Once home to the Lovely Mountain station on the Virginia and Tennessee Railroad, the community of Central, Virginia became incorporated in 1885. Soon after, it changed its name to Radford in honor of the prominent area physician John Blair Radford. Located on the New River in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, and home to a number of beautiful parks and pathways as well as Radford University (RU), Radford occupies approximately 10.2 square miles of land and is home to roughly 16,000 people. It’s this small college town atmosphere, coupled with the natural beauty of the New River Valley, that makes real estate listings in Radford so very appealing.
Shopping and Dining
Many unique experiences await those looking to relocate to Radford, and local shopping is no exception. From Barry’s Music Company to Elliot’s Military Surplus to Country Boys Produce, the theme is hometown personal service. Add in several jewelry stores, bicycle shops and florists, and your day of shopping in Radford is nearly complete. Don’t miss Radford Book Exchange, the University’s book store with plenty of RU Highlanders logo apparel. Diners seeking local flavors won’t be disappointed either. Mike’s Famous Pizza, Sal’s, River Company Restaurant and Brewery, Oriental Crown Buffet, Italiano Family Restaurant, Sharkey’s Bar and Riley’s all originated locally in the Radford area. Plenty of national brands also call Radford home including Papa Johns, Subway, Sonic, Dominos, Applebees and many others.
Parks and Recreation
Fourteen city parks provide a gateway to outdoor enjoyment in Radford. Both Bisset and Sunset Parks cater to families with recreational resources including playgrounds, facilities for baseball and volleyball and picnic shelters. Riverview park lives up to its name and is primarily used for soccer games. Wildwood Park also seems to advertise its primary function. This preserve shelters a number of native plant and animal species. In addition to free concert and movie in the park events, Radford parks also feature complimentary lectures by naturalist and photographers at the outdoor classroom of Wildwood Park.
Fishing enthusiasts thrive in Radford with the opportunities to reel in smallmouth bass and muskie from many public locations on the river. Do it yourself or book a guided fishing trip. For those looking to get even closer to the river, canoeing, kayaking and tubing are all wonderful ways to fill an afternoon with equal parts of splashes and scenery. Of course there are also plenty of sights to enjoy from dry land. Perhaps its history as a major rail station town earned Radford its wilderness crossroads status. The Wilderness Road, Appalachian Trail and Virginia Wildlife and Birding Trail can all be picked up or continued from the city or its surrounding area. Another fun and educational way to spend an afternoon is browsing through Glencoe Museum. Originally the home of Garbriel Wharton, a Civil War general, this mansion was donated to the city in 1996 and restored into a local history museum. Among many interesting exhibits, visitors can expect to see Native American artifacts, historic photographs of Radford and even blueprints thought to be originals for the city.
Schools, Health, Transportation
Public school children in Radford attend McHarg Elementary, Belle Heth Elementary, Dalton Intermediate or Radford High. In addition to these four outstanding public schools, Radford University also provides culture and enrichment to the city. The planetarium at RU hosts K-12 field trips and offers regular evening shows every Tuesday and Thursday during its fall and spring semesters. You won’t need a telescope to find good healthcare in Radford. Montgomery Regional Hospital and Carilion New River Valley Medical Center provide a wide range of services and are supplemented by a walk-in health clinic also within Radford city limits. Visit Radford for its many natural and community resources and you’re likely to stay for all the richness this community has to offer.