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As Roanoke is not a large tourist town (at least, not yet), the prices are fairly low and stores remain geared toward locals. The historic Farmers Market Square on Market Street is the best place to start; local vendors have stalls set up with not only fresh fruits and vegetables, but also handmade crafts, flowers and hot food. All of the food is locally grown and much of it is organic. In addition there are more than 40 restaurants in the downtown and market area offering a full range of cuisines and price ranges. Center in The Square, a complex at the center of the Market, houses Mill Mountain Theatre, the History Museum and the Science Museum. The art museum is perparing to re-open as the Taubman Museum of Art; an architectural marvel that is receiving international attention. Its collections include 19th century American works (Thomas Eakins, Whistler) and contemporary American, an extensive collection of Virginia pottery and crafts as well as the largest collection of Judith Lieber bags. The Transporattion Museum displays several rare steam locomotives and other impressive railroad memorabilia. To top it off, the the O. Winston Link museum houses the largest collection of Link photographs and is housed in a building designed by Raymond Loewy.
Adjacent to the Roanoke Regional Airport is the Valley View Mall at 4802 Valley View Boulevard NW, the largest mall in southwest Virginia. There are numerous stores here, including national brands such as Abercrombie & Fitch, America Eagle Outfitters, Hot Topic, Limited Too and Victoria’s Secret. There are accessory, jewelry and gift stores here as well, though more modestly-priced merchandise is also available from large chain stores like Wal-Mart, Toys-R-Us and Sears. There are several sit-down restaurants and a large movie theater.
In the southwest corner of Roanoke is the other large store in town, Tanglewood Mall. There are not as many clothing stores here as in Valley View. The options are more diverse, however, as the shops include two bookstores (one of which is Barnes & Noble), a Bath & Body Works, several jewelry stores, and several department store anchors, including JCPenney, Belk and TJ Maxx.Downtown Roanoke is also home to various specialty gift stores that sell a range of products from pottery to antiques.