regional nomenclature question

NW Mailing List nw-mailing-list at
Thu Nov 2 10:40:24 EDT 2017

On Thu, Nov 2, 2017 at 7:31 AM, Bob wrote:

Okay, we know that we have Northern Virginia from the DC 'burbs south to
> somewhere; then over towards Norfolk is the Tidewater region, then as you
> get closer to Richmond it becomes "South Side" which extends at least as
> far as Lynchburg and Danville. Bristol is of course Southwestern Virginia,
> so what is the Roanoke region best called ? Southern Virginia? Central
> Virginia? What?
> I know that you get 70 miles or so west of Roanoke to the Radford area,
> and you go a bit north from there and get to the New River Valley, so what
> is that in between region commonly referred to?

​"Region" in Virginia depends on many things being discussed and there are
no hard and fast rules that determine which county is in which "region." It
also depends on your point of view -- people in Northern Virginia who don't
venture much farther than Manassas believe Harrisonburg is a ways away and
anything much beyond there is wild hinterlands (when my son was playing
travel soccer, our manager was working with a Nova manager to reschedule a
game in Manassas, who said "Blacksburg is just on the other side of
Harrisonburg, isn't it?" Well, yeah, relative to Denver, Blacksburg is
right close to H'burg).

Generally, Danville is in "Southside," which may be extended as far west as
Patrick County. Lynchburg is usually included in Central Virginia (the
counties around Richmond are considered part of the "Richmond" region).
Bedford County is one of several counties that can be considered to be part
of one region or another depending on context -- it has connections,
influence, and leanings toward Lynchburg, Roanoke, and the Smith Mountain
Lake area. West of Bedford is the Roanoke Valley, which takes in Roanoke
City, Salem, Roanoke County, Botetourt County, Franklin County, and perhaps
Craig County (which may also be a part of the Western Highlands along with
Alleghany, Bath, and Highland counties). The New River Valley takes in
Montgomery, Giles, Floyd, and Pulaski counties. Wythe, Bland, and Carroll
counties are the edge of the Blue Ridge Highlands, which extends to around
Abingdon and Bristol. Beyond there is Far Southwest Virginia. Generally
"Southwest Virginia" starts around Roanoke and continues all the way to the
western tip of Lee County.

One web site that tries to explain "regions" is here:

Bruce in Blacksburg -- part of the New River Valley
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