Blake Walsh

20 Best Things to Do in McGaheysville, VA

  • Published 2023/01/18

You can find the unincorporated community of McGaheysville, Virginia, in Rockingham County, along Route 33 and at the foot of the Massanutten.

It might be a small community, but it’s not without its charm.

For one, this historic place is a living monument to the rich heritage of the United States.

According to the records, the earliest settlement in the area goes way back to 1716, during the expedition of the Knights of the Golden Horseshoe.

During this expedition, Governor Alexander Spotswood journeyed far to the west of the Blue Ridge Mountains.

However, the first European to settle the area was Adam Miller, a German who arrived in 1726 and made a home in Elkton.

The community got its name from Tobias Randolph McGahey, a surveyor who belonged to the Scotch-Irish attempt to colonize the area in 1801.

After marrying the innkeeper Eva Conrad, who owned the tavern he slept in, McGahey built the post office in 1802 and named it “McGaheysville.”

Reader’s Digest had declared the name“McGaheysville” the most difficult to pronounce place name in all of Virginia.

Today, McGaheysville draws tourists to its natural and historical attractions, such as the Cave Hill Farm, among others.

Do you want to know more about McGaheysville, VA?

Here’s a list of the best things to do in town:

Sip Fine Wine at the Brix & Columns Vineyards

You can find the Brix & Columns Vineyards in the Central Shenandoah Valley.

This farm winery is open for all seasons, boasting Virginia’s signature Southern charm with breathtaking views and prize-winning wines.

In 2016, the winery began operations with its first vines, opening its doors to the curious public.

The farm currently makes seven wine varietals, Chambourcin, Petit Manseng, Vidal, Viognier, Cabernet Franc, and Chardonnay.

Likewise, Brix & Columns also stands in the Shenandoah Valley AVA, established in 1982.

This AVA (American Viticultural Areas) in Virginia has earned popularity because of its ideal planting conditions, giving it the ability to support several varietals.

Besides wines, the winery is also available for weddings.

Grab Nice Trinkets at Stumps Old Town Antiques

Since 2007, Stumps Old Town Antiques has indulged the curiosities of residents and guests wandering into McGaheysville.

This antique mall is also a historic building since it’s a century-old general store standing in the heart of the village.

During your visit, you’ll find over 25 vendors selling unique items.

Each of these dealers and vendors runs a stall with its distinct style and charm.

The mall also offers upscale antiques that you might usually find in high-end antique dealerships.

Moreover, the store’s impeccable taste in antiques has earned it the nickname “The Jewel of McGaheysville.”

Don’t miss out and visit this charming antique shop on your trip.

Sample Craft Beer at Cave Hills Farm Brewery

This historic brewery has existed in McGaheysville since 1759, under the ownership of a single family, the Hopkins.

Today, the farm runs under the 6thgeneration of Hopkins, which began when King George II of England granted the farm to the first generation in 1759.

Through the years, the farm has shrunk from its original 1,000 acres to 359, but it still produces various crops and raises various livestock.

The Cave Hills Farm Brewery uses the main crops grown on the farm, such as hops and barley, to craft interesting and delicious beer.

They also get water from a vintage family well that has existed for several generations.

The water brims with vitamins and boasts a sharp taste.

Likewise, the farm insists on using original ingredients and traditional methods to craft unique beer flavors.

Some of these flavors might even be new to you.

Be part of history and try a glass of Cave Hills Farm’s best.

Check Out Arts and Crafts at Stoney Run Artisans

Another historic shop you can visit in McGaheysville is Stoney Run Artisans, which operates from a restored General Store built circa 1900.

The building has retained a few of its original features, such as the 1920s-era bank vault, the high ceilings, and the heart pine flooring.

Today, the shop sells several local arts and crafts, such as handmade jewelry, oil paintings, watercolors, pottery, baskets, blacksmithy, and handmade kids’ toys.

You can also buy artisanal food here.

Liven up your home by bringing home beautiful hand-crafted décor that everyone in your family will love.

Start Your Day Right at the Thunderbird Café

What better way to prepare for a full day’s tourist itinerary than by grabbing a hot breakfast?

When you find yourself in McGaheysville, pop in the Thunderbird Café to order delicious breakfast meals.

They serve filling breakfast dishes all day, so don’t worry if you visit in the afternoon or the evening, even.

Do you crave burgers, burritos, or sandwiches?

