Just a quick jaunt from the Shenandoah National Park and picturesque Skyline Drive, you will find the quaint college town of Harrisonburg. Not only will you find the home of James Madison University and Massanutten ski slopes, but also a wide variety of museums, farmers markets, wineries, orchards, and loads of outdoor fun.
Plan a visit in the fall, and your itinerary should include a stop at the local apple orchards and a trip down the Blue Ridge Parkway or Skyline Drive to view the fall foliage. A summer vacation should consist of hiking along some of the great trails in the area, including the Appalachian Trail, Massanutten’s waterpark, and a visit to the local wineries.
A winter trip should not be discouraged since you will want to ski or tube down Massanutten’s slopes or check out the local craft breweries. In the spring, visit the local museums and galleries along the 10-block stretch of Harrisonburg’s Historic District. Then peruse the area’s greenhouses to spruce up your garden or hike to a nearby waterfall when the water flow is high.
Table of Contents
150 Franklin Street Gallery
- Address: 150 Franklin St, Harrisonburg, VA 22801
The 150 Franklin Street Gallery features both national and local artist’s original works throughout this multicultural gallery. Check out their monthly calendar to see when they will be offering lectures, readings, and other community activities.
Agora Downtown Market
- Address: 165 S Main St #101, Harrisonburg, VA 22801
Under the Agora Downtown Market’s roof, you will find a unique collection of small businesses like Broad Porch Coffee, clothing boutiques like Charlee Rose and Heartworn Vintage. Bring your next knitting pattern and pick up some yarn at Rocktown Yarn or stop in at Lineage for a handcrafted leather bag.
- Address: 131 W. Grace Street, Harrisonburg, VA 22807
At the James Madison University, student-run artWorks Gallery, take time to explore the exciting work of graduate and undergraduate students of the School of Art, Design, and Art History.
The New Image Gallery features media and contemporary photography by international, national, and regional artists.
Each exhibit is up for three weeks before the gallery features new art. On the first Monday of each new exhibition, there is an open reception from 5:00 – 7:00 PM. Take time to talk with the student docents who are learning to run a gallery.
NOTE: the gallery is only open during the university school year.
Back Home on the Farm
- Address: 2915 Willow Run Rd, Harrisonburg, VA 22802
On 240 acres of Rockingham County farmland, you will find all kinds of fun farm activities at Back Home on the Farm.
This seasonal farm is open from mid-April through mid-June for all your greenhouse needs and fun farm activities like cheering on your favorite pig at the pig races, take a ride on the cow train or ride the carousel. In the fall, they reopen, and from September through early November, you can pick your pumpkin, try your skill at the corn maze, or take a hayride around the farm. Back Home on the Farm is also the perfect place to get your fall flowers and decorations.
Are you looking for a place to take friends to an old-fashion tea? Then schedule one at Back Home on the Farm. They host them throughout the year.
- Address: Purcell Park, 41 Monument Avenue, Harrisonburg, VA 22801
Park your car at Purcell Park and get out and enjoy the fresh air along the Bluestone Trail. The 1.27-mile trail offers a 10-feet wide path that’s perfect for riding your bike, jogging, or walking from Purcell Park to James Madison University, Port Republic and Stone Spring Roads.
- Address: 5001 Turners Mill Ln, Harrisonburg, VA 22802
The Breneman-Turner Mill was built in 1800 on Linville Creek to grind grain for cattle feed, hominy, and flower. Abraham Breneman ran the water-powered mill that served the community. The mill still has the original grist mill equipment. While visiting this historic landmark, you will learn more about General Sheridan’s 1864 Campaign setting the mill on fire and the mill’s importance in the community.
Brethren & Mennonite Heritage Center
- Address: 1921 Heritage Center Way, Harrisonburg, VA 22801
Learn a bit more about the cultural and religious heritage of the Brethren and Mennonites in the Harrisonburg valley. The Heritage Center, open Wednesday through Saturday, offers guided interpretive tours, including the 1800s homestead and schoolhouse.
Each August, they have a two-day Sing Me High Music Festival that celebrates the Shenandoah Valley through music and faith.
Visit Brethren & Mennonite Heritage Center in December and participate in the Heritage Christmas celebration with a traditional candlelight tour, holiday refreshments, live music, and family crafts.
From June through August, participate in a Worship in the Woods service at the amphitheater each Sunday at 7:00 PM.
Brix & Columns Vineyard
- Address: 1501 Dave Berry Rd, McGaheysville, VA 22840
Just 20 minutes east of downtown Harrisonburg you will find the family-run Brix & Columns Vineyard on 160 acres. Here you can visit year-round and sit around the outdoor fireplace, fire pit in the fall and winter while watching the stars or under the canopies on a hot summer day. Enjoy a glass, bottle, or flight of white, red, or sweet wine as you look over the panoramic views of the Blue Ridge Mountains.
