15 Best Things to Do in Harrisonburg, VA

15 Best Things to Do in Harrisonburg, VA

There is something about the quaint Virginian towns that attracts all the tourists. And, Harrisonburg is not excluded from that list either. With a plethora of adventure activities to get that adrenaline pumping in your veins- there is more to Harrisonburg that meets the eyes.

A mixture of the natural scenic beauty with the modern chaotic nightlife, Harrisonburg has some of the best spots for you to check out.

The place even has some things planned for your kids so they don’t get bored. Come on, let us persuade you into taking that holiday by telling you all about the top 15 things to do in Harrisonburg-

Get mesmerized at the White Oak Lavender and the Purple WOLF Vineyard

The White Oak Lavender and the Purple WOLF Vineyard is one of the top attractions here in Harrisonburg. Memorial weekend and Labor day Are the best days to check out the farm and vineyard for there are a lot of guided tours provided by the authorities.

Also, if you are done with the wine tasting- do head out for some lavender flavored ice cream for the flavor is hard to get in general, and the taste is just amazing!

Let us first talk about the wine tasting tours. There are a lot of wine tastings that go on at the vineyards.

You can stop by them, take a look before heading back to the tasting room, and sipping on some delicate wines. Christmas and Thanksgiving are special here.

Indulge in some of the activities Shenandoah Valley has got planned for you

Shenandoah Valley
Jon Bilous / Shutterstock.com

A small portion of the Great Appalachian Valley- Shenandoah Valley is the pretty aspect of Harrisonburg. In this little stretch of land- you can find different types of ecosystems. But, we wouldn’t dare call this area little for it stretches across almost 200 miles.

Not only are there scenic mountains in the background, but you can also find parks with lots of hiking trails.

If you are willing to listen to us, we are just going to say- go camping. The place is huge and you need to explore every bit of it to enjoy it to your fullest.

There are several glassy lakes where you can go fishing. All the gorgeous towns of the Shenandoah Valleys lie in the line along with this valley!

Plan a staycation at the old Joshua Wilton House

Joshua Wilton House
Strawser, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The Joshua Wilton House is a sight to see in Harrisonburg. If you are someone who takes a particular interest in old and restored buildings then, Joshua Wilton House might stand out to you.

It is an inn which means you can even book your stay here. The location is also in the downtown area, so you will not be far away from all the restaurants and the shopping places either.

The Joshua Wilton House reeks of that ancient glamor and is one of the best places you could choose to stay in. The restaurant inside is also heavenly. Serving some of the best dishes- the place does catch attention quickly.

Enjoy the magnificent Edith J. Carrier Arboretum

The Edith J. Carrier Arboretum is located inside the campus of the famous Harrisonburg University- James Madison University. You can go around to take a tour of the Oak-Hickory Forest. And, the insides are pretty as a picture.

Feel the wind against your face s you walk through the gardens of daffodils. Also, the forests are just decorated in different shades of greens.

The science department sometimes uses this for educational purposes where they bring in the students for teaching them more about the ecosystem.

Also, it is open to the public so you can go in, relax, take in a deep breath, and enjoy some great views of the greens.

Go on a beer trail!

Are you looking for a trail to hike? How about we serve you with a trail meant for beer lovers instead? Would that work? Yes, we hoped so! Here in Harrisonburg, there is an exclusive beer trail that goes through 14 breweries in the area.

Well, the trail is not just limited to Harrisonburg. It takes a lot of turns and twists and finally makes its way to Lexington and finishes there with some happy satisfied customers.

The breweries all have their own stories to tell. And, making its way through three of the most beautiful counties- the trail is a lovable one. Most tourists take part to taste the best flavors of these counties. There are even dining options too.

Buy some handicrafts at the local Shenandoah Heritage Market

Are you up for visiting a county market? Get a taste of the local culture here at Shenandoah Heritage Market. There are no other markets in the Shenandoah Valley as big as this much. It is safe to say that this marketplace is filled with shops selling a wide variety of stuff.

But, the main point of attraction happens to be the hand-made goods. Yes, there are a lot of crafts that are just hand-made by the locals being sold here in the Heritage Market.

They make up for great souvenirs. You also get them at an affordable rate. We’d also suggest buying the candies and the baked goods.

Learn more about gemstones at the Mineral Museum

Inside the James Madison University campus here in Harrisonburg- there are a lot of hidden gems. And, in the case of the Mineral Museum- there are gems literally! Yes, there are over 600 variants of different gemstones that have been procured from all over the world and are kept here.

Are you interested in the different rocks and the precious value they hold? We got some news for you- the Mineral Museum allows public tours.

They will tell you everything about the gem- its backstory, how the crystallization took place, the different components, its market value! Geeks fall in love with the place. And, overall the place is extremely pretty too.

