Monday, January 24, 2011
My Roanoke Bucket List
For the last couple of weeks a little ad icon kept popping up on the side of my Facebook page with the heading "Roanoke Bucket List - 365 things to do in Roanoke before kicking the bucket," or something to that effect. I laughed and asked if anyone had clicked on it because I really found it hard to believe there were 365 things to even do in Roanoke, never mind ones bucket-worthy enough. One FB friend of mine said she did click on it and naturally it was just a "bait and switch" ad but she felt there were 365 things to do. I laughed again, this time harder, and challenged her to provide me with some bucket-worthy adventures. She named a couple but to me they weren't anything I'd put on my list.
Having lived in Roanoke for almost 16 years (Damn, has it been that long????) I think I've pretty much hit everything I wanted, and never wanted to do. But then I thought about all the things in NYC I haven't done yet so maybe there are some treasures out there that I haven't uncovered yet. Sure, I've done all the expected Roanoke hot spots like the Mill Mt. Star, museums, farmer's market, etc. but what have I missed?
My friend and I spoke about creating some sort of site where people could list Roanoke must-sees but she was concerned about what might wind up on there...prostitutes and crack houses? I still want to know what I've missed so I've decided to make this blog post a clearing house, if you will, of what should be on the Roanoke Bucket List.
The first list will be things that I have yet to do to complete my bucket list. I was able to come up 8 things so far...that's 357 short of the goal.
The second part will be up to you guys to include in the comments things that you recommend. If I have already done them they will go under the heading My Roanoke Filled Bucket List.
If I haven't done them, but I don't think they're bucket worthy, I will place them under heading number three - Others' Roanoke Bucket List. Just place them in the comment section and then I'll edit them into the actual list.
Have fun and don't be afraid of what you might add...it might be bucket-worthy to me! Roanoke includes the entire Roanoke Valley, but not beyond.
*Note - To me Roanoke Valley includes Roanoke City, Roanoke County, Salem and Vinton.
My Roanoke Bucket List
1. Attend and possibly even perform on stage in No Shame Theatre.
2. Wine tasting event at Valhalla Vineyards.
3. Dinner at Alexander's.
4. Any meal at Sal's in Bonsack.
5. Visit Vinton War Memorial.
6. Visit Carvin's Cove.
7. Check out Green Ridge Rec Center.
8. Check out the Comedy Club.
9. Go to gay club The Park
10. Drive out to the Homeplace
11. Hike Dragon's Tooth
12. Hike to McAfee's Knob
13. Check out the Chef's Circle (and the Farmer's Market) on Saturday's in Salem during warm weather months.
14. Get an orange-ade, lemonade, limeade, or snowcone from Brooks Byrd Pharmacy in Salem (where they still hand shave the ice blocks that they make themselves using a machine that was made in the 1800's)
15. Go to the top of The Financial Tower
16. 4th of July Music for Americans
17. Art in the Alley held in Salem
18. Down by the River Music Festival
My Roanoke Filled Bucket List
1. Take a trip up to Mill Mountain Star & possibly the Zoo and trails around there.
2. Drive up the Roanoke Mountain Loop & other fun Blue Ridge Parkway stops - actually just pack a picnic and drive along the parkway, stopping often at interesting overlooks.
3. Go to a baseball game at the Salem Stadium
4. Visit any & all of the local Farmer's Markets
5. Spend an afternoon downtown, taking the Trolley around & wandering about, visiting the museums, the Market Building, the little stores, and all the other unique little spots, and also walking the bridge from the Hotel Roanoke & back
6. Check out the Hotel Roanoke, lounge in the lobby
7. Eat at Fork in the Alley (ignore the Bubblecakes)
8. Visit Tinnell's
9. Go see a band at the Coffee Pot, or just go to the Coffee Pot
10. Visit The Catholic Church
11. Walk the Greenway
12. Go to a gun show.
13. Eat a huge strawberry shortcake at the Strawberry festival.
14. Symphony With the Pops
15. Take in the Salem Museum
16. Take in the Roanoke HIstory Museum
17. Do a ghost walk
18. Visit the Transportation Museum
19. Sidewalk Art Show downtown
20. Gem & Mineral Show
21. A Visit to Thunder Valley on Apperson Dr.
22. Go see an unconventional/cult movie at the Shadowbox
23. Hike Mill Mountain (there are tons of trails, the easiest top-to-bottom trail is the Star Trail
Others' Roanoke Bucket List
1. Eat at Texas Tavern
2. Play a round of Frisbee Golf at Fishburn Park
3. Take the Smartway bus to Blacksburg.
4. Eat at the Roanoke Weiner Stand
5. Flying lessons at airport
6. Mountain bike at Carvin's Cove.
7. Into the Night 10K at Explore Park.
8. Hop a train out of downtown Roanoke. (That one's illegal but awfully cool.)
9 Take a longboard up and skate the Blue Ridge Parkway when it's closed off in the winter.
10.Stay out til 2 am in downtown Roanoke and then catch the after-curfew crowd at the Texas Tavern (More color than just a normal daytime visit.)
11. Run the Conquer the Cove trail marathon.
12. Go see one of the heated rivalry games between the Star City Roller Girls and NRV Rollergirls. Or go see either of those teams play when an out of town team comes to town, like Charlotte, Raleigh, Richmond or Fayetteville.
13. Camp at the North Creek Campground (site #13 has its own private swim hole)
14. Ride or run the entire length of the Roanoke River Greenway