Harrisonburg: A Summer Preview

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More exciting accolades for Harrisonburg!

A survey conducted in March by Reviews.org recognized the city as one of the “Top 10 best places for millennials to move in the U.S.” Harrisonburg ranked 7th out of 325 metro areas. (Another town considered a “gateway” to the Valley also made the list—Lynchburg.)

Harrisonburg is the biggest city in the Shenandoah Valley (pop. 55,346) yet it is sometimes referred to as a “small town.” The city is a fast-paced combination of arts and entertainment, food and drink, and a vibrant downtown–but it’s also easy to find solitude in the outdoors. In Harrisonburg, you can spend the day hiking in nearby Shenandoah National Park and be back in time for dinner and a beer at any of several breweries along the Shenandoah Beerwerks Trail. Or skip the hiking altogether and stroll a diverse array of shops, galleries, breweries, restaurants, and museums.

To fully experience Harrisonburg, start at the Hardesty-Higgins House Visitor Center at 212 S. Main Street. Or just plan your visit to coincide with one of these upcoming summer diversions:

June 9 – 16: Shenandoah Valley Bach Festival, Eastern Mennonite University
This festival is a week-long celebration of Bach and a featured composer, country, era or people. Three featured concerts with orchestra, soloists, and choir; six chamber music concerts; a Leipzig Service; and open rehearsals bring a rare musical experience to the Valley.

June 15: 25th Annual Harrisonburg-Rockingham African-American Festival,
Ralph Sampson Park
Commenting on this event, Jessica Williams, Tourism Marketing & Social Media Specialist said, “The Harrisonburg-Rockingham African-American Festival celebrates the rich heritage and diversity of our community. It is our wish to create unity, promote family and celebrate the accomplishments of African-Americans through our events and programs. Join us on Saturday June 15, 2019, 12pm-6pm at Harrisonburg’s Ralph Sampson Park. Enjoy a day of entertainment, fellowship, family fun, crafts, art, music, food, exhibitors and more!”

June 21-26: Bike Virginia, Woodstock to Harrisonburg
Now in its 32nd year, the Bike Virginia Tour takes peddlers through the heart of the Shenandoah Valley for six days. (Ride all or part of it.) Hillandale Park in Harrisonburg will serve as “Base Camp” for the second three days of the trip. A 50s-inspired theme this year encourages riders to wear period costumes, and the weekend theme party will include a car show. But make no mistake—this event is about being on the bike.

July 3: Summer Jam, Massanutten Resort
Live music, food vendors, beer and wine garden, fireworks, and more! Fireworks start at 10:00. Located in McGaheysville just outside Harrisonburg, Massanutten Resort is a 6,000-acre facility with a state-of-the-art Indoor/Outdoor WaterPark, Ski and Adventure Park area, two golf courses, mountain biking, farm-to-table dining experiences, shopping and recreation options, and a day spa for complete relaxation and rejuvenation.

July 4: The Valley 4th Run
A part of each registration fee goes to pre-selected charities, and you can pick which one you want to benefit. Starting in Downtown, the run offers your choice of distances—1.5 miles, 5K or 10K. Don’t miss the post-race party at Capital Ale House.

Fourth Friday of Each Month (June 28, July 26, August 23 and Sept. 20: Run, Sweat and Beers
Choose from 1, 3 and 5-mile distances and finish up with a discounted beer at Brothers Craft Brewing.

Every Saturday in Season (April – October): Rocktown Bites
Harrisonburg is a “foodie’s” delight. Rocktown Bites is a series of walking tours of Virginia’s first culinary district. Stroll through historic Downtown and sample many of the area’s alluring dining spots.

Where to Stay in and Around Harrisonburg
By the Side of the Road Getaway Lodging 
Comfort Inn – Harrisonburg 
Country Inn and Suites by Carlson
Double Tree by Hilton – Harrisonburg
Hampton Inn Harrisonburg-University
Hotel Madison and Shenandoah Valley Conference Center 
Holiday Inn Express – Harrisonburg
Massanutten Resort 
McGaheysville Timeshares
The Village Inn 

Banner Photo: Summer Jam courtesy Massanutten Resort

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