A weekend jaunt to Roanoke fit for man and beast.
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Parks and trails in the area are perfect for you and your pets.
Photo by Sam Dean Photography, courtesy of Virginia's Blue Ridge
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The Historic City Market is dog-friendly, and some vendors even offer items specifically for your pets.
Photo by Cameron Davidson, courtesy of Virginia's Blue Ridge
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Sally the Salvage dog is part of the family at Black Dog Salvage.
Photo courtesy of Black Dog Salvage, courtesy of Virginia's Blue Ridge
If you have a dog, you’ve seen the look. That sad-sack face he makes whenever you’re packing for a weekend away and he just knows he isn’t going to get to come along. Well here’s some good news for your four-legged pal—we’ve discovered that the Star City is a town that knows how to show a dog a good time, with lots of green space to explore and shops and restaurants that will make him feel welcome. Here are a few tips to get your weekend together started.
Bask in Breakfast
Scratch Biscuit Company 1820 Memorial Ave. It may have just opened in August of this year, but Scratch Biscuit Company in Grandin Village has already become a cult favorite. Open six days a week (every day except Sunday), the restaurant takes breakfast to a new level. For $2 you can grab a fresh-from-the-oven biscuit with egg and cheese or fried apple, or the slathered-in-mustard Slingblade biscuit. The $3 section features biscuits like the Jerry Garcia, with smoked or regular tofu, and the Hans and Franz, with your choice of pulled pork, pulled chicken or ribeye steak. If you’re feeling really extravagant, go for one of the $4 biscuits, like the fried Cajun catfish with chipotle sauce or the Jezebel, country ham topped with pimento cheese and house-made sauce. No four-legged guests allowed, but feel free to run inside and grab a biscuit while your pup waits outside. And if you come back later in the day for lunch or dinner, Scratch Biscuit Company’s next door sister restaurant the Village Grill has an outdoor patio and bocce ball court where tail-waggers are welcome. ScratchBiscuit.com
Roanoke Valley Greenways Citywide The Roanoke Valley Greenways span more than 26 miles across throughout the region, and 10 of those miles happen to be within Roanoke city limits. The Roanoke River Greenway starts at the intersection of Bridge Street SW and Russell Avenue SW, and snakes alongside the Roanoke River to the border with the town of Vinton, where it turns into the Tinker Creek Greenway, which takes you to the center of Fallon Park. If your dog is getting anxious being on leash, be sure to stop about a quarter of the way in at the one-acre Highland Dog Park where your pup can relieve some of that pent up energy (and maybe burn off that sausage biscuit). Greenways.org, Facebook.com/HighlandDogPark
Historic City Market 213 Market St. SE Located in the heart of downtown Roanoke at the intersection of Market Street and Campbell Avenue, the Historic City Market is open (to you and your pup) seven days a week. Vendors including farmers, cheesemakers, jewelry-makers and other artisans park themselves in the square to offer all things fresh and creative. And while you’re in the downtown area, consider stopping at Fork in the Market or Beamer’s 25, both of which will welcome your pup on the patio. Facebook.com/RoanokeCityMarket, ForkInTheMarket.rocks, Beamers25.com
View From the Top
The Roanoke Star 2198 Mill Mountain Spur A trip to Roanoke wouldn’t be complete without the spectacular views from the Roanoke Star. Atop Mill Mountain, it’s the largest manmade, free-standing illuminated star in the world. Throw some sandwiches in your backpack and take your dog for a 3.4-mile round-trip hike from the trailhead off Riverland Road, and take your time roaming around the 500-acre parkland at the top. VisitRoanoke.com/RoanokeStar
Dig for Buried Treasure
Black Dog Salvage 902 13th St. SW If you can’t find it at Black Dog Salvage, there’s a good chance it doesn’t exist. The iconic salvage and restoration company run by the crew featured on the TV show Black Dawg Salvage, features 40,000 square feet of architectural gems just waiting for you to repurpose them. Sifting through the restored mantels, windows, doors, tiles, counters, gates and stained glass can be a little overwhelming, so take your time. And be sure to say hello to Sally, the beloved black lab who greets customers at the door. BlackDogSalvage.com
Roam the Neighborhood
Historic Grandin Village Grandin Road SW You’ll feel right at home in Historic Grandin Village. Centered at the intersection of Memorial Avenue and Grandin Road, it’s known as the original town center of Roanoke, and even 110 years after being established, it’s still the place to be. Friday night join the locals behind Nopales Restaurant for Grandin Chillage, a seasonal gathering complete with live music, craft beer and food trucks. The next morning stop by the Grandin Village Community Market, where 18 local farmers and producers offer fruits, veggies, cheeses, prepared foods and fresh flowers. For an afternoon pick-me-up, treat yourself to dessert at Viva La Cupcake—and ask if they happen to have any of their homemade pupcakes on hand. HistoricGrandinVillage.com, NopalesRestaurant.com, VivaLaCupcakes.com For more information about visiting Virginia’s Blue Ridge, go to VisitRoanokeVa.com