Go fruit picking at Showalter’s Orchards

When in doubt, go to Showalter’s! Showalter’s Orchards is one of the finest places here in Harrisonburg. And, if you are someone who has spent his/her whole life on a farm and now missing it- this is the destination. The Showalter’s Orchards has everything inside its greenhouse!

You can choose peach picking, or you can just pick up apples for there are over 25 variants of apples here. There are flowers too!

The greenhouse looks heavenly with all the fruit trees or the flower bishes decorated around, the entire room is colorful and just gives off positive vibes. Not only are thee only local produce, but you can also find some foreign fruits or veggies too.

Learn about the native colonies at Valley Turnpike Museum

Are you well-versed in American history? Then you might even know about the infamous Turnpike Era. If not, this museum will tell you all about it. In the 1800s- Shenandoah Valley was all about colonization.

Different natives came in contact with the foreigners who set up their colonies here. This era is specifically known as the Turnpike Era. And, as a result of the mixture of culture- it holds significance in the history of the Shenandoah Valley.

The Valley Turnpike Museum preserves stories of these times and tells tourists of how the old days used to be here. A road stretching from Staunton to Winchester was constructed by the Valley Turnpike Company.

This road has played one of the biggest roles in shaping the development of the valley region. Learn more about these at the museum.

Learn about the history of quilts at the Virginia quilt museum

There is another unique museum located here in Harrisonburg. The Virginia Quilt Museum has a quite attractive face value in front of the tourists that come to visit from all over the world. Be ready to see a variety of materials from the sewing world including machines and quilts.

The world of stitching has changed a lot over the years. What is used now- was not used 100 years ago. However, you can find a detailed guide of how the techniques have been changing over the years here in this museum.

The textile industry of Virginia was flourishing once upon a time. And, it still reflects the fact in this museum. Comprised of three floors- you cannot find anything but wonderful ancient quilts throughout the museum.

Get some fresh products at the Farmers Market

Fresh tomatoes at Farmer's Market
jammmick, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Looking for everything in one place? Farmer’s Market is the destination! Here you do not only get some of the freshest produce that the farmers grow organically, but some customers even remark about the beautiful vintage earrings they got their hands on last time.

Don’t come here after breakfast for the smell will drive you crazy. The smell of the freshly baked goods is always mesmerizing, but wait till you bite in that bread!

Fruits and vegetables find their way in this market straight from the trees. Everything you see is organic and of top quality as well.

Take a break at Heritage Bakery and Cafe

If you want a short food break amid all the sightseeing, we have a cute location for you. Since it is located in the downtown area, you don’t even have to travel far from all the main spots. So, drop by to fill your tummy with some delicious foods cooked with love.

Are you into tea parties? Here at the Heritage Bakery and Cafe- every day feels like a tea party. Also, the setting almost gives off royal vibes. And, the bakery items are cooked every day and are the freshest. Pair up some pastries with your black coffee and vibe along!

Take your kids to the Explore More Discovery Museum

How about you plan a morning out for your kids? Here at Explore More Discovery Museum- it is all about fun, engagement, and learning. Kids love the place for their curiosity gets noticed and all their questions get answered.

This is an interactive museum where kids get to know the best of everything. Not only the present- kids even get to know more about the past.

A lot of summer camps are also organized here. So, if you are here during the summer- you could get your kids into one of them while you and your partner go out for some exclusive sightseeing.

Mix some coffee and beer at the Shenandoah Joe

This coffee shop is nothing like the others. Yes, in Shenandoah Joe, you get a unique blend of coffee. And, have you ever heard a shop that specializes in coffee sells beers? Well, guess what? Everything is possible here in Harrisonburg.

Also, the coffee is aromatic and innovative at the same time. And, no one ever complains about the beer either. In Shenandoah Joe, the beans are hand-roasted and the craft beers are not like anything you get at bars.

We recommend coming here at least once and tasting what they have to offer for it is a quirky experience you should not miss out on.

Learn about the local history at Heritage Museum

The Shenandoah Valley has a massive history rolled under its sleeves. To preserve that history so that it lives on to tell its valiant tales to the new generations and the visitors- Harrisonburg-Rockingham Historical Society decided to take a step.

It put its plans into action and came up with an idea of creating the Heritage Museum to safe-guard all the historical wealth and jewels of the Shenandoah Valley.

You can not only see a display entirely dedicated to the Shenandoah Valley, but there is also another exhibit that talks about the roles the Shenandoah Valley played during the Civil War.

Did you know if you want you can get to know more about your lineage by just giving in your surname? You can also find a lot of storytellers in this museum who would describe vividly the wars fought in America.

This is it for Harrisonburg. We hope we were able to convince you to take that trip. We shall be back with plans for another wonderful trip. Stay tuned!