Blake Walsh

15 Best Things to Do in Roanoke County, VA

  • Published 2023/03/21

Roanoke County is a great place to visit for a variety of reasons.

For outdoor enthusiasts, the county offers countless hiking, biking, and horseback riding opportunities.

Roanoke County is also home to several historical sites, including the Audie Murphy Monument.

For those who enjoy the arts, the county offers several museums and galleries and a thriving theater scene.

With so much to see and do, Roanoke County will surely please everyone in the family as it gives you different experiences from its attractions.

For an unforgettable experience, try the best things to do in Roanoke County, Virginia.

Catch the Sunrise at the Mcafee Knob Trail

The summit of Mcafee Knob Trail

Rui Serra Maia /

The Mcafee Knob Trail in Catawba is one of the most serene and magnificent hiking paths.

Perched atop the Appalachian Trail in Virginia, McAfee Knob offers a stunning 270-degree view of exquisitely beautiful landscapes.

Think Catawba Valley and North Mountain to the west, Tinker Cliffs to the north, and Roanoke Valley to the east!

No wonder this majestic spot is one of the most photographed scenes on Alpaccian Trail.

As you traverse through nature’s beauty along this three-mile path, be sure to take a moment of silence.

A hiker at Mcafee Knob Trail

Rui Serra Maia /

Whether you sit in contemplation or purely appreciate the stillness of the outdoors, pausing will heighten your experience.

Allow yourself to soak up the calming scents that fill your nose and recognize how this journey brings you closer to nature.

Immerse yourself in an appreciation of all the beauty around you.

Enjoy every bend as you hike up Stewart Knob Trail – take a breath and let it all in!

Scenic views from Mcafee Knob Trail

Rui Serra Maia /

Learn about the Past at the Vinton Historical Society Museum

Visiting the Vinton Historical Society Museum in Vinton is the perfect way to understand local history better.

Boasting over 4,000 pieces for display and preservation, the Museum offers a plethora of exciting exhibits.

Check out Military Hall artifacts, the Music/Church Room, School Room, and Art Gallery treasures, to the Kitchen, Children’s Room, and Bedroom.

The museum has curated each area to provide a truly extraordinary experience.

Do not forget that this museum also provides insight into the Business Room and Toolroom.

It is also a treasure trove of photographs documenting life in and around Vinton.

Its impressive collection gives visitors an intimate glimpse into this unique region’s history.

Here, you can gain a greater appreciation for Vinton’s rich past while learning something new at the same time!

If you’re in the area, stop by this incredible museum.

The Vinton Historical Society Museum should give you an enjoyable and enlightening experience.

Observe the Amazing Wildlife at Havens Wildlife Management Area

Havens Wildlife Management Area offers the perfect outdoor escape for individuals and groups in Roanoke and Salem.

Explore nature’s bounty with activities like hiking, viewing wildlife and wildflowers, or participating in other outdoor interests.

Likewise, spot local deer, bear, turkey, squirrel, and grouse populations.

The Havens Wildlife Management Area covers 7,190 acres of mountainous terrain on Fort Lewis Mountain, about five miles west of Roanoke-Salem in the Appalachian Highlands.

Although this area is steep and challenging to access without particular skill or equipment, it provides a haven for adventurous hunters and nature lovers.

There’s not much water in the region, only appearing during wet periods as intermittent streams and artificial water holes for wildlife.

Visiting this idyllic natural area will leave you refreshed and amazed by its beauty.

Experience the captivating sights and sounds found only in their natural habitat!

Journey to the Great Outdoors at Explore Park

If you’re looking for a great place to take your kids for an adventure getaway, look no further than Explore Park in Roanoke County.

Treetop Quest’s miles of trails, activities, and historic sites will awe every family member!

Try ziplining through canopies to camping under the stars with your choice of cabin, yurt, or primitive campsite.

Adventure awaits you and your kids at Treetop Quest.

Don’t miss this thrilling experience that is perfect for all ages!

Discover something new each time you visit Explore Park, with endless possibilities and astonishing surprises around every corner!

Add campsites, playgrounds, and picnic areas perfect for lunchtime, and you have a weekend full of excitement that you won’t forget!

Commune with Nature at the Stewart Knob Overlook

Exploring the Stewart Knob Overlook in Vinton is a great way to connect with nature.

As you ascend the winding 1.2 miles trail, take a moment to look around and find quiet peace.

The trail’s rustling trees fit its peaceful atmosphere perfectly.

You will feel small under towering sequoias as you traverse straight sections of steep inclines and crunch autumn leaves underfoot.

Then, pause and take in the panoramic views as they come into sight before continuing along your journey.

Whether it’s your last stop or somewhere on the way, Stewart Knob Overlook will leave you feeling refreshed and full of awe.

Expand Your Knowledge at South County Library

South County Library in Roanoke provides its visitors with pleasant afternoons filled with knowledge.

It offers an extensive selection of books—from classic literature to recent bestsellers—that you can read at leisure in the cozy library atmosphere.

Whether you’re planning on finishing a book club picks or simply looking to explore new genres, the shelves should hold something that catches your eye.

The passionate librarians will gladly help if you have trouble finding what you need or need assistance understanding a particular concept.

South County Library is the ultimate destination for readers of all interests and ages.

Don’t miss out on the opportunity to browse all types of books and satisfy your curiosity.

Stay Active at the Bull Run Knob Overlook

If you’re looking for breathtaking and natural scenery to admire while getting your daily physical activity, go to Bull Run Knob Overlook on Bent Mountain.

Encompassing an 11.7-km loop trail enclosure of rolling hills and woodland, Bull Run has trails that take runners up and down the mountain ridge.

Taking a morning run there lets you witness nature’s beauty as the morning birds sing.

Take inspiration from the unspoiled terrain of ravines, meadows, and streams.

There are several paths through the woods to explore as you make your way to the overlook.

Breathe in the fresh mountain air, feel your muscles move, and take in stunning views of the distant Blue Ridge Mountains.

The landscape is full of blossoming wildflowers and contains different trees that provide a pleasant shade.

Enjoy gorgeous vista points during your morning jog.

Despite its remote location, Bull Run Knob Overlook has all the amenities to make your morning run routine a gratifying experience.

Pay Respects at the Audie Murphy Monument

Flowers beside the Audie Murphy Monument

Jwalden, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The Audie Murphy Monument is in Catawba and is a tribute to one of the most decorated soldiers in American history.

The monument was built in 2007 and is made up of a bronze statue and a granite base.

The monument states Audie Leon Murphy’s honor during the war.

Murphy’s life story is inspirational, and the monument recounts the tale.

Relive the story at the Audie Murphy Monument.

Slide and Glide at Firehouse Skate ‘N Play

Firehouse Skate ‘N Play in Vinton is the perfect place to enjoy a day of sliding and gliding with your family and friends.

You can skate on the rink and play tag with your kids.

They also have 20 arcade games and a kid’s play area, so your kids won’t get bored there.

They have a 2,000 square feet indoor playground with plenty of activities for children, such as slides, an obstacle course, swings, and more.

And if you get hungry, you can swing by their snack bar!

So wear your skates and head to Firehouse Skate ‘N Play for a fun-filled day of skating and playing.

Stroll with Your Loved Ones around Happy Hollow Gardens Park

Spending time with loved ones is always a treat, but it’s even more special when sharing a beautiful setting like Happy Hollow Gardens Park in Roanoke.

The park is filled with lovely flowers and trees, and there are plenty of benches where you can sit and enjoy the scenery with your loved ones.

Explore the serene beauty of nature by taking a stroll down the two-mile dirt trail, surrounded by dense woods.

April is the best time to visit when you see the area’s most spectacular floral display!

This scenic spot is perfect for a stroll, and you’ll find plenty of photo opportunities along the way.

You might even spot some wildlife along the way!

Have a great time with your partner here, so invite them on a date at Happy Hollow Gardens Park.

Explore the Forest at Sawtooth Ridge Trail

Add Sawtooth Ridge Trail in Catawba to your must-visit destinations if you love nature.

The trail stretches two miles through the beauty of nature in Catawba.

You’ll see a variety of trees, including white oaks, red maples, and yellow poplars.

There are also many interesting rock formations you can take pictures of.

The best time to visit the trail is when the leaves change color in the fall.

However, the trail is also beautiful when the flowers bloom in the spring and summer.

The Sawtooth Ridge Trail is worth exploring whether you live here or are just visiting.

See the Masterpieces at the Eleanor D. Wilson Museum

The Eleanor D. Wilson Museum is a great place to see some of the world’s most famous and beautiful artwork.

The Eleanor D. Wilson Museum is a top-of-the-line arts destination in the Roanoke Valley, featuring famous and upcoming exhibitions.

Find paintings, sculptures, and other art pieces from previous eras and different cultures.

The museum also has a section dedicated to different types of art, such as photography, prints, and drawings.

In addition, the museum offers several educational programs for adults and children.

The programs teach about different aspects of art, such as its history and how to create it.

See the beautiful artworks in the Eleanor D. Wilson Museum!

Spend a Family Day Outdoors at Whispering Pines Park

Whispering Pines Park is the perfect place to enjoy a day out with the whole family.

The park also has picnic tables and shelters built where you can have a small gathering with your family eating summer barbeque.

It also has courts for basketball, baseball, softball, tennis court, and a soccer field.

There’s even a playground for the kids to keep them busy.

The park is ao a grfor sledding or buildinguild a snowman when the colder months come.

Whispering Pines Park is a perfect place to enjoy a day in the great outdoors.

Roll a Strike at Vinton Bowling Center

A family outing to the local bowling alley can be a great way to spend an afternoon or evening.

At Vinton Bowling Center, families can enjoy a friendly game of bowling while spending quality time together.

The Vinton center offers a 24-lane bowling alley that is all scoring automatically.

Ignite your kid’s competitiveness as you play.

The center will be filled with your kids’ laughter as they ride the bumper cars in this park.

You can challenge your family to a game of bowling next time you’re looking for an activity the whole family will enjoy.

The Vinton Bowling Center has plenty of games and activities, ensuring that everyone in the family will find something they love.

So head to the Vinton Bowling Center next time you want a fun-filled day.

Appreciate Nature at Dragon’s Tooth Trail

Rock formation of Dragon’s Tooth Trail

Rui Serra Maia /

There are few things in life more gratifying than a hike through nature.

The fresh air, the tranquility, and the exercise create an unforgettable experience like you can do while hiking at Dragon’s Tooth Trail.

At Dragon’s Tooth Trail in Catawba, hikers can enjoy nature while taking in the beauty of nature on this trail.

The bottom of Dragon’s Tooth

Rui Serra Maia /

The trail is home to abundant plant and animal life and breathtaking scenery.

From the towering cliffs of Dragon’s Tooth to the rushing waters of Tinker Creek, there is no shortage of natural wonders to behold.

Dragon’s Tooth Trail should show you the beauty of nature in Virginia.

Final Thoughts

Roanoke County offers plenty of activities for families to enjoy.

There are many opportunities to enjoy your vacation here.

Try the best things to do in Roanoke County, Virginia!

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