Nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Southwest Virginia lies Roanoke, a city known for its relaxed vibe and outdoor activities. Whether you are looking for some time in nature or just an interesting new town to visit, there are all kinds of cool things to do in Roanoke VA, particularly in its trendy, up-and-coming neighborhoods.

With mountains in every direction and a river running through, Roanoke is perfect for long hikes, water sports, and time outside. Once you are done with your outdoor adventures, head to these cool neighborhoods for modern shopping, stunning street art, delicious eats, and cold beers.

Downtown Roanoke

All Photos by Hannah Armstrong IG Account: @hannahelizarmstrong

Alright so this one might be the most obvious but downtown Roanoke has really stepped its game up in the last ten years. The area is somehow sprawling yet close knit all at the same time and all around it you will find interesting murals, craft breweries, and unique places to shop. You can pretty much walk the entirety or take a quick drive from one end to the next, if that’s more your speed. 

Check out some murals


Murals have been popping up all over Roanoke in recent years from a variety of local and regional artists. Check this site to create your own mural tour. 



Crafteria- Shop AND eat at this creative market featuring over 60 local craftspeople selling handmade goods from art, candles, chocolate, records, and just about anything in between all housed in a beautiful mid-century building. 


Wyndrose Boutique- A fair trade, eco-boutique, Wyndrose features clothing, home decor, and art sourced from artisans both near and far in a beautiful, calming space.


310 Rosemont- Vibrant and chic, this modern shop is perfect for anyone shopping the newest trends in fashion and accessories and home to popular brands like Citizens of Humanity and Blank NYC.

All Photos by Hannah Armstrong

Mast General Store- You can’t miss this one. Mast General Store is a superstore of sorts selling things from outdoor gear, cooking supplies, fashion accessories, you name it. The staff prides themselves on their local expertise so stop in for some tips on best hikes and things to do in Roanoke VA.


Bread Craft Bakery & Cafe- Local bakery focused on serving insanely fresh bread with different offerings daily. Stop in for a show-stopping pastry or two.


Tuco’s Taqueria Garaje- A casual, industrial space, Tuco’s is perfect for a night out with friends. The tasty Mexican-inspired taco joint and tequila bar is in a perfect location right next to some of Roanoke’s funkiest breweries- Golden Cactus Brewery and Big Lick Brewing Co.

Fortunato- The area’s only traditional Italian restaurant and Neapolitan style pizzeria, Fortunato is the ultimate stop for  delicious pizza and other Italian fare as well as top notch cocktails in a rustic chic setting.

1882 Lobby Bar and Pine Room Restaurant- A stylishly rustic bar and restaurant located in the Hotel Roanoke.


Sidecar Restaurant- A chic space offering old world cocktails and European fare.

Clutch Smoked Meats- A bright and stylish space specializing in gourmet sandwiches, mouthwatering meats, and all day breakfast.


Inka Grill Peruvian Cuisine- Try something new at this elegant Peruvian restaurant. The food and atmosphere is upscale yet inviting.

Cabo Fish Taco- A fun spot for some delicious fish tacos and creative margaritas.


Rookie’s- Dreamy homemade cookies, ice cream, and cookie sandwiches in a fun and trendy setting. They even have an affogato on the menu for all you coffee lovers!


A few of the above restaurants also double as great cocktail bars with creative drinks and a cool modern atmosphere! Try Sidecar, Fortunato or 1882 Lobby Bar, and Pine Room even if it’s just for a fancy libation or two.


Well Hung Urban Winery- Right in the heart of downtown, Well Hung winery is a wine-focused restaurant keeping it funky with wine tastings, wine flights, and wine slushies in a simple, charming space.

All Photos by Hannah Armstrong IG Account: @hannahelizarmstrong

Golden Cactus- Colorful is an understatement. Walking up to Golden Cactus, you will notice bright artwork and a funky outdoor space accompanied by an industrial interior and fresh new brews daily.

Twisted Track Brewpub- Twisted Track is serving up a wide variety of beer from European ales to American IPAs and beyond in an open, traditional setting.


Big Lick Brewing Company- You can’t miss Big Lick on a visit to Roanoke, a beautiful indoor and outdoor space with beer options for every type of beer lover. Plus, a close up of the iconic James Bullough mural right next door.



