Posts tagged with "railroad"

Rail Explorers via The Vox Agency for use by 360 Magazine

Rail Explorers Easter

Rail Explorers®, the year-round, all-ages, outdoor-adventure attraction offers memorable family photo opportunities on its Easter Brunch Ramble tours April 16 and 17.

Guests can enjoy an exhilarating eight-mile downhill pedal-assisted ride from the Nevada State Railroad Museum to Railroad Pass powered by Rail Explorers®‘ new REX Propulsion System—custom-built electric motors that make the adventure truly effortless.

A light brunch of complimentary coffee, pastries and fruit will be served for all guests.

Meanwhile, guests over 21 years of age will also enjoy mimosas, while everyone will have plenty of time to relax in Rail Explorers®‘ signature red Adirondack chairs at the turnaround point while kids search for Easter candy. All passengers will also enjoy free entry to the museum upon returning to the station.

A tandem railbike for two is available for $110 and a quad railbike for four guests is available for $185.

Book online HERE.

About Rail Explorers®

Located in historic Boulder City, Nevada—just minutes from the Las Vegas Strip en route to Hoover Dam—Rail Explorers® offers exhilarating, guided excursions in two or four-seat rail bikes along the same tracks used during the construction of the dam. Tours include five memorable options, including the Southwest Round-Up, an 8-mile round trip tour, the Southwest Ramble, a scenic daytime rail bike ride that includes a trip on a historic train; the Desert Sunset Tour, a picturesque ride in the evening as the sun sets behind the River Mountains; the Fireside Starlight Ride, a one-of-a-kind experience featuring personal fire pits under the vast desert sky; and the Night Lights Tour offering a colorful illuminated rail bike ride. Rail bikes provide a truly distinctive way to explore this extraordinarily scenic and historic area. For more information, click HERE or follow on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

AMTRAK’S USA RAIL PASS

For a Limited Time, Amtrak Offers USA Rail Pass for $399

Customers can now tour the country for less than $40 per ride

Now through March 29, Amtrak’s USA Rail Pass is available for just $399, a savings of $100 off the regular $499 price. Customers taking advantage of this special offer will pay less than $40 per ride for ten travel segments over 30 days. Offering an affordable way to take a multi-segment train journey on an adventure across America, the USA Rail Pass allows customers to see the country and explore sights at many of Amtrak’s 500 destinations. 

The perfect option for those who are craving adventure or want to spend weekends away from home, the USA Rail Pass makes traveling from town-to-town and across the country easy. Individuals looking to discover hidden gems or visit friends in the next city over, can leverage the USA Rail Pass to access more getaways. Customers can purchase the USA Rail Pass on Amtrak.com or the Amtrak app and immediately start to build their itinerary. By leveraging the app, customers can access their tickets, check train status, and get boarding information prior to departure.

The USA Rail Pass offers up to 10 segments of travel within a 30-day period—beginning with the customer’s first trip—and is valid for use within 120 days of pass purchase. A travel segment occurs when a customer boards and disembarks one of Amtrak’s scheduled services. If the trip involves making a connection, customers will use two segments of the pass.

The USA Rail Pass is available for travel in Coach class—featuring wide, reclining seats with a big picture window, ample legroom, and no middle seat. Upgrades to Business Class and private room accommodations are not available. Amtrak Guest Rewards members will earn two points per dollar spent on each USA Rail Pass following travel on the first segment. Additional restrictions, terms and conditions apply. Learn more at Amtrak.com/USARailPass

About Amtrak®

For more than 50 years, Amtrak has connected America and modernized train travel. Offering a safe, environmentally efficient way to reach more than 500 destinations across 46 states and parts of Canada, Amtrak provides travelers with an experience that sets a new standard. Book travel, check train status, access your eTicket and more through the Amtrak app. Learn more at Amtrak.com and connect with us on TwitterInstagramFacebook and LinkedIn.

Heather Skovlund for use by 360 Magazine

Top Stories This Month

We’re nearly one month into 2022, and the year has already packed a significant punch. From devastating natural disasters to tragedy in the wake of 2021, let’s recap the most major events of 2022 thus far.

