Best Engagement Locations Near Roanoke, Virginia

Newly engaged and looking for the next step? Here are the top 8 locations for engagement photos near Roanoke, Virginia. 

engagement photo ideas in the fall roanoke virginia

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. 

Hi there! I’m Kristen – the girl behind Kristen Noel Photography! Virginia Wedding and Engagement Photographer based in Roanoke

All of these places are within an hour of Roanoke, Virginia. However, at the end you’ll also find a few other gems that are worth the further drive! Click on the location for more information or scroll and read for all the details!

Engagement locations outside of the one hour from Roanoke, Virginia but are well worth the extra time!

Explore Park

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 🙂

Sharp Top

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!

Downtown Roanoke

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:

  • Sidecar – one of my favorite bars downtown! This bar features European dishes and they partner with local farms for their produce. I always recommend to couples that we start here and have a drink to settle the nerves beforehand!
  • Mill Mountain Coffee – if cuddling up with a cup of Joe is more your style than this is a great option instead of Sidecar!
  • Market Street – the walkway leading up to Elmwood Park is a great place especially in the spring. The pink blossom trees start to bloom along the walkway and the fountains make it so dreamy for a shoot
  • The Colorful Buildings – a little slice of Charlestown right here in downtown Roanoke!
  • Mill Mountain Star – if you’re doing an adventure session, this location is a great add on to downtown! The iconic Roanoke Star is just a quick drive away and would allow you to have some mountain view variety in your gallery.
  • Center in the Square Rooftop – I love to end the session here if you’re doing your photos at sunset! With the surrounding mountain views it’s the best spot for the golden hour.

Check out their elegant downtown Roanoke engagement session here!

Carvins Cove

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:

  • The boating dock parking lot closes at dark, so hours vary depending the season
  • There is a $7 fee to park here per vehicle and they only accept cash
  • Dogs are permitted in the park but must remain on the leash at all times

Natural Bridge State Park

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:

  • $9 per person fee to enter
  • Moderate hike down to the bridge
  • Park hours vary depending on season
best places for engagement photos in roanoke, virginia

You can check out their full engagement session at Natural Bridge State Park here!

Cahas Mountain Overlook

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.

Green Hill Park

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!

Peaks of Otter

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!

Engagement locations that are a little further away from Roanoke, but are well worth the extra drive!

Saddle Overlook

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 😉

Ravens Roost

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!

Shenandoah National Park

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:

  • Hazel Mountain Overlook – one of the only east facing overlooks making it best suitable for a sunrise session!
  • Jewell Hollow – one of the biggest overlooks ensuring plenty of room to find a spot to yourselves!
  • Crescent Rock – a small stroll from the parking lot for the best views!
  • Big Meadows – a large field with wildflowers to frolic around in, a great place to start the session before hitting the overlooks for golden hour
  • Spitler Knoll – nothing beats a grassy field with stunning mountains for a backdrop

Best short-hikes for engagement photos in Shenandoah National Park:

  • Stony Man
  • Blackrock Summit
  • Bearfence Mountain
  • Wintergreen Waterfall

Grayson Highlands State 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.

wild ponies at grayson highlands state park in virginia, best engagement locations in virginia

Falls of Dismal

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?

falls of dismal engagement location near roanoke, virginia

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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