Is Roanoke a good city?

Troy, VA

#43 Jan 23, 2013
Holly wrote:
I lived there for 11 years, and getting out was the best thing I've ever done. I moved around a bit, and finally ended up in Atlanta (which is MUCH better). Roanoke is like a fishbowl. Everybody knows your business and you can't go anywhere without seeing people you know. The person who said it's 20 years behind the times is spot on. I have a hard time convincing myself to go back every 5 years or so to visit family. The job market sucks, and it's filled with trashy people (black AND white). The crime rate is also terrible. I was raped several times while there, as well as held hostage in a basement, tied to a mattress, among other things. My advice? Stay the heck away.
You must have had a ""Rape Me"" sign on your door or hung out in the wrong places. Your comment tells us a lot about yourself.
New to Noke

Elliston, VA

#44 Mar 15, 2013
My family and I just moved to Roanoke city from a more country living situation within VA. I noticed a few difference right away... too many bumper riding drivers (no, I do not drive slow), lack of respect for others, lack of parenting skills in mothers, out of control children, TERRIBLE school system and pure lack of common sense on the part of MANY people here.

Call me a 'hillbilly' or 'redneck' if you like... but I was raised in a totally different manner than these city folk. My 7-year-old daughter shows more respect for people than MOST of the adults I have encountered here. As far as crime/drugs/prostitution? I look at it like this... raise your children with respect for others, including authority... do not let them run the streets/store aisles like they are a feral animal. You are the one responsible for the way your child turns out as an adult! Instill values, respect, self-esteem in these kids and maybe, just maybe they will never see the inside of a jail cell?

As for the different 'sections' of Roanoke... SE is NOT 'redneck/racist', I have seen more biracial couples/families there than any other part of Roanoke. SW may contain some of the more upper class folk and better public schools, but some parts of SW are crime ridden as well. NE is more of a family-oriented area in my opinion, their school zoning regulations totally suck though! NW, it just depends on which part you live in. I have seen the bad and good parts of that neighborhood as well. Schools TOTALLY suck in that area!

It amazes me that 'city' people like to refer to 'country' people as hillbillies or act as though they are below normal intelligence when I have seen first hand the difference in culture between the two. The day I moved to Roanoke City was the day it felt like I entered country... TOTAL culture shock!

Midlothian, VA

#45 Mar 17, 2013
My family moved to Roanoke County from CA when I was 12 and then I moved away after college. It really just depends on what you're looking for. If you are a young professional working in fields outside of medicine, I would not suggest relocating to the area. If you are retiring, Roanoke could be a good place to live because of the low cost of living. If you have a family and are looking to live in an area with a small town feel, Roanoke could be the place to go. Pro's - low cost of living, mountains, four distinct seasons, no traffic, and little crime. Con's - lack of jobs, little to do if you are not and outdoor enthusiast, far from any major city, far from the beach, and cold winters. In terms of the "vibe," Roanoke seems more like a large town than an actual city. Of course there are rude individuals - just like anywhere, but generally speaking, people seemed to be ok.

Roanoke, VA

#46 Apr 19, 2013
Roanoke is the best city to live in. Especially south roanoke. South roanoke is really preety and a lot of things to do. I have lived here for 20 years and I have never been robed.

United States

#47 Sep 8, 2013
Agree's with the rest of the comments on here! I just moved far, far away from Roanoke. Unless you have MONEY and can afford living in the expensive places then you should be fine. Employment sucks, so be sure you have a good career or secure a job before arriving. The night life is okay for a small town.
In my opinion without completely bashing the town. Roanoke is more for an older/ retired couple's place to settle down. I wouldn't suggest young or middle age folks re-locating here.
Hope this helps!

Roanoke, VA

#48 Oct 6, 2013
I been living in roanoke va for the past 3 yrs. Let me say that roanoke is the worst place that I had ever lived. Its full of rednecks and unfriendly people that think there better the others. I forgot to say that its also commonwealth. So if your coming for a state STAY WAY!!!!!!!!!! Trust me u dont want to live in a commnwealth.
High on life

Charlottesville, VA

#49 Oct 6, 2013
How many people were mugged, robbed, and murdered in Roanoke this past week?? That is what you should judge if you are bringing a family to Roanoke?? If you like drugs Roanoke is the place of choice.

