Ballantyne Magazine

FALL 2017

Ballantyne Magazine covers news, events, real estate, restaurants, shopping, health, schools and business in the upscale Ballantyne Area of Charlotte, NC.

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Page 79 of 99

'Star City' A 3.5-hour drive from Ballantyne, Mill Mountain Park provides the Roanoke region's best views and reveals how the city earned its sparkly nickname, "Star City of the South." At Mill Mountain Park, more than 560 acres provide miles of accessible hiking trails just off the Blue Ridge Parkway, less than 20 minutes from downtown Roanoke. Towering above the city on Mill Mountain is the city's storied landmark, the Roanoke Star. Erected in 1949 as a temporary Christmas decoration, the massive structure is the largest free- standing, human-made, illuminated star in the world, according to Visit Virginia's Blue Ridge. Nearly 90-feet tall, the star shines nightly, lit by 2,000 feet of neon tubing. An overlook area affords views of the Roanoke Valley and close-by peaks such as McAfee Knob. A short walk from the overlook leads to Mill Mountain Zoo, a small park with special appeal for youngsters. They can climb aboard the "Zoo-Choo" miniature train that loops around the park and provides views of snow leopards, red pandas, Indian crested porcupines and other critters. Cyclists enjoy the Roanoke Valley Greenway Trails, an interconnected series of multiuse paths that run along the Roanoke River and throughout architecturally intriguing neighborhoods such as Grandin Village. Grandin is home to acclaimed Black Dog Salvage, whose "Salvage Dawgs" television show appears on the Roanoke Valley Greenway Trails are multiuse paths that attract walkers, runners and cyclists. TOWERING ABOVE THE CITY ON MILL MOUNTAIN IS THE CITY'S STORIED LANDMARK, THE ROANOKE STAR. Photos courtesy of Visit Virginia's Blue Ridge Photos courtesy of Visit Virginia's Blue Ridge BALLANTYNE FALL 2017 78 Escape

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