Thunderbird is the spot for you.

You can order breakfast meals made from local ingredients.

For example, you can sausage gravy (made from scratch), comfort food like Mama’s Meatloaf, or unique burritos like the Ancho-Maple Pork Barbecue Burrito.

Otherwise, you can also enjoy their homemade bread, desserts, and hand-crafted burgers.

Enjoy your food inside a comfortable setting, filled with color that blends the urbane and the rustic, dashed with a bit of funk.

Splash Around at the Massanutten Indoor/Outdoor WaterPark

This indoor and outdoor waterpark is open to the public all year, offering climate-controlled waters and eight enormous water slides, plus a lazy river and a water fortress.

Likewise, the park also contains Virginia’s first and largest surf simulator, the FlowRider.

No matter when you visit the waterpark, you can always be sure of pleasurable waters because the facilities maintain water temperatures at 84°F.

Bring your kids to the water fortress or let them enjoy numerous inflatable adventures.

Meanwhile, you can relax with your friends or family at the hot tubs, lazy river floats, or pools.

If you’re feeling adventurous, you can try learning how to surf on the FlowRider Endless Wave.

The outdoor waterpark features new water slides, such as the Peak Plunge and Valley Vortex.

You can also chill in the wave pool, with three-foot waves lapping at your feet.

When you get hungry, you can always head to The Chill Grill, then play games at Diamond Jim’s Arcade.

Spice Up Your Next Meal with Valley Olive Oil & Balsamics

Right next to the Thunderbird Café stands Valley Olive Oil & Balsamics, formerly known as Valley Olive Leaf.

The store offers diverse types of olive oils and balsamic vinegar, such as the Gourmet Italian variety.

They also carry Ultra Premium Extra Virgin Olive Oils and UP Fused & Infused Olive Oils.

No matter which you buy, though, you can always be sure of the product’s quality and health benefits.

The store receives its stock from the Veronica Foods Company, specializing in gluten-free products, and packages them at gluten-free facilities.

When you run out, you can take your clean and dry bottle back to the store for a discounted refill, too.

Start your healthy lifestyle by picking out tasty ingredients at Valley Olive Oil & Balsamics.

Race Your Kids at the Massanutten Go-Karts

You can find the Massanutten Mini-Golf, Bumper Cars, and Go Karts at Stonewall Terrace in McGaheysville.

The Massanutten Property Owners Association run and manage the venues, which should fill an afternoon’s worth of fun with the kids.

Bring your entire family and enjoy one another’s company at the Spin Zone Bumper Cars.

Likewise, win family bragging rights by beating everyone in a race at the Massanutten Speedway Go Karts.

You also don’t need to worry about pollution because the go-karts are all-electric.

Then, play a round of mini-golf at the 18-hole Miniature Golf Championship course, which features five waterfalls.

When you get hungry, you can grab a scoop of soft serve at the Massanutten Ice Cream Snack Shop.

They also offer many ice cream flavors to satisfy each member of the family.

Play on the Ice at The Rink at Massanutten Resort

Don’t think you won’t be able to do anything if you visit McGaheysville in the winter.

Just go to the Massanutten Fitness & Rec Club to access the Rink.

Skaters of every skill level will enjoy prancing around the Rink.

The Massanutten Fitness & Rec Club uses a 125-ton chiller plus more than 34,000 feet of tubing to transform the grounds into a frozen paradise for the winter.

If you’re serious about learning ice skating, you can sign up in advance for skating lessons at the Rink.

You can also rent the equipment at the venue. Kids and adults can enroll in these lessons for good old family fun.

Support Local Artists at the Artisian Gallery

You can find this gallery at Massanutten Drive, in McGaheysville.

Visit the gallery to find exhibits and displays featuring works by local artists. A fellow artist also owns the place, Laurelea Marlyn.

This artist and Shenandoah Valley entrepreneur built the gallery to offer a space for local artists to showcase their works.

She also encourages visitors to buy a piece before going home because, to her, buying art is the perfect compliment for an artist.

Bring home a new addition to your household ornaments or give a gift to your closest friend or neighbor.

The gallery is divided into several sections, each dedicated to a particular local artist.

This set-up also pushes each artist in town to continue creating to get a space at this popular local gallery.

If a piece catches your eye, you can also talk to the nearest friendly and knowledgeable staff member to shed some light on your pick.

