10 Things to Do in the NRV This Summer

Whether you’re a student, a long-term resident, or anything in between, the NRV has no shortage of things for you to do in the NRV this summer. Explore every part of Virginia’s New River Valley by starting with these 10 hotspots:

1. Adventure at Mountain Lake Lodge

Mountain Lake Lodge  - things to do in the NRV

Check out the Adventure Center at Mountain Lake Lodge for endless summer fun. Zip through the Appalachian mountains or take a trip down the “Sky Slide,” the tallest inflatable slide in the world! (photo by Alissa Moody)

2. Chateau Morrisette

Chateau Morrisette  - things to do in the NRV

Enjoy the grounds of this 3rd generation winery with friends, family, and even your pup. Hit the restaurant for an exquisite meal, or simply enjoy a glass of wine on the patio.

3. Claytor Lake

Claytor Lake  - things to do in the NRV

Swim, boat, or fish at Claytor Lake State Park this summer. Enjoy the beach and seasonal snack bar, the full-service marina, picnic spots, hiking trails, and more.

4. Float the New River from Bissett Park

Bisset Park  - things to do in the NRV

You can float, boat, paddle, or fish the New River from many spots in the NRV, but Bisset Park is a good place to start. Bring your own equipment, or rent from a local outfitter on the spot. Float awhile and they’ll pick you up to start again.

5. Floyd Country Store Friday Night Jamboree

Floyd Country Store  - things to do in the NRV

The Floyd Country Store has become a traditional gathering place for musicians, dancers, and visitors from all over the world. The Jamboree happens every Friday night with different featured musicians.

6. Hahn Horticulture Garden

Hahn Horticulture Garden  - things to do in the NRV

The Hahn Horticulture Garden is almost six acres of beautiful gardens on the Virginia Tech campus. Experience tranquil water gardens, shade gardens, and plants galore! You can even check out special events like Yoga by the Garden.

7. Hike the Cascades

The Cascades - things to do in the NRV

A classic hike in Virginia’s New River Valley, Cascade Falls is a moderate hike with amazing views. The 69 ft. falls are flanked by even taller cliff walls.

8. Moss Arts Center

Moss Arts Center  - things to do in the NRV

The Moss Arts Center welcomes performances that range from classical music to stand up comedy. Just two events this summer include: “Ben Folds and a Piano” and “The Crooked Road’s Mountains of Music Homecoming: Sierra Hull.”

9. Pulaski Yankees Game at Calfee Park

Pulaski Yankees - things to do in the NRV

Head over to historic Calfee Park in Pulaski for a Yankees Game. Opening Day is June 22nd. This is an action-packed NRV experience you don’t want to miss.

10. Radford University Planetarium

RU Planetarium - things to do in the NRV

Beat the heat and still experience nature! School is out, but the RU Planetarium is still up and running. Upcoming summer events will be posted soon on the planetarium website.

Find more things to do each day on our Community Calendar powered by Next3Days.

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Virginia’s New River Valley: For those searching for an inspiring place to live and do business, Virginia’s New River Valley provides both an eclectic small town atmosphere and an innovative, collaborative business community with a loyal, highly skilled, and educated workforce. Offering the best of all worlds – magnificent mountains, cutting-edge research, arts, entertainment, and education – it’s A NATURAL FIT.

Onward NRV: Onward NRV is a public/private, regional economic development organization whose mission is to attract and retain world class jobs, investment, and talent in Virginia’s New River Valley. It’s also a movement where leaders from business, government, and higher education work together to promote the economic vitality of the region.

Governor Northam Nominates Opportunity Zones, Six Located in NRV

NEW RIVER VALLEY, VA – Governor Northam announced the nomination of Virginia Opportunity Zones yesterday to the U.S. Department of Treasury. The Governor nominated a total of 212 sites (the maximum number allowed). There are 6 nominated Opportunity Zones in the NRV.

Opportunity Zones in the NRV

Click for full, interactive map. (via esri)

“Opportunity zones are an important federal tool to spur vitality in economic growth in communities across Virginia and we are committed to using them fully in this administration,” said Governor Northam. “By focusing on local and regional strategies, as well as Virginia’s diverse geography and economic opportunities, we selected a balance of zones that align with other state and local economic development and revitalization efforts. This ensures that Virginia is at the forefront of attracting new Opportunity fund investments.”

The Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development assisted in coordinating nomination process alongside the Virginia Economic Development Partnership.

For more information regarding the opportunity zones, visit the Governor’s website.

Click here for a full, interactive map of Virginia’s nominated zones. (via esri)

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Virginia’s New River Valley: For those searching for an inspiring place to live and do business, Virginia’s New River Valley provides both an eclectic small town atmosphere and an innovative, collaborative business community with a loyal, highly skilled, and educated workforce. Offering the best of all worlds – magnificent mountains, cutting-edge research, arts, entertainment, and education – it’s A NATURAL FIT.

Onward NRV: Onward NRV is a public/private, regional economic development organization whose mission is to attract and retain world class jobs, investment and talent in Virginia’s New River Valley. It’s also a movement where leaders from business, government, and higher education work together to promote the economic vitality of the region.

NRV Top Posts of 2018

RU Highlander Ranked #1 Mascot by USA Today

RADFORD, VA – USA Today named the Radford University Highlander mascot the no. 1 mascot. Out of the 68 teams in the NCAA Tournament, the Highlanders came out on top.

“AMAZING” said the article author Charles Curtis. “Between the beard, the costume, the muscles, the headband and all the ‘THERE CAN BE ONLY ONE!!!’ jokes, this deserves the No. 1 spot.”

Radford University is a huge asset to our communities. It doesn’t hurt that Highlander sports teams keep winning. Radford Men’s Soccer clinched the 2016 Big South Tournament Championship. Golf, Cross Country, Tennis, and more are consistent winners, and Men’s Baseball is unstoppable. Learn more at www.radford.edu.

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Virginia’s New River Valley: For those searching for an inspiring place to live and do business, Virginia’s New River Valley provides both an eclectic small town atmosphere and an innovative, collaborative business community with a loyal, highly skilled, and educated workforce. Offering the best of all worlds – magnificent mountains, cutting-edge research, arts, entertainment, and education – it’s A NATURAL FIT.

Onward NRV: Onward NRV is a public/private, regional economic development organization whose mission is to attract and retain world class jobs, investment and talent in Virginia’s New River Valley. It’s also a movement where leaders from business, government, and higher education work together to promote the economic vitality of the region.

Virginia Tech versus North Carolina basketball, ACC sports, Cassell Coliseum

Virginia Tech and Radford University Men’s Basketball Make it to the NCAA Tournament

NEW RIVER VALLEY, VA – The men’s basketball teams in the NRV are headed to the NCAA Tournament.

nrv teams ncaa tournament

The Virginia Tech Hokies (no. 8 seed in the East Region) received an at-large bid and will face Alabama (no. 9 seed) this Thursday, March 15.

After winning the Big South Championship last week, the Radford Highlanders will be play in the “First Four games today. They’re opponents are LIU-Brooklyn and the winner will be the no. 16 seed against no. 1 seed Villanova on Thursday.

Read more from Mark Berman at The Roanoke Times.

UPDATE (March 16)

The Radford University Highlanders beat LIU-Brooklyn to make it to the first round. Radford was then defeated by Villanova. Virginia Tech also lost by 3 points to Alabama in the first round.

While the Hokies and the Highlanders didn’t make it past Round 1 this year, there was a lot of love for these NRV teams. Radford alumnus and ESPN commentator Marty Smith showed his support, even letting Reggie Miller know he’d help him get to town for a game.

RU Coach Mike Jones was glad Virginia’s New River Valley had the opportunity to be seen:

The NRV is such a special place. Not just because of our universities, but because of the people who attend them and populate the rest of the region. Whether you’re an alumnus, a long-time resident, or a new professional, it doesn’t take long to see Virginia’s New River Valley is A Natural Fit.

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Virginia’s New River Valley: For those searching for an inspiring place to live and do business, Virginia’s New River Valley provides both an eclectic small town atmosphere and an innovative, collaborative business community with a loyal, highly skilled, and educated workforce. Offering the best of all worlds – magnificent mountains, cutting-edge research, arts, entertainment, and education – it’s A NATURAL FIT.

Onward NRV: Onward NRV is a public/private, regional economic development organization whose mission is to attract and retain world class jobs, investment and talent in Virginia’s New River Valley. It’s also a movement where leaders from business, government, and higher education work together to promote the economic vitality of the region.

