Things to Do In & Around Roanoke VA

When you stay at our bed and breakfast for your vacation in Southwest Virginia, you’ll have the opportunity to enjoy a wide variety of attractions nearby.  These are just a few of the many interesting things the New River Valley and surrounding areas have waiting for you. We would be glad to help you with specific needs.

Top Activities in 2014 for Culture Vultures Staying at Rockwood Manor

Romance, Southern hospitality and architectural splendor are just a few things associated with Rockwood Manor. Ensconced in the lofty region of Southwest Virginia and boasting ample suites, dreamlike porches and patios, and the warmth of romantic fireplaces, it is a popular choice when it comes to weddings and receptions calling for the ultimate in elegance, enchantment and charm. Your love affair with Rockwood Manor can last way beyond the initial festivities, though; indeed, many couples and guests choose to prolong their stay, drinking in the beauty of Nature at nearby parks and trails like the New River Trail State Park and the Appalachian Trail, or visiting historical treasure troves like the Wilderness Road Regional Museum, which details the highlights of life in the 19th century on Wilderness Road. In this post we offer you four good reasons to book a stay at Rockwood Manor in 2014, if enriching your bank of cultural memories is at the top of your list of New Years resolutions!

  • The Historical Smithfield Plantation: Before the commencement of the American Revolution, the Virginia back country was home to the wild howling of wolves, the silent stalking of panthers and often violent collisions between the Shawnee and Cherokee, who competed for a select list of fertile lands. This untamed area, nestled in the Eastern Continental Divide, was chosen by patriot, William Preston, for the construction of the Smithfield Plantation, whose elegance contrasted patently with the simplicity and humbleness of the surrounding log cabins and poverty stricken abodes. Owned today by Preservation Virginia, an organization which has restored over 50 properties with considerable historical value, the Plantation enables visitors to learn more about the vicissitudes and marvels of 19th century life through magnificent period furniture, Native American artifacts and guides dressed in period costume. The Plantation also hosts a series of events (musical evenings, commemorative events, children’s day camps, etc. – for a list of their latest events, visit their Facebook page: The Plantation also has a well stocked store, so if you are visiting from overseas, make sure to bring enough of the local currency to enable unique purchases history buffs back home will love, including handcrafted bonnets, images and historical material that will shed light on the significance of the Plantation and of William Preston himself (who narrowly escaped violent death at the hand of the Shawnee during the violent Draper’s Meadow Massacre in 1775).
  • The Wohlfahrt House Dinner Theatre: If tucking into a hearty dinner while you catch a riveting theatrical performance appeals to your inner thespian, Wohlfahrt House is the place to be. This year’s theatre season includes Smoke on the Mountain Homecoming, a musical comedy set in 1945, which centers on the performing Sanders family, comprising Dennis, who has just left the seminary; Denise, a young mother of twin toddlers; June, who is heavily pregnant; their parents and their magnetic uncle. The show takes place fromJanuary 9 to March 2. Later in the year, audiences can look forward to Golden Oldies (the show, which take place from March 6 to April 27, takes audiences through the rich history of American music, delighting them with tunes from the Roaring 20s right through to the synthesized beats o the 1980s). From May 1 to June 29, wear your best beehive and A-line skirt for Hairspray, the musical focusing on teen, Tracy Turnblad, and her dreams to win a dancing competition of TV. From July 3 to August 31, tune in to your spiritual side with Then Sings My Soul, an inspiration Gospel Music Show. From September 4 to October 26, relive the glamour of Little Shop of Horrors with Audrey II, a singing, carnivorous plant whose hunger cannot be satiated. Finally, feel the full magic of Christmas at Wohlfahrt Haus’ Holiday Spectacular, featuring the Christmas songs you know and love as well as a spectacular dinner featuring traditional seasonal favorites.
  • Mill Mountain Theatre: The scarlet hued curtains of Mill Mountain Theatre will be sharing the magic of the stage to eager audiences this season, with events like the Hollins and Mill Mountain Theatre Winter Festival of New Works, featuring two new plays by Hollins playwrights. The new works include Decision Height, an emotion-charged drama about six women who become Air Force Service Pilots during World War II (the play will take place from January 24 to 26) and Ben & Rita (February 18 to 23), the story of an eccentric writer and a needy woman whose worlds converge when Rita’s daughter, Eve, comes to live with her. Other highlights of the season include The Wizard of Oz (August 1 to 3), To Kill a Mockingbird (October 1 to 12) and Children of Eden (December 3 to 21).
  • The Crooked Road: This enchanting musical trail winds through 300 miles, inviting you to stop along the trail to live the beauty of country music, with its romantic ballads, toe-tapping dance ditties and catchy banjo beats. There are eight major venues to visit along the Crooked Road, including the Blue Ridge Institute & Farm Museum, Floyd Country Store, Rex Theatre & Blue Ridge Backroads Live and the Blue Ridge Music Center & Museum. The Crooked Road also invites you to enjoy many of your favorite artists at special festivals which take place during the spring, summer and fall. For further information,
  • Day Trips from Dublin: The Blue Ridge Parkway

    If you are interested in a day away from Rockwood Manor and driving around the beautiful countryside of the Appalachian area of the US, then traveling the Blue Ridge Parkway is one of the greatest drives in America, with wonderful scenic views and chances for hiking, picnicking and visiting some of the natural treasures of the eastern United States.


