9 Unforgettable Things to Do in Harrisonburg, VA

Make Your Trip Memorable with Harrisonburg’s Best Brewing Companies, Natural Attractions, Discovery Centers and More

Hello and welcome to my article on great things to do around Harrisonburg, Virginia. I tried to get something on the list today that would be fun for people of any age group. So there’s a little bit of everything on the list today. And for each of these great attractions in Harrisonburg I will give you their address so you can find your way there, their website so you can check them out yourselves, a Yelp Review so you can see what other people have had to say about them, and also a handy link anytime they accept our convenient digital GiftYa gift cards!

A GiftYa’s digital format makes them a lot easier to use and more convenient than a standard gift card. You can purchase them and send them wirelessly to the recipient in just seconds. And once they have the GiftYa, the recipient never has to worry about keeping track of the balance because their phone will handle all of the math for them. Plus, they never have to worry about not having the card with them when they are out and about because they’ll always be accessible right from their phone. 

But enough about the GiftYa brand, let’s get to that list of great things to do in Harrisonburg that you came here for!

1 - Grand Caverns

Incredible Guided Tour of America’s Oldest Operated Show Cave

5 Grand Caverns Dr | Grottoes| grandcaverns.com

Grand Caverns is a great thing to do while you are in Harrisonburg for a couple of reasons. The first reason is that it is literally the oldest continuously operated “show cave” in America, which makes it a truly unique destination. And it’s not one that immediately sprang to mind when I think of Virginia, so I think it is something that really stands out in the list. Not only is it a uniquely historical destination, but it is also a great outdoor activity where anybody can soak in the natural beauty and history of the area. 

But if a cave tour doesn’t exactly sound like your cup of tea don’t worry! There are plenty of other great door activities that can keep a whole family entertained for the day. Not only is there a Civil War Trails attraction at the location, there are also plenty of recreational activities you can do outdoors. You can hike or bike the local trails, swim or fish in the local lakes, or spend an afternoon playing mini-golf. And the fact that Grand Caverns offers so much to the customer in terms of great things to do is why they made it to the number one spot on the list today.

This national natural landmark was voted the second best show cave in the nation by Parade magazine, and is loved by locals and travelers alike!

“Anna, our tour guide was spectacular! This was a wonderful tour & definitely worth the stop. Beautiful park to explore while you wait for the tour to begin, too. Nicely done!” - Yelp Review 

2 - White Oak Lavender Farm

Amazing Lavender Products and Wine At This Unforgettable Farm

2644 Cross Keys Rd | Harrisonburg | whiteoaklavender.com

White Oak Lavender Farm is one of the most popular destinations in the Harrisonburg Area for a reason. And that is that it is really more of a winery with farm animals on it, then it is just strictly a farm for lavender. You can spend the day walking around and enjoying the beautiful property or you can take a tour of the winery, the lavender store, and interact with the farm animals. There is also a gift shop, and the winery obviously has a very nice tasting room. The gift shop features a wide variety of different lavender products that range from everything from soaps and lotions to jellies and jams!

“What a fabulous find and stop. Pay the $3 for the discovery piece of the property.  Amazing gift shop and nice tasting room. Friendly staff every where on the property. Like the options for the wine flights. Beautiful property. Well taken care of animals.” - Yelp Review 

3 - James Madison University Edith J. Carrier Arboretum (Part of James Madison University)

Gorgeous Green Spaces and Natural Beauty At This Historic University

800 S Main St | Harrisonburg | jmu.edu

James Madison University can be a few places to stop and visit during the summer when the campus isn’t filled with students. The grounds are incredibly green and they are maintained very well by the staff. And while the grounds themselves are beautiful, you can’t skip out on the Edith J. Carrier Arboretum.

Edith J. Carrier Arboretum is a woodland sanctuary and public urban garden. The goal of the arboretum is to protect nature not only for the sake of preserving our nation’s natural beauty, but also for scientific and academic purposes. They maintain and preserve natural plant species, provide on site research for their students, and they help educate people of all ages about the botanical world. The arboretum is really committed to that goal and you can tell, because they offer entrance for free to people of all ages, and stay open from dawn to dusk everyday. However, the education center is open during the week from around 8 AM - 4 PM except on Friday when it’s open from 9AM - 3PM. 

This really is a beautiful and unique place that is free and open to the public. And I think you would really regret passing this one up the next time you are in Harrisonburg.

“First experience at JMU. Very surprised on how green the grass is. Met with the JMU Police staff. They were very friendly and even gave us directions. Explored the campus on summer break and all the buildings were well maintained and it shows that the staff here really cares about this campus.” - Yelp Review 

4 - Jack Brown’s Beer & Burger Joint

Simple. Delicious. Unforgettable

80 S Main St | Harrisonburg | jackbrownsjoint.com

Jack Brown’s Beer & Burger Joint keeps it pretty simple. They offer up traditional American burgers with the widest range of toppings I have ever seen a restaurant offer. Everything from cream cheese and jalapenos to Mac N’ Cheese and BBQ potato chips. However, you won’t get lettuce and tomato on these burgers. But you can expect an eclectic variety of burgers that you have probably never tried before! 

And on top of their unique menu, they also have a daily special burger for each day of the week. If you come during happy hour (Monday-Friday 4PM -7PM) you get $1 dollar off all draft beers and domestics. If you are craving a burger and a beer then this is going to be the perfect spot for you. If you are hoping to have a healthy meal of sprouts and veggies, then you are going to be sorely out of luck. 