Tongatapu underwater volcano triggers overwhelming tsunami

On Saturday, January 15, an underwater volcano in the Pacific Ocean erupted, causing a tsunami. The underwater volcano is located off the coast of the western island of Tongatapu, near American Samoa and Fiji. After the volcano eruption occurred, satellite image depicted large clouds of ash, gas and steam that reached up to 20 kilometers (12.4 mils) into the atmosphere.

A statement released by the New Zealand High Commission on Monday, January 17 illustrated the long-lasting impacts of the underwater eruption, stating that, “A thick layer of ash remains across Tongatapu.” Both Australia and New Zealand have responded rapidly to aid the island, but efforts have been halted due to the continuing ash that descends from the volcano.

The volcanic eruption triggered a tsunami that devastated the island of Tongatapu. The effects of the tsunami have been fatal, with the UN confirming 4 deaths so far as of Tuesday, January 18. The tsunami sent enormous waves, forcing the people of Tonga to escape to higher ground. The tsunami ultimately cut off internet connection to the island, sending the rest of the world into a frenzy.

Another complication surrounding aid efforts for the island surrounds the COVID-19 pandemic. Tonga has withstood any outbreaks of COVID-19 during the duration of the pandemic, and want to keep it this way. All military staff from New Zealand that were sent to assist the island were fully vaccinated and able to follow all protocols determined by Tonga.

Fires swarm New York City

In what seems to be a series of devastation for the Bronx in New York City, there has been an alarming number of fires in the area. The first damaging and lethal fire occurred on Sunday, January 9, and left 17 people dead. The major fire struck a 19-story building at 333 East 181st Street and was the deadliest the city has seen since the 1990 Happy Land Social Club fire.

The unprecedented fire resulted in 32 people hospitalized with life-threatening injuries. Of the 17 victims left dead, nine were children. The source of this fire was a “malfunctioning electric space heater,” NYC Major Eric Adams declared at a press conference. In the 19-story building, the fire began upon the 2nd and 3rd floors of the building. The fire resulted due to complications with the heater, and the blaze consumed the bedroom it was in, and then spread to the entire apartment. The apartment’s door was open, and the thick smoke spread throughout the whole building complex.

When the New York City Fire Department responded to the fire, they were faced with dense smoke and fire that devoured the hallways of the apartment complex. Individuals were found throughout stairways on each floor of the complex in cardiac arrest. Daniel Nigro, commissioner of the FDNY, said that the injuries of victims were primarily from smoke inhalation.

Wednesday, January 19, the Bronx rapper Cardi B announced that she would cover the funeral costs for all 17 victims. She issued a statement that read, “I cannot begin to imagine the pain and anguish that the families of the victims are experiencing, but I hope that not having to worry about the costs associated with burying their loved ones will help as they move forward and heal. I send my prayers and condolences to everyone affected by this horrific tragedy.”

Fat Joe, fellow native to the Bronx, hosted a fundraiser Saturday, January 22, at New York’s HOT 197 and 107.5 WLBS over the radio to raise money for the families of the 17 victims. “This is my village, this is my tribe,” he said, “It’s 14 degrees outside right now. People are homeless, people are displaced, we gotta help them as much as we can.” Fat Joe has already successfully raise $1M for the families of the Bronx fire victims.

Devastatingly, another fire struck the Bronx only a little over a week after and three miles south of this first catastrophic fire. Tuesday, January 18, another Bronx apartment building had a fire start, leading to a partial building collapse. This fire was not as extreme as the last, but still left at least one woman dead, with two injured in stable condition.

The exact reasoning for the fire has yet to be confirmed – it was first regarded as a gas-related explosion, but Con Ed, an electric and gas service, deemed that there has been no evidence that the fire was gas-related. The FDNY searched through debris for some type of indication of a main start point for the fire, but nothing has been pinpointed.

Bystanders told News 4 that “they heard at least two explosions, followed by flames. Onlookers at first thought it was snowing, until they realized it was ash from the fire coming down instead.”

Train robberies hit Los Angeles

Shredded boxes and packages pile up in a section of the Union Pacific (UP) train tracks in downtown Los Angeles. The mounds of litter are from recent train robberies of train cargo containers. Packages from retailers like Amazon and REI have been ransacked. The robbers have stolen from nearly 90 train containers each day, estimates PC, the country’s major rail freight company.

