Harrisonburg is Open for Business

Within driving distance of Washington, D.C., Harrisonburg, Virginia, invites overnight visitors and federal workers to enjoy the Shenandoah Valley during the federal government shutdown. While many major D.C. attractions and our National Parks are closed, there is still plenty to explore in Harrisonburg and the Shenandoah Valley. Visitors are invited to explore the city’s nationally designated historic district, several historic sites and attractions, and shop and dine at locally-owned restaurants and boutiques. The area also has things to do for free! Take a look at our list and experience all that Harrisonburg has to offer.

  1. Get an in-depth look at one of the city’s most exciting departments at the Harrisonburg Fire Department Museum.
    Open Mon-Fri 9am-4pm
  2. Explore the Hardesty-Higgins House Visitor Center, including the Valley Turnpike Museum and the Civil War Orientation Center.
    Open daily 9am-5pm
  3. Take a walk at the 125-acre Edith J. Carrier Arboretum & Botanical Gardens, a stunning urban botanical preserve that’s home to naturalized botanical gardens and forest, as well as seemingly endless plant and wildlife.
    Open daily dawn-dusk
  4. Take the kids to the fully-accessible A Dream Come True Playground, the Kids Castle at Purcell Park, and/or the playgrounds at Hillandale Park, Kiwanis Park, Morrison Park, Ralph Sampson Park, and Westover Park.
    A Dream Come True Playground open daily 8am-dusk; All other city parks open 8am-9pm in summer (April 15 – Oct 31); 8am-5pm in winter (Nov 1 – April 13)
  5. Browse through fresh Shenandoah Valley produce at the Harrisonburg Farmers Market
    Farmers Market open 8am-1pm every Sat. & Tues. April-Thanksgiving; 9am-1pm every Sat. Thanksgiving-March. Art in the Park offered the second Saturday of every month from April-Oct from 9am-12pm
  6. Take your picture with the public LOVEworks art sculpture and post to social media with the tag #loveVA
  7. Grab a copy of the Battles on the Home Front brochure (available at the Hardesty-Higgins House Visitor Center) and take a self-guided driving tour of the area’s Civil War sites.
    Visitor Center open daily 9am-5pm
  8. Admire the art galleries of downtown Harrisonburg: Larkin Arts, Oasis Fine Art & Craft, Darrin-McHone Gallery, and the Wilson Downtown Gallery.
    Hours vary
  9. Blaze your own trail of discovery along The Wilderness Road and relive America’s unique history and heritage. Harrisonburg is home to more than 10 sites along Virginia’s Heritage Migration Route; pick a few or try and visit them all!
    Hours vary
  10. Cozy up with a book at Massanutten Regional Library (and check their calendar for fun children’s and adult programs).
    Open Mon-Thurs 9:30am-8:30pm; Fri & Sat 12-4pm
  11. Reach for the stars! Every Saturday, the James Madison University Planetarium offers free shows, followed by solar gazing with special solar telescopes.
    Showtimes vary
  12. Play a round of disc golf at Westover Park.
    Open 8am-9pm April-Oct; 8am-5pm Nov-April
  13. Pick up a walking tour booklet at the Hardesty-Higgins House Visitor Center and begin your self-guided tour of downtown’s historic buildings.
    Visitor Center open daily 9am-5pm
  14. Sip spirits from around the world at Downtown Wine & Gourmet.
    Complimentary wine tastings: Fridays 5-7pm; Complimentary beer tastings: Saturdays 1-4pm
  15. Take the dog (or just yourself) for a hike via the walking trails at Hillandale Park, Purcell Park, Ralph Sampson Park, Riven Rock Park, Smithland Road Soccer Complex, or Westover Park.
    Open 8am-9pm in summer (April 15 – Oct 31); 8am-5pm in winter (Nov 1 – April 13)