Women laughing and enjoying one of the outside events in the NRV.

There’s No Excuse for Being Bored in the NRV

While Virginia’s New River Valley may be a collection of small towns, the amount of things to do here is anything but small. There are tons of events in the NRV.

In fact, there are tons of events in the NRV daily. Whether it’s large, nationally acclaimed annual festivals, or weekly happy hours, these small towns are more bustling than ever.

According to Jami Ryan of NextThreeDays.com, a regional website featuring nearly all the events in the NRV, there were 4,927 Featured Events in our region in 2017. That means these events don’t reoccur weekly.

That’s right. Almost 5,000 one-time events for residents in the NRV.

That comes to 13.5 big events each day.

“I used to hear ‘there’s nothing to do’ all the time from my friends in college who grew up in the city or in more populous areas and came to the NRV for school,” said Ryan. “In fact, this is one of the reasons why I created NextThreeDays because, having spent most of my life in our region, I knew it wasn’t true. And, since I’ve been running NextThreeDays, I can say emphatically that ‘there’s nothing to do’ in the New River Valley is completely false.”

To fight the misconception of lack of events in the NRV, Ryan uses NextThreeDays.com as a place where those events can be easily found: an ever-changing database of fun for all residents of the NRV.

It’s about more than just the amount of events in the NRV too; there is a solid variety as well. Because he sees almost all the events in the NRV, Ryan understands the diversity of activities offered here.

“I would like people to know that there is truly something for everyone,” said Ryan. “Whether it’s looking for live music, finding a local festival, a craft brewery, fun for the kids, the dogs or whomever or whatever your interests are, the NRV has something fun to offer. For example, two years ago I heard about the NRV Historic Dance Society. This group of local residents was formed to teach and celebrate English country dancing in the 17th, 18th & 19th centuries. We also regularly include outdoor games for the Laser Tag Club at Virginia Tech on NextThreeDays and just this week there was a Root Beer Tasting and Sommelier Certification. And, these are just three of the many events that are happening in the NRV. So my point is, there is truly something for everyone no matter your interests.

On top of that, there’s also plenty to do that’s free. Who doesn’t love free?

“There are so many events that have either free admission or the ticket cost is very low,” said Ryan. “Sure, there are a number of dinners, galas and events that are expensive, but there are many, many more events that have free admission. In 2014, I created and completed the 31 Days of NRV Fun Challenge where I had to attend 31 or more events at 31 unique venues and spent no more than $7.00 a day. I was able to accomplish the feat and still had $12.00 leftover at the end.”

“And, this summer I did a 50 Events in 50 Days Challenge and most of the events I attended were free or very inexpensive. Both Radford University and Virginia Tech have wonderful arts, theatre and music programs and many of their performances are free as are many of the universities’ educational activities. Numerous restaurants offer free live music throughout the week and many of our area towns and bigger organizations hosts free festivals throughout the year.”

“And, that doesn’t even count the non-football and basketball collegiate athletics and our public libraries where all events are free. So it’s fairly easy to get out of your home and to find an event to enjoy for a couple of hours and spend $10.00 or less.”

Woman shimmies across rope at Muddy ACCE Race, an adventure race. One of the many events in the NRV, specifically Giles County.

The Muddy ACCE Race in Giles County is one of the many events in the NRV. The sign up fee for this muddy adventure race help fund local students’ community college tuition.

If you’re looking for something to do or specific events in the NRV, check out what’s going on at NextThreeDays.com. The same information also populates to the Live Here page.

For more information about Virginia’s New River Valley, check out Our Region and what it’s like to Live Here.

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Virginia’s New River Valley: For those searching for an inspiring place to live and do business, Virginia’s New River Valley provides both an eclectic small town atmosphere and an innovative, collaborative business community with a loyal, highly skilled, and educated workforce. Offering the best of all worlds – magnificent mountains, cutting-edge research, arts, entertainment, and education – it’s A NATURAL FIT.

Onward NRV: Onward NRV is a public/private, regional economic development organization whose mission is to attract and retain world class jobs, investment and talent in Virginia’s New River Valley. It’s also a movement where leaders from business, government, and higher education work together to promote the economic vitality of the region.