Make it a day and bring a picnic to enjoy with your wine. The vineyards are both children and pet-friendly.
- Address: 6011 E Timber Ridge Rd, Mt Crawford, VA 22841
Take a drive a few minutes south of Harrisonburg to the 150-acre CrossKeys Vineyards. After taking a tour of the facilities, sit on the terrace and enjoy the splendid views of the vineyard with the Blue Ridge Mountains as a backdrop as you enjoy lunch from the cafe or an afternoon wine tasting.
- Address: 177 South Main Street, Harrisonburg, VA 22801
Denton Park is where you should head if you are looking for a little nook of a place for a picnic lunch or to people-watch.
This small park, situated across from the Massanutten Regional Library, offers visitors tables and chairs to sit at and a lovely waterfall.
A Dream Come True Playground
- Address: 1050 Neff Ave, Harrisonburg, VA 22801
Whether you’re 2 or 12 years old, a trip to the totally accessible-inclusive A Dream Come True Playground is a must. The playground has two areas, one with equipment for 2-5-year olds, and the other for 5-12-year olds. The playground has roadways to drive those toy trucks and tricycles, a drawing wall, hammock swings, rainbow arches, a wheelchair-accessible swim, a picnic pavilion, and bathrooms.
Edith J Carrier Arboretum
- Address: 780 University Blvd, Harrisonburg, VA 22807
Explore the gardens at Edith J. Carrier Arboretum on the campus of James Madison University. Here you can enjoy the daffodils in the spring, stroll through the Oak-Hickory Forest, or sit by the pond watching the wildlife. The conservatory has a wide variety of paths that are perfect for a beautiful walk or bike ride.
Explore More Discovery Museum
- Address: 150 S Main St, Harrisonburg, VA 22801
The Explore More Discovery Museum will be the number one place your children will want to spend some time in Harrisonburg.
At this children’s museum, they can get their hands on a load of fun through multi-sensory and interactive learning experiences. They will want to explore the Construction Zone, Super Service Auto Center, the Down on the Farm, CK’s Kitchen, and the Virginia Theater areas, along with the makers-space for children nine and older.
Plan your visit between 4:00 and 7:00 on the First Friday of the month, and you can explore for free!
Shenandoah Fall Foliage Bike Festival
During a weekend each October, grab your bike helmet and cycle through the beautiful fall foliage on one or more of the eleven routes. Take time to enjoy your surroundings as you embark on the well-marked route perfect for your abilities.
Saturday’s routes range from the 12.8 mile Family Route that makes a round trip from the Sangerville-Towers Ruritan to the 104.7-miler Saturday Century that passes by the Sangerville-Towers Ruritan for a buffet lunch. On Sunday, begin at the Middlebrook Community Center and choose between 10, 27, 37.7, or 43-mile routes.
Forbes Center for Performing Arts
- Address: 147 Warsaw Ave, Harrisonburg, VA 22801
In Harrisonburg’s cultural area and on the campus of James Madison University, you will find the five performing arts venues of the Forbes Center for Performing Arts.
Forbes Center is the perfect setting to enjoy acoustic concerts, dance recitals, theater performances, and much more throughout the year. You will not only find students and faculty performing here but guest artists and touring groups.
Heritage Bakery and Café
Address: 212 S Main St, Harrisonburg, VA 22801
Inside Harrisonburg’s Visitor’s Center, pick up a quick snack of pastries, or enjoy a delicious banana nut muffin, a croissant breakfast sandwich, or avocado toast for breakfast. For lunch, enjoy a curry chicken salad sandwich, soup, and a sweet treat for dessert at the Heritage Bakery and Café.
The café has a quaint area to eat inside or take your food outside and enjoy the terrific shaded patio while people-watching.
The Heritage Museum
- Address: 382 High St. Dayton, VA 22821
Within the Heritage Museum, you will find a collection of exhibits that include a Civil War exhibit and watch the audiovisual presentation of Stonewall Jackson’s Valley Campaign. Learn more about the Shenandoah Valley through the “Invincible Spirit” exhibit.
Throughout the year, the museum has storytellers, historians, and other programs
The Joshua Wilton House
- Address: 412 S Main St, Harrisonburg, VA 22801
In downtown Harrisonburg visit the elegant Victorian-era Joshua Wilton House for a delicious farm-to-table meal prepared by top-rated chefs and a bottle of wine from the extensive list of wines. During the summer, dine on the patio and enjoy a glass of wine by the roaring fire in the winter.
Extend your stay by spending the night in one of the five guest rooms in the mansion.
Shenandoah Beerworks Trail
Along the Shenandoah Bearwerks Trail, you will find 14 craft breweries in the three counties surrounding Harrisonburg. Each brewery offers something special along with farm-to-table food, live music, and terrific promotions.
