Tired of sitting in front of the computer? Ready to stroll quiet streets admiring public art, browse in charming shops and sample local beer and wine? Downtown Harrisonburg, Virginia’s First Culinary District and an original Virginia Arts District offers the perfect weekend getaway destination. There are so many opportunities to immerse yourself in the Artisan Culture of the Shenandoah Valley in Harrisonburg, VA and help us celebrate the birthday of numerous arts organizations.

In 2020, OASIS, a non-profit arts organization, and The Arts Council of the Valley celebrate 20 years of fostering and showcasing local art. The Virginia Quilt Museum is celebrating their 25th anniversary as well. Harrisonburg’s Art District will turn 20 at the end of 2020.


Start your visit by making reservations at By The Side of The Road Getaway Lodging to enjoy your own private cottage.

Stop by Oasis Fine Art & Craft for their special exhibits and to help them celebrate their 20th birthday as an artist collective. Their opening reception is October 2 from 5 – 8 p.m. but they will be celebrating the whole month of October. If you are visiting on the First Friday of the month continue exploring Downtown Harrisonburg on the monthly First Friday Arts Walk featuring numerous art shows and galleries.

Continue your art themed evening with dinner at Clementine’s.  Not only is the restaurant filled with big bold art canvases but in the back is a charming overgrown patio for al fresco dining which is in the shadow of a beautiful outdoor mural.

After dinner stop by Sage Bird Cidery,  Harrisonburg’s brand-new hard cider establishment which uses only Virginia apples in their hand crafted beverages.


For the early risers the Harrisonburg Farmers Market opens at 8. Don’t worry it stays open until 1:00 with ample opportunity to pick up delicious produce to cook your own organic meals in your cottage kitchen. Take a picture at the Instagram worthy LOVEworks sign near the market Turner Pavilion.

Grab breakfast at one of Harrisonburg’s favorite bakeries or coffee shops such as Black Sheep in the IceHouse built in 1934 and now a mixed-use development of apartments, restaurants and the popular Pale Fire Brewery.

Be sure to visit the Virginia Quilt Museum to learn more about the artisan culture of the Shenandoah Valley past and present. In addition to historic quits, enjoy modern quilts including their most recent exhibition “Eye Contact” with quilted eyes highlighting our changing perspective from behind masks.

Venture out of Downtown Harrisonburg for lunch at Grilled Cheese Mania, which started as a very popular food truck and still serves many varieties of grilled cheese sandwiches.

Enjoy a free Art Walk around Downtown Harrisonburg to view many murals and other public art.

Be sure to stop in local boutiques and artisan stores including Agora Market which houses numerous shops including Lineage a local producer of hand-crafted canvas bags and scented candles.

Enjoy dinner al fresco at Taj of India or indoors if the weather is chilly you can warm up with some Tandoori Chicken.

Download the Traipse Pub Crawl on your phone and be guided to Harrisonburg’s five craft breweries all within walking distance. Consider participating in the Beerwerks Trail and get your passport stamped towards a free trail t-shirt.

Looking for something sweet try Ice Cream at Kline’s Diary Bar a local favorite for homemade ice cream since 1943.


Stop by the new Magpie Diner for Sunday brunch. Their morning buns are worth the calories!

Visit the Edith J Carrier Arboretum which opens at 8 a.m. every day and offers 125 beautiful acres to explore as well as a charming stone labyrinth for quiet meditation.

Enjoy lunch at one of Harrisonburg’s over 200 restaurants or get takeout for a picnic at a local park.

Relax by taking in the beauty of our area and sampling wine at one of five local vineyards: Purple Wolfe Vineyards & White Oak Lavender Farm, CrossKeys, Bluestone, Brix & Columns or Marceline Vineyard.

On your way home be sure to follow a portion of Skyline Drive, the 105 mile road that runs the entire length of the National Park Service’s Shenandoah National Park in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia. With beautiful vistas and numerous hiking trails you might just catch site of deer, black bear or wild turkey.