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Why You Want to Live in Roanoke, Virginia

by Kristie Leong MD on 03/10/07 at 3:08 am

Roanoke, Virginia is a city with a lot to offer. Here are eight great reasons to live in Roanoke, Virginia.


If you’re looking for a city that’s convenient and simple to deal with on a daily basis, you’ll want to consider Roanoke, Virginia. This friendly city has a population including the city and outlying counties of around 250,000 which makes it of respectable size, but not so large that it loses its personality and charm.

Roanoke is fondly known as the “Star City of the South” because of the large star that sits atop Mill Mountain. The Mill Mountain star is lit at night and is rather large, measuring eighty-eight and a half feet tall. It uses 2000 feet of neon tubes and 17,500 watts of power to create its warm glow which can be seen all over the city at night. Its glowing mass of lights serves as a sort of beacon to welcome you to one of the friendliest cities around.

Here are some good reasons to live in Roanoke, Virginia:

  1. It Exudes Friendliness

    Roanoke still retains the southern charm that many larger cities have lost. Roanokers are some of the friendliest folks you’ll find and are always eager to help you out if you encounter a bad situation..

  2. Good Selection of Restaurants

    Roanoke has the second highest density of restaurants per capita in the country with the exception of Portland, Maine. We have most of the popular chain restaurants plus a nice variety of independents. If you like Indian food, we have three of the best Indian restaurants around. Roanokers are foodies.

  3. It Doesn’t Cost a Fortune to Live Here

    Compared to the rest of the country, Roanoke’s cost of living is 19.90% lower than the U.S. average. Our food and gas prices are still quite reasonable.

  4. You Can Get a Nice House at an Inexpensive Price

    Roanoke has a nice selection of homes at all price levels. The median home price is around $140,000 which makes it affordable for most people. Plus, you can get a beautiful home with a lovely mountain view.

  5. Lack of Traffic

    Roanoke is known for its lack of traffic jams. If you’ve ever lived in a larger metropolis, you know what a headache traffic can be.

  6. Moderate Weather with Four Distinct Seasons

    In Roanoke, there are four distinct seasons, but an absence of extreme temperatures. Summers are very pleasant with their low humidity and moderate temperatures. Winters are mild with occasional light snow which rarely presents a driving hazard. Weather phenomena such as tornadoes, hurricanes, and earthquakes are quite uncommon in the Roanoke, Virginia area.

  7. Quick Access to the Blue Ridge Parkway

    If you’re a hiker, camper, photographer or nature buff, you’ll love the easy access to the Blue Ridge Parkway. You can be on a trail in a matter of minutes when you live in Roanoke.

  8. Lots of Festivals

    In the summer, Roanoke has a variety of festivals in their downtown area ranging from musical festivals to art shows. Plus, there’s easy access to our downtown due to the lack of traffic. Plus, they get a variety of good musical concerts at their civic center.If you’re looking for a low hassle, fun place to live, you’ll want to consider all that Roanoke, Virginia has to offer.

Liked it


Oct 5th, 2007

Where are the real reasons? These are all of the “you can skip to the store under a sky full of rainbows” crap. What about culture? What about diversity? What about intelligence of fellow inhabitants? What about work?

There is probably a reason that the median house price is only $140k instead of $250k or more — because there are no jobs. Places that have a lot of high paying positions for educated professionals tend to be very expensive. If you want to pump gas, I’m sure Virginia is a lovely place.

Rick Deckard

Oct 8th, 2007

My rebuttal to this article:

1. Not that I’ve seen. I’ve lived here since 1970, and I found that with the influx of a great number of people from the Northern US, people here simply don’t exude friendliness at all.
People here are just as racially biased and closed minded to new ideas and change as they are in any small town trying to stay that way.

2. I’ve seen many restaurants fail here because of fear of foreign cuisine. It’s fair to say that if you’re not serving Italian, Chinese, or Tex-Mex, you definitely catering to the wrong crowd.

3. If you think it doesn’t cost a fortune to live here, try doing so on a common man’s salary, and not an M.D. position. Pay here has always been behind the national average.

4. Again, try to buy a house on the average salary that people make here. The current banking fiasco has made matters even worse. The only people who are ‘making it’, are those that homes that are paid for already or left to them by family, or have come here with cash from selling their homes elsewhere.

