Harrisonburg is a city in the US state of Virginia, in a region called the Shenandoah Valley. The city is a major financial and retail center for eight counties in Virginia, and even draws people from parts of neighboring West Virginia. There is a traditionally strong agricultural base, but in recent years there has been tremendous growth in retail and industry sectors.
The main way into Harrisonburg is via I-81.
There are buses that run in Harrisonburg, and downtown Harrisonburg is compact and walkable. To explore the city, however, you will likely want to have a car.
- James Madison University: The University (JMU) has a beautiful campus that is worth exploring. The campus is divided into three sections. The old section is off South Main Street and is referred to as the Quad. It is the prettiest part of campus. The middle of campus is less aesthetically appealing, but the new section of campus is much prettier and features nice views of the mountains.
- Go Hiking, Harrisonburg is ideally located near the George Washington National Forest and the Blue Ridge Parkway. There is great hiking in the National Forest. The drive there is also beautiful and passes through Mennonite communities.
- Hardesty-Higgins House Visitors Center, 212 S. Main St., ☎ +1 540-432-8935. A great place to start any visit to Harrisonburg, especially the downtown area. This place functions as an information center for tourists and visitors, and has a very nice gift shop and a museum area. The website is full of information for anyone planning a visit to the area.
- Explore More Discovery Museum, 30 N. Main St., ☎ +1 540-442-8900. Great place to take your kids! Super-fun hands-on exhibits for a variety of ages.
- You Made It! Paint Your Own Pottery, 163 S. Main St., ☎ +1 540-434-4500. Extensive selection of unfinished ceramic, glass, and pottery. You buy the piece you want and they let you use all their supplies and paint to decorate it, then leave it there to be fired. Extremely nice and helpful staff and a very pleasant environment.
The community is a major educational center.
- James Madison University, . A public university that was found in 1908 and has approximately 20,000 students with a 630 acre campus. Offers both undergraduate and graduate level degrees.
- Eastern Mennonite University, . A Christian liberal arts university that enrolls approximately 920 students. It is also the home of the Eastern Mennonite Seminary.
- Larkin Arts, 61 Court Square, ☎ +1 540-236-4223. Art supply store, galleries featuring local artists
- The Little Grill, 621 N. Main St., ☎ +1 540-434-3594. A cute, counterculture restaurant in Harrisonburg. Started by JMU students, the restaurant is owned as a collective and serves cheap, unique dishes.
- Mr. J's Bagels. With 3 locations around town, Mr. J's is a local favorite that is often packed on Saturday and Sunday mornings. The Bagels are delicious
- Bella Luna Wood-Fired Pizza, 80 W. Water St., ☎ +1 540-433-1366. Serving wood-fired pizza, handmade pasta, fresh bread, and delicious desserts, made with locally-sourced ingredients. Great selection of regional beers on tap and a well-chosen wine list.
- Cuban Burger, 70 W. Water St., ☎ +1 540-860-0855. Delicious Cuban food
- New Leaf Pastry Kitchen, 212 S. Main St., ☎ +1 540-432-8942. Fantastic little high-end pastry shop. Great place to stop for quick coffee and sweets, and they also serve lunch. Convieniently located downtown in the same building as the Visitors Center.
Harrisonburg is known for its nightlife because of JMU students. In downtown Harrisonburg, there are many fun places to drink and many cheap drink specials.
- Clementine, 153 S. Main St, ☎ +1 540-801-8881. A nice, colorful restaurant and bar that features live music and has a lovely outdoor patio.
- Jack Brown's Beer & Burger Joint, 80 S. Main St., ☎ +1 540-433-5225. Very small, but extremely popular, this place often has a line out the door. Great selection of craft beers, delicious burgers, and don't miss the fried oreo for dessert! They do have outdoor seating nearly year-round.
- By the Side of the Road Bed and Breakfast, 491 Garbers Church Rd, toll-free: +1-866-274-4887. Four main house suites and three private cottages. Fireside whirlpool spa tubs in some rooms. Pets welcome.
- Luray Caverns, one of the most detailed, beautiful caverns in the world, about 30 minutes away from Harrisonburg.
- Reddish Knob, a well known nearby peak that has wonderful views of the Shenandoah Valley. Bill Clinton gave an important speech about the protection of National Forests from the peak of Reddish Knob.
- Staunton (Virginia), a pretty city 30 minutes south of Harrisonburg.
|Routes through Harrisonburg|
|Hagerstown ← New Market ←||N S||→ Staunton → Roanoke|
|Weston ← Franklin ←||W E||→ Jct N S → Richmond → END|