Things to Do in Harrisonburg VA
Seeking starry skies, freshly picked fruit, fragrant meadows — all against a backdrop of scenic mountains? The Shenandoah Valley is home to rustic pick-your-own-fruit farms, wineries and dairy farms that welcome visitors with hayrides, corn mazes, fields of lavender and much more.
This scenic trail stretches 2,190 miles through six states, but the greatest portion is in Virginia where it passes through Rockingham County, and provides walkers, hikers and others with heart-soaring views along the Shenandoah River.
ARTS COUNCIL OF THE VALLEY/COURT SQUARE THEATER
The arts are alive and thriving thanks to the Arts Council of the Valley, which promotes all forms of creativity: theater, film screenings, artist’s galleries, music and museum exhibitions. Take in a performance at the Court Square Theater, see an art exhibit at Smith House Galleries or explore the work of local artists at First Fridays Downtown. www.valleyarts.org
BLUE RIDGE TOURS, INC.
Relax in comfort while exploring the region on one of Blue Ridge Tours’ luxury motor coaches. The company offers weekly tours and customized travel plans throughout the Shenandoah Valley. www.blueridgetours.com
BRYDGEWORKS GLASS STUDIO
Attracted by the vibrant hues of stained glass? Already-made or custom pieces are available at Brydgeworks Glass Studio, which also offers a variety of classes for those who want to DIY. www.brydgeworksglass.com
Fun is the name of the game at this accredited camp for children ages six to 17 who enjoy swimming, horseback riding, hiking, arts and crafts, science experiments and much more. Camp Horizons is available throughout the year for retreats, conferences and other events for kids and adults.
CROSSROADS: VALLEY BRETHREN-MENNONITE HERITAGE CENTER
Step back in time at this 24-acre heritage center that features an old-fashioned school house, working blacksmith shop and the 1854 Burkholder-Myers House. www.vbmhc.org
DUBBY’S FISHING & HUNTING
Need bait or fishing reels, ammo or guns? It’s all available at this one-stop shop for lovers of the great outdoors.
DUKE HALL GALLERY OF FINE ART
Want to be part of a vibrant cultural art space? Located on the campus of James Madison University, the Duke Gallery of Fine Art highlights the finest in photography, sculpture, paintings and other inspiring artistic endeavors.
EDITH J. CARRIER ARBORETUM
A sanctuary on the James Madison University campus, the Edith J. Carrier Arboretum is a public urban garden and a lovely green space that fosters knowledge of the botanical and natural world, preserves native plants and species and promotes research and knowledge of the botanical world. www.jmu.edu/arboretum
EXPLORE MORE DISCOVERY MUSEUM
Explore More Discovery Museum is where young minds go to learn, discover and have fun. This museum provides educational exhibits and programs that help children learn while they’re having a blast.
There’s no better place to find locally grown produce, farm-made cheeses and fresh-from-the oven baked goods than at The Harrisonburg Farmers Market. It is open Tuesdays and Saturdays from April through Thanksgiving and on Saturdays only from December through March.
FESTIVALS AND EVENTS
Festivals abound with food, fun, music and more in Harrisonburg-Rockingham. Don’t miss the Chamber’s ValleyFest Beer & Wine Festival, Dayton Autumn Celebration, the Shenandoah Bach Festival, Rockingham Country Fair, Harrisonburg International Festival, Fridays on the Square in downtown Harrisonburg, Valley Fourth Harrisonburg, Summer Jam and Fall Festival at Massanutten Resort.
FIELDS OF GOLD FARM TRAIL
Hoping to be immersed in an old-fashioned, home-grown farming experience? Then look no further than Fields of Gold Farm Trail where you can pick your own fruit, sip wine, enjoy a farm-to table meal, visit a working farm or celebrate during a farm festival. www.fieldsofgold.org
FORBES CENTER FOR THE PERFORMING ARTS: JAMES MADISON UNIVERSITY
Audiences will find themselves climbing to their feet for raucous ovations after enjoying dance, music and theater performances at this acclaimed arts center that features five outstanding venues. World-class composers, choreographers, and guest artists are among those featured at 175,000 square foot facility. www.jmuforbescenter.com
THE PARK GABLES GALLERY
The Park Gables Gallery, located on the VMRC campus, offers opportunities to view works from local, regional and national artists. VMRC partners with local art centers, artists and art educators to host rotating shows that feature photography, painting, sculptures and more.
GEORGE WASHINGTON AND JEFFERSON NATIONAL FORESTS
In the heart of the Appalachian Mountains, beauty is everywhere in these national forests that encompass more than a million acres. Hikers, campers, bikers and anyone who relishes the outdoors will find scenic vistas and views guaranteed to make their spirits soar.
There is golf galore in Harrisonburg-Rockingham where players of all levels can find a course that fits their needs. Take a swing at Mulligan’s Golf Center, Massanutten Resort, Heritage Oaks Golf Course, Spotswood Country Club, Lakeview Golf Club and Packsaddle Ridge Golf Club.
History is embedded among the shimmering stalagmites in the Grand Caverns, a National Natural Landmark, discovered in 1804. As they wind through the caverns, visitors will find hundreds of signatures from Civil War soldiers on its walls. www.grandcaverns.com
GREEN VALLEY BOOK FAIR
Readers will find a bonanza of bargain books at this outlet store that features more than 500,000 new books in over 60 categories, many at deep discounts. www.gobookfair.com
HARDESTY-HIGGINS HOUSE VISITOR CENTER
Harrisonburg’s first mayor, Isaac Hardesty, called this red-brick structure home and now it helps visitors learn more about the Shenandoah Valley, from its role in the Civil War to the history of U.S. Route 11. Take time to relax, too, at the center’s gift shop or the Heritage Bakery & Café.