Enjoy Sumptuous Meals at Romano’s Italian Bistro

Craving for some Italian fare? Try Romano’s Italian Bistro for appetizing specialty dishes.

The restaurant has been around Mcgaheysville since 2005 serving a feast of Southern Italian cuisine on the menu.

Start with tasty appetizers like Mozzarella Caprese, Fried Ravioli, or the classic Bruschetta.

Enjoy plates of Chef, Greek, or Antipasto Salads with your choice of House Italian, Blue Cheese, Ranch, Honey Mustard, and other dressings; go with the Chef’s Soup of the Day with these salads.

You’ll surely enjoy bites of their Neapolitan Pizza with flavors like Romano’s Special, White, Bistro, and more; you can also request to have it gluten-free or add extra toppings or chicken for more flavor.

Go for pasta dishes all served with either a Caesar or Garden salad or soup and homebaked bread; you’re sure to enjoy servings of Baked Rigatoni, Fettucine Primavera, Spaghetti with Meatballs, or have it New York style with Sausage.

Other delightful Italian eats on the menu include Seafood, Chicken and Veal Pasta,

Subs like Steak & Cheese Deluxe, Veggie Sub, and Turkey & Cheese varieties.

Likewise, Meat and Veggie Calzone and Stromboli are consistent restaurant favorites; kids have something to enjoy on the menu, too.

For a finale, have some Cheesecake, Cannoli, Tiramisu, or Fried cheesecake for dessert.

Drop by Romano’s Italian Bistro at New Hope Road.

Stay at Cave Hill Farm Bed and Breakfast

Aside from the feels of history, you’ll get to enjoy a comfortable stay at Cave Hill Farm Bed and Breakfast.

This historic 1830 manor sits on Cave Hill Road and is just a few minutes from Massanutten Resort and Shenandoah National Park.

Check in at one of the five guest rooms, each welcoming guests with a homey, country-style accommodation that’s sure to give you a relaxing stay.

You’ll also have a glimpse of scenic mountains and lovely nature views from your window.

Enjoy the amenities and great hospitality at Cave Hill Farm Bed and Breakfast.

Grab Ice Cream Treats at Kline’s

You’ll definitely be reminded of your childhood days when you grab ice cream treats from Kline’s.

You can find their McGaheysville location on Spotswood Trail and other branches on Downtown and Main Street Harrisonburg, Staunton, Waynesboro, and Lynchburg.

Traditional ice cream production methods and quality ingredients have made the business an iconic institution.

Father and son tandem Grover and John Kline established their first ice cream stand in Downtown Harrisonburg in 1943.

Enjoy assorted smooth and creamy ice cream flavors, and make sure to check special weekly flavors posted on their website.

You’ll never get enough of over 20 different flavors like Lemon Gingersnap, Salted Caramel Crunch, Nutty Banana, Peach Cobbler, and so much more.

So visit Kline’s and feel nostalgic with classic ice cream made fresh daily.

Enjoy Water Activities with Massanutten River Adventures

For more enjoyable outdoor activities while you’re in McGaheysville, let Massanutten River Adventures provide you with fun family time.

Located in Meadow Vista Lane, they have been serving Shenandoah Valley guests since 2000.

Everyone in the family will surely enjoy exciting water adventures along the Shenandoah River.

Go for a 7-mile canoe or kayak ride on the river’s flat Class 1 water rapids; whether you’re a beginner or an experienced paddler, you’ll have a trip down the river.

You’ll surely spot blue herons, bald eagles, ducks, and other wildlife in the area.

You can also go river tubing if you prefer a more relaxed activity; float on the river waters of Shenandoah up to the Elkton boat landing.

All trips provided by Massanutten River Adventures include safety orientation and briefing, life jackets, and water gear like kayaks, canoes, and tubes.

Have Rounds of Golf Games at Woodstone Meadows Golf Course

Enjoy a friendly tee-off at Woodstone Meadows Golf Course located along Silverstone Lane.

This 18-hole course offers more than 5,000 yards of green fairways and slopes at par 65, fit for any golf skill level.

Enjoy hours of golf and avail yourself of an Owner or Guest Golf Pass with discounts on a Large Bucket of Range Balls, Golf Clinic, Golf Lesson, Professional Club Fitting, Golf Simulator, Club Rental, and Massanutten Resort Logo Apparel at the Golf Shop; you’ll also get free entries to weekly Golf Pass Tournaments.

