Elevated Escape

Take a day off to hike and wine your way around Blacksburg.

Photo courtesy of Visit Virginia’s Blue Ridge.

McAfee Knob at sunrise.

A day in the Blue Ridge Mountains surrounding Blacksburg represents the purest and simplest of pleasures—fresh air, spectacular views, excellent wine and good food. Best enjoyed in the autumn, when the air is crisp and leaves are vibrant, a visit there is satisfying any time of year.


7:00 a.m. Rise and Shine

Start your day with a sunrise hike to McAfee Knob. The nine-mile roundtrip is well worth the work for the stunning view of the sun it affords as it breaks over the horizon from the 3,197-foot summit.


11:00 a.m. Grab A Pick-Me-Up

After descending Catawba Mountain, make your way to On the Rise Bread Company in downtown Roanoke, a quick 20-minute drive from the trailhead. There pick up to-go sandwiches and pastries for a picnic on the Blue Ridge Parkway. Complement a hot turkey, apple and brie panini or classic cold Italian sub with a savory scone (we like ham, cheddar and scallion). Bottle shop Eli’s Provisions around the corner can provide liquid refreshment.


2:00 p.m. Look Out

Access the parkway from milepost 121.4, to the south of Roanoke, to take a scenic drive north. Stop at the Roanoke River Overlook at milepost 114.9 for a picturesque lunch spot—a short walk to the adjacent bridge provides the best view of the river below.


5:00 p.m. Wine, Dine and Dream

Exit the parkway at milepost 112.2, near Vinton, to head to Beliveau Estate Winery in Blacksburg. Take a seat on the terrace or stroll through the rolling hills of the vineyard as you sip wine and savor a light dinner. Must-trys include Fireside Chat, a spicy Cabernet Franc with hints of smoke, and Warm Glow, a rich fruit-forward Chambourcin.

Stay the night at Beliveau Estate’s Bed and Breakfast, which is outfitted with five cozy guest suites featuring fireplaces, private porches and clawfoot bathtubs. During harvest season in September, get hands-on experience in wine production at the winery’s annual Grape Stomping Festival.

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