More Culture:

July 01, 2024

Explore Harrisonburg’s unhurried charm

Your ultimate guide to a relaxing slowcation in The Friendly City

Travel Virginia

Content sponsored by Harrisonburg-Native-070124-Slowcation

Limited - Harrisonburg - Main Street Provided Courtesy/Harrisonburg, VA

Downtown Harrisonburg, an award-winning main street community, is home to Virginia’s First Culinary District and Arts & Cultural District, offering endless dining experiences and entertainment. Indulge in everything from French-inspired cuisine prepared by a chef trained at Buckingham Palace to mouthwatering burgers and wood-fired pizza, ensuring there's something to satisfy every palate. Immerse yourself in the local culture with live music performances at venues like the Golden Pony and over two dozen pieces of public art scattered throughout the area. A slowcation in Harrisonburg, VA, promises an unhurried charm that will leave you feeling rejuvenated and refreshed. Here’s your guide to embracing the art of slowing down in this picturesque city.

Limited - Harrisonburg - View

Day 1

To start your journey off right, take the scenic route into town. Follow the Skyline Drive as it winds through Shenandoah National Park, pulling off at overlooks to take in the area’s natural beauty. Cross the Appalachian Trail and exit the parkway at Swift Run Gap, just a short drive from downtown Harrisonburg.

Upon arriving in Harrisonburg, settle into the inviting accommodations at Hotel Madison & Shenandoah Valley Conference Center, boasting comfortable rooms with stunning views of the mountains and downtown area. After checking in, venture a few blocks into the heart of downtown to unwind with drinks at one of the city’s five locally owned craft breweries on the regional Shenandoah Beerwerks Trail. For dinner, immerse yourself in the charm of Jimmy Madison's, where under the starlit sky, you’ll indulge in a delightful blend of soulful music, modern Southern cuisine, and expertly crafted cocktails. Cap off the evening with a visit to Bella Gelato for a taste of their freshly made, award-winning gelato, a perfect treat before retiring to Hotel Madison for the night.

Limited - Harrisonburg - Edith J. Carrier Arboretum

Day 2

Start your day with a visit to Heritage Bakery for their delectable French-inspired pastries, served on antique china, much of it gifted by grateful customers, followed by a trip to the Harrisonburg Farmers Market (open Saturday mornings year-round for the last 45 years). The producer only market is filled with local vendors offering everything from small batch chocolate to local art. Grab some lunch here or pick up handcrafted sandwiches at Lola’s Deli and head to Edith J. Carrier Arboretum for a scenic picnic. Unwind amidst lush gardens, three miles of peaceful wooded trails, a scenic pond, and a serene stone labyrinth. Later, pamper yourself at Simplicity Skin Spa, renowned for its natural skincare treatments (be sure to schedule your appointment beforehand!). Relax with a facial, buccal massage, or sugaring session, tailored to promote radiant, healthy skin. In the evening, enjoy handcrafted cocktails and regional small plates at The Ridge Room, overlooking stunning mountain vistas as the sun sets.

Limited - Harrisonburg - Cafe

Day 3

Before departing Harrisonburg, indulge in a delightful brunch experience at Magpie Diner, housed in a beautifully restored 1950s tire service station. Delight in their inventive seasonal menu, featuring farm-to-table fare, European-style pastries, and freshly roasted coffee from nearby Chestnut Ridge Coffee Roasters. Post-brunch, take time to explore downtown Harrisonburg’s eclectic shopping scene. Visit Liberty St. Mercantile and Shops at Agora to browse unique handmade gifts and carefully curated local goods, perfect for bringing home a piece of Harrisonburg’s charm. Conclude your visit with a leisurely stroll through downtown, with over 20 Instagram worthy murals to discover, reflect on the memorable experiences and vibrant culture that define this charming Virginia city.

Limited - VIFL logo