Holiday Gift Ideas In Roanoke That Support Local Business

on November 11, 2019 | By Larry Landolt

Take a stroll along our charming downtown streets, and you’ll see small businesses doing the extraordinary: Giving Roanokers unique shopping and dining experiences that can’t be found anywhere else.

Chocolate! Sweets!

A sweet tooth is easily satisfied in Roanoke.

You can’t go wrong with a store named chocolatepaper. The charming shop is chocked full of unique and fun gifts, one-of-a-kind greeting cards that put drug-store cards to shame, and fine papers. And then there’s the chocolate. Oh, the chocolate! Rows and rows of chocolates line the cases. It will take you some time to choose, so plan accordingly. 

The Candy Store   at Center in the Square is sure to cause sugarplums to dance in your head and offers a large variety of candy, perfect for stuffing stockings.

To the Market we go!

The Roanoke Farmer’s Market is more than an outdoor market. It’s part of our weekend routine. On any given Saturday, you’ll find fresh fruits, vegetables, and meats. But in the weeks leading up to Christmas, you’ll find artisan gifts — from pure pine wreaths to adorn your front door to handmade jewelry to bread and cakes and pies to soaps and candles. If you’re shopping for the person who has everything, then the Market is where you’ll find something he or she won’t have — and will love.

Outside of the Market, you’ll find more regional works, such as art and jewelry at The Treehouse Collaborative and Gypsypalooza, Too! and books written by local authors at the charming, indie, bookstore, Book No Further. 


Ahhh! Be pampered at the Salt Foot Sanctuary at Hotel Roanoke! 

Treat yourself and your guests to a blissful transforming mini-escape with a lasting impression.  The Salt Foot Sanctuary at Hotel Roanoke is ideal for couples or small groups!  It’s a shared experience, with capacity of up to four guests at the same time, performed in our sanctuary and centered on luxurious, handmade, and wonderfully aromatic mineral foot soaks. Enjoy a glass of wine, hot tea or a craft beer during your stay.  Reservations suggested.  It’s a great gift idea too, with gift certificates available.


Live Entertainment  & Music 

The Roanoke region is blessed with a host of live music venues.  Check them out and give the gift of a fun night of quality entertainment.

Your more well-known options include The Harvester Performance Center  and the Jefferson Center.  But don’t forget the cozy venues that offer an amazing intimate experience, such as The Spot on Kirk and the 5 Points Music Sanctuary.  How about live theatre?  Check out Mill Mountain Theatre for professional regional performances.  And we love supporting local community theatre too, like Showtimers and the Star City Playhouse.


Moonshine & Spirits

The legacy of Franklin County, VA moonshine and spirits is worldwide.   The stories, lore and legendary characters associated with the generations-old craft are a local treasure.  Therefore a gift of locally-made spirits comes with tradition and lots of stories.  For a complete Franklin County moonshine experience  include local brandy from Twin Creeks Distillery (Rocky Mount,VA) or Franklin County Distilleries (Boones Mills, VA) in your eggnog recipe this year, and sit down and watch the classic 2012 movie Lawless.   You can find spirits from these local distilleries in your nearby ABC Store or, better yet, go visit this local businesses and enjoy their “likker” right from the source.


Local Craft Beer!

We like our beer like our mountains, our trails, our rivers and our trains. The craft beers brewed in our local breweries reflect the flavors of Virginia’s Blue Ridge. Starting with our region’s crystal clear water, every sip celebrates our region.

Deschutes Brewery – Tasting RoomBig Lick BrewingParkway Brewing, Twin Creeks Brewing, Chaos Mountain BrewingHammer & Forge Brewing, Starr Hill Pilot BreweryOlde Salem Brewing, A Few Old Goats Brewing, and Three Notch’d Brewing offer gift certificates, six-packs, and growlers/crowlers. If you want to make your own, give Southern Hills Home Brew Supply a visit.   Also, if you like mead be sure to visit Blacksnake Meadery – The Hive in the Wasena neighborhood.  


Experiences! Adventures!

They say the best gifts aren’t things; they’re experiences. Luckily, we’re in Virginia’s Blue Ridge and our mountains, valleys, and rivers are filled with experiences.  

Like food? Then a gift certificate for a Downtown Roanoke Food and Cultural Tour or Taste of Naples Experience are a hit! Like beer? A Brewery Hop-On Hop-Off  Tour does the trick.  FYI – gift certificates for Tour Roanoke never expire!  

Like adventures? Roanoke Mountain Adventures offers cycling, kayaking, paddle boarding, and mountain biking instructional tours, rentals, and shuttles to your favorite trails.

Underdog Bikes, Cardinal Bicycle, East Coasters Bike Shop, and Starlight Bikes keep you peddling along the greenways. Dangle a great gift in the form of a gift certificate to The River Rock, the ultimate rock-climbing experience in Roanoke.

And if you want to combine all of Roanoke’s passions, head over to Downshift for coffee, bikes, and beer. (Honestly, we may take up residence here.)

This year shop local on Small Business Saturday and support Roanoke’s artisans, craftsmen, and retailers that give Roanoke its eclectic vibe. 


Derby Day Gala Tickets

Sat. May 2, 2020, is Roanoke’s most glamorous and delicious annual fundraising event. The Derby Day Gala at Rockledge (beneath the Mill Mountain Star) has been named one of the Top 5 Kentucky Derby parties outside of Louisville, KY.  All proceeds for this event benefit the Southwestern VA Chapter of the American Culinary Federation.  Tickets are very limited, and for eleven consecutive years. the event has Sold Out.  Buy your tickets before Jan. 1, 2020 and you get a discount! Use promo code 2020EarlyBird.






Larry Landolt

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