Roanoke is located in Roanoke County, 185 miles west of Richmond between Blacksburg and Lynchburg in the Central Region of the state. It is situated along Interstate 81, on the banks of the Roanoke River near the Brush Mountains.
Roanoke is the commercial and medical center of southwest Virginia, rich in history and tradition. Surrounding lakes, state parks and national forests offer recreational opportunities, including hiking, picnicking and camping along the Appalachian Trail and the Blue Ridge Parkway. Fishing and boating are popular activities at Smith Mountain Lake State Park.
Downtown Roanoke includes many historic landmarks, such as a 1907 fire station, an historic farmers' market, and the Tudor-style Hotel Roanoke. The city's farmers' market was opened in 1882 and still operates on the same site, downtown on Market Square. The 100-foot-tall Roanoke Star on top of Mill Mountain offers a scenic view. Roanoke is part of the Roanoke, Virginia metro area.