Thursday, May 12, 2016

Thursday 13

I live in Virginia's Blue Ridge, one of the loveliest places on earth (I think). It resembles the mountains of Scotland and the lands of England, and indeed is part of a mountain range that runs beneath the ocean all the way into those aged hills.

Many folks who live in the area often say there is nothing to do here, because we live here. But there are a lot of things to do in this area. Here are 13:

1. Visit the Mill Mountain Star (actually called the Roanoke Star now, but I am old and still call things by their original names) and the park. There's a lovely area for there for walking, picnicking, and hanging out.

2. Check out Mill Mountain Zoo, while you're there. I am not a fan of zoos, but I know some people are, and the Mill Mountain Zoo has been around since 1952 (that's longer than I, for I am not that old!). I would like to visit it again, since I haven't in about 40 years, simply to take photos of the animals.

3. The Virginia Museum of Transportation has all things trains, among other modes of transportation. Come on a specific weekend and you could get a ride on the 611 steam engine!

4. Black Dog Architectural Salvage & Antiques. This place has become popular because there is a show about the fellows who go out and save the remnants of old structures, and then turn them into something else, or leave them as-is for some savvy home builder to use in construction or whatever.

5. The O. Winton Link Museum. This is a museum dedicated to preserving the photos of Winston Link, who documented the history of the Norfolk & Western Railway during his lifetime.

6. Taubman Museum of Art. This is an interesting structure (one which I am not fond of, as I do not believe it fits in with the architectural landscape of Roanoke City and would have looked better on a knoll off by itself somewhere), and it offers various displays of art. At the moment, Normal Rockwell's pictures are up for viewing.

7. Visit the City Market. The Roanoke City Market area has a variety of shops and eateries, along with one of the oldest farmers' markets in Virginia. While you are there, check out Center in the Square, the History Museum, and the Pinball exhibit.

8. Tour the Town of Fincastle. This is about a 30 minute drive from Roanoke, and a walk about town makes for an interesting tour of historic structures. The opportunity to learn about patriots who settled this country is a great lesson for all. Fincastle was the true starting point of the Lewis & Clark expedition.

9. Visit Ikenberry Orchards (Daleville) and the Jeter Farm (Bonsack). Both offer a bit of old fashioned goodness in the form of sweets, hay rides, and other "farm stuff" opportunities.

10. The Eleanor D. Wilson Museum of Fine Arts at Hollins University. The museum changes out its displays frequently, so there is always something new to see. While you are there, you may as well tour the college grounds, which date back to the mid-1800s and feature intriguing older structures.

11. Tour any other nearby small town, city, or community. Check out Buchanan, Floyd, Vinton, Salem, Bedford, Rocky Mount, Smith Mountain Lake, or Blacksburg. You could feasibly spend the better part of a day at each area, and that's not all of them.

12. Visit any of the wineries in the area. Here's the Botetourt Wine Trail, if you're interested.

13. Take a trip on the Blue Ridge Parkway. Go south, and you'll end up at the Peaks of Otter. Head north, and you'll hit Mabry Mill. You can't go wrong either way, as the views are magnificent.

There is lots to do around here. Do it!


Thursday Thirteen is played by lots of people; there is a list here if you want to read other Thursday Thirteens and/or play along. I've been playing for a while and this is my 447th time to do a list of 13 on a Thursday. 


  1. This is a really good mix of activities. Around here it's mostly kayaking, skiing, hiking, etc. Lots of woods. Not so much people.

  2. As Alice said, a nice mix of activities. My T13

  3. I've been to about half of them. My sister Kathy used to watch the show with Black Dog Salvage on it in Massachusetts. They have a presence at Floydfest or used to .

  4. It is extremely lovely wish i was walking the ridge now


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