The Mill Mountain star is probably the first thing that will come up if you are new to the Roanoke area/visiting and searching for something to do.
Going up to the star was one of the first things I did when I moved here. It’s also become the place I bring all my out of town guests. Many people say they are surprised the star is so big because it looks so small from far away. If you’ve never visited the star, it’s definitely worth the trip.
It takes no time at all to drive up to it and the views are stunning. There is a sign that helps you identify which mountains you are seeing and you can see the whole city from that single spot. I recommend checking out the star both during the day and at night. Both experiences are stunning and entirely different. During the day you can see the panoramic view of the mountains, but at night the twinkling lights of the city down below are just breathtaking.
Roanoke Tourism leaders say the star is the areas “must-see spot when visiting the region”.
Here is some history from the Visit Virginia’s Blue Ridge website:
“The Roanoke Star was constructed in 1949 and was meant to serve as a seasonal Christmas decoration for the holiday shopping season. The star was illuminated for the first time on November 23, 1949. Through its 65 years, the Roanoke Star has become synonymous with the region and is still one of the most talked about and recognizable icons of Virginia.”
If the weather is nice, plan to spend some time up there. There are two outlook spots that are connected with a trail and a playground for the kids and a bathroom. The Mill Mountain Zoo is within walking distance also at the top of the mountain with stunning views. You can make a whole day of it!
If you get the chance, plug this address into your GPS and check out the star: 2198 Mill Mountain Spur Roanoke, VA 24014