Mobile, AL

#50 Oct 25, 2013
andrew a wrote:
<quoted text> I have to say, i just moved to Roanoke VA from arizona, and i have never seen so many hillbillys in my life. there is no night life here at all, everything seems to be backdated twenty years or so. if you want a good place check out raleigh NC. im moving there as soon as my lease is up.
I lived in Raleigh and loved it; however, Roanoke is not bad. I've had plenty of fun with friends in downtown. Roanoke county has some of the best schools in the state (Hidden Valley mainly) and has nice suburban areas outside of downtown. Wherever you live in Roanoke, you're within 20 minutes of everything and traffic isn't as bad. It's trashy in some areas with "wannabe gangstas" and hickish in other parts, but location is EVERYTHING in ANY city.
The truth about Roanoke

Charlottesville, VA

#51 Nov 4, 2013
Nice areas: North County, SW County, Salem

Bad areas: SE City, NW City

Working class areas on the move down: NE City

Most expensive area: South Roanoke & SW County

Any home with William Fleming High School will depreciate a lot. It is run by Roanoke City.

Any home with Cave Spring or Hidden Valley High School will appreciate.

Salem Schools are very good and may soon get a large tax base cash injection when Roanoke College (in Salem) expands. It is supposed to be a large $200M project starting already.

Since: Nov 13

Knoxville, TN

#52 Nov 23, 2013
I have had many good prostitutes there lol
not so crazy about this

Roanoke, VA

#53 Nov 27, 2013
I moved here from Atlanta two years ago, and my first impression was were is everybody? There is nothing to see or do here, all you have are mountains all around, One good thing is that when you watch the news they have nothing to report. unlike Atlanta or Miami where the news is full of crime for the at least thirty minutes. it is a very slow pace place to live nothing for amusement If I should invite my friends here there is nothing for them to see.
Cost of living is lower but food is rather expensive. Do I love it here? I have come to appreciate the peace and quiet.

Blacksburg, VA

#54 Jan 26, 2014
Most of the problems of a city with absolutely none of the culture. Anyone who is not wallowing in their hillbilly ways thinks that they are so obsessed with being the top socialites of this weird little place. My husband went to the local magnet high school and absolutely nobody who he went to high school with still lives here. He stayed for family but we will see how long we can take it.

Salem, VA

#55 Jan 29, 2014
love it!

Salem, VA

#56 Jan 29, 2014

United States

#59 Feb 1, 2014
The rent in this town is way over priced for a city that has few decent paying jobs. The crime rate is average overall, the police are no help unless you are the one getting a ticket. The people are a mix of wannabe punks, wiggers, rednecks, A holes with about 9 percent of decent people left. Im talking about the adults here, its scary to see how their kids will turn out. Would I move there if I had a family or needed a job? No. Would I move there if I wanted a good place to buy or sell drugs? From what ive heard probably if I was into that. Roanoke used to be a good city but jobs are leaving, people are leaving, it is basically becoming like a mini Detroit.I just feel sorry for the few good people who are stuck living there because they cant afford to move out.

United States

#60 Feb 24, 2014
Thinking of moving to Roanoke? Don't. Move to one of the counties, but not to Roanoke. Try not to even work in the city if you can help it, but that will be near to impossible. There's not much around Roanoke and it's not improving over the years. Lynchburg is expanding all the time, but Roanoke is stuck making the same mistakes year after year. I'd look into Lynchburg. it's only a 45 minute drive away and in my opinion offers so much more. The only thing they can't offer you is a concert venue. But they way they are expanding I'm sure that will be coming around soon!
Lived There

