02See Star City’s namesake

The Roanoke Star turned off during the day krblokhin / Getty Images

In 1949, Roanoke locals constructed a bright, neon star atop Mill Mountain to encourage Christmas shopping that year. Everyone loved the star so much that the residents decided to keep it lit all year long. Now, the Roanoke Star is an iconic symbol that’s earned the city nicknames such as “The Star City of the South.” Red, white, and blue are the colors the star sports every day; when tragedy strikes, it glows white in solidarity. After you've hiked up Mill Mountain to see it up close, you'll be near other attractions at the mountain.