Discover Blacksburg with your student

Main Street and environs
Adjacent to campus
Free (prices vary at The Lyric)
downtownblacksburg.com
thelyric.com
blacksburgfarmersmarket.com

There’s so much to do in Downtown Blacksburg! Within just a few charming city blocks that embrace the Virginia Tech campus, you’ll enjoy a cornucopia of places to eat and shop, galleries, live music venues, and a year-round Farmers Market. Fun seasonal festivals abound. Check out the “Dinner and a Movie” option — eat at a participating downtown restaurant and get a ticket for a free movie at the elegantly refurbished 1930s Lyric Theatre.

Falls Ridge Road, Elliston
14 minute drive
Free
nature.org/ourinitiatives/regions/ northamerica/unitedstates/virginia/ placesweprotect/falls-ridge-preserve.xml

Enjoy an easy hike with views of an 80-foot spring-fed waterfall at this ruggedly beautiful Nature Conservancy property. A geologic point of interest: the Preserve is bisected by the Salem Fault, with two different rock types (and resulting soil types and vegetation) on either side. The bird watching is excellent — keep an eye open also for rare plants like the Allegheny Plum and Addison’s Leatherflower. The Preserve is open daily from dawn to dusk (no dogs); pick up a map at the visitor kiosk.

204 Draper Road, SW and 203 Gilbert Street
1 minute drive
Free
blacksburgmuseum.org

You get two for one with the Blacksburg Museum: the Alexander Black House & Cultural Center and St. Lukes & Odd Fellows Hall. Both lovingly restored structures help tell the history of Blacksburg even as they impart new energy into the city’s cultural and artistic scene. Visit the website for details about the Sixteen Squares Historic Walking Tour and to view a calendar of upcoming events — you’ll find art exhibits and history talks at the House and music, food and more at the Hall, which has served as a community space since the late 1800s when it was the center of the New Town African American neighborhood. The House is open Tuesday– Saturday from 10 a.m.–4 p.m.; tour the Hall on Thursday and Friday between 2–5 p.m.

190 Alumni Mall
On campus
Prices vary
artscenter.vt.edu

Go from audience to actor and back again at the Moss Arts Center. A performance by an internationally renowned tango company might be followed by a dance lesson; an author talk by Cheryl Strayed (Wild) is paired with a master class for writers; artist talks accompany each new exhibition in the gallery. Performances by students from Virginia Tech’s School of Performing Arts are regularly on the calendar; the Institute for Creativity, Arts, and Technology offers Maker fairs. Friendly VT students staff the Center — interacting with them is an added pleasure. Visit the website to find out what’s waiting for you!

200 Garden Lane, Drillfield Drive
On campus
Free
hort.vt.edu/hhg
weremember.vt.edu/memorial.html

When you are ready to relax and reflect, find your way to the Hahn Horticulture Garden. The teaching and display gardens are open daily from dawn to dusk; the Peggy Lee Hahn Garden Pavilion is open weekdays from 8–5. There is something for every botanical mood — shady groves, water features, and bright perennial borders. Visit on Wednesday at noon for the weekly “Learn and Lunch Walk and Talk.” A short drive or stroll across campus brings you to the simple and moving memorial to the 32 lives lost on April 16, 2007. A semicircle of “Hokie Stones” (the native Virginia limestone used as cornerstones in campus buildings) echoes the impromptu memorial that sprang up in the hours after the shootings. Stone benches honor the survivors of April 16 and invite you to linger a bit longer.

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