Southwest Virginia has plenty of locations to run around with your significant other that would make for great photos. Whether you’re looking for waterfalls to chase, rolling hills, or the more industrial vibe – these are my top 8 engagement locations near Roanoke, Virginia.
There are numerous stunning backdrops to consider when planning your engagement photos. Cahas Mountain Overlook is a great option off the Blue Ridge Parkway that offers jaw-dropping mountain vistas along with an open field to run around in. If you’re more of a city person and prefer the urban, industrial look then Downtown Roanoke is a perfect option for you.
This engagement location is nestled off the Blue Ridge Parkway in Vinton, Virginia at milepost 115. With rolling hills, plenty of woodlands, mountain views, and access to the Roanoke River this place is a gem.
Another perk is how close proximity this park is to the Blue Ridge Parkway. There are plenty of locations to run around with your adventurous lover!
Check out this adventure session that including the location Explore Park 🙂
One of my favorite engagement locations near Roanoke! If hiking is up your alley then you’re not going to want to miss this option. With 360 tremendous views of the Blue Ridge Mountains, it is well worth the sweat. But be aware, this is not for the faint of heart!
While the trail itself is only a 1.5 mile hike, it is a steep incline with several stairs to climb. It is also a very popular hike, for good reason of course! But for this reason, it is smart to consider doing your session at sunrise if you pick this location. If waking up before the sun isn’t your cup of tea, then I would recommend avoiding weekend dates. Sharp Top Mountain is my favorite hike in the Roanoke area!
If you’re looking for a classier, architectural location then downtown Roanoke is the option for you. From the industrial brick buildings to the water fountains near the market, there are plenty of options for you to roam for photos.
Places I would recommend checking out for your downtown Roanoke engagement photos:
Check out their elegant downtown Roanoke engagement session here!
With a stunning lake reservoir and mountains in the backdrop, this engagement location is the best of both worlds. There is a sandy shoreline, a couple of docks (one which is a hidden gem that I know of), and plenty of pine forest for a variety of photos in your gallery. While swimming is not permitted, you can rent kayaks or canoes. I would love to do an adventure session here on the water with you!
Things to consider when choosing Carvins Cove as your engagement location:
This Virginia state park is known for its 215-foot tall Natural Bridge but has so much more than that! This makes the list of top engagement locations near Roanoke for its vast variety of backdrops including rolling meadows, beautiful forests for the golden rays to shine through, and of course mountain vistas surrounding the nearby area.
Things to consider when choosing Natural Bridge as your engagement location:
You can check out their full engagement session at Natural Bridge State Park here!
An easy engagement location with all the mountain views with no hiking required! This overlook near Roanoke is east facing however, making it more suitable for sunrise photos to get that golden light coming up over the mountains. However, there is dreamy golden rays that come through the trees during sunset. I love this overlook for it’s open field and meadows to roam around in, while still having the astonishing mountain vistas in the background.
This park can be found in Salem, Virginia and is another good option for its variety in backdrops. There are mountain ranges, river access, and plenty of woods to explore. Something to consider when planning your engagement session here: there are multiple ball fields, which means it can get busy here during the spring and summer months with tournaments!
Depending on where you live, this engagement location might be just a little over an hour away from Roanoke. Located at milepost 86 on the Blue Ridge Parkway, Peaks of Otter provide views of Abbott Lake. There is also a restaurant located here if you want to make it a date night after photos! I would recommend avoiding weekend dates here as it does get very busy.
Extra tip: This engagement location near Roanoke is also situated near Thunder Ridge Overlook which is a great spot to catch the sunset!
Located at milepost 168 on the Blue Ridge Parkway, this overlook is outside of Floyd, Virginia. Fun fact: Floyd is my hometown – this one stoplight town will always be a special place in my heart! A short trail at this overlook will take you to a wide, open field with the most stunning mountain views! You can also see Buffalo Mountain from this overlook.
If you’re up for a hike – definitely check out Buffalo Mountain! The trail is about 2.2 miles out-and-back with 360 views at the top making it worth the moderately strenuous activity! I personally love this hike at sunrise to ensure a little more privacy on the rocky terrain. Let’s plan your adventure session there 😉
Another easy to access overlook off the Blue Ridge Parkway that can be found while heading towards Shenandoah National Park. This west-facing overlook is a popular spot to watch the sun go down over the valley. There is the iconic tree that you’ve probably seen on instagram and rocky terrain for photo ops. This engagement location is also situated near plenty of breweries and wineries making it a perfect place for a summer session! Fun fact: my husband and I had our elopement ceremony here! Obviously this place holds a special place in my heart for that reason!
There are numerous overlooks among Skyline Drive that are worth checking out for engagement photos. Skyline Drive is 105-mile long drive through windy mountains with over 70 overlooks to choose from! You will surely find the best views of the Blue Ridge Mountains here without having to hike for them!
Best overlooks in Shenandoah National Park for engagement photos:
Best short-hikes for engagement photos in Shenandoah National Park:
Wild ponies, jaw-dropping scenic alpine-like peaks, open fields of meadows, waterfalls and wildflowers… do I need to say more? This place is such a gem that so much to offer and is one of my favorite locations in Virginia. Engagement photos with wild ponies?! Seriously, count me in. That’s a dream come true. This engagement location is located about 2.5 hours from Roanoke and offers great camping spots to make a trip of it.
This location is off the beaten path and feels like it is in the middle of nowhere. A great waterfall location with a swimming hole for those that don’t want to hike to their destination! While there is a little less variety here for photos, who wouldn’t love a summer water session here?
Well that wraps up my extensive guide for the best engagement locations near Roanoke, Virginia! I hope you found this information helpful. If you’re still looking for a photographer to shoot your engagement photos I would love to chat with you! You can book me here by filling out the contact form to get started 🙂
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