Roanoke, Roanoke County & Salem, VA Professional Review and Guide
"Roanoke, capital of the Blue Ridge since the days when settlers came westward, has become the focal point of Western Virginia. The city, which began as a salt marsh named “Big Lick” and later became a booming railroad town, is now a major vacation destination. Nestled in the midst of a rich Appalachian heritage in the heart of the mountainous west, the Roanoke Valley is a great place to discover Virginia.
Just a short drive from the city, you will find a number of interesting and historical attractions, including Civil War battlefields, pioneer living at Virginia’s Explore Park, and the majestic views off the Blue Ridge Parkway. Roanoke was incorporated in 1882 when it became a junction of the Norfolk and Western Railway and the Shenandoah Valley Railroad. Nicknamed the Star City, it remains the cultural, convention and industrial center for western Virginia. The 88-foot tall, neon-lit star that overlooks the city from a perch atop Mill Mountain, remains a landmark for the entire region. A visit to the Roanoke Valley with its nearby areas of natural scenic beauty can provide a natural high. There are a number of invigorating recreational options that include bicycling along the Blue Ridge Parkway, hiking the great Appalachian Trail and a variety of smaller but no less rewarding local trails."