On the Greenway, you can bike, jog, and walk. An added bonus is that you can bring your pets along with you. Chances are, there is a stretch of the greenway very close to you. So this spring, if you’re looking to get outdoors an and get a little extra cardio in, don’t hesitate to pay a visit to the greenway!
  3. Another iconic place in downtown Roanoke is the Taubman Museum of Art. The Taubman architecture is so diverse from the typical building style in Roanoke City.  The museum was designed by internationally renowned architect Randall Stout. There are always lots of exciting activities that are happening every week at the museum. The Taubman is home to a large assortment of different styles of art and artist that are worth seeing.
  4. Center in the square is also a great place to visit this spring. Center in the square is home to the Science Museum of Western Virginia where there is a plethora of hands-on activities visitors can participate in. There is also an arcade that has recently opened in January of 2019 “The Roanoke Starcade” where you will find all of the classic arcade favorites along with new games. The Roanoke Pinball Museum is located here also. The pinball museum introduces young people to the history and science of the game while still making it fun and interesting. There is also a beautiful butterfly garden where you get to experience butterflies in their natural habitat. Center in the Square has a beautiful rooftop garden that overlooks downtown Roanoke.
  5. Another great place to visit if the weather is nice is Splash Valley. Unfortunately, the outdoor season doesn’t begin until Memorial Day. However the indoor park, that is part of the Green Ridge Recreation Center is open year round. Although Splash Valley is adjacent to the Rec Center, you must pay a separate entrance fee for it.
  6. Carvin’s Cove Reservoir is beautiful year round and every time you go there is something new to do. Carvin’s Cove is a man-made reservoir, it is the second largest municipal park in the nation. Some of the activities include hiking, boating, camping, biking, climbing, and much more. Carvins Cove is breathtaking with the crystal clear water, and the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains surrounding it.
  7. One popular attraction in the Roanoke Valley is the River Rock Climbing. River Rock is a great way to get in a great workout and while still having fun. River Rock is tailored to occupy climbers of all levels. So if you’re just starting out, there’s no need to feel intimidated. The River Rock offers beginner lessons, climbing and bouldering clinics, birthday parties, lock-ins and much more. So this spring if you’re looking for a new hobby and a great way to get exercise then come out and give rock climbing a try!

          8. The Blue Ridge Parkway spans the southern and central Appalachians. It allows locals to see           the region in a way they haven’t before. Millions of people enjoy the parkway and its natural beauty           every year. There is also a wide range of wildlife, vegetation, and natural features. The parkway                   stretches from southwestern Virginia into North Carolina. Along the parkway you will find, some of           the oldest mountains in the world, Mount Mitchell which is the highest mountain peak on the east             coast, the oldest river in North America the New River, Whitewater Falls which is the highest                       waterfall east of the Rocky Mountains, and much more.

  1. Located right off of Main Street in Salem is the hidden treasure, Dixie Caverns. Dixie Caverns is one of the few caverns in western Virginia that is open to the public. Dixie Caverns offers tours to the public where you will get to experience the beauty of the caverns first hand. You are also able to camp on the grounds. Some of the amenities include free wifi, big rig, and pet-friendly. Electric, water, cable, and sewer are available at all sites. There is also an antique shop along with a gift shop.
  2. Natural Bridge was once owned by Thomas Jefferson and is rich in history. It is a 215-foot tall ravine made of limestone that was carved out by Cedar Creek. The scenery surrounding Natural Bridge is breathtaking. The nearby mountains and James River showcase the region’s natural beauty. Natural Bridge is a convenient thirty-minute drive from the Roanoke Valley. Natural Bridge is a great place to go and take in all the scenic views.

There is so much to do in the Roanoke Valley! From outdoor tourist destinations to museums, there is always something to do. This spring break and summer, don’t be upset that you’re at home be glad! Make sure to take advantage of all there is to do in our hometown.

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