“Can't believe it took me so long to try this place, especially after attending JMU for 4 years. I've finally experienced the Brady Burger and I'm in love. I will eat one of these any day. Love the crisp of the chips mixed with the Mac. Delicious!” - Yelp Review 

5 - Harrisonburg Farmers Market

A Great Way to Get Fresh Produce and Support Local Businesses

228 S Liberty St | Harrisonburg | harrisonburgfarmersmarket.com

If you are the type of person who enjoys going to farmers markets then you are definitely going to want to check out the one in Harrisonburg. Farmers Markets aren’t really my cup of tea, but I can’t ignore the fact that everybody who goes to the Harrisonburg Farmers Market leaves with nice things to say about it. And when a place is universally loved like that, it makes it really hard for me not to include them on my list of great things to do.

The thing that I think is the coolest about farmers markets is that they give you a really great opportunity to support local farmers and businesses. I feel like most people are pretty much immediately on board with trying to support small businesses when the opportunity arises. And that is one of the great things about farmers markets. They are filled with local farmers, artisans, and small businesses. So you can go out and directly support the local Harrisonburg economy and see exactly where your dollar is going.

The only other thing I think you need to know is that the Harrisonburg Farmers Market is open 8:00 AM - 1:00 PM on Tuesdays and Saturdays. So just make sure you plan to go a day it’s actually open.

“Little farmer's market with plenty of plants, veggies, desserts, bread and other fresh local items to choose from. Definitely worth a stop over.” - Yelp Review 

6 - Pale Fire Brewing

Great Pizza, Great Beer, Great Vibes

217 S Liberty St | Harrisonburg | palefirebrewing.com

Pale Fire Brewing is a great spot in Harrisonburg if you are looking for a cold beer and a great meal. And they are even conveniently located in downtown Harrisonburg so you should have an easy time finding them. And when you do find them you can expect fantastic Detroit style pizza, as well as a rotation of ten select craft beers. 

You can get a great deal on your meal and drinks if you come during happy hour! (3:00 PM - 5:00 PM Monday through Friday, and 12:00 PM - 9:00 PM on Sundays). They also happen to host plenty of events like trivia nights and live music. So be sure to check out their website in advance to see what they might have going on the night you want go. 

“Great setting and roomy atmosphere. Excellent beer selections and indoor/outdoor seating! Kitchen opens at 4 so it's dinner only but the pizza selections looked amazing!” - Yelp Review  

7 - Explore More Discovery Museum

A Great Activity For Young Children On A Rainy Day

150 S Main St | Harrisonburg | iexploremore.com

Explore More Discovery Museum is a great place to spend an afternoon if you happen to have children with you while you are in Harrisonburg. They have a wide variety of different programs and classes to offer. They believe that by fostering the natural curiosity and creativity in children they are better able to help them engage in learning new things. So they have tons of fun hands-on exhibits that provide auditory, visual, and tactile experiences to help stimulate your child’s interest in different subjects. 

They have everything from a car repair room to arts and crafts that your kids can enjoy. And they even have a separate playroom where kids under 3 can spend their time safely while you explore the rest of the museum. Overall, I think this is a wonderful spot that can be a lot of fun for both kids and parents. And if you want to check out any of the classes or programs they offer, be sure to check out their website where you can sign up.

“Stopped here while traveling through with my three year old. He loves it!! There was so much to do and explore, it truly entertained him for hours and as an adult I was also entertained” - Yelp Review 

8 - Shenandoah Bowling Lanes

Duckpin Bowling At This Quaint Historic Location

Grab a Shenandoah Bowling Lanes gift card by following the link!

5904 Main St | Mount Jackson | facebook.com/ShenCoBowlsAtTinasPlace

There are a lot of great options of things to do in and around Harrisonburg, but I feel like it’s worth remembering some of the classics as well. I understand that sometimes you just want a fun activity out on the town that isn’t just another bar or restaurant. So for that reason I want to be sure to include some popular local bowling alleys. Shenandoah Bowling Lanes is a small six lane bowling alley. So you can expect a quaint charming experience when you bowl here. But since they have so few lanes, be sure to call ahead and make a reservation!

“This place is awesome!  Like a museum only a lot more fun, these well-preserved duckpin lanes are a page out of history. Everyone here is super friendly, and the food is great too.  Go!” - Yelp Review 

You can grab a Shenandoah Bowling Lanes gift card by following this handy link!

9 - Staunton Bowling Lanes

Classic Bowling Experience In A Clean, Safe, and Friendly Atmosphere 

Grab a Staunton Bowling Lanes gift card by following the link!

831 Greenville Ave | Staunton | stauntonlanes.com

Staunton Bowling Lanes offers the classic bowling experience you have come to expect from a bowling alley. Which means that they offer regular bowling, with regular pins, and a regular sized ball. So you can enjoy a classic round of bowling with all the regular rules and regulations. The bowling alley is clean, safe, and friendly so it’s great for customers of all ages!

“This is one of cleans bowling alley I have ever bowled in . The owner has no problem invest money into this place. The pro shop inside the bowling alley Strikers Paradise is great. I have no problem driving up from Lynchburg to get all of my bowling needs Shawn with take good care of you.” - Yelp Review 

You can get a quick and convenient Staunton Bowling Lanes gift card by following this handy link!

And there you have it! That is my list of some of the great things there are to do in the Harrisonburg area! I hope you found something fun that will work for you and the people with you. I tried to include something that would be fun for people of any age so whether you are looking for a night on the town, or a fun afternoon with your kids, I hope I was able to help you narrow down your search. And if you didn’t find just what you were looking for here, be sure to check out one of our other great articles on the great restaurants around the Harrisonburg area!

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Trae Bodge

Trae Bodge is the shopping expert here at GiftYa. Trae helps people find the best deals and ideas on popular new items to purchase.

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