Gems of Roanoke

Sarah Muse at Studio 12 | Private Jeweler | Custom Jeweler in Roanoke, VA | Jewelry Designer | Blue Ridge Mountains


Surrounded by nature, my private atelier, Studio 12, a converted two-stall stable on my family’s mountainside homestead, is nestled into the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains in Roanoke, VA.

My studio is welcoming and warm, an inspiring and magical place with large pull up doors that overlook our garden with a gorgeous view of the mountains.

And this, I’m grateful to say, is my number one Gem of Roanoke.


Blue Ridge Mountains Roanoke, VA | Mountain View from Studio 12

Why Roanoke you might ask?

My husband and I met in Roanoke, some 31 years ago and our family’s roots are planted deep within Virginia.  When we had an opportunity to choose where we wanted to live, we both decided Roanoke was the place to settle in, be active in our community and raise a family. 

Roanoke has all four seasons. To some this might seem trivial, but to me each season represents a natural rhythm to which we should live, and we have the perfect climate for gardening. 

It’s a beautiful Valley surrounded by the Blue Ridge and Catawba Mountains.

Roanoke is known as the Star City of the South- home to a nine story Neon Star (Mill Mountain Star) on top of a mountain within the city limits. How can one not love that!

It offers amazing outdoor activities, from river and treetop adventures at Explore Park to the many hiking and biking trails throughout the surrounding mountains and the Appalachian Trail. Many of which have hidden waterfalls or astounding views.

Roanoke has an extensive series of Greenways winding throughout the valley, through neighborhoods and parks, eventually connecting east to west and north to south. It’s a staple for commuting and recreation, especially along the Roanoke River and at Carvins Cove Natural Reserve.

My husband and I have been fortunate to have traveled across this great nation and a few foreign countries and without a doubt the people in The Roanoke Valley are the most friendly, hospitable people welcoming everyone and always looking out for each other. There is an easy flow to the pace of life, and a smooth transition from city to neighborhood to countryside where friends and families are intertwined with the river and mountains.

Roanoke also offers a plethora of vivid arts and cultural amenities, from the Taubman Museum of Art to a variety of music, art and cultural festivals and venues, individual and groups of artists, the Roanoke Arts Commission and a growing number of galleries and local retailers who host exhibits throughout the valley. 

Because it’s not a big city and the cost of living is reasonable, it’s a draw to small and independent local businesses, from antiques and outdoor gear and bicycles, to women’s clothing stores and independent bookstores. We love and support them as often as possible!

Food, I can’t forget food! Although the past two years were a hit to many, we still have some amazing local restaurants who’ve thrived.


 Downtown Roanoke at Night

Here are a Few More of My Local Favs:

(caveat, there are way too many to mention, but here’s a good start) 


Sarah EK Muse at Studio 12 ;) (see below)

Open Studios Tour Roanoke

Open Studios Tour Botetourt

Local Colors

Sidewalk Art Show

The Market Gallery

202 Market Square Gallery


McAfee’s Knob


Historic Downtown Roanoke

Center in the Square

The Historic Grandin Village

George’s Florist

Stephanie Klein-Davis Photography

Valhalia Vineyards


Cobbler’s Wife

The Golden Shoestring

Punch Boutique



The French Farmhouse

Magnolia Roanoke


Local Roots



Bread Craft

A Few Extra Hidden Gems:

Upper Cascades & Cascades Waterfall #2

Bliss Sound Healing Studio

Bespoke by Melissa Mortellaro for Tom James Clothier

A Hop, Skip and a Jump:

Troika Crafts

Floyd Farmer’s Market

Overlooking downtown Roanoke Virginia from the Mill Mountain Star


Do you have a Favorite not on this list?

Add yours in the comments below.


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