UP sent a letter to Los Angeles District Attorney George Gascon highlighting the affects of the train robberies in his jurisdiction. In total, train robberies have climbed by 356% from October 2020 to October 2021. The estimated total of stolen goods amounts to $5 million from the railroad alone.

UP communicates that they have begun discussions about discontinuing traffic through Los Angeles County. The letter also states that FedEx and UPS are contemplating deflecting shipping from the area.

“We do not take this effort lightly, particularly during the supply chain crisis, as this drastic change to our operations will create significant impacts and strains throughout the local, state, and national supply chain systems,” the letter to Gascon read out.

UP senior director of public affairs, Lupe Valdez, revealed that, “we are making arrests, but what our officers are seeing on the ground is that people are basically being arrested, there is no bail, they come out the next day and come back to rob our trains.”

The UP company criticizes the district attorney’s office in their letter for not properly punishing the criminals that are stealing from the cargo containers. The letter states, “without any judicial deterrence or consequence, it is no surprise that over the past year UP has witnessed the significant increase in criminal rail theft described above.”

Fashion legend André Leon Talley dead at 73

Tuesday, January 19, André Leon Talley passed away. Talley is a true icon in the fashion world, having been a former renowned creative director and editor for Vogue for a multitude of years. It was reported that Talley was struggling with an unknown illness, of which he lost his fight against. His remembered by colleagues and admirers worldwide. 

Racist MLK TikTok video gets taken down

TikTok user @trevon_sellers posted a shocking video, with a caption that read “HAPPY MLK DAY.” In the video, a poster board sign sits propped up against what seems to be an empty road near some farmland. The poster reads “SLAVE 4 SALE” with two confederate flags around the text. In the video, the popular song “Watch Me (Whip / Nae Nae)” by Silentó plays, as the chorus sings “Watch me whip,” a young boy dressed up in a white tee with khaki pants physically whips an African American man with a belt. The original TikTok can still be accessed through the stitched videos of other creators.

The video has since been taken down by TikTok and has gained attention, appalling that this type of racist, insensitive video would be posted on Martin Luther King Day, the holiday set to commemorate the life and work of the civil rights movement leader Dr. King. 

Regina King’s son dies by suicide

Friday, January 21, Oscar-winner Regina King’s son Ian Alexander Jr. died by suicide. King verified the heartbreaking news with a statement to PEOPLE on Friday. “Our family is devastated at the deepest level by the loss of Ian. He is such a bright light who cared so deeply about the happiness of others. Our family asks for respectful consideration during this private time. Thank you.”

Amidst the tragic revelation, fans searched the internet for some type of sign, and found some truly poignant messages. A series of disturbing tweets were the last messages that Ian posted were his last messages to the world. “You know that episode of SpongeBob where they go inside his brain and it’s a bunch of mini spongebobs just losing their s–t…..yea that one really hits home,” he tweeted only five days prior to his death. A separate tweet after this one read, “I don’t think instagram is healthy for me.”

Sarah Palin tests positive for COVID, delaying New York Times defamation trial

Monday, January 24, Sarah Palin’s defamation trial against the New York Times was pushed back due to her testing positive for COVID-19. She was tested three individual times with rapid coronavirus tests, and Judge Jed Rakoff ended up having to postpone the trial due to a fourth positive test. “She is, of course, unvaccinated,” Rakoff stated. The trial was delayed until February 3.

The trial involves a 2017 New York Times editorial that falsely connected her political action committee to a 2011 mass shooting in Arizona. Palin took out a lawsuit, arguing that the Times defamed her through “falsely stated as a matter of fact to millions of people that Mrs. Palin incited Jared Loughner’s January 8, 2011, shooting rampage at a political event in Tucson, Arizona, during which he shot nineteen people, severely wounding United States Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords.” 

Meat Loaf dies at 74

Rockstar Meat Loaf reportedly died on January 20, 2022, at the age of 74. The “I’d Do Anything For Love,” singer allegedly was battling COVID-19. Although no official cause of death has been publicized, TMZ reported this information, asserting that Meat Loaf was “seriously ill” before he passed.