5. Are you absolutely insane? No traffic jams? You should try following me to work for a week and I’ll show you some good old California highway hospitality. Roanoke is an old city with very poor layout. I’ve been telling friends for years that giving someone directions here is a living hell, because to get to anywhere from where you’re at takes a minimum of 5 roads to get there. All of our on/off ramps to expressways and interstates are some of the shortest in the nation, with 25 MPH speed limits. Ever try to merge into 65+ MPH traffic coming off of one of these? I feel like I take my life in my own hands every day just trying to survive here. I live 10 miles from work as the crow flies, yet it takes me a minimum of 43 minutes to get there every morning.

6. We’re currently experiencing a serious drought here as is all of the eastern seaboard. I’ve only mowed my brown dirt about 4 times so far this summer. Yet the humidity levels can hit 85% overnight. It’s supposed to hit 91 degrees F today, and it’s the middle of October.

7. The Blue Ridge parkway is extremely over-rated. Primarily a location for dumping murder victims and growing pot, it’s favorite hangout for rapists and murderers. One recent incident has everyone extremely upset. The park service police setup a roadblock earlier this summer and was practically strip searching everyone who managed to encounter them. The issued a record number of tickets and arrests one weekend when there was a lot of traffic heading to and from a local bluegrass festival. If this
sounds like over-hype on my part, please take note that they managed to even hassle a local sheriff who was there with his family trying to enjoy the weekend. From what I have read, he filed a complaint against them himself.

8. Festivals here bring out some of the worst riff-raff, rednecks and other undesirables that our fair state has to offer. Nothing magical about those, sorry.

In conclusion, yes by all means come and settle in Roanoke. I’m sure you’ll enjoy our ever increasing violence due to drugs, gang related crime, rapes and abductions. I recommend doing further independent study before even visiting here. Our local newspaper does it’s best to conceal a lot of the underlying problems due to it’s efforts to show Roanoke in a fairer light. But there are plenty of sources that can prove otherwise.

BTW, Kristie Leong it sounds like a beautiful fairytale you’re living in. Where ever that’s at.


Rick Deckard

Oct 8th, 2007


I forgot to mention that we average about 3 shootings a month in our general area. I also did a recent check of the sex-crime database maintained by our state police and found that there were no less that 300 individuals listed there for rape, domestic violence, or child molestation living in my own zipcode region. Two live on my street, only a couple blocks away. That should tell you what to expect if you try to move here.


Apr 16th, 2008

I think this sounds like a wonderful place to live. Wouldn’t you agree?


Apr 16th, 2008

Man. I really thought Roanoke was a decent place. How big a deal was the incident out there when that cop ran into the guard-rail on I-81? Jiminy Crickett, that dude was plastered.


May 21st, 2008

I agree with Rick. I being a former Virginia resident remember what living there was like. The scenery is beautiful, in places. Traffic is not bad, in the mountains. Cost of living is low, so is the average wage. I was making $6.50/hr. there and came to Tennessee doing the exact same thing for $10.50/hr. I do miss it there sometimes, but I can’t live somewhere where my best possible home would be a trailer on the side of a mountain or a pay-by-the-week motel. Unless you own a farm or are a successful doctor, you live in squaller (did I spell that right?) or at least that’s what it looks like from a distance.


Jul 5th, 2008

I am not college educated by any means and I do quite well. I work for a local contractor and make well over the median income for Roanoke and significantly more than 10.50 an hour. Jobs are out there if you want one. All you need a little aptitude and a positive attitude and their is money to be made. I live downtown in one of the newly renovated/developed condo/apartment buildings and I love it. I’ve been in Roanoke for six years after living all over the US and have found a great home here.


Jul 13th, 2008

I feel the negative comments that have been posted are a little extreme and overly generalized. Roanoke has a lot to offer if you make a little effort with a positive attitude. And, let’s be realistic here, there is no 100% perfect place to live. I can’t help but wonder, if one has lived for 30 yrs+ in a place that disgusts them so much then why are they still here dragging everyone else down with their negativity?


Jul 30th, 2008

Help us out?!?!?!
We are thinking of moving to Roanoke. I am a little scared off by some of comments I have found here.

I have been through Roanoke several times and have found it beautiful.

Which area is the best to live in? Which has less crime and supports young families?


Jul 31st, 2008

Rick’s comments are all a bit too intense. I’m not sure how he chooses to get to work, perhaps he drives around the mall parking lot for 33 minutes before heading to work.

