Sometimes a quick weekend getaway is just what you need to rejuvenate. One of my favorite things about living in the Metro area is how many cool towns are just a few hours away. When we heard Chris Stapleton was going to be performing in Roanoke, VA; we knew we had to attend and make a weekend of it! Visit Virginia’s Blue Ridge was so kind in helping us plan our trip with awesome restaurant and attraction recommendations and even let me do my very first Instagram/Instastories take over. (Did you tune in?) We had such a blast and cannot wait until we visit VBR again! Here is a breakdown of our fun time in Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains!
Day 1: 11:00 AM- Reminiscing at Virginia Tech
I am a VT 2010 graduate and with each passing year I head back to campus less and less. (I know it’s bad!) I was over the moon excited to making the trip back home and stroll around campus. We wandered around the drillfield taking in all the views and sunshine. Man is VT beautiful during springtime! What I would give to be a student again….
Next we headed along Main Street into a few shops and ended our time with sandwiches at Sharkey’s for old times sake.
7:00PM Christ Stapleton Concert
After checking into our hotel (Cambria Suites– which I highly recommend; it was my second time staying with them), we took a quick nap, refreshed and had a few brews before taking the hotel shuttle to the Berglund Center to see the Chris Stapleton Concert. I have seen shows at Berglund before (Zac Brown Band a few years back) and loved the venue- very easy to get in and out.
The show was absolutely amazing. Chris Stapleton is one of my favorite artists and even more amazing live.
Day 2 8:30am Breakfast at Scratch Biscuit
After a restful night’s sleep. We headed to the newly(ish) opened Scratch Biscuit; where you can get a great Southern breakfast & homemade biscuits made from scratch (duh!). This place was adorably decorated and is served fast casual; meaning you order at the counter, sit down and your food is brought out to you. I went with the special of the day- the breakfast bowl. Which was filled with everything you could ever want – homemade biscuit, gravy, cheese and smoked sausage. The hubs ordered the ham and egg biscuit sandwich. Both items were delicious and hearty, making us ready to tackle a hike on Mill Mountain!
10:00AM Exploring Mill Mountain Park
I have heard about the famous Roanoke Star and saw views of it lit up the previous night. Located on Mill Mountain and filled with great trails; a visit was a must on our itinerary.
Coffee in hand we drove to the top by accident (whoops) and parked the car. We took in the beautiful views of the Blue Ridge Mountains and got an upclose and personal view of the Star!
Next we decided to work off our breakfast and go on a little hike. It was so peaceful on Mill Mountain and we saw a bunch of wildlife. (including a black snake!)
12:30PM Lunch at Jack Browns + Exploring Downtown Roanoke
We went back to the hotel to get ready for the day and then headed to the Market District downtown to explore some of the shops and have burgers and beers at Jack Brown’s. Jack Brown’s was our kind of place- with delicious burger combinations and 100 craft beers available (yes 100!).
For lunch I ordered the special- “The Ponch” (Wagyu patty, guac, bacon, white cheddar and sriracha mayo) with a side of sweet potato fries. AMAZING you guys! And at such a great price.
6:00PM Relaxing and Delicious Dinner at River & Rail
After shopping around downtown and relaxing at the hotel- we headed to an early dinner at River and Rail Restaurant.
I instantly fell in love with the interior. Can R&R decorate my basement? I loved all the wood details and the beautiful bar.
The service at R&R was impeccable. Our waitress had wonderful recommendations on what to order and even brought out some surprises for us.
River & Rail makes everything in house with local ingredients; which makes them that much cooler! They are also known for their craft cocktails; so of course I had to start with one. The El Capitan was smoky and citrus-ey all at the same time and made with Vida Mezcal, tonic syrup, ginger syrup, El Presidente, Pilsner and Lemon.
For appetizers we ordered the pimento cheese and fresh bread (YOU NEED TO ORDER THE PIMENTO CHEESE!) which was divine and came with pickled vegetables and an option to add on fresh sliced ham.
Our waitress surprised us with a chicken liver pate topped with duck fat. I was a bit scared to try but it was pretty tasty. The Hubs loved it and finished the entire jar.
For the next course we went with oysters – 2 ways: Half dozen oysters on the half shell (which were soooo fresh) that came with a Chow Chow mignonette; and the crispy VA oyster wraps (Green bib lettuce, Kim Chi Remoulade and chili vinegar). OMG guys the crispy oyster wraps were to die for!
Now it was time for another drink. I went a bit sweeter this time with the Boondock Saint (Green Spot Irish Whiskey, St. Remy VSOP Brandy, Hibiscus Syrup, Lemon, Angostura & Pear Bitters, Allsprice)
For our entrees- Wade went with the Heritage Farms Pork Chop (smoked, sea Island Field Peas, Swiss Chard, Fennel and Ham Jus) served in cast iron skillet. The smoked flavors of the porck chop were out of this world.
I ordered the Beef Hanger Steak (with Parsnip Puree, Smoked Mushrooms, Baby Carrotts, SC Blue Cheese) and I was in love. The beef was so tender and the mushrooms were mouthwatering.
By this time we were full but pressed forth with dessert! For an after dinner drink I ordered the Grapes of Wrath. (Chamomile Infused Monkey Shoulder Scotch, Cassis, Maderia, Grapefruit & Lavender Bitters) Although sweet- this was my favorite drink of the night! I loved it.
For dessert I had to go with the Dark Chocolate Cremeux (I am a sucker for chocolate) made with Chai Tea ice cream, coffee and whiskey caramel. To our surprise our waitress brought out the banana pudding as well (Wade had voiced he wanted that one- but I won with my chocolate choice). The Banana Pudding was made with cornbread crispies and coconut Jalapeno Sorbet. YOU GUYS! I know the flavors sound a little adventurous for desert but the flavors were unique, flavorful and paired perfectly together.
We finished off our feast with some French pressed coffee and rolled out the door.
Day 3: 10:00AM Goodbye Roanoke!
What an amazing time we had in Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains. I cannot wait until we return in October for a good friend’s wedding. Huge Thanks to Visit Virginia’s Blue Ridge; Scratch Biscuit, Jack Brown’s and River and Rail for hosting us!
*** This post was written in collaboration with the Visit Virginia’s Blue Ridge Tourism Office. As always all opinions are my own.