What Bert Has To Say About Blacksburg-Christiansburg Metro Area
This tri-city area, really a cluster of several small towns, is best known as home of the 25,000-student, 2600-acre campus of the Virginia Polytechnic Institute (better known as Virginia Tech). Blacksburg, population 40,000, is the largest of the small triangle of towns including Christiansburg, Radford, Merrimac and Fairlawn. The area and Blacksburg in particular combines small-town feel and college-town amenities with a mountain setting, outdoor recreation, and proximity to Roanoke and its excellent arts, commerce, and health care amenities.
Virginia Tech is especially known for its sports programs, bringing much excitement especially in fall and winter. Virginia Tech is not the only game in town, however – the state-supported, 10,000-student Radford University brings a college presence to Radford as well. While some big-city services and amenities are missing, the blend of available features and cost of living are attractive. Some might not like the isolation, particularly from air services, characteristic of many western Virginia locations. Some in Blacksburg may find the Virginia Tech presence a bit overwhelming at times.
The location along the Appalachian and Blue Ridge Mountains, in an area known as the Virginia Highlands, is comprised of a series of southwest-to-northeast low mountain ridges separated by narrow valleys. The terrain is mostly wooded except in the flattest locations where agriculture is feasible. The Virginia Highlands are known for a relatively pleasant climate in all seasons. The mountains provide a natural barrier to winter cold from the northwest and from the most severe effects of Atlantic tropical storms. Summers are warm and humid but mountain air and elevation bring relatively cool evenings. Winters are generally mild but feature snow each winter, producing significant accumulations if conditions are right. Flooding can be an issue with narrow valleys and summer thunderstorms or approaching storms from the Atlantic mainly in fall. First freeze is late October, last is mid-April.