Anyway, Roanoke is a great place to live; in 2004 it was ranked and rated as #11 best city in the nation. I suggest, if moving to the Roanoke area, Southwest Roanoke County and Southwest Roanoke City.


Aug 25th, 2008

This is some Bs the 4 distinct seasons are a load of bull hockey now you have 3, SPring-winter( put it together) cold nighst warm days, then HOT STICKY NASTY HOT summer.. temps of up to and exxceeding 100+ then u have Summerfall, hot days semi cool nights and muddy grounds.

as far as friendliness… pffft where the hell did you go here? i’ve met a few good people but for the most part it kinda sucks.

The resturants… thats true.

the cost of living being nearly 20% lower.. yes thats true but the wages are about 25% lol… example, the average welder in a major metropolitan area makes as a starting wage, 20-25$ per hour depending on specialty. here in roanoke good luck finding one… then good luck getting a 15$ or better one. There are ups and downs too but dont expect people to flock to you and ask if you need help if your lost and dont expect a cold season. however we do have some Awsome festivals!


Oct 10th, 2008

Roanoke is god-awful. I lived there for two years, and they were the most miserable, low-paid, bored and suicidal years of my life. The town is dying, every other house has a ‘for sale’ sign, there are VERY few jobs to be had, everyone is a closet racist (well, the courteous ones, at least.)

No music scene, no arts scene in comparison to any ‘real’ city. It becomes a ghost town at 8:00 pm every night, ’cause apparently everyone goes to work at 4:00 am.

For all I know, you may love it. All I know is that I hate Roanoke and always will. Leave it to the meth-heads and klansmen.

Leaving Roanoke

Nov 4th, 2008

I’d have to agree with the negatives here. Roanoke is by far the most depressing place I’ve ever lived in. I came here thinking the geography would somehow attract alot of people who are into outdoor sports, etc. which tend to be somewhat adventurous, open-minded and fun people. Instead, this place turned out to be a very economically unstable, racism-promoting, and downright boring town.

Whenever I go back to the state where I originally grow up, I see thriving businesses and tons of expansions all over the place. This place is an economic ghost town. We have negative population growth, businesses are shutting down left and right, and most of the people here don’t even care about it – they’re too busy breathing through their mouths.

Roanoke absolutely sucks.

Not a fan!

Feb 21st, 2009

I would have to agree with the negative comments too. I live about 20 minutes outside of Roanoke and am attending graduate school in Blacksburg. Southwest Va is an absolutely gorgeous place to live; there’s some “outdoorsy” stuff that’s fun to do, but the rest of it – no thanks. Four years here will be enough for me then I’ll be gone. “Winter” – from Nov-March is cold, windy, rainy, muddy, and depressing. There’s a huge difference between (sorry to generalize but…)the people who LIVE here and those “temporarily living here”/university related – the difference is in income, quality of life, and yep to put it nicely, there are pockets of very old-fashioned southern beliefs. Great place to experience, great place to have memories of – but nope – not staying!


Mar 5th, 2009

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Jul 18th, 2009



Big Bad Bobby

Sep 13th, 2009

Drivers in Roanoke are some of the most stupid I’ve ever seen -and I’ve lived all over the country. Morons tailgate you and harass you because you’re “only” going 5 mph over the speed limit. I’ve had punks try to run me off the road and the police are too busy eating donuts to even file a report! Of course if I were to follow junior into a parking lot and put a few knots in his head for his criminal driving, the police would arrest me in .002 seconds. And a lot of Roanokers put on airs as though they think they live in the “big city”. Are they really stupid enough to believe that?

I’m trying not to include most Roanokers here, since most are fairly friendly people.

Trev Morson

Sep 30th, 2009

My family have a job transfer offer and a relocation from Chicago, Illiniois to Roanoke and I was very excited, that was.. till I read the negative comments?

Paul Miller

Oct 23rd, 2009

Don’t worry about the negative comments. Roanoke like anywhere else is what you make of it. People here are nice and the area does have much to offer. I have been here for 8 years and there is no other place I would want to live.


Nov 1st, 2009

Roanoke is for some people, but not for others. I have lived here for three years and I really don’t like it here and am looking forward to moving. I have worked in the city for 7 years and thought that it would just be more convenient to move closer. This was a bad decision. The thing that I dislike the most about this city is the general personality or attitude of most of the people that I cross paths with.