Meat Loaf had a fabulous career in the realm of rock music that lasted six decades. He sold millions of records, released Bat Out Of Hell which is one of the best-selling albums in all of history (with over 43 million copies sold) and was renowned for starring in Rocky Horror Picture Show, Fight Club and many other television and film specials.

“Weekends with Adele” Las Vegas residency postponed

Adele’s residency at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas has been postponed. The residency was set to begin Friday, January 21, through mid-April. The “Hello” singer took to social media to announce that the show as not ready as half of her team was sick with COVID. She said, “I’m so sorry, but my show ain’t ready… We’ve tried absolutely everything that we can to put it together in time and for it to be good enough for you, but we’ve been absolutely destroyed by delivery delays and COVID.”

Bridgeport woman dead after first meeting with man on Bumble

Lauren Smith-Fields, 23-years-old at the time, was found December 12 in her apartment, unresponsive. Police were called to the residence by a white man that Smith-Fields had met three days preceding her death on Bumble. The two were reportedly drinking in the apartment the night before, and in the morning the man awoke to blood coming out of her nose.

This man was not detained nor investigated further by the Bridgeport Police Department. Smith-Fields family is preparing to sue the city and the police department, alleging in the filed notice that the police “”failed to implement the proper crime scene investigation team to collect physical evidence,” and “refuse to view the last person to see Smith-Fields before she died as a person of interest.”

On January 24, the Connecticut chief medial examiner’s officer reported that the cause of death was “acute intoxication due to the combined effects of fentanyl, promethazine, hydroxyzine and alcohol,” with the medical examiner ultimately ruling that the death was an “accident.”

Janet Jackson Lifetime documentary premieres January 28 & 29

Janet Jackson’s brand-new Lifetime documentary premieres on January 28 and 29. The doc commemorates Janet’s first album, Janet Jackson (1982). The doc premiering on Lifetime and A&E delves deeper into the life story of worldwide pop icon Janet Jackson. Offering raw perspective on the journey that Janet has been on, the doc has been in the works for over three years. Opening to the world for the first time, the doc considers the tragedies, successes and most impacting moments that Janet has been through thus far.

Amazon Africa HQ dispute

Amazon has plans to expand their headquarters (HQ) to Africa, but a lawsuit from descendants of South Africa, like the Khoi and San, are urging to stop construction of the new space on what they consider sacred land. The new HQ will be built in Cape Town, with the project scheduled to see the development of a hotel, retail offices/ homes and with an Amazon. Khoi and San leaders have criticized the construction as the site of the new HQ would be built at the meeting of the Black River and the Liesbeek, sanctified to both groups.  

39 people presumed missing from human smuggling

The United States Coast Guard patrolled the ocean off the coast of Florida on January 25 in search of 39 missing people. The missing individuals are believed to be unaccounted for due to human smuggling.

A good Samaritan found one survivor floating atop an overturned boat 45 miles east of Fort Pierce. The survivor stated that he was accompanied by 39 other people who left the island of Bimini, off the coast of the Bahamas, on the night of Saturday, January 22. Due to intense weather conditions, the vessel had overturned. He, too, reported that no one was wearing life jackets.

This comes after the Coast Guard and the Royal Bahamas Defense Force diverted 88 Haitians a massive freighter on Friday, January 21 close to Great Inagua in the Bahamas. The same day, the Coast Guard informed that 32 people were liberated from another nullified boat 5 miles west of Bimini.

NYPD officers killed in Harlem shooting

Friday January 21 two New York Police Department officers were fatally shot after responding to a domestic disruption in Harlem. The officers, Wilbert Morea and Jason Rivera, were both in their 20s. Rivera died during the shooting, while Morea died on Tuesday January 25 after going through surgery.

The funeral for officer Rivera was held on Friday January 28, where he was advanced to Detective 1st Grade. Rivera’s widow, Dominique Luzuriaga, spoke heart wrenching words about her husband and their life together thus far. “I would say good morning to you all, but in fact it’s the worst morning ever. Today I’m still in this nightmare I wished I never had.”

