Blake Walsh

15 Best Things to Do in Rockingham County, VA

  • Published 2022/11/03

Whether you prefer an adventurous or a restful getaway, Rockingham County in Virginia has something for you.

Just a little over two hours from Washington, D.C., the county is located in the heart of the Shenandoah Valley and nestled between the Blue Ridge Mountains on the east and the Allegheny Mountains on the west.

Its beautiful sceneries and diverse terrains will surely give you a satisfying vacation.

It’s especially known as Virginia’s agricultural hub, so it’s the perfect destination for foodies and outdoor enthusiasts.

Check out the best things to do in Rockingham County, Virginia:

Discover a Natural Wonder at Grand Caverns

View from inside the Grand Caverns

Mahmoud Ghazal /

Another remarkable place in Rockingham that you shouldn’t miss is the Grand Caverns, located in the town of Grottoes.

Bernard Weyer discovered it in 1804 while retrieving one of his traps; it is now the oldest operating show cave in the U.S.

It was initially named Weyers Cave but was eventually changed to Grottoes of the Shenandoah.

In 1926, it was renamed Grand Caverns as it is known today.

In 1973, the government recognized it as a National Natural Landmark.

Colorful lights in the Grand Caverns

Mahmoud Ghazal /

The cave may have undergone several names and ownership changes, but it remains a fascinating work of nature.

Grand Caverns offers several tours, including a history tour, a geology specialty tour, and a haunted tour.

Besides the cave, the place is surrounded by scenic trails that are perfect for biking or hiking.

It also has picnic areas, a miniature golf course, and a playground!

Stalactites formation in the Grand Caverns

Luis Fabian Blanco /

Go Shopping at The Dayton Market

Located on John Wayland Highway in Dayton, The Dayton Market is among the local favorites in Rockingham.

The county is known for its farm stands and small produce markets all over towns, so make sure to drop by one to try their products.

The Dayton Market is a famous landmark and a must-visit shopping destination in the area.

It has around 18 shops and food stalls where you’ll find all sorts of knick-knacks.

If you enjoy shopping, there’s no better way to do it than visiting The Dayton Market!

Discover Virginia Wine at Bluestone Vineyard

Visit the Blue Stone Vineyard and taste its award-winning wines when you visit Rockingham.

The Shenandoah Valley is quickly establishing its name as a popular spot for wineries with its climate and soil are perfect for growing European wine grape varietals.

This, coupled with the charming countryside views, provides a memorable experience for tourists and wine enthusiasts.

Bluestone Vineyard is among the county’s best-known wineries.

It makes quality wine in small batches, reflecting the craft and passion of the family who owns the vineyard and winery.

Located in the town of Bridgewater, the place is known for its cabernet, but it also produces chardonnay, cabernet franc, merlot, petit Verdot, and Chambourcin.

Bluestone Vineyard also holds music and special events throughout the year.

Stay at a Farm at Showalter’s Orchard and the Greenhouse

Showalter’s Orchard and the Greenhouse, located in the town of Timberville, doesn’t just boast an orchard and craft ciders; it also offers farm stay accommodations.

If you want to experience countryside living, stay for a night or two in their retreat houses, just a few steps from the family orchard.

You will have your own cottage kitchen where you can prepare food using the fruits you just picked from the orchard.

If you want to try glamping, you may also opt for the renovated 1970 Airstream with its cozy interiors.

Don’t leave Showalter’s Orchard and the Greenhouse without visiting the Old Hill Cidery in the heart of the 60-acre orchard.

Here you’ll complete the experience and discover what Rockingham County is all about!

Try Local Beer at Elkton Brewing Co.

A family-owned nano brewery on N. 5th Street, Elkton Brewing Co. will show you exactly what makes Elkton town’s very own craft beer exceptional.

Beer lovers are in for a good time when they visit this place.

It has 14 taps rotating regularly, but its flagship brews are always available.

Besides enjoying its quality beer, you’ll also discover a rich culture here.

Elkton Brewing Co.’s beers have names and backstories connected to local tales or landmarks, giving tourists a chance to learn more about the local community.

Aside from the beer, food trucks and live music are also available on certain days.

Have a Relaxing Lavender Experience at the White Oak Lavender Farm

Wooden swings at White Oak Lavender Farm

EVargas /

Visit the White Oak Lavender Farm and let the beauty of the lavender gardens fill you with wonder and relaxation.

It’s located in the city of Harrisonburg, the county seat of Rockingham.

The back of the farm has interactive gardens where you may view farm animals, a life-size checkerboard, and a labyrinth, among others.

You may also opt for an audio-guided tour, which includes a self-guided walk of the farm where you’ll learn about growing lavender, distilling them, and cleaning the flower buds.

When flowers are in bloom, you may also pick 20 stems of lavender, relax by the pond, and hang out on the picnic tables.

White Oak Lavender Farm also houses a wine tasting room open year-round, serving 13 kinds of wine and seasonal specialty wines.

Learn about Milk Production at Mt. Crawford Creamery

A farm experience in Rockingham isn’t complete without seeing herds of cows and learning about the dairy production process at Mt. Crawford Creamery.

