Are you considering living in Roanoke, VA? Often referred to as the “Star City of the South,” nestled in the scenic Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia, Roanoke seamlessly combines its rich railroad history with modern amenities, offering residents a high-quality life with a touch of Southern charm. Rent-a-Space offers resources to help you settle into your new home and get to know the neighborhood, including affordable storage units in Roanoke and its surrounding areas. The city has lots to explore, whether you prefer the great outdoors or a downtown scene. Check out our Ultimate Mover’s Guide to Roanoke, VA, for our recommendations on the best places to eat and visit in the city!
Median Home Value: $140,600
Median Rent: $845
Historically, Roanoke’s economy has been built around the manufacturing and transportation sectors. Indeed, Roanoke, VA was formerly the headquarters of Norfolk and Western Railway until its merger with the Southern Railway created the Norfolk Southern Railway in 1982. Currently, Norfolk Southern continues to operate maintenance facilities and a rail yard in Roanoke, although its marketing department has since moved out and closed its downtown office building in 2015. Still, the manufacturing and transportation sectors continue to be dominant factors in the Roanoke economy, largely due to the city’s central location within the Western Virginia area.
Beyond the city’s manufacturing and transportation industries, Roanoke, is noted as a large health care and retail hub. Notable employers and companies headquartered within the area include Advance Auto Parts, the Valley View Mall, New Horizons Healthcare, and the city’s largest healthcare employer, the Carilion Clinic. Formerly known as Carilion Health System, this Virginia-based non-profit integrated health care organization provides care for nearly one million Virginians and West Virginians, and is responsible for the employment of 13,200 employees, with 737 physicians covering more than 70 specialties at 225 practice sites. Indeed, a recent economic study conducted by Carilion has noted the following impact on the Roanoke region:
Moving forward, Roanoke, VA’s economy is expected to trend toward growth, an outlook largely influenced by the city’s overall affordability, as well as its diverse talent pool as dictated by the area’s collection of universities and medical centers. These are just some of the few reasons our residents choose this city to settle down in.
Explore Roanoke’s different neighborhoods to get a look into life here!
Culturally, Roanoke, VA is an exciting city, and the city is notably host to a number of significant theaters, museums, performance centers, and more. Pictured above, perhaps Roanoke’s most signature cultural attraction is the Taubman Museum of Art. Formerly the Art Museum of Western Virginia, the Taubman Museum is an art museum in the heart of Downtown Roanoke that features a permanent collection of more than 2,000 works of art, including prominent 19th- and early 20th-century American art, as well as significant modern and contemporary art, photography, design, and decorative arts, and several smaller collections including Southern folk art. Notable artists featured within the museum include Norman Rockwell, George Inness, Winslow Homer, Jacob Lawrence, and Audrey Flack, among many others.
Additionally, beyond the city’s museum and theater scene, Roanoke is noted to host a number of festivals throughout the year, including the Festival in the Park, Local Colors Festival, Henry Street Festival, Big Lick Blues Festival, and Strawberry Festival. Of the aforementioned, Roanoke’s Festival in the Park is perhaps the city’s largest celebration. Celebrated annually in September since 1968, this festival is a multi-day event that features numerous musical and entertainment acts, kids activities, commercial exhibits, an exhibition from the antique car club of Roanoke, various food vendors highlighting local Roanoke restaurants, and much, much more.
There are plenty of ways to get involved in community happenings year-round. Keep an eye on the community calendar for unique events around Roanoke.
Overall, Roanoke’s culinary scene is remarkedly diverse, with the city hosting a number of celebrated restaurants across varying culinary styles. We’ve highlighting a few of our favorite Roanoke area restaurants below!
Alternatively, beyond the city’s culinary scene, Roanoke, Virginia is host to a number of celebrated and innovative breweries, brewpubs, and distilleries, such as:
Largely due to its location between the Alleghany and Blue Ridge Mountains, Roanoke is an excellent site for avid hikers, backpackers, and mountain bikers. Notably the city’s surrounding area is host to a number of acclaimed and celebrated hiking trails and destinations, including the Sharp Top Mountain hike, Apple Orchards Falls, the Mill Mountain Star Trail, and McAfee Knob. Of the aforementioned, McAfee Knob is the most notable of the hikes. As one of the most photographed spots on the Appalachian Trail, it is a bucket list item for hikers around the world. Over the course of its 4.4 mile climb, hikers will ascend to a peak of 3,197 feet that offers spectacular panoramic views of the immediate surrounding Blue Ridge Mountain area. This is one hike every outdoor enthusiast should consider if they are ever in the Roanoke area.
During the winter these same mountain ranges provide a recreational area for winter sports, including cross country skiing, downhill skiing and snowboarding, snow tubing, and snowmobiling. Notable area ski resorts include the Liberty Mountain Snowflex Centre in Lynchburg, Wintergreen Ski Resort, and the Omni Homestead Resort in Hotsprings. The Liberty Mountain Snowlflex Centre is of particular note, specializing in year-round mountain activities open to Liberty University students, faculty, staff, and the general public. Developed by Briton Engineering, Snowflex is a synthetic multilayered material that simulates the effects of snow, and the facility currently offers a variety of ski and snowboarding runs, tubing runs, and an Olympic trampoline where visitors can practice aerial tricks.
As seen, Roanoke, VA, is an exciting and diverse city to call home, with its growing economy, its wealth of spectacular restaurants and breweries, as well as its abundance of natural attractions and cultural attractions. So, now that you’ve read through our city guide, and you have a good understanding about life in Roanoke; what are your next steps? Look no further than Rent-a-Space in Roanoke, VA!
When you need to store your items for your move, come to Rent-a-Space. We have two self storage facilities in Roanoke, as well as one nearby in Salem to serve you. Our Roanoke locations are on Valley Avenue and Patrick Road, and they offer drive-up, temperature-controlled, and indoor storage options to help you tackle any organizational project. Storage experts are available on-site or over the phone to answer any questions about the storage process. Talk them through your needs, and they can help match you to the right features and size storage unit. One you find your storage, stop by our storage office to stock up on packing supplies, like boxes and bubble wrap. Rent or reserve your storage unit online today!
About the Author: Tim is an SEO Strategist at Storage Asset Management in York, PA. He is a self-storage industry specialist who has written about everything from storage advice and helpful resources to industry trends. In his free time, Tim enjoys sampling craft beer and exploring the local music scene.