A much smaller area to cover than that of downtown Roanoke but with its own unique flair, Grandin is a great stop for visitors wanting to get off the beaten path. Grandin is charming and eclectic with an inviting vibe and a great blend of mixed-use space. Roanoke’s first suburb, Grandin was established in 1906 and has since become a popular neighborhood for for locals and tourists alike.

See a Movie at Grandin Theatre


Grandin Theatre is a historic, non-profit theater founded in 1932. These days the theater continues to show modern and classic films as well as hold events and community functions.

Eat & Drink


Little Green Hive- A great way to start the day, Little Green Hive offers coffee, raw juices, and fresh smoothies as well as breakfast and lunch options all while committing to sustainable practices and building a strong sense of community.


Scratch Biscuit Co. / PB’s Po Boys - Two restaurants, one building. Scratch Buscuit Co's menu focuses on sandwiches and platter centered around their homemade buttermilk biscuits. PB's Po Boys' offers up Cajun-inspired sandwiches from 11am-2pm.

Local Roots- A farm-to-table restaurant using hyper-local ingredients serving up a fresh, every-changing menu in and inviting, casual environment.


FarmBurguesa- A unique farm-to-table burger restaurant that combines traditional burgers with the owners Colombian heritage for one-of-a-kind sandwiches and sides.

Taaza Indian & Mediterranean Cuisine- A menu featuring gourmet Indian and Mediterranean food as well as an upscale buffet.


Rockfish Food & Wine- A charming spot with a seasonal menu and wine specials and tastings throughout the week.

The Jolly Grape- New to the neighborhood, The Jolly Grape is a wine store offering unique wines from all over the world with a bar for wine tasting.



Too Many Books- A charming local, used bookstore with over 50,000 titles including rare finds!

Urban Gypsy- A modern and eclectic shop, Urban Gypsy is an inviting atmosphere with handmade sculptural displays, enticing scents and friendly staff.

Hot tip: When you’ve finished exploring Grandin, cross over the Memorial Bridge towards the city and stop in at Black Dog Salvage- a warehouse full of amazing finds like one-of-a-kind antiques and restored furniture- certainly one of the most interesting things to do in Roanoke VA!

Check out Grandin's Murals


There are some really special murals around Grandin, like the one above of James Tarpley, better known by locals as "the Angel of Grandin Village," who performed all kinds of generous acts around town and brought joy and kindness to everyone. You can find him on the corner of Rockfish Food & Wine.


All Photos by Hannah Armstrong IG Account: @hannahelizarmstrong

The smallest of the three neighborhoods, things to do in Wasena are mostly contained to one block. Don't let that fool you, it's still full of cool places and unique things to do in Roanoke VA. The area is small and charming with a welcoming neighborhood vibe.

Grab a Cup of Joe


RND Coffee - Start your visit to Wasena with a fresh cup of local coffee or a creative coffee concoction at this Black-owned neighborhood coffee lounge. RND stands for Roasters Next Door and that's exactly the vibe you'll find here, warm and inviting.

Have Dinner & Drinks


Bloom Restaurant & Wine Bar- A modern, stylish restaurant with a hyper local, seasonal menu, unique wine offerings and a smart cocktail list.

Wasena City Taproom & Grill- A fun, casual spot for mouthwatering eats and 31 beers on tap! Conveniently located near the Roanoke River Greenway.

Dessert by the River


Hang 10 Hawaiian Ice & Cream- Located right along the Roanoke River Greenway, Hang 10 serves traditional Hawaiian shaved ice as well as soft serve- try 'em together for a real flavor kick!

Get outside!


Roanoke River Greenway- The Roanoke River Greenway is a 14.2 mile paved path that runs along the Roanoke River through the city. There is an easy access point in Wasena, perfect for taking a scenic stroll along Roanoke's vibrant river.

Roanoke Mountain Adventures- Head to Roanoke Mountain Adventures to rent bikes, kayaks, stand-up paddle boards and shop for any outdoor gear your heart desires.

Looking to explore other cool neighborhoods around Virginia? Check out our trendy neighborhood guides to Richmond and Hampton Roads!