Summer is the perfect time for a weekend getaway to Harrisonburg, Virginia to relax and reconnect whether your idea of outdoor adventure is rock climbing, cycling, or just admiring the view while sipping chardonnay at a local vineyard. Harrisonburg’s friendly atmosphere, small town charm, unique museums, and artisan boutiques offer the perfect respite. Here are 10 reasons to visit Harrisonburg right now, although it would be easy to list more than 10!
- Virginia’s First Culinary District – Harrisonburg boasts over 250 restaurants ranging from casual Southern cuisine at Jimmy Madison’s to fine dining at the Joshua Wilton House. Enjoy local farm-to-table fair, al fresco dining or top off your meal with dessert from Kline’s Dairy Bar, a local favorite since 1943. On Tuesdays and Saturdays, enjoy browsing for fresh local delicacies from 8 a.m.–1 p.m. at the popular Harrisonburg Farmers Market.
- Twenty-plus years of great Art and Artisans – From brightly colored murals and mosaics to traditional sculpture, Downtown Harrisonburg, celebrating 20 years as a Virginia Arts & Cultural District, is dotted with public art, which you can experience through a free art walk tour. Artisan shops also fill the downtown offering high quality, locally made items from handmade canvas bags to hand crafted pottery and fine art.
- The Virginia Quilt Museum– one of only a few quilt museums in the world. The museum offers traditional and contemporary exhibits using conventional and non-conventional materials.
- Six craft breweries within walking distance, most offer outdoor seating; one hard cidery: Sage Bird Ciderworks; and five craft beer breweries; Brothers Craft Brewing, the Friendly Fermenter, Pale Fire Brewing, Restless Moons Brewing, and Three Notch’d Valley Collab House.
- Explore More Discovery Museum – a perfect day of fun awaits children in this interactive museum, including a makerspace for children 8 and up, but call ahead for reservations.
- Five local wineries; Bluestone Vineyard, Brix & Columns Vineyard, CrossKeys Vineyard, Marceline Vineyards, and The Purple WOLF Vineyard at White Oak Lavender Farm. Most offer outdoor seating with gorgeous views and entertainment on the weekend.
- The Brethren & Mennonite Heritage Center, highlighting the lives of early settlers in the valley, specifically the experience of the Brethren and Mennonite communities. Explore a 1900s one-room schoolhouse, 1790s Shoemaker shop, pre-Civil War log house, Civil War-era brick farmhouse with washhouse and garden, and Blacksmith shop.
- Traipse Self-guided Tours offering free self-guided tours, scavenger hunts, and even a pub crawl. Challenge yourself to explore Downtown Harrisonburg with this user-friendly app and try to answer all the puzzles without using the optional hints. All puzzles are outdoors. Download the free app to start your adventure.
- Beautiful Parks – From Harrisonburg’s Hillandale Park to the neighboring Shenandoah National Park , gorgeous views and hiking and cycling trails abound.
- Rest & Relaxation – Harrisonburg offers a wide variety of lodging choices including 20 brand hotels, AirBnB options, B&Bs, and a spacious conference center ready to host your next event, not to mention numerous spas.
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