WanderLOVE: Harrisonburg Is Adventurous by Nature

In the heart of the Shenandoah Valley, Downtown Harrisonburg offers the perfect base camp for adventure whether your passion is rock climbing, advanced singletrack, fly fishing or leisurely hikes. Flanked on the east and west by beautiful mountains, start your day watching the sun rise from Shenandoah National Park and watch it set from the George Washington National Forest. Then, spend your evening in Downtown Harrisonburg with friendly people, exquisite local cuisine and hand-crafted beer.

bluestone bike & run
Bluestone Bike & Run offers custom bike adventures for all levels.

Harrisonburg is the perfect road trip destination just off I81 and about two hours from D.C. and three hours from Richmond. Looking to pick up some gear or trail maps? The knowledgeable staff at Walkabout Outfitters, Mossy Creek Fly Fishing, Shenandoah Bicycle Company, Bluestone Bike & Run or Rocktown Bicycles are happy to oblige. This group knows the trails, have used the gear and can offer first-hand advice. Bluestone Bike & Run can also offer custom bike adventures for all ability levels. For guided climbing or caving Wild GUYde Adventures offers the range of experiences from casual outdoor fun to the EXTREME.

riven rock park
Riven Rock Park

Harrisonburg is a recognized bronze cycling destination and local Hillandale Park offers 12 different sustainable shared-use trails with three levels of difficulty. The stacked loop trails were developed through a collaboration of volunteers and the IMBA. Serious cyclists won’t want to miss the nearby lift served Massanutten Mountain Bike Park. Massanutten’s Park features a lower lift which provides access to beginner and intermediate trails and an upper lift which offers advanced jump and singletrack trails sure to offer a challenge for experienced riders.

bearfence mountain trail
Hiking Bearfence Mountain Trail

A must-see destination on any road trip to Harrisonburg is the 105-mile Skyline Drive within Shenandoah National Park offering spectacular views and numerous hiking opportunities. Swift Run Gap is the nearest exit point from the Skyline Drive, from there take Route 33 West to Harrisonburg. For those looking for a more secluded trail, plan to visit Riven Rock Park offering free and ample parking only a few miles west of Downtown Harrisonburg at the edge of the George Washington Forest. Journey about 15 minutes more on 33 West and as you cross into West Virginia stop at High Knob Trailhead for a beautiful uphill hike to the Fire Tower Lookout.

Downtown Harrisonburg
pale fire brewing
Pale Fire is a production craft brewery with indoor and outdoor seating. They often host local musicians and artists and house a Little Free Library. Photo courtesy Virginia Tourism Corporation, www.Virginia.org

After a day of extreme adventure, ice cold artisan beer awaits in Downtown Harrisonburg at one of five microbreweries all within walking distance: Brothers Craft Brewing, the Friendly Fermenter, Pale Fire Brewing, Restless Moons and Three Notch’d Valley Collab House. Harrisonburg’s micro-breweries all participate in the Shenandoah Spirits Trail and Shenandoah Beerwerks Trail. Pick up a Beerwerks Passport and collect enough passport stamps to receive a free Trail T-shirt.

kline's dairy bar
Kline’s Dairy Bar has been serving premium ice cream since 1943. Anyone who has tasted Kline’s ice cream knows that it is a treasure of the valley. Photo courtesy of Virginia Tourism Corporation, www.Virginia.org

Looking for some evening entertainment? Harrisonburg has you covered. There is no shortage of local bands and live music playing at our restaurants, breweries, and wineries on any given weekend.  Looking for the perfect way to end a day of outdoor adventure, try axe throwing at Beards & Broads. Beards & Broads offers “urban axe throwing” for a legendary end to the perfect day.

Harrisonburg is home to over 200 restaurants from popular chains to award winning locally owned restaurants. Whether you are looking for Benny’s 28” pizza or Sushi Jako’s Loveboat of nigiri and sashimi you won’t leave hungry. Harrisonburg is home to Virginia’s First Culinary District, the first Jack Brown’s Beer & Burger Joint and Kline’s Dairy Bar, a local favorite since 1943. Come see why Harrisonburg is known as the dining destination of the Shenandoah Valley.

by the side of the road getaway lodging
By the Side of the Road is perfectly located in the Central Shenandoah Valley for easy access to the Blue Ridge Mountains and Shenandoah National Park.

Consider spending the night in a cottage at By the Side of the Road Getaway Lodging or in a historic property like the Friendly City Inn or Joshua Wilton House. Harrisonburg has many name brand hotels to choose from as well as Airbnb options and the independent Hotel Madison within walking distance of Downtown Harrisonburg. Discover why we say Harrisonburg is Adventurous by Nature. VisitHarrisonburgVA.com for more information.

Places to Go, Things to See: