If you have been searching for friendly people, a cool small town with a local food ethos, and one of the best hubs for outdoor recreation, look no further than Harrisonburg. Vibrant, modern, and diverse, Harrisonburg, Va. boasts a happening atmosphere infused with a serious passion for local food and libations, cutting-edge arts and culture, and the historic roots that anchor it to the famous Shenandoah Valley landscape.
Home to James Madison University and Eastern Mennonite University, Harrisonburg is located smack in the middle of some of the most spectacular mountain ranges and outdoor recreation spots in Virginia. Harrisonburg has evolved from an agricultural, cultural, and commercial hub during the 19th and 20th centuries to today’s artfully restored, forward-thinking destination best known for its lively and distinct style.
Visitors can dive into Harrisonburg’s fascinating scene starting at the Hardesty-Higgins House Visitor Center, where you can plot your exhilarating outdoor and cultural adventures. Fond of being first in many things, Harrisonburg is especially proud of having the first recognized Arts and Cultural and Culinary Districts in Virginia. Why not walk, bike, shop, view, eat, drink and revel your way through the 40-block district of historic downtown for a full-senses experience you’ll not soon forget?
Harrisonburg is located in the heart of Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley, accessible by 1-81 and Route 11. The Shenandoah Valley Regional Airport, located just minutes away, is the fastest way to arrive. Amtrak stations are nearby in Charlottesville and Staunton. Harrisonburg is approximately a two-hour drive from Richmond and Washington, D.C.
Closest Major Airports
• Shenandoah Valley Regional Airport (regular flights to Dulles and O’Hare)
• Washington-Dulles International Airport (approximately 2 hours away)
• Charlottesville-Albemarle Airport (1 hour away)
The Virginia Quilt Museum celebrates and nurtures Virginia’s Quilting One of only a few quilt museums in the world. Founded in 1995, The Virginia Quilt Museum is the Official Quilt Museum of the Commonwealth of Virginia. Charged with a mission of “celebrating and nurturing Virginia’s quilting heritage,” the museum offers three floors of rotating, curated gallery space in a historic home.
The Hugo Kohl’s Museum of American Jewelry Design and Manufacturing Museum allows visitors to learn about the industrialization of jewelry making in the 19th Watch artisans create beautiful designs in front of your eyes and browse the retail store for that special something.
The Valley Turnpike Museum explores the history of Route 11 from its beginning as a buffalo path to Stonewall Jackson’s famous Valley Campaign, to the toll road era and the development of the interstate highway system.
The Larry W. Shifflett Fire Museum includes old fire memorabilia such as uniforms, medals, an old fire alarm, photographs, and equipment. The museum provides a behind-the-scenes look at some of our nation’s heroes.
The Harrisonburg-Rockingham Civil War Orientation Center features a large map of the Shenandoah Valley, showing the sites of the region’s major battles, a timeline of the Civil War in the Valley, and photos and quotes associated with the central Shenandoah Valley’s Civil War sites and stories.
The Harrisonburg Farmers Market open Tuesdays and Saturdays at 8 a.m. until 1:00 p.m. April – November with ample opportunity to pick up delicious local baked goods, canned items and much more. Take a picture at the Instagram-worthy LOVEworks sign near the market’s Turner Pavilion.
Download the free Traipse Scavenger Huntson your phone and enjoy self-guided tours around Downtown Harrisonburg, from historic sites to a pub crawl. Challenge yourself to explore Downtown Harrisonburg with this user-friendly app, which includes puzzles and challenges. All puzzles are outdoors.
Relax by taking in the beauty of our area and sampling wine at one of five local vineyards: CrossKeys, Bluestone, Brix & Columns, Marceline, and The Purple WOLF Vineyard at White Oak Lavender Farm.
Skyline Drive is a 105-mile road that runs the entire length of the National Park Service’s Shenandoah National Park in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia. With beautiful vistas and numerous hiking trails, you might just catch sight of deer, black bear, or wild turkey. Enter at the Swift Run Gap entrance just 30 minutes east of Harrisonburg off Route 33.
Harrisonburg features more than 22 modern hotels with more than 2,000 guest rooms and considerable function space. The Hotel Madison & Shenandoah Valley Conference Center, a modern boutique hotel and conference center within walking distance of downtown Harrisonburg with 230 guest rooms and 21,000 square feet of full-service meeting space, offers flexibility to accommodate groups ranging from 10 to 1,200. The charming property offers full-service event space and multiple breakout options that are perfect for retreats, meetings, and conferences.
DoubleTree by Hilton Harrisonburg has 6,000 square feet of flexible meeting and event space, including a spacious 1,200-square-foot atrium, and two ballrooms. It is the ideal venue for extraordinary events, from an intimate board meeting to a corporate conference, social celebration, or reception.
Courtyard by Marriott offers 1,100 square feet of total event space, including two meeting rooms.
Hampton Inn-University by Hilton is perfect for business or corporate meetings and sports teams. Enjoy a beautiful lounge that offers a comfortable, relaxed setting for special events and receptions. The private meeting rooms are 500 square feet and 324 square feet, can accommodate 12-40 people, and can be set up to your specifications.
Residence Inn by Marriott has space for both individual or small groups and extended-stay accommodations, with a 600-square-foot meeting room that can accommodate up to 25 people. James Madison University and Eastern Mennonite University also offer a wide variety of meeting spaces, including the new Atlantic Union Bank Center, which holds an audience of more than 8,000 people in a state-of-the-art arena.
Enjoy a delicious meal at one of Harrisonburg’s 250+ restaurants, such as the popular local Traditions buffet, Capital Ale House or Rocktown Kitchen, which brings the farm-to-table philosophy to life by creating gourmet dishes from locally sourced ingredients. Downtown Harrisonburg is host to Virginia’s First Culinary District and boasts a variety of cuisine, from Southern cooking to international cuisine and farm-to-table fair choices. There are numerous outdoor dining options as well, from patios to rooftops.
Bella Luna Wood-fired Pizza boasts two unique private catering options: Bella Banquets, and a private event room. Bella Banquets offers a welcoming and warm environment for your guests. Whether you’re hosting a dinner, special event or workshop, this space can accommodate 30-120 people. Personalized menus and service, a wood-fired oven, Bluetooth sound system, private coppertop bar and reclaimed barn wood tables handcrafted by Pennsylvania Amish woodworkers are just some of the features you can look forward to at Bella Luna’s mobile banquets. Bella Luna’s private event room can accommodate groups of 24.
The Dolley Madison private dining room within Montpelier Restaurant and Bar is a popular place to host a family celebration, business lunch, holiday party or other gathering. Order from the full restaurant menu, featuring Southern-inspired, locally sourced dishes, or delight in a customized menu for your group. An elegantly designed environment adds to the experience. The private room can accommodate up to 25 seats. The main restaurant can accommodate 150 people.
The Grand Blue Ridge Ballroom at Spotswood Country Club can accommodate groups of up to 250. The Shenandoah and Allegheny rooms can accommodate smaller groups, and the cozy and quaint Grill Room overlooks the 18th Green and the Blue Ridge Mountains. Banquet service and restaurant are available onsite.
Terrace at Rocktown, located in the heart of Harrisonburg, can accommodate groups up to 120, has access to AV, and offers ample parking. The menu is provided by Early Katering, a superior service specializing in a wide variety of cuisine for more than 25 years.
Jimmy Madison’s offers casual Southern food with a flair. The spacious dining room, rooftop dining and bar can accommodate approximately 50 people.
Jack’s Hideaway, a Harrisonburg speakeasy, is available for reservations for your next private party of up to 25 guests. Enjoy the relaxing atmosphere, your own personal bartenders, a full bar menu, catering options, and music selection of your choice. This speakeasy is perfect for birthdays, anniversaries, graduations, bridal showers, work luncheons, and rehearsal dinners.
Harrisonburg is a diverse city with more than 50 languages spoken in the local high school.
Harrisonburg is home to award-winning Downtown Harrisonburg, which is a Main Street Community, an original Virginia Arts and Cultural District, and Virginia’s First Culinary District.
Harrisonburg, previously known as “Rocktown” due to the large boulders around the center of town, was named for Thomas Harrison, a son of English settlers.
Jeremiah Bishop, an internationally recognized cross-country mountain biker and Pan-American gold medalist, makes Harrisonburg his home. His annual Alpine Loop Gran Fondo covers approximately 107 miles and features 11,000 feet of climbing.
Harrisonburg is the birthplace or home to many notable sports figures, including Ralph Sampson, former collegiate basketball standout and former NBA player.
Harrisonburg is located in the heart of the Shenandoah Valley, yet still rises 1,350 feet above sea level and ranges from an average temperature of 33 degrees in January to 73 degrees in July.
Jennifer Bell, Tourism Manager
Harrisonburg Tourism & Visitor Services
City of Harrisonburg
212 S. Main Street
Harrisonburg, Virginia 22801
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