Luzuriaga spoke on the heartache she went through after recognizing her husband’s death. She said, “I couldn’t believe you left me. Seeing you in a hospital bed wrapped in sheets, not hearing you when I was talking to you, broke me. I asked why. I said to you, ‘Wake up, baby, I’m here.’ The little bit of hope I had that you would come back to life just to say goodbye or say ‘I love you’ one more time has left. I was lost. I’m still lost.”

Snowfall overwhelms the East Coast

The weekend of January 29 left the East Coast engulfed in snow. Record snowfall counts were reported spanning the region in sections of Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania. Blizzard warnings were in full affect in locations such as Massachusetts and Maine. The storm tuned “bomb cycle” left around 16 million facing winter weather alerts.

Traffic collision in North Las Vegas leaves 9 dead

Saturday January 29 a car crash involving six automobiles in North Las Vegas resulted in the death of nine people and one known person in critical condition. Witnesses reported that a Dodge Challenger ran a red light and was traveling “at a high rate of speed” according to local authorities.

15 people were mixed up in the crash, and it is unknown if the Dodge Challenger driver was amongst the nine who died. Alexander Cuevas, public information officer for the North Las Vegas Police spoke on the crash, stating, “We have not seen a mass-causality traffic collision like this before,” as claimed by ABC News.

Rihanna announced pregnancy

It was discovered earlier that global superstar Rihanna is pregnant with her first child. Her baby bump was revealed when she was photographed with boyfriend A$AP Rocky in his hometown of Harlem. At the time, the couple was seen holding hands, with Rihanna wearing a long pink puffer jacket adorned with jewels over her stomach

The couple went public in November of 2020, and have grown closer since the pandemic, after being friends for several years. Both have separately talked about wanting kids together at some point, with Rihanna suggesting she wanted kids before she turned 42. According to MSN, she once stated, “I’m a Black woman. I came from a Black woman, who came from a Black woman, who came from a Black woman, and I’m going to give birth to a Black woman. It’s a no-brainer. That’s who I am. It’s the core of who I am in spirit and DNA.” No other information on the pregnancy has been released. 

Historically Black universities receive bomb threats

January 31, one day preceding the beginning of black history month, an array of historically Black universities were posed with bomb threats. Around six schools were threatened, including Albany State University, Bethune-Cookman University, Bowie State University, Delaware State University, Howard University and Southern University and A&M College.

The FBI was made “aware of the series of bomb threats around the country and we are working with our law enforcement partners to address any potential threats,” as communicated by the bureau in a statement. Investigations continued through the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives to ensure the safety of all.

Each school answered to the threats differently, with some urging students to stay put in a safe spot until further information was made available. Other schools cancelled classes fully and others went straight into lockdown. By around afternoon Eastern time, a vast majority of the HBCUs raised their lockdown orders.

Train illustration by Mina Tocalini

Amtrak USA Rail Pass Relaunch

With the relaunch of its USA Rail Pass, Amtrak is introducing a new and affordable way to take a multi-segment train journey across America. This new offering allows customers to take up to ten rides to see the country and explore sights at many of Amtrak’s 500 destinations. Now through June 22, the USA Rail Pass is available for $299, a savings of $200 off the regular $499 price. Customers taking advantage of this special introductory offer will pay less than $30 per ride for ten travel segments over 30 days.

To make the experience as seamless and touch-free as possible, customers can purchase the USA Rail Pass on Amtrak and start building their itinerary on the website or on the Amtrak app. By leveraging the app, customers can also access their ticket, check train status and get boarding information prior to departure.

“We want to offer customers a truly unique way to travel this summer,” said Amtrak Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing and Revenue Officer Roger Harris. “With the new electronic USA Rail Pass, customers can take advantage of a great value and newly streamlined web and mobile app interfaces to make managing personalized travel plans convenient and easy.”

USA Rail Pass allows up to 10 segments in a 30-day period beginning with the customer’s first trip and is valid for use within 120 days of pass purchase. After purchasing the pass, customers can book and modify their trip itinerary and will receive an electronic ticket for each segment to present to the conductor when boarding.

