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20 Best Things to Do in Harrisonburg

Introduction: Welcome to Harrisonburg

If you’re looking for a charming and vibrant city to explore, look no further than Harrisonburg, Virginia. Nestled in the heart of the Shenandoah Valley, this city offers a unique blend of historic sites, outdoor adventures, and culinary delights that will satisfy any traveler’s appetite. In this article, we will take you on a tour of the top things to do in Harrisonburg, including its must-visit attractions, hidden gems, and local favorites.

So, are you ready to discover the best things to do in Harrisonburg? Let’s dive in!

1. Tour the Downtown Historic Area

Walking around Harrisonburg’s quaint downtown is one of the greatest ways to explore it. There are more than 200 stores, galleries, and restaurants here, so there is much to see and do. Enjoy a self-guided walking tour to explore the buildings’ ancient architecture, peruse one-of-a-kind boutiques and antique stores, and indulge in mouth-watering fare at nearby eateries.

2. Go to the Museum of Virginia Quilts

A visit to the Virginia Quilt Museum is essential for anyone who enjoys history and textiles. More than 300 quilts, from the 18th century to the present, are on display in this museum, highlighting the craftsmanship and history of quilting in Virginia. To learn more about the skill, you can also enroll in a course or workshop.

3. Explore Shenandoah National Park on foot

The Shenandoah National Park, a natural wonderland with hiking trails, waterfalls, and picturesque panoramas, is only a short drive from Harrisonburg. Explore the park’s more than 500 miles of trails on a day trip, which includes the well-known Old Rag Mountain trek, which affords stunning views of the surrounding area.

4. Check out the Discover More Museum

The Explore More Discovery Museum is a must-see place if you’re traveling with kids. A variety of exhibits and activities are available at this interactive museum that is intended to interest and instruct kids about science, history, and the arts.

5. Drink Harrisonburg Brewers’ Local Craft Beer

Several award-winning breweries with distinctive personalities and brews may be found in Harrisonburg. Brothers Craft Brewery, Pale Fire Brewing, and Three Notch Brewing Company are a few of the most well-known. Visit us for a taste or a brewery tour to discover more about how beer is made.

6. Go over to Edith J. Carrier Arboretum

The Edith J. Carrier Arboretum, a 125-acre botanical garden on the James Madison University campus, will appeal to nature enthusiasts. It’s the ideal location to unwind and rejuvenate with more than 3,000 trees and plants, as well as walking pathways and informative exhibits.

7. Shop at the Farmers Market in Harrisonburg

To have a sample of regional cuisine, visit the Harrisonburg Farmers Market. This market, which is open all year long, has many different vendors providing artisanal meals, fresh vegetables, and handcrafted goods. It’s a terrific location to shop for gifts to take home and to support regional merchants.

8. Go to the Court Square Theater to hear live music

A variety of live music, theatre, and dance acts are presented in the historic Court Square Theater, which is situated in the center of downtown Harrisonburg. To find out what is on during your stay, check the schedule, and have a fun night of entertainment.

9. Investigate the Bluestone Pathway

The Bluestone Trail is a must-try if you’re seeking a beautiful place to cycle or trek. This 7.5-mile, paved route winds through Harrisonburg’s downtown and provides breathtaking panoramas of the Blue Ridge Mountains. It’s a wonderful way to get some exercise and enjoy the scenery.

10 Visit the Courtyard Ice Rink to go ice skating.

The Rink at Courtyard is a seasonal ice skating rink that provides entertainment for the whole family and is situated in the heart of Harrisonburg. It’s a terrific way to enjoy the winter and get some exercise, whether you’re an expert skater or a novice.

With so much to see and do in Harrisonburg, it’s simple to understand why this quaint town has gained popularity as a travel destination.

11. Explore the campus of James Madison University

James Madison University, which is based in Harrisonburg, has a stunning campus with a fascinating history. See the famous structures and monuments on campus for a stroll, or attend a game at Bridgeforth Stadium.

12. Visit Bluestone Vineyard for a wine tasting

Just west of Harrisonburg sits the family-run winery known as Bluestone Vineyard. They provide tours of the vineyard and winery in addition to a choice of award-winning wines for sampling. It’s the ideal location for unwinding and sharing a drink of wine with friends.