Couple walks arm in arm in Downtown Blacksburg

Radford #1 and Blacksburg #6 Best Places for Singles in Virginia

NEW RIVER VALLEY, VA – If you’re looking for love in the NRV, then you’re in the right place. Radford (#1) and Blacksburg (#6) were ranked some of the best places for singles in Virginia, according to homesnacks.net.

Couple walks arm in arm in Downtown Blacksburg

Best Places for Singles in VA:
1. Radford
2. Charlottesville
3. Richmond
4. Alexandria
5. Harrisonburg
6. Blacksburg
7. Norfolk
8. Fredericksburg
9. Hampton
10. Winchester

The ratings are based on information from the 2011-2015 American Community Survey Census data.

Looking for things to do in the NRV on V-Day? Check out the special event at the Radford Theater, or the Valentine’s Charity Vinyasa Yoga Class for the Big Heart Foundation at In Balance Yoga in Blacksburg.

For a larger list of all things Valentine’s Day happening in Virginia’s New River Valley, check out this list from Next 3 Days.

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Virginia’s New River Valley: For those searching for an inspiring place to live and do business, Virginia’s New River Valley provides both an eclectic small town atmosphere and an innovative, collaborative business community with a loyal, highly skilled, and educated workforce. Offering the best of all worlds – magnificent mountains, cutting-edge research, arts, entertainment, and education – it’s A NATURAL FIT.

Onward NRV: Onward NRV is a public/private, regional economic development organization whose mission is to attract and retain world class jobs, investment and talent in Virginia’s New River Valley. It’s also a movement where leaders from business, government, and higher education work together to promote the economic vitality of the region.

Radford the #21 Most Wallet-Friendly College City

RADFORD, VA — The city of Radford ranks no. 21 for “wallet-friendliness” among college towns and cities, according to WalletHub. Home of Radford University, Radford has a high population of students, and plenty of low-cost options for entertainment.

Source: WalletHub

The ranking is based on the following metrics:

  • Housing Costs Note: This metric measures the price of a two-bedroom apartment rental.
  • Adjusted Cost of Living for Young People
  • Share of Rental Units
  • Average Monthly Fitness-Club Fee
  • Average Cost of Pizza & Burgers
  • Cost of Higher Education Note: This metric measures the average tuition fee weighted by the number of students.
  • Student Loan Debt per Person
  • Learn more about the City of Radford and Radford University.

    Check out more of the higher education options in the NRV here.

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    Virginia’s New River Valley: For those searching for an inspiring place to live and do business, Virginia’s New River Valley provides both an eclectic small town atmosphere and an innovative, collaborative business community with a loyal, highly skilled, and educated workforce. Offering the best of both worlds – magnificent mountains, cutting-edge research, arts, entertainment, and education – it’s A NATURAL FIT.

    Onward NRV: Onward NRV is a public/private, regional economic development organization whose mission is to attract and retain world class jobs, investment and talent in Virginia’s New River Valley. It’s also a movement where leaders from business, government, and higher education work together to promote the economic vitality of the region.

    Onward NRV Works to Reach Radford Alumni

    Onward NRV Executive Director Charlie Jewell, joined by Award-Winning IT Professor Jeff Pittges, took a 2-day trip to Northern Virginia last week to help Radford University alumni reconnect to Virginia’s New River Valley.

    By partnering with the RU Alumni Association, Jewell was able to deliver a 2-minute pitch in front of guests at the RU alumni networking event held at The Goal in Reston, VA. This event was an excellent opportunity to launch and give away some of the NRV branded boxes, which were handcrafted by St. Pierre Woodworking in Floyd, VA and contained goodies representing the NRV. Jewell also scheduled meetings with alumni business leaders to educate them on Onward’s work to attract and grow the four targeted industries for the region.

    The goal was to help communicate the business advantages, job opportunities, and lifestyle amenities in the region to RU alumni. The outbound marketing was also meant to increase awareness of the advantages specifically in Information Technology, Advanced Manufacturing, Food & Beverage Processing, and Unmanned Systems.

    The idea to reach out to alumni was born of the research on the four targeted industries. Many business leaders noted that they are satisfied with their current employees, but harbor some concerns about finding enough employees when it comes time to expand their businesses. Therefore, Onward wants to reconnect with alumni living outside the area that may want to move back in the future in order to communicate what the region has to offer them.

