At the southern end of the Shenandoah Valley lies a small metropolitan enclave know as the “Noke” for Roanoke. It once was the headquarters of the Norfolk & Southern RR, before those offices were shifted to Norfolk. It is now a major financial services center with national banks regional offices located here. Roanoke also has several well regarded Credit Unions and local and regional banks.
Roanoke straddles the Roanoke River, and sidles up to Salem on the west and Vinton on the east. Old blood, old money, old traditions in those places.
Over the past twenty-five or so years, the Valley has grown into a cultural center of broad and varied arts and sciences to rival any larger metro area. Mill Mountain Theater is a first class professional production company on every level, and offers a variety of entertainment for every taste. MMT also spins off new and avant guarde productions, and schools for aspiring playwrights, actors and directors. As does the excellent school of performing and fine arts at Hollins University.
We are blessed with a nationally rated symphony orchestra, a similar rated opera company, and ballet companies, along with chorals groups, exceptional children theater company, and several independent acting groups of note. There are about seven amateur acting companies in the surrounding environs. All are worth the time and moeny to experience.
For sports fans, there are three major university teams within an hour’s drive, a local ice hockey team, college basket ball teams, baseball farm team in Salem, and sports leagues from bitties to adult. We have a miles long jogging and biking trail along the river, and access to hiking trails along the Appalachain Trail just a few minutes north of town. Hunting in the Jefferson National Forest is within reach and boating and fishing await the sports minded at Smith Mountain Lake, just 45 minute =s east.
For transportation, a regional airport serves the Valley with direct flight to NYC and Chicago, and shuttle flights to Charlotte and Atlanta hubs. We will soon have an Amtrak station for passenger service as well. Roanoke is served by the airport and I-81, with major routes south to NC on state route 220. I-77 is just 45 minutes west and leads north and south, and hour’s ride north on I-81 reaches I-64 which goes east through Richmond three hours away, crossing I-95 and on to the Tidewater area.
The fine arts community is well represented with world know artists in residence, and hosts a juried show each June on the Market. Thousands attend this three day event that draws artist from all over the East coast. The event is held o”On The Market” where local farmers offer their produce for sale, and our Science Museum is located. .
Public schools are rated A+ in the City and County, and we have several private academies as well, with one public school providing training in artisan skills, acting and music performance, and art.
For health care, we are served by a multitude of private medical clinics, and two major hospitals that offer medical services of all types, rated top in their class. There are medical schools as well for training, and top level trauma centers.
The Veterans Administration Health Center is located in Salem, and provides excellent care for our vets, so I’m told by my veteran family members. .
For those looking to find a great place to retire, with none of the hassles of home ownership, there are a number of excellent facilities that offer independent living, assisted living, and full nursing care, along with rehab services.
Have I covered all the bases? If you ask, I will respond.