The entire Blue Ridge Mountains is one large outdoor playground. Just take a drive along the Blue Ridge Parkway and you will find plenty of hiking trails, biking paths and fishing streams to keep you entertained. The Appalachian Trail starts out from Roanoke and winds through the George Washington and Jefferson National forests. Carvins Cove, a 640-acre water area, offers public fishing, picnicking and rowing facilities. Smith Mountain Lake near Huddleston is also a good place to go for such water activities, though for swimming, you will probably need to join up with a swim club such as Forest Hill (3360 Kenwick Trail, 540-989-1854), Spring Run (6328 Ran Lynn Drive, 540-774-9952) or Castle Rock (5950 Brahma Road, 540-772-1977).

A short drive will bring you into Lexington, where the Virginia Horse Center at 487 Maury River Road rents horses for equestrian excursions. This place also holds several horse-riding competitions throughout the year, so this is a good place to come for those who enjoy spectator sports.

There are also golf courses in some of the nearby towns for those who prefer a less rugged form of exercise. Try Ashley Plantation Country Club in Daleville (910 Greenfield Street, tel: 540-992-GOLF), Hanging Rock Golf Club in Salem (1500 Red Lane, tel: 540-389-7275) or The Vista Links in Buena Vista (2039 Sycamore Avenue, tel: 540-261-4653).