Handsomely built in 1932 in the Art Deco style, this theater is in the heart of Grandin Historic Village, an area filled with independently owned shops and restaurants. The locally owned theater screens first-run features, independent cinema, and classic films.
The recently restored Norfolk & Western Class J 611 steam passenger locomotive, part of the rail holdings here, offers limited tours in spring through select locations in Virginia and North Carolina. ($8 adults, $7 seniors (60+), $6 children (3-11)). The museum features steam, electric, and diesel locomotives, as well as air and road collections.
Take a 10-minute drive from downtown Roanoke to the four-season wonder of the Blue Ridge Parkway,
the scenic connection between the Shenandoah National Park and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, offering stunning vistas, overlooks, wildlife, biking, hiking, or leaf-peeping.
Visitor Center May–October: 9 a.m.– 5 p.m. daily
The seven-story cultural and arts center is home to four museums and a theater company: the Harrison Museum of African American Culture; the Roanoke Pinball Museum (no quarters necessary!), an interactive space that details the history of pinball with machines from the 1930s to 1990s; the History Museum of Western Virginia; and the Science Museum of Western Virginia. The science museum operates the Butterfly Garden, where visitors are invited to walk in the habitat and interact with eye-catching species from around the world. Don’t miss the dazzling Living Coral Reef Aquarium, featuring an 8,000-gallon aquarium filled with colorful marine fish and corals. A Center pass including Pinball Museum is $25 adults (18+), $20 youth (9–17), $15 child (4–8).
The Roanoke Star is the largest (100 ft), man-made, illuminated star in the world sitting perched atop Mill Mountain overlooking the surrounding valley and Blue Ridge Mountains as an iconic symbol of Virginia's Blue Ridge.