I am originally from the Bedford/Lynchburg area, which is not far away, but I can see a major difference in the way that people treat one another. Not just with me, but I regularly see disturbing levels of rudeness, arrogance, and inconsideration.

I don’t think that it’s fair for anyone in this forum to challenge or question any person’s experience with this city, because their experience is just that…their experience…and no one else’s opinion can change their experience.

There are many great things about Roanoke, though. Compared with the majority of this region, Roanoke has much better job opportunities. Many people from surrounding counties drive 45 minutes to an hour to work here. Also, the music festivals; a multitude of venues at both the Roanoke and Salem Civic Centers; Local Colors and other ethnic gatherings; the diverse selection in dining; nightlife that is non-existant within about an hour radius (maybe with the Blacksburg area as an exception? I don’t know); interesting museums; a variety of religious places (e.g. synagoges, masjids, Unity, etc) that you will find few of in this region of VA.

Strangely, none of the aforementioned things do not make me want to stay in the city because it’s just not my cup of tea.


Nov 1st, 2009

Oops…typo. The last thing I meant to say was ” …none of the aforementioned things make me want to stay in the city …blah, blah, blah.”

Brian Scott

Nov 26th, 2009

To be quite honest I find that most individuals when given an open forum to piss and moan about something, they will. I kinda wonder how these people get on these sights anyway, if you live in Roanoke then why are you looking up websites about moving/living in Roanoke? So for all the people that have read the comments should remember something…you can’t believe everything you hear. Every city has its good parts and bad parts, in this case the author found it appropriate to highlight some of the good things. If you have a problem with Roanoke then quite B!#$%ing and move. For the rest of you that are looking for Roanoke as a place to settle, just do your homework. Be prepared to have a job set before you move. Invest the time to come for a visit with your family and get to know the area and the ammenities that are available to you. And for the negative people posting…for Gods sake, get a life!!!


Dec 27th, 2009

That’s the attitude that I was talking about…


Jan 8th, 2010

i want information regarding leaving cost for Couple.including room Rent, Dinner, travelling in $ etc..


Jan 19th, 2010

if you have teens do NOT bring them here. i am 17 and have spent my teen years thus far going to school, watching movies and reading. there is nothing to do and is the most boring place i can imagine.i am seriously surprised the suicide rates aren’t higher. sure when you are 5-12 you can survive off board games with friends and “creativity” aka see how far up a tree you can climb but that only can excite a kid for so long. Roanoke = internet junkies of the world.

Moved on and ahead

Jan 30th, 2010

What a wonderful place to live! I especially love the tailgaters, the drunk drivers, and the dropout rate of the oh-so-wonderful city schools. And let’s not forget the pay offered by local employers: heck, some of them offer ALMOST $9.00 per hour!

And why does such a small valley need over 500 restraunts? That might explain why most of the town is bordering on morbid obesity.


Feb 4th, 2010

I am a truck driver from Brooklyn, NY. Roanoke seems to be too secluded for my taste. I haven’t seen much of cultural diversity there either.

Elizabeth parks

Feb 8th, 2010

I live in Roanoke, and I hate it! I attend on moving, but cannot due to family related issues at the moment, but I will. I could not help but laugh as I read all of the negative comments, because for the most part, they are true! The only thing I can find positive about this town is the access to hiking trails..which I am sure I will find elsewhere. Roanoke is full of hopeless, lazy rednecks…seriously, it is. Even the people with money believe they are of exaggerated importance. The only possiblity of decent pay is if you can work for Carilion. I just hate my existence here passionately, and I hope to pack up my son and get the hell out ASAP…and if your considering coming..take these comments to heart. If you want culture, diversity, and things such as a music scene, or art scene..don’t come here. Go somewhere else.


Mar 16th, 2010

Cool.With all of these whiners getting the hell out, Roanoke must be improving by leaps and bounds!


