SEJ does have a helpful travel agent if you need one. It's Trish Knighton at Martin Travel, Inc., 800-817-1227, 540-951-7854 and fax 540-951-5043
For some reason, the cost of flights to Roanoke has gone down on Travelocity. For example, from Sept. 12:
- Atlanta $256+
- Chicago $265+
- Indianapolis $205+
- Manchester $205+
- Milwaukee $165+
- New York City $225+
- Orlando $205+
- Philadelphia $225+
- Providence $205+
- Tampa $205+
Richmond to Roanoke The drive can be 3 to 3.5 hours. Take the route I-64 through Charlottesville to Staunton and down 81, not across state route 460. There are lots of speed traps on 460.
Dulles Airport (Northern Virginia) to Roanoke -- 3 hours 40 minutes -- East Route 66, South I-81. Heavy traffic but nice scenery. Cool stuff along the way in New Market, Stanton, Lexington, and around Roanoke.
Greensboro NC to Roanoke may be as cheap and is closer to Roanoke (2 hours) than any other alterantives (except Lynchburg). Take Rt. 68 (or follow the signs) to 220 north, a four lane that goes all the way to Roanoke. Roads around the airport are under construction, so watch for the changes.
Charleston WV to Roanoke -- 3 and a half hours -- Again, Mapquest and Google Maps do not give optimal routes. The best route is I-64 east to Covington, then Rt 220 South, then going over to I-81 south.
Charlotte NC to Roanoke is three hours, an easy drive up 77 and then across 81. Not as much truck traffic as the Washington to Roanoke I-81 corredor. At Exit (mile marker) 143 go east on I 581 into Roanoke. There are lots of signs for the Hotel Roanoke.
Raleigh NC to Roanoke is three and a half hours by car. Note that both Mapquest and Google Maps incorrectly route you through Yanceyville, Danville, Chatham and other small towns in NC and VA. This is the Speed-Trapovania route, and if you want to meet every redneck sheriff in southern Virginia, this is the way to go. So its best to drive I-40 West to Greensboro, then take highway 220 North to Martinsville and Roanoke. Its slightly longer in distance but will save a lot of grief.
Take the Train? Amtrack is green and cool, but the arrival and departure times to Lynchburg (an hour away from Roanoke) are difficult. There is only one southbound and one northbound Amtrak train daily to Lynchburg, VA, which is an hour away. The southbound train from Washington DC and points north is a bargain (Only $38 one way from DC). However, it arrives at 10 pm in the evenings in the town of Lynchburg. The return trip is also inconvenient – It leaves Lynchburg going north at 6 am Sunday (Oct 19) or Monday (Oct 20). The northbound train from Atlanta and points south is an overnight – leaving Atlanta at 8:20 pm and arriving in Lynchburg at 6 am. The cost from Atlanta is $74. The return trip leaves Lynchburg at 10 pm and arrives in Atlanta at 8 am.