USA Rail Pass is available for travel in Coach class—featuring wide, reclining seats with a big picture window, ample legroom, and no middle seat. A travel segment occurs when a customer boards and disembarks one of Amtrak’s scheduled services. If the trip involves making a connection, customers will use two segments of the USA Rail Pass. Upgrades to Business Class and private room accommodations are not available at this time. Amtrak Guest Rewards members will earn two points per dollar spent on each USA Rail Pass following travel on the first segment. Additional restrictions, terms and conditions apply. Learn more at Amtrak.

About Amtrak®

For 50 years, Amtrak has connected America and transformed transportation by modernizing train travel and building for the future. Amtrak will continue to play an important role in the national transportation network for the next 50 years and beyond by operating a safe, environmentally efficient and fiscally responsible business by providing travelers with an experience that sets a new standard. Book travel, check train status, access your eTicket and more through the Amtrak app. Learn more at Amtrak and connect with us on TwitterInstagramFacebook and LinkedIn.

VISIT × VIRGINIA’S BLUE RIDGE

www.visitvablueridge.com

www.facebook.com/visitvbr

@VisitVBR; #BlueRidgeDay

Welcome to Virginia’s Blue Ridge! This stretch of iconic mountains welcomes travelers by air, car, and foot. By foot? That’s right. Roanoke and Botetourt counties are popular places to stop for brave souls hiking through the Appalachian Trail. Many thru-hikers send packages addressed to themselves to the Troutville, Virginia post office, knowing that the Blue Ridge is the perfect place to refresh and restock for their journey. The scenery of Virginia can also be enjoyed by automobile on the Blue Ridge Parkway, which meanders through 469 miles of small towns, peaks and valleys to link the Shenandoah National Park to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Flying, driving and hiking won’t be the only ways to make it to Virginia’s Blue Ridge. As of late, Amtrak has opened a platform in Roanoke with direct routes to Washington DC so visitors will be able to catch a train to one of the south’s most historic railroad hubs.

 

Learn about Roanoke’s rail history at the O. Winston Link Museum, with its magnificent collection of striking photographic and auditory works from a man who was so completely passionate about the Norfolk & Southern Railroad, you have to see it to believe it.

Then, take a walk along the Railwalk, a convenient ½ mile path along an outdoor museum with interactive signage, displays and whistles, detailing the history of the railroad in Roanoke up to the present day. The Railwalk connects the downtown Market District to the Virginia Museum of Transportation. All aboard for a guided tour of the Virginia Museum of Transportation, the Commonwealth’s Official Transportation Museum, located in Roanoke’s historic Norfolk & Western Railway Freight Station, whose collection includes approximately 2,500 objects, more than 50 pieces of rolling stock–locomotives and other rail cars–the largest collection of diesel locomotives in the South. The museum has expanded its collection to include automotive, aviation, transit and other artifacts, and frequently exhibits loaned objects.

Start with a visit to the Blue Ridge Institute & Museum at Ferrum College, documenting the folkways of the people living in and around the Blue Ridge Mountains (www.blueridgeinstitute.org)

Then, spend the morning exploring Franklin county–stop at Homestead Creamery for ice cream made from locally sourced milk. Homestead Creamery still has home delivery!

Take a tour of Booker T. Washington National Monument. This national monument commemorates the life of this famous educator, writer, orator and presidential advisor. Exhibits, films, farm, tours and special events tell of his remarkable rise from enslavement to being one of the most influential, but controversial, African Americans of his time.

Enjoy a moderate to strenuous guided hike to McAfee Knob, a trademark of the Appalachian Trail and one of the Trail’s most photographed sites. The knob is located atop Catawba Mountain with an elevation of 3,197 feet, featuring an overhang of rock and an almost 270 degree panorama of the valley. This is hike is approximately 8.8 miles round trip.

Afterwards, reward your hard work with a cold brew from Parkway Brewing Company in Salem, Virginia. Parkway Brewing Company is a 30-barrel manufacturing facility producing distinctive craft beers. Located adjacent to Salem’s Hanging Rock Battlefield Trail, a section of the Roanoke Valley Greenway system, Parkway has become a meeting place for runners, cyclists and community seekers throughout the region.