Brothers Craft Brewing
- Address: 800 N Main St, Harrisonburg, VA 22802
Within Harrisonburg’s renovated Coco-Cola building, you will find Brothers Craft Brewing. Here they brew a variety of local beers that you can sample. Be sure to enjoy nature and the changing seasons with their Great Outdoors, and Hoptimiation brews like Drift, Pilsnerd, and Elementary.
The Shenandoah River is the perfect place to relax and enjoy a day on the water, canoeing, tubing, fishing, or swimming during the summer.
For those who enjoy hiking, there are various trails along the river that offer a wide variety of flora and fauna.
Skyline Drive and Shenandoah National Park
If you love the outdoors, a few days along the 110-mile Skyline Drive will be a match made in heaven for you. With over 70 overlooks, 500 miles of hiking trails, and waterfalls, the sightseeing never ends.
Choose to lodge within the Shenandoah National Park boundaries at one of the campgrounds, cabins, or lodge.
The Shenandoah National Park offers visitors so many options of what to do while exploring the park.
There are nine main waterfalls within the park, including the Dark Hallow and Lewis Falls.
A spring hike is a prime time to visit the waterfalls since some falls tend to dry up to a trickle by late summer. However, a trip to the falls after a rain during the fall foliage peek is also incredible.
July in the park means ripe, juicy blackberries and the Blackberry Delight Festival. Visit the Skyland area for live music, dancing, crafts, activities, and all things blackberry.
White Oak Lavender Farm & The Purple WOLF Vineyard
- Address: 2644 Cross Keys Road, Harrisonburg, VA 22801
The White Oak Lavender Farm in the Shenandoah Valley is a great place to spend the day drinking wine, cutting lavender, and enjoying the farm.
The Purple WOLF Vineyard offers 12 wines along with some seasonal wines.
A visit to The Lavender Shop is a must. Enjoy browsing the fragrant items like creams, aromatherapy products, and soaps for sale, and then plop down in one of the rockers on the front porch with a refreshing lavender ice cream cone.
During the last weekend of June, take part in the annual Lavender Daze Celebration events.
Kline’s Dairy Bar
- 58 E Wolfe Street, Harrisonburg
- 2425 S. Main Street, Harrisonburg
- 10020 Spotswood Trail, McGaheysville
If you are in the Harrisonburg area, a stop at Kline’s is a must. They have been serving premium ice cream throughout the Harrisonburg community since 1943.
Each location has different daily specials like peanut Butterfinger, cherry cheesecake, orange cream, lemon gingersnap, and peach, so check out their website for their weekly specials at each location.
Kline’s Dairy Bar is dog-friendly and offers outdoor seating.
LOVE signs around Harrisonburg
Since 1969 Virginia’s slogan has been Virginia is for Lovers. Taking off on that, the LOVEworks signs promoting traveling throughout Virginia started in 2013. There are over 500 official and unofficial LOVE signs to travel to and see. They are located in small towns, throughout the metropolitan cities, in the mountains, and along the coast.
Be sure to check out the LOVE around Harrisonburg at the following locations:
- Harrisonburg Visitor Center – 212 South Main Street, Harrisonburg
- Oasis Fine Arts and Craft – 103 S. Main Street, Harrisonburg
- County Line Materials – 4562 S. Valley Pike, Harrisonburg
- Grilled Cheese Mania – 1476 S. Main Street, Harrisonburg
- 311 S. Main Street, Harrisonburg
- Back Home on the Farm – 2915 Willow Run Road, Harrisonburg
- 382 High Street, Dayton
- Massanutten – 3980 Massanutten Drive, Massanutten
- Cave Hill Farms Brewery – 1001 Jacob Burner Drive, McGaheysville
- Showalter’s Orchard – 17768 Honeyville Road, Timberville
- Timberville – 125 N Main Street, Timberville
Other Places to Visit:
- Larry W. Shifflett Fire Museum – 3rd Floor, Public Safety Building 101 N. Main St. Harrisonburg, VA 22801
- Mineral Museum – 1301 Carrier Dr, Harrisonburg, VA 22807
- Shenandoah Heritage Market – 121 Carpenter Ln, Harrisonburg, VA 22801
- The Valley Turnpike Museum – 212 S. Main St. Harrisonburg, VA 22801
- Showalter’s Orchard and Greenhouse – 17768 Honeyville Rd, Timberville, VA 22853
- The Virginia Quilt Museum – 301 S. Main St. Harrisonburg, VA 22801
Other Places to Enjoy a Meal or Sweet Treat
- Little Grill Collective – 621 N Main St, Harrisonburg, VA 22802
- Shenandoah Joe – 64 South Mason Street Suite 100 (Urban Exchange Building), Harrisonburg, VA
- The Wood Grill – 1711 Reservoir St, Harrisonburg, VA 22801
- Smiley’s Ice cream – 797 Old Bridgewater Road, Mount Crawford
- Bruster’s Real Ice Cream – 221 University Blvd, Harrisonburg
- Bella Gelato and Pastries -49 W Water St, Harrisonburg