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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.

Get in[edit]

The main way into Harrisonburg is via I-81.

Get around[edit]

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.

  • HDPT Buses [21].
  • Friendly City Pedicab.
  • Checkered Cab (540) 908-2838.

See[edit][add listing]

  • 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.

Do[edit][add listing]

Downtown Harrisonburg is a vibrant community that has been designated Virginia's first culinary district.

  • Court Square Theater. This local theater in Harrisonburg, Virginia showcases culturally enriching movies and artistic performances.
  • 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.
  • Rocktown Beer and Music Festival. Every year in late April, this unique festival showcases a curated selection of beer and music in the heart of downtown Harrisonburg.
  • Harrisonburg Farmer's Market [22] Huge selection of local produce. Summer hours are 8am - 1pm Tuesday and Saturday at Turner Pavilion behind City Hall. Saturday only during the winter months.
  • Roller Derby - Rocktown Rollers [23] Local roller derby team with home bouts at Funky's Skate Center.
  • First Fridays Downtown [24] On the first Friday of every month, over 30 participating venues showcase local and regional art in their space. If you stop at a few galleries you will see a lot of the same faces.


The community is a major educational center.

  • James Madison University [25]. A public university that was found in 1908 and has approximately 16,000 students with a 630 acre campus. Offers both undergraduate and graduate level degrees.
  • Eastern Mennonite University [26]. A Christian liberal arts university that enrolls approximately 920 students. It is also the home of the Eastern Mennonite Seminary.

Buy[edit][add listing]

  • Agora Downtown Market. A group of 11 independent businesses all within an easily shoppable retail community.
  • Blue Ridge Dog, [1]. Harrisonburg's downtown dog store.  edit
  • Downtown Wine & Gourmet, [2]. Offering a wide range of wine, craft beer, homebrew equipment, foods, chocolates, and gift baskets.  edit
  • The Lady Jane. A charming shop with vintage finds, specialty gifts, art prints, greeting cards, and more. If you're lucky, you can meet the current foster kitty from Cat's Cradle “".  edit
  • The Yellow Button, [3]. Locally-curated clothing and jewelry store.  edit
  • Larkin Arts, [4]. Larkin has art supplies for sale and studio space for rent along with regular public events.  edit
  • Midtowne Market. Downtown's convenience store.  edit
  • Wonder. Skate shop and record store in the same space.  edit

Eat[edit][add listing]

Harrisonburg has a vibrant food scene. There are over 30 locally-owned restaurants in downtown alone, each with its own unique flavors and atmosphere.

  • Bella Luna, 80 W Water St, Harrisonburg, VA 22801, (540) 433-1366, [5]. Wood-fired pizza, fresh pasta, and fresh-baked bread.  edit
  • Boboko Indonesian Cafe, 217 S Liberty St, #102, Harrisonburg, VA 22801, (540) 434-3542, [6]. Simple Indonesian eatery with a relaxed vibe featuring noodle & rice dishes, plus soup.  edit
  • Cuban Burger, 70 W Water St, Harrisonburg, VA 22801, (540) 434-1769, [7]. Cuban food and drinks specials.  edit
  • El Sol, 68 S Carlton St, Harrisonburg, VA 22801, (540) 442-8763. Traditional Mexican grub, including quesadillas, menudo & tacos, served in a laid-back setting.  edit
  • Food.Bar.Food (Food Bar Food), 126 W Bruce St, Harrisonburg, VA 22801, (540) 433-3663, [8]. Tues-Sun: 11am-10pm. Serving inventive global comfort food. Cozy atmosphere with great cocktail options. Happy hour specials daily 4pm-6pm.  edit
  • Indian American Cafe, 91 N Main St, Harrisonburg, VA 22802, (540) 433-1177. Cozy, cash-only Indian eatery providing classic dishes at various spice levels in a simple space.  edit
  • Kline's Dairy Bar, 58 E Wolfe St, Harrisonburg, VA 22802, (540) 434-6980. Old-fashioned custard-style ice cream prepared fresh daily. Special flavor changes every week.  edit
  • Little Grill Collective, 621 N Main St, Harrisonburg, VA 22802, (540) 434-3594, [9]. Tues-Sat 7am - 3pm, Sun 8am -3pm, Closed Monday. Worker-owned cafe with casual, mostly vegetarian meals & breakfast in cozy, whimsical surrounds.  edit
  • Mr. J's Bagels, 1635 E Market St, Harrisonburg, VA 22801, (540) 564-0416, [10]. Good bagels and sandwiches from a long-running Harrisonburg staple.  edit
  • Taste of Thai, 917 S High St, Harrisonburg, VA 22801, (540) 801-8878. Thai food with big portions.  edit

Drink[edit][add listing]

Harrisonburg is known for its night life in part because of JMU students. In downtown Harrisonburg, there are many fun places to drink and many cheap drink specials.

  • Billy Jack's, 92 S Main St, 540-433-1793, [11]. Rustic-chic joint serving up chicken wings, chili cheese fries, donuts & a variety of craft beers.  edit
  • Finnigan's Cove, 30 W Water St, 540-433-9874, [12]. Dive bar, you can smoke cigarettes at the bar.  edit
  • Golden Pony, 181 N Main St, 540-901-2628, [13]. Formerly the Blue Nile, the Pony is an informal pub & grill with patio seating offering live music, pinball machines & American fare.  edit
  • Jack Brown's, 80 S Main St, 540-433-5225, [14]. 11:00-2:00. Original location of the bar chain serving creative burgers & a lengthy list of beers in a casual, funky space.  edit
  • Magnolia's Taco & Tequila Bar, 14 E Water St, 540-217-5816, [15]. Mexican food and drinks in a three-level space with rooftop and outdoor seating.  edit
  • Ruby's Arcade, 165 S Main St, 540-615-5351. Family-friendly pizza & BBQ spot with a bar plus pool tables, bowling, ping pong & darts.  edit

Sleep[edit][add listing]

  • By the Side of the Road Bed and Breakfast, 491 Garbers Church Rd, (866) 274-4887, [16]. Four main house suites and three private cottages. Fireside whirlpool spa tubs in some rooms. Pets welcome.  edit
  • Comfort Inn Harrisonburg, 1440 E. Market Street (I-81 exit 247-A), 540-433-6066, [17]. checkin: 3PM; checkout: 12noon. Complimentary Hot Breakfast Buffet, Free Wireless Internet, 24 hour Fitness Center and Seasonal Outdoor Heated Pool. Pets Welcome.  edit
  • Country Inn & Suites By Carlson, Harrisonburg, VA, 27 Covenant Drive Harrisonburg VA 22801, 540-433-2400, [18].  edit
  • Hotel Madison, 710 S Mason St Harrisonburg VA 22801, 833-564-0200, [19]. Closest hotel to the main campus of James Madison University.  edit
  • Joshua Wilton House, 412 S Main St Harrisonburg VA 22801, 540-434-4464, [20]. Small bed and breakfast with a fine dining restaurant, close to downtown.  edit

Get out[edit]

  • Reddish Knob,[27] 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, VA [28], a pretty city 30 minutes south of Harrisonburg.
  • Luray Caverns [29], one of the most detailed, beautiful caverns in the world, about 30 minutes away from Harrisonburg.
  • Massanutten Resort [30], one of the largest ski resorts in Virginia offering skiing, snowboarding, and tubing plus a golf course and a waterpark.

Routes through Harrisonburg
HagerstownNew Market  N noframe S  StauntonRoanoke

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