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Roanoke, Virginia, for MultiGen Families

by Eugenia Lazaris

Feb 15, 2023

© Larry Metayer | Dreamstime.com

Destinations / North America

History, culture, great food and outdoor adventure: These are all reasons Roanoke is a favorite choice when it comes to planning multigenerational family travel. Nestled in a beautiful valley of the Blue Ridge Mountains, this fun city is jam-packed with things to see and do together as a family, starting with getting outside and enjoying the incredible scenery.


The Blue Ridge Mountains offer some of the most beautiful scenery in the country, with plenty of trails to walk and hike, many of which can accommodate all skill levels, making them a smart option for a hike the whole family can take together. The rails are also rich with photo opportunities, like the Roanoke Star, the largest man-made illuminated star in the world and one of the most photographed sites in the area. The site is well-paved and doesn’t require any actual hiking, but is surrounded by beautiful trees and fresh mountain air, making it perfect for a family stroll. It is easily reached from Blue Ridge Parkway (simply take the turnoff for Mill Mountain Parkway).


Roanoke’s Mill Mountain Zoo is another great way to get the family outdoors and enjoying Roanoke’s beautiful scenery. The zoo, located on 568 acres atop Mill Mountain, gives you great views of the city and is home to a variety of animals, including a special focus on animals native to the Blue Ridge Mountains.


For an introduction to local history and culture, be sure to take the family to one of the many museums, like Virginia Museum of Transportation. This museum lets the family enjoy a day of fun and learning together. Spots like Roanoke Pinball Museum feature a fully-interactive collection of pinball machines covering an impressive span of history, with some machines dating back to the 1930s.


When it comes to feeding the family, Roanoke has a thriving culinary scene with great options for the whole family. Whether you want to try some regional foods like mountain trout or some delicious homemade desserts the area is famous for, the family will have plenty of opportunities to bond over a shared meal. Hollywood’s Restaurant and Bakery is a must, where you can try delicious local favorites like fried Chesapeake Bay oysters, a fried green tomato B.L.T. and a delicious slice of peanut butter pie for dessert.


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