5 Reasons for a Summer Visit to Virginia’s Blue Ridge

Whether you’re traveling with kids, solo, or somewhere in between, we have five reasons a summer visit to the Roanoke Valley in Virginia’s Blue Ridge is just what you need. Be a #Trailsetter and find your next adventure in the Blue Ridge Mountains.

Here are 5 reasons it’s time to plan your summer vacation!

1 – Summer Festivals & Events

Summertime is festival season in Virginia’s Blue Ridge. FloydFest (July 24-28) is our version of Woodstock, except it’s high in the Blue Ridge Mountains. It’s been named one of the best music festivals in the country and is an unforgettable experience!

You can always take me out to the ballgame, and a favorite is any time the Salem Red Sox happen to be playing. An amazing sunset plus a win for the home team is #winning.

If beer is your thing, you can’t miss Microfestivus (August 10), an annual summer event and party in Downtown Roanoke celebrating 40 or more breweries and over 200 beers from Virginia and beyond. Cheers!

We also kick off the professional cyclocross season over Labor Day weekend with Virginia’s Blue Ridge Go Cross Race (August 31 & September 1) presented by Deschutes Brewery. It’s two great days of cyclocross racing and fun at Roanoke’s Fallon Park.

2 – Cool Down on the Water

Sunny days call for time on the water and we love launching a rented boat from Bridgewater Marina onto Smith Mountain Lake or a relaxing float on the James River with Twin River Outfitters.

Some people love the beach (us included!), while others long for a fresh mountain stream. Virginia’s Blue Ridge has both! Kayak, tube, or fish our favorite blueways, or boat the day away at Smith Mountain Lake. You could hit the beach at Smith Mountain Lake Community Park or paddle on over 100 miles of blueways to explore. We also have easy hikes leading to waterfalls that you have to try, like Roaring Run and its awesome natural waterslide.

For a more controlled time in the water, consider Roanoke County’s Splash Valley Water Park. Slides, tipping buckets, and pools create an environment great for trailsetters of all ages.

3 – America’s East Coast Mountain Biking Capital

Thrilling downhills are the pay-off for incredible climbs in Virginia’s Blue Ridge, America’s East Coast Mountain Biking Capital. In fact, Virginia’s Blue Ridge has been named a Silver-Level Ride Center­™ by the International Mountain Bicycling Association, making it the only such designated ride center on the East Coast.

Need help planning your mountain bike adventure? Check out Roanoke Mountain Adventures and UnderDog Bikes for rentals and all kinds of useful information.

4 – Keep the Kids Entertained

We think you and your younger trailsetters will love some of our favorite places, like Center in the Square, a hub for education that also boasts excitement for multiple generations. From getting hands-on with science to pretend play at the Children’s Museum and old school shooting at the Roanoke Pinball Museum, it’s a place for parents, grands, and even great-grands to enjoy.

Bounce out some extra energy at Launching Pad, our local trampoline park. Or feed the adrenaline beast within when you tackle River Rock Climbing, an award-winning indoor climbing gym. We also love the Virginia Museum of Transportation, the best place to not only spot trains but climb aboard, too.

5 – It’s Patio Season

From the beautiful outdoor space at Ballast Point to the downtown beer garden at Big Lick Brewing Company, you’ll certainly want to spend time sipping suds with your favorite buds on our brewery patios in Virginia’s Blue Ridge.

If wine is more your thing, you’ll adore Valhalla Vineyards, Blue Ridge Vineyard, and Chateau Morrisette. Vast expanses of view shed coupled with award-winning wine equals a day well spent.

For a great dinner al fresco, consider Billy’s or The Landing Restaurant, one tucked away as a downtown Roanoke garden paradise and the other overlooking Smith Mountain Lake.

See More: 25+ Great Outdoor Patios in Virginia’s Blue Ridge

We hope you choose your own path this summer in Virginia’s Blue Ridge. Get out there and be a #Trailsetter.

Places to Go, Things to See: