Named the Best Place to Take Your Kids by the Roanoke Times' SWoCo blog, Mill Mountain Zoo houses 88 animals spanning 35 different species, including seven endangered species. With admission, you'll have the opportunity to peruse such exquisite specimens such as the Burmese Mountain tortoise, the hooded crane, and the collared finchbill, as well as endangered species such as the red panda, the snow leopard, black hornbills, and the perm-topped Kenny G. Set high on Mill Mountain, the zoo blends seamlessly with the surrounding woodlands and features sweeping views of the valley below to create a serene setting for viewing wildlife. For $2, visitors can board the Zoo Choo, a miniature G-16 train that loops the park on more than 1,000 feet of track, providing varied views of the mountain and the resident animals as they eat, sleep, and read the USA Today. To further its commitment to the environment, the zoo sponsors a recycling program that responsibly disposes of reusable waste to the tune of more than 5,000 pounds.
The owners of Lava Tanning & Massage stock their storefront with premium UV beds, as well as offer UV-free spray tanning procedures, earning their Salem location a spot on Looking Fit magazine's list of the Top 250 tanning salons in 2009. During visits, staffers help guests fight cellulite with a botanically based body wrap, combat stress with a massage, or work to diminish wrinkles and ill-mannered comparisons to shar-peis with a red-light therapy session.
Since 1986, Famous Anthony has built its reputation on classic American eats and warm, friendly service?a winning combination that inspired its expansion to nine popular locations across Virginia. Fast and fresh is the philosophy here, with each and every menu item made-to-order, from hearty breakfasts of country ham and eggs and biscuits and gravy, to gourmet wraps, fresh salads, burgers, and North Carolina-style barbecue. Also contributing to the homey atmosphere is the open kitchen window at each Famous Anthony's location, which lets visitors get a good look at all the hard work, hustle, and magic wooden spoons that go in to every meal.
Puckett Pix's Photography's staff is comprised of Roanoke Valley natives, whose familiarity with the landscape can aid clients in picking the perfect spots for on-location photo shoots. The team tackles everything from wedding or engagement shoots to portraiture of families, couples, and newborns.
Roanoke straddles the bustling, modern urban center of downtown and the wonder of the country stretching along the picturesque Blue Ridge Parkway. Cambria Suites Roanoke grants sojourners easy access to both with bike rentals, available through the hotel for an additional fee, and a complimentary shuttle running anywhere within a 10-mile radius. Riders can traverse the entire area by bike, enjoying the varicolored foliage in the fall along one of greenways, open green spaces winding along rivers, across ridgelines, and threading throughout the city. Downtown, the cultural hub known as Center in the Square, an eco-friendly and sustainable development, boasts four museums and three theater and dance venues. Although Cambria Suites Roanoke sometimes offers discounted packages online, this Groupon still offers the best deal available.
Driven by chefs, loaded with crepes and empanadas, and running on unleaded salsa, the sky-blue Noke Truck is hard to miss. It prowls the streets of Roanoke throughout the day, searching for customers who are hungry and a little bit adventurous. You'll need to be both to fully appreciate the cuisine of Claudia and Juan Urrea, who revel in the eclectic culinary traditions of their native Colombia.
Colombian food is unique among its South American counterparts for its creative blending of Latin and European influences. Noke Truck finally brings this flavorful fusion to North Carolina, where the Urreas craft tacos, crepes, and empanadas for breakfast, lunch, and dessert. If your boss won't let you use your drone during office hours, you can track the food truck's location online via Facebook and Twitter.