There’s No Place Like Roanoke for the Holidays

close up of white and blue bulb ornaments hanging on fir tree

Life gets frantic. In between the crush of the holiday chaos and the descending gloom of winter exist those days where you’re ready to just get out of the apartment and explore. So gather your friends, your family, your out-of-town guests, and hit some of the best and quirkiest spots Roanoke has to offer!

Virginia Museum of Transportation

“Wait a minute, Doc. Ah…Are you telling me that you built a time machine out of a DeLorean?”
– Marty McFly

Take your love of Hollywood and your love of classic cars and get thyself to the Virginia Museum of Transportation, stat. You will find such iconic favorites as the ambulance from Ghostbusters and the DeLorean from Back to the Future. If good ole country boys and sliding yourself across the top of a Dodge Charger is more your style, check out General Lee from “The Dukes of Hazzard.” It’s a great time to show off that repertoire of movie lines…we know you’ve got them.

Roanoke Pinball Museum

“Ever since I was a young boy
I’ve played the silver ball”
– The Who, “Pinball Wizard”

We see you standing there, Pinball Wizard. Show off your stuff at the Roanoke Pinball Museum. Inside you’ll find 45 classic machines dating from 1940 through the 1990s. Enjoy unlimited play with admission, or if you’re ready to get serious, sign up for a yearly membership. Take along someone you’re confident you can beat, and head out for some old fashioned fun and fierce friendly competition.

Downtown Food and Cultural Tour

“One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well.”
– Virginia Woolf

There’s no better way to merge history and culinary delights than a Downtown Food and Cultural Tour. During this mile long stroll you will hear tales of the city’s past, learn more about the architecture of downtown Roanoke’s buildings and, to top it all off, you will stop in for bites to eat from about eight different, carefully curated downtown restaurants. It’s a wonderful way to spend three hours or so, and you’re sure to walk away with new favorites.

Black Dog Architectural Salvage and Antiques

“The value just keeps going up.”
– Mike Whiteside, “Salvage Dogs”

Are you ready to comb through stacks from yesteryear? Put on your walking shoes, and get ready to explore the 44,000 square feet of Black Dog Architectural Salvage and Antiques. Home of DIY network’s hit show “Salvage Dogs,” you can lose yourself for hours wandering around this vast, constantly changing collection of treasures. Upcycled finished goods are also available in their marketplace. If you need a spot to unwind after your excursion, head to Jack Brown’s Beer and Burger Joint where the the creative geniuses from Black Dog have installed a 1948 Ford School Bus, complete with taps.

These are just a few of our favorite local institutions. What are your favorite Roanoke-area hidden gems?