some serious wines with great aging
according to Brian Powell, owner
of Wine Gourmet. Near Blacksburg, boutique
Beliveau Estate by lush
lavender acclaimed wines.
Live music, gourmet food, nature trails, picnic
spots with stunning views and a charming bedand-breakfast entice visitors to linger. The last
Sunday in June marks the Lavender
Festival, featuring a harpist, lavender lectures
and lavender products and plants for purchase.
LOCAL ROOTS: I was born
in Sagamihara, Japan.
My father, a native of
Boones Mill, Virginia,
was in the U.S. Army and
married to my mother,
a native of Tokyo. We
lived in Japan and Hawaii
until my father retired to
family members were
in Tokyo and we ate
Japanese foods in our
home. She opened her
own restaurant across
from the courthouse
in Roanoke and I was
privileged to cook there
and train under her.
Long before Momofuku,
people waited in line for
her special Fuji noodle
bowl at her restaurant,
The Gavel. Today I
enjoy blending authentic
Japanese and Asian
into our cuisine at
Having undergone several name changes over
the years, The Taubman Museum of Art was
renamed and reopened in its downtown location in 2008. Featuring 11 separate galleries, the
building offers a stunning, innovative design
by Los Angeles-based architect Randall Stout, a
former student of Frank Gehry.
is a smaller community, so
easier for artists to collaborate with each other
as well as says Amy Moorefield,
deputy director of exhibitions and collections.
Known for its preeminent collection of American art from the likes of Norman Rockwell and
John Singer Sargent, The Taubman is extremely
active, with roughly 15 to 20 exhibits a year, including an upcoming spring exhibit of American
impressionism, as well as the fi rst large-scale
solo exhibition of New York sculptor Paul Villinski this summer.
A number of other museums are located in
the downtown arts hub known as Center in the
Square, a nonprofit that provides affordable
rental space and support to diverse arts groups
and museums, including the Harrison Museum
of African-American Culture and the Science
Museum of Western Virginia. There are plans for
the Don and Barbara Smith Museum of
Western Virginia to open in the third-floor space
that formerly housed the History Museum of
Western Virginia later this year. To explore the
rich train history, miss the downtown Virginia Museum of Transportation and its
renowned rail collection.
ONLY HERE: [I love] early
on Route 11 in Botetourt
County, then lunch at the
Since 1999, Black Dog Salvage has been the
go-to spot for antiques, commercial salvage and unique and unusual cast-offs. The
44,000-square-foot building located in a former
commercial laundry building adjacent to the Roanoke River Greenway has become so popular it
even spawned a television show, Salvage Dawgs,
which airs on several networks all over the world
and is available on Amazon and iTunes.
Another quirky entry into the cultural scene
that has proven to be a big hit is the Roanoke
Pinball Museum, located in Center in the Square,
where you can pay a flat daily fee that will get
you unlimited playing time on more than 50
pinball tables dating back as far as 1932.
The Harvester Performance Center, located
about 25 miles south of the city in Rocky Mount
(pop. 5,000) features top folk, Americana and
country Steve Earle and Robert Earl
Keen to Dwight an intimate, midsized sett ing with superb acoustics.
general manager, Gary Jackson,
came to Rocky Mount 12 years ago, bringing
with him the expertise of a 35-year career in the
music business in Washington, D.C.
helped to revitalize the music scene in
the area, earning the nickname
because I preached the gospel of live he
says. Revel in Reverend gospel with legendary guitarist Richard Thompson on April 25,
Kris Kristofferson on May 13 and Emmylou Harris on July 20.
Looking for a bigger crowd? Green-conscious
Elmwood Park Amphitheater offers a gorgeous,
4,500-seat outdoor venue with cascading grass
terraces and views of the surrounding mountains, where you can catch legends such as Brian
Wilson, who performed Pet Sounds there last
summer. The venue also hosts Festival in the
Park, the longest-running music fest, on
Memorial Day weekend.
For musical variety, check out Jefferson Center, which books everything from the Roanoke
Symphony and Opera Roanoke to jazz, blues
and funk. Try The Spot on Kirk to catch up-andcoming artists such as Davina and the Vagabonds in a room that holds about 130 people.
These downtown venues allow easy access to
luxury accommodations, including the beautiful 135-year-old, Tudor-style Hotel Roanoke and
Conference Center as well as a recently opened
Hampton Inn Suites, both of which can make
your stay downtown stay entirely walkable.