By Vickie Mitchell
Roanoke Valley CVB
101 Shenandoah Avenue NE
Roanoke, VA 24016
Kudos: Roanoke was among Money magazine’s top three “Best Places to Retire in the United States.” In 2010, Roanoke was voted No. 2 in Kiplinger’s Best Cities Reader’s Poll. The National League of Cities has named Roanoke an All-America City five times. The League of American Bicyclists named it a Bicycle Friendly Community (bronze level).
What’s new: Downtown’s Market Square Building has reopened after an extensive overhaul. Adjacent to the farmers market, it houses eight locally owned food stands, and its third floor is a modern ballroom. Center in the Square, downtown’s theater and museum complex, closed last summer for a major refurbishment. It will reopen next spring with added features, including an aquarium and a green roof. The Hotel Roanoke has completed an outdoor event space, a 6,270-square-foot courtyard with seating, a gazebo and a fire pit. A half-dozen bicycles will soon be available for rent at the Roanoke Valley CVB office, in the old Norfolk and Western terminal across from the Hotel Roanoke. Black Dog Salvage, on the city’s greenway bicycle trail, has opened a bicycle rental shop, Underdog Bikes.
Transportation: A four-lane connector links Roanoke to Interstate 81. Roanoke Regional Airport offers about 50 flights each day with nonstop service to Atlanta; Charlotte, N.C.; Chicago; Detroit; Philadelphia; New York; Philadelphia; and Washington.
Location: Roanoke is in southwest Virginia, halfway between New York and Atlanta. The city is 251 miles southwest of Washington, 194 miles north of Charlotte, and 178 miles southeast of Charleston, W.Va.
Hotel Rooms: There are more than 6,000 guest rooms in the area; some 2,500 of them are committable. The 331-room Hotel Roanoke adjacent to downtown, has 331 rooms. The Roanoke Sheraton, has 320 rooms and 17,000 square feet of meeting space and is within walking distance of three other hotels.