Looking Back at 2015 in the Roanoke Region: Top 10 Posts

It’s been a pretty good year in the Roanoke Region. It’s no surprise with a low cost of living, business friendly environment, and livability factors that can’t be beat.

So before we look forward to 2016, here’s a quick look back at our top posts from 2015 from the Roanoke Region and Get2KnowNoke blogs.

roanoke top town


1. Roanoke Named a Top Town by Blue Ridge Outdoors … Again

In October, Roanoke was named Top Mid-Sized Town in voting from Blue Ridge Outdoors magazine. More than 100,000 readers voted in the contest to pick their favorite town with “vibrant outdoor scenes and access to world-class adventure,” according to Blue Ridge Outdoors. [Watch the video.]

2. Smith Mountain Lake Named Best in Virginia

Smith Mountain Lake was named the top lake in Virginia in a ranking of the “Best Lakes in All 50 U.S. States” by MSN Travel and Cheapism in July. The top lakes were chosen because they offered plenty of opportunities for swimming, boating, fishing, and watersports. [Read more.]

3. Craft Brewery Expanding in Franklin County

In December, Chaos Mountain Brewing announced an expansion, which will include new equipment and additional staff to handle the increasing demand for craft beer. Chaos Mountain is one of the best and fastest growing breweries in Virginia. [Read more.]

4. ‘Roanoke is the Place to Be, Believe Me’

A pair of internal mountain bikers visited the region and found the trails comparable to some of the top locations in the world. From Enduro magazine: “Riding with us on the sunny morning is Ken from Asheville, North Carolina, a staple figure in the Appalachian bike scene for decades, who declares: ‘Roanoke is the place to be, believe me!’ Nowhere else will you find so many amazing trails, which so few people know about.” [Read more.]

5. Region Makes List of Places to Visit in 2016

What do Kassel, Germany; Hong Kong; and the Star City have in common? They are all part of LandLopers “16 Places You Should Visit in 2016.” [Read more.]

6. 8 Roanoke Images Among 50 Best by Outside Magazine

Roanoke Region photographers got major kudos in July as their images were featured by a major outdoor media outlet, Outside Magazine. The region was featured in eight to the 50 final photographs shared with the hashtag #BestTowns2015. [Read more.]

7. Boston Globe Features Roanoke, Calls McAfee Knob ‘Best Hike Ever’

A pair of travel correspondents visited the region and hiked McAfee Knob as well as took in some other are hot spots. Here’s what the November article said: “Seeing “A Walk in the Woods” inspired us to make the trip to Roanoke, but the views from McAfee were just part of what makes this area so compelling. This former railroad town has been undergoing a renaissance, with the openings of new museums and hotels, craft breweries, and a wave of millennials and retirees moving downtown, into stylish condos in refurbished old buildings.” [Read more.]

8. Roanoke Offers High Quality of Life with Low Cost of Living

When it comes to cost of living, Roanoke offers the best value of any metro in Virginia. Numbers released by the Council for Community and Economic Research for the second quarter of 2015 rank the Roanoke metro area as 53rd lowest cost metro in the nation with costs lower than 80 percent of participating metros. [Read more.]

9. Roanoke Region Among Top Growth Economies in Virginia

Roanoke has one of the top growing economies Virginia, and has the numbers to prove it. The Roanoke Region outpaces the state average for growth and is second only to Richmond, according to new Gross Metropolitan Product (GMP) numbers from the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis. GMP is a measurement of the total output of goods and services within a given metro. [Read more.]

10. 3 Roanoke Companies Named to Inc. 5000

Three Roanoke Region businesses earned a place on the Inc. 5000, an annual ranking of the fastest-growing private companies in America, in August. This is not the first appearance on the list for Jewell Machinery, Interactive Achievement, and Alcova Mortgage. Each have been honored in past rankings as well. The companies join a list that highlights some of the most recognized names in business. [Read more.]