13. Check out the Rocktown Beer and Music Festival

The Rocktown Beer & Music Festival, a celebration of regional craft beer and live music, is held in Harrisonburg every year. It’s a must-attend festival for beer lovers and music fans alike with over 50 brewers and 3 stages of live music.

14. Explore Infinite Caverns via caving

Endless Caverns, a natural paradise with underground tunnels and rocks, is a short distance from Harrisonburg. Explore the caves and discover their history and geology by going on a guided tour.

15. Go to the White Oak Farm of Lavender

Go to the White Oak Lavender Farm for a distinctive and soothing experience. This family-run business offers a range of lavender-related goods and services, as well as tours, tastings, and workshops. It’s the ideal location for relaxing and taking in the wonders of nature.

16. Visit the Shenandoah Valley Cultural Heritage Museum

History aficionados must visit the Shenandoah Valley Cultural Heritage Museum. The museum, which is situated in Dayton not far from Harrisonburg, uses interactive exhibits and displays to convey the history and culture of the area.

17. Go for a Walk in the National Forest of George Washington

Just west of Harrisonburg is the stunning natural region known as the George Washington National Forest. It’s the ideal location for nature lovers to explore and take in the scenery because it has miles of hiking paths, beautiful vistas, and animal viewing possibilities.

18. Go to a performance at the Court Square Theatre

The Court Square Theater, a historic facility in the heart of Harrisonburg, presents a range of productions all year round. This little and lovely theatre regularly hosts fascinating events, such as concerts, plays, and movie screenings.

19. Visit the Shenandoah Heritage Market for some shopping

Only a short drive from Harrisonburg lies the distinctive retail district known as the Shenandoah Heritage Market. It’s the ideal spot to buy one-of-a-kind gifts and souvenirs, with over 40 local sellers selling anything from handcrafted crafts to fresh fruit.

20. Eat at nearby establishments

Harrisonburg is renowned for its thriving restaurant scene, where dozens of independently owned eateries serve up delectable international fare. In this foodie-friendly town, there is plenty for everyone to enjoy, from farm-to-table cuisine to global delicacies.

Harrisonburg has plenty to offer everyone, whether you enjoy history, being outside, or just unwinding. With so much to see and do, it’s no surprise that this little town has become a well-liked vacation spot for visitors from all over the world.

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In conclusion, Harrisonburg is a charming town with a rich history, vibrant culture, and stunning natural beauty. From exploring historic sites and museums to hiking in the nearby mountains, there’s something for everyone to enjoy in this unique and welcoming community.

Whether you’re visiting for a weekend or an extended stay, be sure to take advantage of all that Harrisonburg has to offer. From its vibrant food scene and bustling downtown to its scenic natural areas and cultural attractions, this town is sure to leave a lasting impression on visitors.

So pack your bags, grab your sense of adventure, and head to Harrisonburg for an unforgettable experience that you won’t soon forget.


Q: What is the best time to visit Harrisonburg?

A: The best time to visit Harrisonburg is in the fall when the leaves are changing colors and the weather is mild. However, each season has its own unique charm and there are always plenty of things to do year-round.

Q: Are there any free things to do in Harrisonburg?

A: Yes, there are plenty of free things to do in Harrisonburg, such as visiting the Edith J. Carrier Arboretum, taking a walk downtown and exploring the local art galleries, or hiking in nearby Shenandoah National Park.

Q: Can I bring my pet with me to Harrisonburg?

A: Many of the outdoor attractions in Harrisonburg are pet-friendly, such as the Shenandoah National Park and the various hiking trails in the area. However, it’s always best to check with each individual attraction beforehand to ensure that pets are allowed.

Q: What is the food scene like in Harrisonburg?

A: The food scene in Harrisonburg is diverse and delicious, with a wide range of restaurants serving everything from classic Southern cuisine to international flavors. Be sure to try some local favorites like BBQ, fried chicken, and apple pie.

Q: What are some family-friendly activities in Harrisonburg?

A: There are plenty of family-friendly activities in Harrisonburg, such as visiting the: Explore More Discovery Museum, taking a hike in the nearby mountains, or attending one of the many festivals or events that the town hosts throughout the year.



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