Roanoke is a city with a rich railroad history and four distinct seasons during which to enjoy the outdoors. Any Roanoke guide can recommend popular attractions and provide Roanoke deals, but the soul of the city is only known by those willing to venture off the beaten path.

One of the things to do in Roanoke is to visit the O. Winston Link Museum. Located in the city’s former passenger rail station, the museum allows visitors to browse railroad photography by its namesake and view engines from the Steam Era. Afterwards, head over to Mill Mountain, where the kids will go wild for the 46 species of animals at the zoo as well as the 88-foot illuminated man-made Mill Mountain Star. For sports fans, every year the city hosts the Commonwealth Games of Virginia, in which contestants from around the state compete in over 55 sporting events.

Those who are looking for Roanoke things to do that involve the great outdoors can spend the day hiking, playing a round of golf, or picnicking at Read Mountain Preserve. Or they can visit the Jeter Farm, a fifth-generation vegetable and cattle family operation, to pick produce and watch a working farm in action.

Chefs in Roanoke are dishing out all types of cuisine from classic American fare to specialty deli sandwiches, soul food, barbeque, and multi-continental fusion cuisine. 202 Market in Market Square boasts a seasonally rotating menu utilizing local produce and meat, and Flannery’s Irish Pub showcases local craft beers in addition to favorite brews on-tap from around the globe.

This guide to Roanoke only touches on a few of the treasures the city has to offer. From dining in world-class restaurants to appreciating railroad history and art, there are activities that appeal to locals as well as those just passing through.

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