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    Virginia’s New River Valley: For those searching for a beautiful place to live and do business, Virginia’s New River Valley provides both an eclectic small town atmosphere and an innovative, collaborative business community with a loyal, highly skilled, and educated workforce. Offering the best of both worlds – magnificent mountains, cutting-edge research, arts, entertainment, and education – it’s A NATURAL FIT.


    Onward NRV: Onward NRV is a public/private, regional economic development organization whose mission is to attract and retain world class jobs, investment and talent in Virginia’s New River Valley. It’s also a movement where leaders from business, government, and higher education work together to promote the economic vitality of the region.

    Visitors from VEDP stand at the Falling Branch Corporate Park on a beautiful day.

    VEDP Visits Virginia’s New River Valley

    Sixteen team members from Virginia Economic Development Partnership, hosted by Onward NRV staff, visited Virginia’s New River Valley from August 23-24 to learn more about the region’s communities and targeted industries.

    A group from VEDP prepares to tour the Phoenix Packaging facility in Pulaski County, Virginia

    With an aggressive schedule, the team was able to make 15 stops on their short tour.

    Robotic manufacturing arm at New River Community College in Pulaski County, Virginia

    For Advanced Manufacturing, visits included a tour of Phoenix Packaging in Pulaski County and a tour and lunch at New River Community College to see the training programs in Electronics Technology, Instrumentation and Control Automation, and more.

    The group was only willing to leave the 3D printers and unmanned robotics to view open sites in the NRV suited for manufacturing companies. (Former GE/Fairchild Building in Giles County, NRV Commerce Park in Pulaski County, Falling Branch Corporate Park in Montgomery County)


    To learn more about Information Technology in the NRV, the group toured Rackspace to learn about existing industry and Radford University’s ARTIS lab, which provides a top-knotch learning environment for students who leave ready to enter the workforce.

    Sign on the window of Radford University Artis Lab in Radford, VA

    The group was also able to see suitable sites for IT companies such as the Floyd Innovation Center and Wheatland EcoPark in Giles County.

    Outside the Floyd Innovation Center in Floyd County, VA.

    Information about Food and Beverage Processing manifested in a tour of the Virginia Tech Food Science and Technology facilities including the Sensory Evaluation Lab, Food Safety Pilot Plant, the on campus brewhouse, and more.

    A tour and wine tasting at Chateau Morrissette in Floyd County gave VEDP an inside look at existing industry in the NRV as well.

    Outside of Chateau Morrissette in the mountains of Floyd County, VA.

    The beauty of Virginia’s New River valley was not overlooked. The traveling during to tour allowed for beautiful scenic routes and stops at mountainous overlooks. A delicious breakfast at the Pete Dye River Course in Radford, VA provided an additional view of the New River. Meals during the tour were catered by Prestons at the River, The Blue Door Cafe at Draper Mercantile, The Palisades, and The Floyd Country Store.

    The tour ended with a visit to New Rivers Edge Outfitters, which gave the crew a taste of the outdoors and a look at what living in Giles County and the rest of the New River Valley is like: A Natural Fit.

    New RIvers Edge Outfitters
    Downtown Store fronts in radford virginia a safest city virginia

    Radford the #18 Safest City in Virginia

    Radford is the no. 18 safest city in Virginia, according to SafeWise.

    According to safewise, Virginia has the 3rd lowest violent crime rate in the country, making it overall a safe state. Many of the communities in the NRV rank as some of the safest in the commonwealth.

    These rankings were based on the FBI Crime Report from 2015 and population. Cities with less than 3,000 residents were eliminated. Read more about the rankings from Safewise.

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    Virginia’s New River Valley: For those searching for an inspiring place to live and do business, Virginia’s New River Valley provides both an eclectic small town atmosphere and an innovative, collaborative business community with a loyal, highly skilled, and educated workforce. Offering the best of all worlds – magnificent mountains, cutting-edge research, arts, entertainment, and education – it’s A NATURAL FIT.

    Onward NRV: Onward NRV is a public/private, regional economic development organization whose mission is to attract and retain world class jobs, investment and talent in Virginia’s New River Valley. It’s also a movement where leaders from business, government, and higher education work together to promote the economic vitality of the region.