May 25th, 2010

I have lived here all my life (51 years) and yes Virginia Roanoke sucks, and keeps getting worse


Jun 2nd, 2010

Ithink if your old its good for retirement but if you are of mixed dicent then this place is not for you segregation in the minds of the citizens are twisted blacks don\’t live here in this section and whites don\’t dare live in that section get it right people roanoke is not for lovers !!!!!!!!! and i been here for the last 23 years only reason why I stayed is cause this place needs someone to make change don\’t you just love the common wealth they make the laws bend to fit the wrong citizens it\’s a place that needs help even with the naacp are afraid to do there job so all i say is think really hard and this is a violent place don\’t listen to the polls they don\’t ask the real people its set up to make you think so . but like roanjke its all a lie

Harriet Wimmer

Aug 31st, 2010

Yes, I have to agree. I have lived in Roanoke all of my life (55yrs), and consider it an oasis from the crudity of modern life in most places. There are many beautiful places here, and excellent schools and neighborhoods. So many folks leave, looking for something better, but quite a few come back, realizing that Roanoke is a gem. Nice people, plenty of things to do, for the urban professional and the retiree. Come visit, I think you’ll be be glad you did!

Dean X

Nov 16th, 2010

I moved to Roanoke last June, and I plan to leave the first week of December. (Tells you how much I like this place, huh?) Although, to be honest I agree with Dave 10/28 opinion, objectively I see a few pros here as well. I\’ll start with those, first.

You can find a decent job here, IF you are in the health care industry. The Carillion is a huge employer in this area. Retired and \”landed gentry\” will also like this place because it is laid back and does have some of the conveniences of a small-city. People who are adventurous, out-door oriented, and extroverted will probably be able to make a quicker adjustment to this area, as opposed to someone who is a home-body and/or introverted.

That being said, some MAJOR problems exist with living here:

People here generally come in four flavors: old, untalented, bitter and pompous, or bubbly and sociable (rare). The population over 45 amounts to 38% out of 94K in Roanoke proper. Likewise activities for teens, young adults, and professionals are definitely limited.

Also, beware that this is the BIBLE BELT. This is not some liberal haven next to Lynchburg and \”Falwell Country\”. There was a stabbing in 2000 at Backstreet, a gay bar downtown. I believe that things have improved a lot since that incident, but I still don\’t feel comfortable being to affectionate with my partner in public as I would in say, Chapel Hill. (I\’m gay, not that it really matters).

If you go to City-Data, you see an overwhelming amount of people who hype the outdoor activities and scenery. That is basically all that is here. If you have no interest in hiking, bike riding, or trail blazing, don\’t be fooled by all of the hype.

If you work in any skilled profession other than health care, this is NOT the place for you. I was allowed to telecommute from my previous job (IT), but if that weren\’t the case, I would still be unemployed or working minimum wage.

For the most part, I have not experienced any crime personally. Roanoke has been said to have had an increase in crime in recent years, but I can\’t comment on that. However, I will take into account driving here as a safety issue. Some (more than a few) drivers here are reckless and/or willfully hazardous. They cut into the opposite lane while making turns, they either go to slow (usually older crowd) or tailgate you (younger crowd), they use high beams when their headlights go out, and so forth.

Most truckers here like on 220 or I-81 do not follow speed limits.

You don\’t need to believe me, but do yourself a favor and visit the place in person (for a week!) and try to imagine yourself doing activities that you would normally do in that time or within a month. Also, I would strongly encourage that you find a job before moving here. Peace.


Dec 8th, 2010

My parents dragged me into Roanoke right before my freshman year in high school. I found it extremely difficult to make friends, and I have not kept a constant group of friends since I’ve been here. I lived in Greensboro for the rest of my life before this, and I still have the same friends I grew up with. The people here suck. They are all hypocrite Christians and/or arrogant. Very racist and sheltered. I also know plenty of people my age who do heroin and many other drugs. I would say that there is a huge drug problem, the majority of the people I know here do many drugs on a regular basis. I suppose they do it because there is not anything else to do in this black hole. It’s so hard to get out of here because there aren’t many jobs, unless you’re in healthcare, and the pay isn’t as high here. Once I get out of here, whenever the hell that is, I will never come back or come through again.


Dec 8th, 2010

—– and I am surprised if I ever come across a driver who actually goes the speed limit. EVERYONE drives slower than the speed limit and has a hard time understanding what they’re supposed to be doing it seems. No one acts like they have anywhere to go. I have never gotten so angry driving anywhere else.


