Roanoke:Inspiring Academic Exhibitions, Fun and Frolic Activities

Photo by Sean Pavone/

Roanoke:Inspiring Academic Exhibitions, Fun and Frolic Activities

Roanoke is the beautiful city located in Virginia's the Blue Ridge Mountains. The place with its scenic beauty is a must-visit destination for the tourists. The most popular attraction here is the Mill Mountain Star also commonly known as the Roanoke Star which is a huge neon star and landmark overlooking the city. However, there are so many other things that one can do as well. From downtown museums to miniature golf, there are plenty of attractions waiting for you. Popularly this city is known as ‘Star City of the South’ because of its cultural, business and recreational importance.

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Roanoke:Inspiring Academic Exhibitions, Fun and Frolic Activities

1. Mill Mountain Star & Park

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Mill Mountain Star is a huge attraction in Roanoke. It is, in fact, the world's most giant human made illuminated star. The star built in the year 1949 and is visible aerially for around 97 km. The name ‘Star city’ was given to Roanoke after this star. Lit by 2000 ft. of neon tubing, it is a popular visiting site for locals and the tourists. Mill mountain star is inside the Mill Mountain Park which is one of the most well-known parks in the region. The park spread over 568 acres, is an ideal location for conducting private events, weddings and parties.

2. Virginia Museum of Transportation

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Virginia Museum Of Transportation shall give you a new experience, and you will have all those information about the history of transportation. If you want to have a glimpse at the history of various transport segments, then you must visit this museum. The museum is the official transportation museum for the Commonwealth of Virginia. Built in the year 1963, you can see various exhibits here like steam engine locomotives, pictorial history of Norfolk and western railways, rural train depots and occasionally the Hollywood star cars exhibit which shows the history of vehicles used in movies. The museum also has an extensive aviation gallery which showcases the present and past of aircraft. The exhibition here includes among other things a hot air balloon, hang glider and a gyro-copter

3. St. Andrew’s Roman Catholic Church

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St. Andrew’s Church is an ancient Catholic church built by the architect William P. Ginther in the year 1902. It is a brick church built in the Victorian era’s Gothic style, and it actually replaced a small brick church which was built in 1883. In the year 1973, it was named in the National Register of Historic Places. The church is beautiful with two main towers bordering the main entrance. Two small lancet windows can find located in each of the tower. A freestanding alter was built during renovation so that the priest can face the people during mass celebration.

4. Carvins Cove Natural Reserve

Carvins Cove Natural Reserve is the second largest municipal park in the USA. Spanning over 12,700 acres, it is a popular tourist destination for recreational activities like biking, hiking, picnics, boating, and fishing. However, camping and swimming are not allowed in the natural reserve area. Tourists can have two types of entry passes, either single day entry pass or annual pass. Since a significant water source is located in the reserve area, the municipality is managing the water source. This beautiful park should be visited for its scenic beauty and the opportunity for being close to nature for few hours will be an enthralling experience.

5. Taubman Museum of Art

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Taubman Museum Of Art is popularly known for its exhibit of local and international art, numerous events, music, programs and classes. The museum was opened in the year 1951 and was designed by the renowned architect Randall Stout. You can find a collection of more than 2,000 pieces of American art collection from 19th and 20th centuries in the museum. The museum also exhibits contemporary and Southern folk art pieces of regional as well as famous internationally recognized artists. Looking to the exhibition facilities, the museum consists of 10 galleries, a glass atrium which is 77 foot high and a gift shop. The collection includes work by artists like Winslow Homer, Jasper Johns, and Hudson River.

6. Mill Mountain Zoo

Typically reflecting the characteristic of the name, the Mill Mountain Zoo is located on the top of the Mill Mountains. It is home to more than 90 species of animals of which 21 species are endangered ones including the snow leopard and the red panda. It is one of the few zoos to get accredited by the Association of Zoos and the Aquariums. In the last 15 years or so, the zoo has witnessed around 40 live births. The zoo can also be reserved for events like receptions, weddings, private parties and so on. The major attraction of the zoo includes the reptile house, red wolf exhibit, interactive aviary and Eurasian black vulture exhibit.

7. Roanoke Pinball Museum

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Roanoke Pinball Museum is an interactive museum devoted to pinball's and its history. The exhibits include pinball machines dating back to 1930's. The museum exhibits more than 50 pinball machines which have been using for not only playing purpose by the visitors but also understanding the science behind these machines and the history. One of the most ancient machines here would be the Screwball which was built in the year 1948, at a time when flippers were pointed outwards. The visitors can buy a daily pass, or they can apply for the yearlong membership. Educational resources are also providing to the students who make a trip to the museum. It is always an exciting place to visit, to know more about Pinball and its history and evolution.

8. Smith Mountain Lake

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The Fish Smith Mountain Lake is one of Virginia's top fishing locations. It has seen massive development over the years and is now known as a favorite recreational spot. Many golf courses, condominiums, and lakefront houses have developed near the area increasing the value of this area tremendously. Most people go to this lake for a relaxing day with family and fishing purpose. The fishes that can find in this lake are striped bass, large-mouth bass, and the small-mouth bass. The lake area is also popular for other recreational activities like hiking, boating and picnic purpose.

9. Center In The Square

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The Center In The Square is a cultural center which is home to various social organizations. Inside the building functions 7 nonprofit cultural and science association, the Kids Square, Roanoke Pinball Museum, Science Museum Of Western Virginia, Mill Mountain Theatre, History Museum Of Western Virginia, Harrison Museum of African American Culture and the Opera Roanoke. The building also has a 6,000-gallon aquarium which contains 150 corals and more than 250 marine fishes. Two more organizations, O. Winston Link Museum and the Roanoke Ballet Theater, have the support of Center in the Square but are not on the same premises.

10. Jeter Farm

Jeter farm is a 5th generation farm known for conducting the Fall Festival every year for the months September and October. The Fall Festival is famous for its corn maze, pumpkin slides, games, barnyard, hay rides and farm animals. Visitors can bring their own lunch or enjoy the deliciousness of food products which are locally grown. The Jeter Farm can also be reserved for school field trips and birthday parties, weddings, and family reunions. Other important fun activities are the Truck and Tractor pull event that used to conduct during summer time. The Jeter Farm is a great space to enjoy family time with several games and other activities for kids to keep them busy.

◎ Closing

Roanoke is not calling as the star city for its Mill Mountain Star which brightens the city every night. It is also calling as start city, due to the popularity it has gained over the years amongst the tourists. Every tourist has something there to enjoy irrespective of age and gender difference. You can visit the local museums to take a peek at the heritage and history or get to know the history of the locomotive engines and aircraft. In the event, if you just wish to have fun and entertainment, go for fishing with your family, visit the zoo or just relax under the big Mill Star and forget the worries of life.