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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

11 comments:

  1. Go to "The Park", the gay dance club on Salem Avenue if it is still around.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Oh my god, I can't believe you left off - EAT AT TEXAS TAVERN!!!! Get a Cheesy!! - No trip to Roanoke is complete without this.
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/funkymamataney/sets/72157625731125708/

    ReplyDelete
  3. *Take a trip up to Mill Mountain Star & possibly the Zoo and trails around there
    *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
    *Drive out to the Homeplace
    *Hike Dragon's Tooth
    *Hike to McAfee's Knob!!

    ~I'll post more as I think of them.

    ReplyDelete
  4. *Check out the Chef's Circle (and the Farmer's Market) on Saturday's in Salem during warm weather months
    *Go to a baseball game at the Salem Stadium
    *Visit any & all of the local Farmer's Markets
    *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
    *Check out the Hotel Roanoke, lounge in the lobby
    *Eat at Fork in the Alley (ignore the Bubblecakes)
    *Visit Tinnell's
    *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)
    *Go see a band at the Coffee Pot, or just go to the Coffee Pot

    ReplyDelete
  5. Play a round of Frisbee Golf at Fishburn Park
    Visit The Catholic Church
    Go to the top of The Financial Tower
    Walk the Greenway

    ReplyDelete
  6. Go to a gun show.
    Eat a huge strawberry shortcake at the Strawberry festival.
    Take the Smartway bus to Blacksburg.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Do the Wine Trail tour in Botetourt County (Fincastle Winery, Blue Ridge Winery, and Virginia Mountain Vineyards)
    Visit Historic Fincastle
    Visit Historic Lexington (not sure where the Roanoke Valley ends up that way but it's worth the trip)
    Take in the Salem Museum
    Take in the Roanoke HIstory Museum
    Do a ghost walk
    Eat at the Roanoke Weiner Stand
    Visit the Transportation Museum
    Visit the D-Day memorial in Bedford
    Shop in downtown Buchanan

    ReplyDelete
  8. Anita, those are all good but it has to be just Roanoke!

    ReplyDelete
  9. *Art in the Alley held in Salem
    *A Visit to Thunder Valley on Apperson Dr.

    ReplyDelete
  10. - Run the Blue Ridge Marathon.
    - Black Dog music festival at Chateau Morrisette.
    - Down by the River Music Festival.
    - Go see an unconventional/cult movie at the Shadowbox.
    - Go to the Floyd Country store on a Friday night.
    - Day-hike the Appalachian Trail from 311 (McAfee Knob trailhead) to 220 (by the park&ride).
    - Wine tasting at Villa Appalacia.
    - Hot Springs Music Festival.
    - Camp overnight at FloydFest.
    - Mountain bike at Carvin's Cove.
    - Into the Night 10K at Explore Park.
    - Hop a train out of downtown Roanoke. (That one's illegal but awfully cool.)
    - Take a longboard up and skate the Blue Ridge Parkway when it's closed off in the winter.
    - 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.)
    - Run the Conquer the Cove trail marathon.
    - Climb Devil's Marbleyard.
    - Ski at the Homestead.
    - Smith Mountain Lake Triathalon, or better yet the Alleghany Highlands Triathalon.
    - Camp at Douthat State Park, or if you're squeamish get a cabin.
    - Tube down the Cowpasture River.
    - Enter a canoe in the Pigg River Ramble, or better yet the Blackwater Blackout.
    - Water ski at Smith Mountain Lake.
    - Go rock climbing in Iron Gate Gorge.
    - Visit Blue Collar Joe's and get their "breakfast pancakes" donut with maple glaze and bacon bits.
    - 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.
    - Camp at the North Creek Campground (site #13 has its own private swim hole)
    - Fish at Hidden Valley on the Jackson River.
    - Trespass & climb down to the bottom of Falling Springs.
    - Jump off Peters Bridge into the Cowpasture River.
    - Ride or run the entire length of the Roanoke River Greenway.
    - Visit a race at Franklin County Speedway in Callaway.
    - Obtain some Franklin County moonshine.
    - Hike Mill Mountain (there are tons of trails, the easiest top-to-bottom trail is the Star Trail)

    ReplyDelete
  11. Anon, those are a lot of great ones, many of which I have already experienced, but I am trying to keep the list to just Roanoke City, Roanoke County, Salem and Vinton. Guess I should have been more explicit in what I consider the Roanoke Valley ;)

    ReplyDelete