Located about 70 acres between the towns of Mt. Crawford and Bridgewater, the farm offers independent tours to visitors.

You’ll learn how milk is produced, starting with milking the farm’s Holstein and Holstein-Jersey cows.

You’ll also discover the farm’s history and creamery and try product samples.

Before leaving, check out some of Mt. Crawford Creamery’s high-quality milk products—from whole milk to egg nog and even an ice cream mix!

Wine and Dine at CrossKeys Vineyards

There’s no better way to spend a day than lounging in a Tuscan-style villa with a view of the Blue Ridge Mountains while drinking award-winning wine.

If you want to experience this, visit CrossKeys Vineyards!

The family-owned 125-acre winery estate is located in the town of Mt. Crawford in the heart of the Shenandoah Valley.

CrossKeys Vineyard offers wine-tasting flights and wine by the glass or bottle, which you may avail of at any time during business hours.

If you want a more immersive experience, try their vineyard and winery tour, which will take you behind the scenes on how they manage the vineyard and make wine.

The place also hosts weddings and private events.

Go Camping at Swift Run Campground

If you’re looking for an outdoor activity, try camping at Swift Run Campground & Pool in the town of Elkton.

The wooded area has 58 camping sites with rental campers or tents, offering a nice respite from the busy city life.

Swift Run also has a shower house and multiple swimming pools.

You may also enjoy fishing in the nearby pond, where they allow catch and release.

Swift Run Campground & Pool hosts seasonal events throughout the year, so check their schedule in advance if you want to join in on the fun!

Enjoy Various Activities at Massanutten Resort

Bumper cars building at Massanutten Resort

Angelo Otero /

Massanutten Resort is known as one of the best resort destinations in Virginia for a reason.

The 6,000-acre mountain resort has a wide variety of amenities and accommodations.

There’s always something to do in this resort with its numerous facilities—from hot tubs and jacuzzis to swimming pools and an onsite water park.

Other recreational activities in Massanutten Resort include kayaking, hiking, skiing, horseback riding, ice skating, and more.

Head to the cafeteria, nightclub, cocktail lounge, and poolside snack bar for dining and entertainment.

Massanutten Resort is packed with all sorts of adventures!

Play Golf at Sandy Bottom Park

Book your tee time and visit Sandy Bottom Park for a small-town golfing experience.

Here, you’ll find Bridgewater town’s nine-hole and 18-hole miniature golf course.

Sandy Bottom Park’s other facilities include a practice green, picnic tables and gazebos, and ample parking.

Besides playing golf, you can enjoy the relaxing sights of the lush greenery.

Explore Nature at Mountain View Park

Located in the town of Grottoes, Mountain View Park is the perfect place to visit if you want to get in touch with nature.

Various bird species hang around or pass by during different seasons in the woods, which you may spot on your visit.

Be on the lookout for bird species like the eastern kingbird, indigo bunting, eastern bluebird, and chipping sparrow!

The park also has access to the South River and adjoining fields and ponds, which are worth exploring.

Aside from bird watching, the park has hiking trails, a kayak and canoe launch, and a boat ramp.

Mountain View Park is ideal for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts.

Learn about Local History at Bridgewater Historical Society’s Museum

If you’re a history buff, you can’t leave Rockingham without visiting a museum.

In particular, Bridgewater Historical Society’s museum is one where you’ll learn about Bridgewater’s history.

You’ll find historical photographs that tell the story of the town’s evolution after going through major incidents in the past decades.

The group also offers a guided tour of the town’s historic landmarks, starting at the Bridgewater Depot and ending at Wild Wood Park and Old Mill Dam.

Learn the importance of preserving history when you visit Bridgewater Historical Society’s museum.

Enjoy a Candlelit Dinner or a Tour at John Kline Homestead

Located in the northern part of the county in the town of Broadway, John Kline Homestead is the former house of John Kline, a renowned, beloved minister of the Old German Baptist Brethren.

The homestead is an example of the town’s well-preserved architecture that depicts its rich history.

You may explore the property and learn about Kline and his contributions during the Civil War era.

It also offers an immersive experience, inviting visitors to candlelit dinners, tours, and even overnight stays.

John Kline Homestead also hosts public events throughout the year.

Catch a Live Performance at Sipe Center

Exterior of Sipe Center

Jacksonfiveo, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Sipe Center, located on the main street of Bridgewater town, is a performing arts center and movie theater.

Throughout the years, Sipe Center has showcased various live shows, including classical theater, orchestra, musicals, comedy, contemporary music, theatrical dance, and more.

The center offers the latest movies, so you may catch your most awaited films here!

You can also rent the theaters for private events or for long-term use.

The theaters comprise the backbone of a small town’s arts and culture scene, so Sipe Center is a place worth exploring!

Final Thoughts

There’s something for every kind of traveler here in Rockingham County.

With its beautiful parks, exceptional wineries and farms, and countless outdoor and nature activities, you’re in for the most satisfying getaway.

If you’re planning a trip to the area, bookmark this list of the best things to do in Rockingham County, Virginia!

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