Nestled in the shadow of the Blue Ridge Mountains in the heart of the Shenandoah Valley, Harrisonburg’s charming downtown district is a center for culinary delights, finely crafted artisan goods, and a stunning getaway in the great outdoors.
Tread through peaceful wooded pathways as they wind through the Edith J. Carrier Arboretum or rest on a sprawling garden lawn as you listen to birdsong overhead. Bike the Friendly City Trail through pastoral scenes, or walk through idyllic pastures at the Brethren and Mennonite Heritage Center to an awe-inspiring view of the city.
Dip your feet into the cool water of a forest stream at Harrisonburg’s Riven Rock Park. Drive west through the countryside into the George Washington National Forest, and rest atop the ridge at the High Knob overlook to watch the sunset over the mountains.
After a day of exploring the mountains and valleys surrounding Harrisonburg, retreat to the city’s charming, historic downtown, known for its 19th century architecture, inventive eateries, thriving artisan centers, and charming boutiques.
Sip on small-batch, locally crafted ciders and award-winning craft brews while watching bands play in tastefully decorated tap rooms. A continually changing tap list and locally sourced ingredients add variety to the flavors you will experience here. The Forbes Center for the Performing Arts and Court Square Theater offer world-class entertainment in an inviting atmosphere. Listen to live music in a lounge that was once the home of the Strand Theater, and relax with a cocktail in hand under the stars.
On Saturday mornings, stop by the Harrisonburg Farmers Market, where a bounty of fresh produce and artisan goods abound. Pick up a bouquet of flowers, freshly baked bread, or locally produced organic dark chocolate. Nibble on delectable food samples from market vendors and browse through samples of artists’ work. Live music performed by local bands adds to the market’s lively and upbeat atmosphere.
Dine alfresco under shaded patios and sample some of Harrisonburg’s most sought-after baked goods. Seasonally inspired, farm-to-table fare is marked by creativity and culinary instinct. Colorful macarons, flaky, European-style pastries, and handcrafted cocktails await.
Then, head over to Main Street, where you can find artisan goods, specialty gifts, vintage finds, and fair-trade items. OASIS Fine Art & Craft is a purveyor of unique and finely crafted items, from stained glass and mixed media, to richly designed oil and watercolor paintings. Nearby, the Smith House Galleries and Virginia Quilt Museum honor the culture and heritage of artistry in the Shenandoah Valley, with exhibits on display throughout the year.
The Downtown Art Walk is brimming with public art, from sculptures to murals to intricate mosaics. Among the most beloved in Harrisonburg, the Language of Love sculpture celebrates the natural beauty of the Shenandoah Valley and the City’s welcoming spirit and inclusive culture.
With its culinary delights, finely crafted artisan goods, and access to the great outdoors, Harrisonburg is Friendly by Nature.
For more information: VisitHarrisonburgVA.com
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