Monday, September 17, 2012

A Blue Ridge Itinerary

Virginia's Blue Ridge - Roanoke Valley would like to share this Blue Ridge Itinerary with you:
Photo by your innkeeper Shellie at The Claiborne House B&B of Mabry Mill
Mabry Mill on The Blue Ridge Parkway in Virginia MP176
The Blue Ridge Mountains Tour (3 days / 2 nights)

Day One: Arrive at the Roanoke Valley Visitor Information Center and receive a personal welcome and sightseeing tour led by a local step-on guide. Your first stop will be the Roanoke Star and Overlook where you'll see the Valley's famed neon star and take in a stunning view of the region. Next is shopping and browsing at the Historic Farmers' Market where there are lots of unique shops, galleries and restaurants. A tour of the #1 Fire Station follows. The station was built in 1907 and is modeled after Independence Hall in Philadelphia. Then tour the Virginia Museum of Transportation which houses nearly 60 pieces of rolling stock including the Class J-611 and 1218 steam engines. Top off your first day with dinner and a private tour of the O. Winston Link Museum or a live evening performance.

Day Two: A short 40-minute ride takes you to the National D-Day Memorial, a moving tribute to allied forces who landed in France in 1944. Then enjoy a relaxing cruise aboard the Virginia Dare on scenic Smith Mountain Lake. Then learn about the life of the famous African-American educator at the Booker T. Washington Monument.

Day Three: Relax and enjoy the scenery on the beautiful Blue Ridge Parkway and enjoy stops at Mabry Mill, one of the most photographed places on the Parkway followed by lunch and wine tasting at Chateau Morrisette Winery.

Student Adventure Tour (2 days / 1 night)
Day One: Arrive early to take in the region's history at the History Museum of Western Virginia. Include the new Taubman Museum of Art for a tour of the galleries and Art Venture, a creative, interactive art center for students. Head east to the recently re-opened Market Building filled with eateries and shops. Next visit the nationally accredited Mill Mountain Zoo exhibiting more than 50 species of animals. Choose from a variety of educational programs. Check-in at your hotel and dress comfortably to watch a Salem Red Sox Baseball game from box seats while eating game day hot dogs. Overnight at a group friendly hotel.

Day Two: Choose from a visit to Dixie Caverns, or the National D-Day Memorial and Thomas Jefferson's Poplar Forest.

African-American Heritage Tour (2 days / 1 night)
Day One: Begin your tour at the Visitor Center for a welcome and restroom break. Your first stop will be the Virginia Museum of Transportation where your group will learn about the role that African-Americans played with the growth of the railroad. Grab a box lunch at the Roanoker Restaurant on your way to tour the Booker T. Washington National Monument for a glimpse of the birthplace of the well-known black educator. Finish the day with a dinner cruise aboard the Virginia Dare on scenic Smith Mountain Lake. Afterward, check into your Roanoke Valley group friendly hotel.

Day Two: Start your day with a step-on guided tour of the Valley and end up with a special tour of The Harrison Museum of African American Culture and a stop at the new Martin Luther King Jr. Statue dedicated in 2008. Finally, enjoy lunch downtown in the Historic Farmers' Market area.

Roanoke Valley Day Trip
Arrive mid-morning at the Visitor Center for a welcome and restroom break. Walk to the Historic Farmers' Market and tour the area for an overview and history of the Roanoke Valley given by a local step-on guide. Take a brief walk to Fire Station No. 1, built in 1907 and inspired by Independence Hall. Enjoy free time for shopping and lunch on your own in Downtown Roanoke. Then take a short drive to historic St. Andrew's Catholic Church, an eye-catching cathedral built at the beginning of the 20th century. Your final stop is the Roanoke Star, located at the top of Mill Mountain. The Star offers the best view of the Shenandoah Valley and is the perfect spot for that final group photo. View the Roanoke Valley Star Cam.

Regional Culinary Tour
Build your itinerary by making the most of your visit at all the best southern cuisine stops. Those stops include:

  • The Regency Room at The Hotel Roanoke — signature dishes — peanut soup and spoon bread
  • The Roanoker Restaurant — noted for their homemade biscuits with sausage gravy and fried chicken
  • Texas Tavern — Since 1930 — Serving the best chili (ask for a bowl with — which includes onions)
  • Eateries of choice on your own in downtown Roanoke with over 20 choices including international dishes
  • Dinner at the Link Museum — catered by Blue Ridge Catering
  • Last, but not least, be sure to stop at chocolatepaper for a sweet treat
  • Side trip suggestion — Chateau Morrisette Winery — tasting and lunch along the Blue Ridge Parkway

For the rest of the links in this article and more about this fantastic region click here.
For special packages and discounts at beautiful B&B's, ahem, one I know of, well, kinda am in right here.
All of these are sites of interest in our area, and make perfect day trips from The Claiborne House Bed and Breakfast.