Year-round recreational opportunities are plentiful in southwest Virginia for those who love the outdoors. There are hiking trails galore along the Blue Ridge Parkway and throughout the Blue Ridge Mountains. The Appalachian Trail, which is America’s first National Scenic Trail, stretching 2,160 miles from Georgia to Maine, runs through southwest Virginia. It provides magnificent hiking opportunities and offers some of the nation's most spectacular scenery.
Backpacking and camping are excellent in southwest Virginia, and the mountains make for great biking, which is one of the most popular pastimes in the area.
You can go to nearby Smith Mountain Lake for a picturesque getaway at any time of the year. Smith Mountain Lake, Virginia's second-largest lake, abounds with outdoor activities to enjoy. From boating, fishing, swimming and water sports to quaint restaurants and entertaining nightlife, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.
One half-hour east of Roanoke is Bedford County, home of Bedford Memorial Hospital. Bedford County borders the Blue Ridge Parkway, which boasts the Peaks of Otter, a small resort area that is well known for hiking, picnicking and camping.
If you are a sports fan, collegiate sports are abound locally, including major college athletic programs at Virginia Tech. In addition, the Salem Red Sox are a Class-A affiliate of Major League Baseball's Boston Red Sox.
Other local attractions to enjoy include:
- The Roanoke Star
- Mill Mountain Zoo
- The Blue Ridge Parkway
- The Appalachian Trail
- Washington and Jefferson National Forests
- The Natural Bridge
- The National D-Day Memorial
- Dixie Caverns
- Peaks of Otter
- Smithfield Plantation
Southwest Virginia is home to many wineries with offerings to please the palates of wine connoisseurs.