Nestled in the scenic Blue Ridge Mountains in the Old Dominion state is the city of Roanoke, Virginia. Roanoke has a diverse population nearing 100,000 residents, and is the most populous city in Southwest Virginia.
Once a major railroad and coal mining city, Roanoke now boasts an economy focused on health services and transportation-related manufacturing. Tourism is also becoming a strong contributor to the local economy.
In 2018, Roanoke was ranked number three on Livability’s "Best Affordable Mid-Sized Cities" list. Besides being an affordable place to live, Roanoke offers the variety of the four seasons, but with less snow and more sunny days than you would find in other similar metro areas.
Roanoke has received accolades for being one of the best trail cities in the nation. Just minutes from downtown Roanoke, you will find the Blue Ridge Parkway, the Appalachian Trail and over 70 city parks. For other outdoor fun, head over to nearby Smith Mountain Lake. This is Virginia’s most popular lake, having 500 miles of shoreline where you can fish, swim and enjoy boating and other water sports.
Roanoke offers many options for those interested in art and culture. Live musical and theatrical performances can be enjoyed at two large venues, the Roanoke Civic Center and Shaftman Performance Hall. Roanoke is also home to the Roanoke Symphony Orchestra, which offers a variety of concerts each year. There are several art, science and history museums in downtown Roanoke as well as a planetarium. The quaint downtown area also has shops and a famous farmer’s market in the lively historic Market Square.
After a day on the trails, at the lake or strolling through the museums, head on over to one of the local restaurants. There are several to choose from: farm-to-table favorites, spots that offer traditional fare and several restaurants that specialize in international cuisine.
Can’t make it to Louisville? Derby Day Gala has become one of Roanoke's most popular social events of the year, where guests can enjoy a day of classic derby food, friendly wagers, an auction of original fine art, music and dancing.
The median home value in Roanoke is $145,500. Old Southwest is a popular historic neighborhood in Roanoke. The Wasena neighborhood is known for Craftsman-style bungalow homes, some featuring beautiful views of the nearby Roanoke River.
If living in an affordable, scenic area with four beautiful seasons appeals to you, check out Roanoke, Virginia.