ROANOKE BY RAIL
The Jet Set had me traveling to Roanoke, Virginia for the first time since I stopped there on a Piedmont Airlines flight from DC to Atlanta in 1979.
This time, we traveled on Amtrak from Washington's Union Station to Roanoke via the new rail extension to the Virginia Blue Ridge that has returned the regular passenger rail service that left the city in the 1970s.
Upon arrival, I checked-in to Hotel Roanoke, which was originally built to provide accommodations to passengers of Norfolk and Western Railway in 1882. Today, the luxury hotel provides European style service along with high-tech amenties and excellent gourmet dining.
DINING IN ROANOKE
I started out with the That Guy from Richmond and ended with A Boy Named Sue — these are cocktails by the way — then onto their excellent dishes which included Virginia oysters (fresh and roasted), Massachusetts Diver Scallops, and Buttermilk Fried Chicken. Not saving room for dessert didn’t stop me from finishing with their bodacious bread pudding.
As the name says, they are the people to see when you've got to get your "down home biscuit" fix. I ordered their special of the day, the Country Fried Chicken Biscuit with everything.
SHOPPING IN ROANOKE
I could spend hours at this place which is full of treasures pulled from all over the area. Vintage tiles, doors, mantles, signs and other architectural elements have been saved, restored, repurposed and are made available to new projects and loving homes. The owners of Black Dog Salvage also star in the long-running DIY TV series, Salvage Dawgs.
Plus, we got to enjoy a private screening of one of the most popular “Black Dog Salvage” episodes at the Grandin Theatre (@TheGrandinTheat), which specializes in independent, art-house, foreign and children’s films.
OTHER MUST SEES
Many things for everyone, including children, to enjoy in this stunning museum with over 2,050 pieces in its permanent collection along with temporary exhibitions featuring artists such as Paul Villinski to the "Iconic American Cars and Motorcycles" exhibit which will run from September 2018 through February 2019.
The Roanoke Star provides the most famous view in the region. At night, this historic landmark is visible from throught the city as well as from flights arriving into Roanoke-Blacksburg Regional Airport. The star weighs about 10,000 pounds, stands 88 feet tall and is said to be the world's largest manmade star.