Coming home after traveling for four months is hard but it is much easier when you come home to such great friends and family. The first five days back have been great. We have gotten to meet our new niece and spend some great quality time with our families. That being said it can still be difficult adjusting after having a completely different routine for four months, so we didn’t wait long to take a quick trip.
After a few days at home we went to Salem Virginia. Our gracious hosts at Château Sigurdson had beautiful views even when we just stayed at the home base.
Salem lies just outside of Roanoke, in the Roanoke valley. For anyone that has never been, Southwest Virginia is beautiful. Tucked away between the Appalachian mountain range and the Blue Ridge, the sites are impressive. In the fall the trees are a brilliant mix of burnt sienna, gold, fiery red, and hues of purple. In the summer the mountains are green and wild. Bears and deer roam the mountainsides and coyotes can be heard howling at night.
If you find yourself on a road trip passing through the Roanoke valley there are some places you should stop along the way. Make a pit stop for lunch at Home Place, a house nestled in the mountains that serves some of the best food around. Home Place serves it’s meals family style which means you order your favorite three meats and 7 sides that can all be refilled once your table polishes off the grub. Finish your gluttonous feast of shame with some of their amazing cobbler and wash it down with some sweet tea. If you are just passing through you may want to take a nap on the front porch swing before getting behind the wheel, it could be as dangerous as driving drunk after devouring an armies worth of food.
Head into Roanoke in the evening and get a great view of the city from the top of the mountain at the Roanoke Star.
Roanoke is filled with great restaurants, little shops and on the weekends they have a huge farmers market. Metro has great food and one of their old chefs, Carrie Stuckwisch, is now cooking in New Orleans and has a great food blog, check it out here! Go to Jack Brown’s for some burgers that sound disgusting but taste like a slice of heaven. My favorite has peanut butter and mayo, aptly named The Elvis. The combination of peanut butter and mayo sounds repulsive, but trust me it is one of the best burgers around.
The Roanoke Valley is a great place for outdoor enthusiasts who enjoy hiking, kayaking, or just taking in the views.
Floyd County, just down the road, hosts Floyd Fest every July, and in my opinion it is one of the best music festivals in Virginia. Floyd also has some pretty good moonshine that we may or may not have bought illegally in college.
Virginia is full of beautiful places and wild spaces, this is just the first of many that we will be highlighting. Stay tuned for more and leave your favorite places in Virginia in the comments below!