Drop by the trendy Golf Shop and get the latest golf gear and a wide selection of apparel from Callaway, Taylor Made, Cobra, and others.

Enjoy golfing and more at Woodstone Meadows Golf Course.

Other Things to Do Nearby

Spend the Day at the Massanutten Resort

Sunny day at Massanutten Resort

P199, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Drive nine minutes out of McGaheysville to reach the Massanutten Resort, located at Massanutten, Virginia.

Break free from the stresses of everyday life and experience 6,000 acres of cold mountain air and total freedom.

The resort also carries world-class amenities, along with top-tier attractions that should satisfy your desire for excitement.

Sphere-shaped building for bumper cars in Massanutten Resort

Angelo Otero /

Likewise, the resort also features 12 restaurants, each showcasing local flavors and dishes.

There are also multiple escape rooms, biking trails, and zip lines for your outdoor pleasure.

Make the Massanutten Resort your gateway to nearby pleasures, from the Shenandoah Valley and beyond.

Take a Hike along the Massanutten Ridge Trail

Bring your camera to this hike because the Massanutten Ridge Trail will show you only the most awesome views the area has to offer.

You’ll find this trail at Massanutten, Virginia.

Just follow the Massanutten Ridge Trail, a 4.5-mile out-and-back trail.

This trail will give you amazing views of the mountains encircling Massanutten, along with views of the skiing zone.

If you time your hike with the sunrise or sunset, you’ll catch splendid views of the breaking or waning day.

Since the trail is a moderately challenging hike, wear thick, sturdy boots and bring plenty of water.

Walk among the Lavender at the White Oak Lavender Farm

Swings at the White Oak Lavender Farm

EVargas /

Travel 18 minutes from McGaheysville to reach the city of Harrisonburg, Virginia, where you can find the White Oak Lavender Farm.

The family-owned farm sits near the Massanutten Resort, as well, amid the picturesque Shenandoah Valley.

Since 2008, the Haushalter family has opened the farm to the public, which has helped it grow into a popular agritourism attraction.

The Haushalters grow more than 8,000 lavender plants, along with 3,000 grape vines that come in different varieties.

What does the farm do with all that lavender?

They extract essential oils, hydrosol, or floral water from the dried-out buds through steam distillation.

Likewise, they make 12 fine wines out of the harvested grapes every fall.

During your visit, you can join a wine tasting, farm tours, lectures, and even attend classes.

Before you go, grab a souvenir or two from the lavender gift shop.

Deepen Your Friendships at the Massanutten Escape Rooms & VR

Bring your friends and spend an hour deepening your bonds at the Massanutten Escape Rooms & VR, located in Massanutten, Virginia.

The facility offers not one but three different escape rooms that provide total immersion.

Likewise, you can also enter Real Escapes’ virtual reality room for wacky hijinks.

The Escape Rooms comprise the Mayday Escape Room, a Zanzibar treasure hunt, or a hostage rescue at Voodoo Island.

Each of these rooms requires your team to cooperate in finding clues and solving puzzles to complete your quest.

Meanwhile, if you choose to enter the virtual reality room, you can escape into another world entirely.

Enter a race simulator and grab virtual bragging rights.

Spend a Day with Family at the Family Adventure Park

Without leaving Massanutten, Virginia, you can then head to the Family Adventure Park for another day of family-friendly fun.

Your whole family should enjoy spending the day outdoors and trying out the attractions found inside this park.

For example, you can conquer your fears at the Mega Zip ride, a zip line that will send you flying for 800 feet at speeds of 30 miles per hour.

You can also join the Canopy Tour, which should take 90 minutes and lead you through a forest, complete with hanging vines and a Burma bridge.

There are also zip lines that vary in length, from 90 to 470 feet.

Your kids will also love the Kids’ Adventure Course, appropriate for kids 12 years old and below.

This course features a log crossing, a Burma bridge, a swinging vine bridge, and a 100-foot zip line.

These thrill zones and more await you at the Family Adventure Park.

Complete your McGaheysville trip by taking them on!

Final Thoughts

McGaheysville offers plenty of attractions, whether exciting or relaxing, to satisfy each tourist’s particular tastes.

Likewise, the village works as a gateway to other interesting spots in the nearby area.

Round out your Virginia vacation by stopping by the small but charming village of McGaheysville!

© All rights reserved.