Dec 14th, 2010

City government here is horrible. They tax the #@&*^ out of you and the roads remain in horrible condition. Houses everywhere are abandoned and boarded up. Almost zero nightlife. Employers here have always been incredibly cheap. Hardly any employer will pay even $10 per hour, but they expect $20/hr worth of work in return. Half of the students in Roanoke city don’t finish high school. The city government is in business mainly to serve itself at the taxpayers’ expense. And, although a lot of folks in Roanoke are nice, more aren’t. They see Christiansburg to the west and Bedford to the east, and assume that that makes Roanoke the “big city”. Then the arrogance manifests, accompanied by the ignorance. And WHY do Roanokers ALWAYS respond to questions with “Do what”? Did I SAY to do anything, Goober?

S. Cox

Dec 24th, 2010

51 year old, married, with three kids, and we’ve been in Roanoke since ‘99. Born & raised in suburban Atlanta (family there for 200 years), and have lived in Germany, Washington, Oregon, Texas, Florida, SC, NC, Tidewater VA, Indiana, Colorado, big cities (Atlanta, Seattle, San Antonio, Jacksonville, Stuttgart), medium-sized cities (Winston-Salem, Durham, Columbia, Williamsburg), and small towns (Bend OR, Monmouth OR) and we absolutely love Roanoke. No place is perfect, but we’ve been very satisfied in Roanoke these past 11 1/2 years. This is an extremely livable city, especially if you like the outdoors (running, hiking, camping, skiing, water sports, hunting, fishing), the mountains, raising a family, moderate cost of living, accessible downtown, etc.

Cora Moorman

Jan 19th, 2011

I too Julia was forced to move here when I was in 8th grade from Arizona! And I hate it, I have not kept a steady group of friends here either, kids here are not outgoing unless you have lived here your whole life. Anyone with children thinking of moving here please reconsider, they will hold it against you, I love my parents but wish more than anything we hadn’t moved. People here are ignorant, and close minded, if you aren’t a baptist you will never make it! Being catholic I have been targeted. I will most likely move to Tuscon AZ on day and raise my children there, not here by any circumstances. I will miss my parents, but sorry I cannot spend my life here.


Feb 10th, 2011

Roanoke is terrible, there is never ANY snow, there’s never anything here exciting this city sucks. Flat out.


Dec 9th, 2011

Spent 22 years in Roanoke since then I’ve lived in Europe, Asia, and 10 US cities. Every time i visit family i’m amazed at the ignorant and violent nature of the citizens there. Not too mention camo patterns and va tech gear seem to be the staple of roajoke fashion. No diversity like the city’s website claims just check census to see what i mean. Cheap housing market is about the only pro i can think of.


Mar 12th, 2012

I am trying to look into what neighborhoods might be good places to live. Can’t afford anything too expensive, but really don’t want to feel like I should carry around a gun or else. I presently live in Pennsville NJ, which is very highly taxed, and really nothing to look at either, and the cost of living up here is very high, and of course no jobs. But when I do come down ther I will be a Certified Pharmacy Tech. So anybody that can tell me anything would be very appricated. By the way my age is 53


Apr 22nd, 2012

Er yew north’ners a-comin’ ta move tew Ro’noke? Wall then, yew all is a-gonna be soo-prised by the mount of educashun h’yar. We done gots lots a folks what done maid it thru the ninth grade -and it only took em 3 times! Don’t never give up on themost pro-gressive city this side a Hooterville, hear?


Apr 22nd, 2012

Er yew north\’ners a-comin\’ ta move tew Ro\’noke? Wall then, yew all is a-gonna be soo-prised by the mount of educashun h\’yar. We done gots lots a folks what done maid it thru the ninth grade -and it only took em 3 times! Don\’t never give up on themost pro-gressive city this side a Hooterville, hear?


Jun 11th, 2012

Roanoke and Salem are terrible. Drivers always drive below the speed limit on the both lanes. They will cut in front of you and drive below the speed limit. People are extremely lazy and lacked of common sense. They may appear friendly on surface. But, they really won\’t help you if you\’re really in need. They\’re just very lazy. People here have no ambition. Terrible place to live in. A depressing population.


Jun 11th, 2012

Good grief this review is a joke. I have lived in Roanoke for 15 years, and I can assure you it is NOT a friendly city. For context, I have lived all over the country (Florida, California, Pennsylvania, Delaware, New York, Georgia). Although there are both mean and nice people everywhere, I can tell you that the people in Roanoke are some of the nastiest I’ve ever come across. There’s a big difference between southern (as in “Dixie”), and Appalachian redneck, which is what you have here in abundance.