Visit Black Dog Salvage, the brainchild of Mike Whiteside and Robert Kulp with the idea of preserving Southwest Virginia’s architectural past. These “Salvage Dawgs” specialize in reclaiming and reselling industrial fixtures from mantels and doors to vintage plumbing and art tiles found in historic homes. The popularity of their craft landed the crew a TV show in 2012 which airs on DIY Network, HGTV, and GAC.

Then, wander through Historic Grandin Village – a charming 1920s neighborhood with the restored 1930s Grandin Theatre (@TheGrandinTheat); serving soda pops and popcorn, Pop’s Ice Cream & Soda Bar opened to the public on March 7, 2006. Pop’s has since won numerous local awards for best ice cream, milkshakes, soup and sandwiches, and was honored to be featured in Oxford American Magazine’s 2009 “Best of the South” issue; Black Dog Salvage (@BlackDogSalvage)–40,000 square-feet filled with one-of-a-kind architectural treasures, antique and custom designs including mantels, stained glass, wrought iron, doors, windows, furniture, antiques and more! Black Dog Salvage is the setting for DIY network’s show “Salvage Dawgs.” More information at www.blackdogsalvage.com.

Visit the Star-The Roanoke Star and Overlook-for a bird’s eye view of the city from this historic landmark, touted as the world’s largest man-made star.

Visit the Taubman Museum of Art, located in an architectural wonder that encompasses stunning design elements reminiscent of the Roanoke Valley region, and showcases American art, modern and contemporary art, design and decorative arts, folk and visionary art, regional art and works on paper. The museum has about 2,050 pieces in its permanent collection–a 10-foot sculpture “Art World” by James Harold Jennings; the inch-and-a-half square photograph “Maggie on Beach with Dog” by Thomas Cowperthwaite Eakins; 3,500-year-old Egyptian Ushabiti ceramic figures; Personalized Roanoke Star Clutch decorative handbag by Judith Leiber; and contemporary Roanoke artists. For more information visit: www.taubmanmuseum.org.

Then, explore some of the downtown Roanoke art galleries at your leisure.

Take a beer hop and see why Roanoke Valley in Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains is quickly developing into a popular location for craft breweries.

The plentiful supply of top-quality water combined with the beautiful landscape and unique culture that exists in the region makes Virginia’s Blue Ridge a natural choice for many beer companies. We’ll even take a look at the new Deschutes tasting room in downtown Roanoke!

Free time before dinner to explore the Historic Roanoke City Market (@DowntownRoanoke) and downtown shops of Roanoke, or take the self-guided walking tour of downtown Roanoke.

Then, enjoy dinner at area restaurant.

Historic Home Tour in Fincastle located in Botetourt County, VA – founded in 1772 and named after Lord Fincastle, son of Lord Dunmore, Virginia’s last royal governor. Antebellum churches, tree-lined streets, a courthouse designed by Thomas Jefferson, restored homes and a quaint village atmosphere make it a wonderful place to visit. Journalists will tour historic homes, buildings and other prominent landmarks in the area with local guides. (www.hisfin.org) or (www.visitbotetourt.com)

Visit the Wine Trail of Botetourt County–A wonderful opportunity to enjoy some of the great local wines of Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains.

The trail features three local wineries in Botetourt County, located in the northern part of Virginia’s Blue Ridge region, and the wineries combine wonderful flavor with charming hospitality and unique mountain.

Enjoy the fall colors at Carvins Cove Nature Reserve–The second largest municipal park in the nation. It holds a major water source within its 12,700 acres and overflowing recreational opportunities including hiking, biking, fishing, and boat rentals. 11,363 acres of Carvins Cove is protected by the largest conservation easement in Virginia’s history. There are more than 40 miles of multi-use trails. Experience the fall colors with a kayak trip or the colors with a leisurely hike.

Then, make a quick stop at Flying Mouse Brewery (flyingmousebrewery.com)

Enjoy dinner and a cold brew at Ballast Point Brewing Company. With 128 taps featuring a variety of Ballast Point beers, growler filling station, retail area with unique merchandise & swag, and a restaurant, it’s a one-stop shop for everything Ballast Point Brewing Company. The views from the bar and dining room also feature the stunning beauty of Virginia’s Blue Ridge–Perfect for an evening sunset.