Charlottesville, VA

#61 Jan 7, 2015
I've lived in Roanoke and other cities, and I will try to give an objective opinion.
If you are a true outdoorsman (running, biking, fishing, hunting, hiking), the area offers a lot. If you are more into cultural activities (art, music, drama, opera, etc.), it's not going to fulfill your desires.
Food? There are a couple of good restaurants in town. They're genuinely good, not just "Roanoke good." But....if you're a "foodie", it's not going to be your place. You're not going to get the constant churn of cuisines that you would in major American cities or college towns. While not "20 years behind the times" as some have said, you won't get a "hot" cuisine featured in the NYT until 2 or 3 years after it's been in there.
The biggest detriment to the area is shopping. I realize a lot of people do shopping online. But if you're like me, I still prefer to shop for clothes and larger ticket items in person and get the right fit. There's no doubt that shopping is very limited in Roanoke. It's not debatable. Among the wealthier folks in town, you'll find many who go to Greensboro or Richmond to do some shopping.
Yes, every city has "good" and "bad" parts. But I'd say Roanoke is dodgier than most. Why? Downtown. In most American cities, mayors and police chiefs have made it their number one priority. They want dollars flowing, and a vibrant downtown brings in the money. Thus, crime tends to be extremely low in downtown business districts because they are flooded with cops. That's just not the case in Roanoke. It's almost inevitable that if you're out in Downtown Roanoke after 11 on a Fri. or Sat. night, you will see violence and drug use. I have no idea why, but Downtown Roanoke can be dodgy. It doesn't swarm with cops like other American cities. It's odd. I've definitely felt unsafe in Downtown Roanoke's business district at night.
As to employment...there are really 2 major employers with high wages (Carillion and Advance). If you're not working for them, chances are that your wage will be low. See my comments on the Airport below.
As to others have stated, it's what you make of it. There are enough people here from different backgrounds that if you reach out, you can probably make a go of it. But if you're not an extrovert or religious, you're probably going to be lonely. There are good and bad people as in any area.
Traffic, what traffic? That's a very nice element to Roanoke. I never once experienced traffic.
Schools? I don't know a lot about this topic. However, in South Roanoke (where all the moneyed folks live), it's almost universal that their children go to private school. So that says a lot about the city's public schools in my mind.
A final note on the economy can be summed up by the Airport. The local Airport is almost like a private airport. There are so few people that use it, you almost feel like you're in a private airport. That's b/c the fees are so high. A lot of Roanokers fly out of Greensboro. If you're wealthy enough (Carillion, Advance, Virginia Tech), you can fly out of Roanoke and get the "boutique" experience (but not a lot of flights anywhere).
I've also lived in Raleigh, Nashville, and Charlottesville. As you can see, I don't have an ax to grind with Roanoke. My time there was fine. I've tried to give you an objective viewpoint. But there's no doubt that I'd live in Raleigh, Nashville, or Charlottesville any day over Roanoke. It's not even a close question.

Asheville, NC

#62 Dec 10, 2015
Cinnamon wrote:
Its; not as beautiful or hip as Asheville,NC.
Its; not cosmopolitan like Atlanta.
Its' not intellectual like Raleigh,NC
or Charlottesville,VA.
It doesn't have the ocean and southern
charm of Charleston,sc.
REALLY?? I lived in Assville (Asheville) NC most my life. It is a melting pot for drugs, rapist and prostitutes.
I am so glad I left. It is horrible.
Abraham Hasegawa

Keswick, VA

#63 Dec 10, 2015
I wouldn't live in Roanoke if you gave me a free house. Roanoke is a dangerous area. It is not a safe place to live. Drugs, muggings robberies & an occasional murder.. Thank goodness you can still get a concealed carry license. If you like to read a left leaning paper get from Roanoke. The paper doesn't even support its Mayor.

Vinton, VA

#64 Dec 10, 2015
blacklabel wrote:
<quoted text>
Raleigh is nothing but a POS city full of snobby stuck up people who think that they are better than everyone.
Lol, that is a fact!!!! I am and always will be a country girl... Jeans, boots, sweet tea that's just me!

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