Very uneducated and unsophisticated population. Many people look the same, talk the same, drive the same pick up truck, etc. You get the idea. My friends are all other transplants like myself. I have so little in common with the locals it’s not funny. I don’t even know how many times I’ve had a redneck say to me “You’re not from around here are you?, or “we’ve got the ‘from heres’ and the come heres’” I’m so sick of that ignorant, provincial, dumb ass redneck attitude that pervades everything here. And yes, I am looking to move!


Jun 11th, 2012

One quick follow up: I’ve discovered one of the best ways to get a feel for a new city is to visit the local Wal-mart on a Saturday night-no kidding. That will probably tell you more in 30 minutes than you can learn reading review sites for a year.

So tell you what: instead of listening to people like me who say it sucks here, or listening to some of the arrogant rednecks on here that say it’s great, if you are thinking of moving here, come for a visit, and just go to the Salem Wal-Mart on a Saturday night. Trust me, that will tell you everything you need to know hehe! :) )

Sam Kennedy

Oct 26th, 2012

I tried it for six months. I found the “southern charm” to be limited to the older folks, the younger people are much like those typically from a larger city just passing through for career advancement.

The natural setting is pretty, but as far as the city’s “metropolitan” mentality, I just see a small group of active Roanokers trying desperately to make it “hip” but it’s a challenge. The younger people who frequent downtown seem to WANT Roanoke to be something to love, but there is just a weird, bored, I don’t know, maybe inferiority complex that dominates the attitude of the locals. The festivals are a nice touch and I really think the city tries to be more than it has been. I REALLY tried to love it but my God, I was so glad to leave. And I do agree, there is a lot of very good food there.


Dec 9th, 2012

I have lived in Roanoke all my life and even though at one time, Roanoke was probably a nice place to live before the railroad moved its headquaters and took most of the jobs with it, the city now has a lack of jobs and is expirencing the urban decay that effects many larger northern cities such as Clevland and Flint Michigan. Many of the people I go to school with say they are definitely not going to move back to Roanoke after they are finished with college. As for the people who live hear, many are sterotypical rednecks that have moved here from West Virginia and are the exact real-life replica of Cletus from the Simpsons.


Jan 7th, 2013

I moved away at 18 because there was no future here.Never regretted it.Had to move back after 20 some odd years thanks to the economy tanking and my ex-bitch taking nearly everything.Anyway…NOTHING has changed,there are still no jobs,no music scene,nothing happening here.Unless you count all the old people dying left and right.MOST of the people treat anyone who looks different{long hair,colored hair,tattoos,etc.} like shit.This town is dead…in ideas,outlook,talent,opportunities.This is a small time,small town and will always be.Should just change the name to PODUNK NOWHERE.

Bob Bitchslap

Jan 28th, 2013

Why does Roanoke suck?

Too many traffic lights. They might as well put lights up at the three remaining interections lacking them.

Roanoke also sucks because both the city and county governments threaten to tow one’s car away if it doesn’t have license plates on it (they call that an “eyesore”) while conveniently ignoring decaying, crumbling, charred, and abandoned buildings littering the valley.

Another thing which sucks is how many of the people talk here. They sound like they have a mouth full of food. Sorry, “buh-buh-buh-buh-buh” isn’t communication, Vern.

And then there’s employment. Ah yes, the lack thereof. Want a job? Hope you can scrub dishes, Mr. Master’s Degree. Or you can go to the VEC, but you’ll be dealing with old farts whose only real concern is working another nine months so they can retire their underworked fat asses to Richmond.

Housing is ridiculously overpriced for income levels here, but try telling that to Scooter and Daisy Mae, who simply can’t curb their desire to let the local realty agents screw them over, along with everyone else here, by needlessly increasing the demand for overpriced housing.

Victory Stadium. Dumbass city gov’t had it built on a flood plain. Later, they spent $$$ trying to repair it after being flooded. Finally they tore it down. And the taxpayers were hosed down as a result.

Drivers. The dumbest ones are in Roanoke. Why some people see it necessary to take five seconds to go after the light turns green, and then go five under the speed limit, is frustrating. Speeding to the light after it turns red merely proves the stupidity of the average driver here.

Nightlife. What nightlife?

EVERY corner HAS to have either a bank or a convenience store. Zero imagination with regard to public layout.

Downtown is total brownfield.

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