    Work on the parkway started in 1935 during the Roosevelt presidency. As part of the New Deal, it provided work for the men in the North Carolinian and Virginian hinterlands during the depression years. However, work wasn’t completed for 52 years until the Linn Cove Viaduct near Grandfather Mountain was opened in 1987. This piece of road finally connected two of the great national parks of America: the Shenandoah National Park in Virginia with the Great Smoky Mountain National Park almost 500 miles away in North Carolina. Along the route you can see some of the most spectacular natural views in the US. National parkland lines the road on each side so the views of the peaks and valleys of the Appalachian Mountains are unspoiled.

    Getting There

    The Blue Ridge Parkway is a 469-mile road that stretches through Virginia and North Carolina. Mile 0 is at the Rockfish Gap near Waynesboro in Virginia, which is about 2 hours north-eastof Dublin. But if you are setting out for a drive from Rockwood Manor then the easiest place to join the road is at Fancy Gap, about a 45 minute drive south of Dublin. Take I-81 South, then join I-77 South and take exit 8 heading towards Fancy Gap. From there, depending on how much time you have, you can either take the shorter drive north in Virginia, or head south and over the border into North Carolina.

    If you are in rush to get anywhere, the Blue Ridge Parkway is definitely not the route you should take. The road is just a single lane in each direction and though there are passing places at the viewing points along the road, the speed limit on the road is low so you shouldn’t be charging along. The limit is 45 mile per hour along most of the road, with that falling to just 25 miles per hour in some of the more congested sections.  The point of the Blue Ridge Parkway is to enjoy the journey and the spectacular views, not to get to a destination.

    Image 2: Blue Ridge Mountains


    The Blue Ridge Parkway is a wonderful drive all year round. If you go in the spring or summer, you’ll see the abundant greens over the hills, whereas if you visit in the fall you can see the trees and plants slowly changing to their autumnal reds and oranges. Winter can be an opportunity to see some snow settle on the higher peaks, but the pass can get treacherous during the colder months and don’t be surprised to see some of the parkway closed due to snow and ice. The Park Service do signpost any detours thoroughly though, helping you back onto the main roads until it is safe to join the Parkway again. If you do find yourself on the parkway any time after October beware of icy conditions and prepare your car thoroughly before you set out, making sure the tires are in good condition, you have enough gas to complete your journey, you have supplies available in case you get stuck and you have coverage in the case of an accident. Make sure you check out the tips and travel tools from the park service to ensure you have a safe journey.

    The flora and ecology changes as you reach higher elevations. At the lower levels you will see oak, hickory and tulip trees, while the upper reaches of the road are lined with fir and spruces more suited to the difficult climate. Trees near the peaks will often be distorted from years of wind and ice. Smaller flowers such as Rhododendrons and Dogwoods are visible during the spring and summer through all levels of the road, and can be seen retreating as the cold weather moves in.

    Image 3: Black Balsam Knob in the Fall

    Places to Visit

    If you do want to stop anywhere along the way then there are hiking trails and picnic spots signposted throughout the roadway, but a map to guide you to the most memorable spots is a necessity. Some of the best sites along the road are Mount Mitchell (Mile 355), the tallest peak in the Eastern United States, the waterfalls such as Glassmine (361), Crabtree (339) and Looking Glass (417) which dot the lower levels of the road, and some of the idyllic rural manmade structures such as Mabry Mill (176) and Brinegar Cabin (238). The Parkway does not have a direct interchange with any interstates but all the major cities and areas along the route are also signposted. In Virginia, Waynesboro, Galax and Roanoke are the major towns that sit nearby the road. In North Carolina, the road passes by Asheville and the famous Biltmore Estate and vineyards if you wanted to pick up a bottled memento of your trip.

Chateau Morrisette
The River Course
Davis Valley
Draper Valley Golf
West Wind Farm
Castle Rock Golf
Villa Appalaccia
Hanging Rock Golf
The Bank
The Summit
Oddfellas Cantina
The Crooked Road
Chateau Morrisette
Historic Smithfield
Canoe the New
Tangent Outfitters
New Rivers Edge
Appalachian Trail
Gatewood Park
Wildwood Park
Virginia Blue Ridge
Ken Farmer Auctions
Valley Auctions