HARRISONBURG-ROCKINGHAM ARTISAN TRAIL
Boasting the tagline: Take Home a Piece of Virginia,” the area’s artisans and artists stand ready to provide visitors with a unique experience and amazing artisan-crafted goods along this trail that features museums, craft shops, restaurants, galleries theaters and much more.
THE HERITAGE MUSEUM AND THE HARRISONBURG-ROCKINGHAM HISTORICAL SOCIETY
Trace your roots or learn more about the area’s unique history, including a map of Stonewall Jackson’s Valley Campaign at this center that offers exhibits, galleries and a genealogy library.www.valleyheritagemuseum.org
HOUSE OF CLUES
Pore over clues, puzzles or codes as you and a group of friends or co-workers find your way out of this escape room.
Adventure-lovers craving fun will find it awaits via canoe, kayak or tube on the gorgeous Shenandoah River.
Whether for a day or a week, no one will complain of nothing to do while staying at this 6,000-acre resort with a host of activities that makes it easy to have fun: skiing, hiking, zip-lining, golfing, swimming, spa services and shopping.
MOUNTAIN BIKE TRAILS
Riders of all levels will find a scenic trail that suits them in Harrisonburg, which is noted as a Bronze Level Ride Center by the International Mountain Bicycling Association. More adventures are on tap at the highly-rated trails and bike park at Massanutten Resort.
www.svbcoalition.org and massresort.com
OASIS FINE ART & CRAFT
Support the diverse and glorious works of 40 local artists at this gallery that also offers art and music classes.
THE OUTDOOR LEARNING CENTER AT HORIZONS
The action never stops at this woodsy center that offers kayaking, canoeing, zip lining and horseback riding in a venue that also includes meeting rooms, lodging and outdoor spaces. It’s ideal for team building, retreats, church groups, scouts, school groups and more.
SCHULTZ THEATER AND SCHOOL FOR PERFORMING ARTS
This nonprofit community theater puts the spotlight on talented performers from pre-teens to retirees. Youth and teen theater education and camps also are offered. www.schultztheatre.com
SHENANDOAH BEERWERKS TRAIL
Beer-lovers can quench their thirst on this trail that has more than 10 breweries, all located within an hour of each other. www.beerwerkstrail.com
SHENANDOAH NATIONAL PARK
Looking for an unforgettable escape? Then look no further than this more than 100-year-old park that spreads over 196,000 acres of protected wilderness and offers a wealth of outdoor activities. www.goshenandoah.com
SHENANDOAH RIVER ADVENTURES
Leave your cell phone and troubles behind as you escape to the beauty of the South Fork of the Shenandoah River. Offering kayaking, canoeing, or tubing amid a stunning natural environment.
SHENANDOAH SPIRITS TRAIL
Relax and rejuvenate as you try the beverages produced by 30 wineries, breweries, distilleries and cideries on this trail that runs along Interstate 81 from Harrisonburg to Winchester.
SHENANDOAH VALLEY TOURISM PARTNERSHIP/VIRGINIA’S SHENANDOAH VALLEY
Discover the vast array of things to do in the Shenandoah Valley’s 13 communities that are known for their charming small towns, stunning mountains, national parks, rich history, dining and the majestic river that connects them all.
SILVER LAKE MILL/LDA CREATIONS
LDA Creations has been making custom gifts since 1987 in the idyllic location of rustic mill that was constructed in 1822. They also showcase the work of local artists. www.silverlakemill.com
Looking for something unique? Head to Solace Studios where fiber artist Barb Polin makes clothing, home décor and other items that feature intricate marbling patterns on silk, paper and leather. Hand-crafted items from 250 local and national artists also are featured. www.solaceinc.com
STONEY RUN ARTISANS GALLERY
Wander to your heart’s delight in this gallery housed in the Old Stonewall Bank Building. Discover photography, paintings and hand-wrought baskets, all made by local artists and all available for purchase. www.stoneyrungallery.com
THE VALLEY TURNPIKE MUSEUM
The history of settlement in the Shenandoah Valley is celebrated at this museum that explores the history the road, now known at US Route 11, and along which many small towns grew and prospered.
THE VILLAGE ARTS CENTER
Are you a budding artist? Discover your hidden talents at this center that offers music, art, culinary classes, along with concerts, gathering spaces and many other opportunities to learn and appreciate the works of other artists.
VIRGINIA QUILT MUSEUM
There may be nothing more cozy, comforting or simply spectacular than a quilt. This museum, inside the elegant 1856 Warren-Sipe House, preserves and honors the state’s quilting history.
WHITE OAK LAVENDER FARM
A world colored in shades of purple awaits at White Oak Lavender Farm, where more than 800 lavender plants and about 300 grape vines grace this farm dedicated to a love of lavender. It offers wine tastings, essential oils, bath and body products, and other gifts available for purchase.
WILD GUYDE ADVENTURES, LLC
Above or below ground, thrills are in store at WILD GUYde Adventures which specializes in caving, canoeing, rock climbing, and other adventures throughout the Shenandoah Valley.
WINERIES, BREWERIES, CIDER AND SPIRITS
What better way to cap off a day spent in the beauty and adventure of the Shenandoah Valley than to partake of a beverage offered by the region’s many wineries, breweries, cideries. There’s something to tantalize any taste bud from the offerings at Restless Moon Brewing and Marceline Vineyards and CrossKeys Vineyards, both in Mount Crawford, to Bluestone Vineyard in Bridgewater, Brix & Columns Vineyards in McGaheysville, Brothers Craft Brewing, Purple WOLF Vineyard and Pale Fire Brewing Co. in Harrisonburg, and Old Hill Hard Cider at Showalter’s Orchard and Greenhouse in Timberville.