Locales in the Shenandoah Valley typically make a lot of “10 Best” lists. And one way to characterize the thriving city of Harrisonburg is to look at the long list of awards it has earned and lists it has made over the years. A small sample includes:
–Travel and Leisure’s Number Six Favorite Town in America
–Named last month one of the Eight Best Fall Foliage Cities by Where to Retire magazine.
–Named to National Geographic’s 20 Best Bike Towns in America
–Named to Ten Best Blue Ridge Bike Town list by Blue Ridge Outdoors magazine
–Eighth Most Exciting Place in Virginia by Movoto Real Estate Blog
–Number two on CarRental.com’s 30 Most Gorgeous Fall Towns
–One of 25 Best Places to Retire by Forbes
What can you expect to find here in October?
“Visitors will love the crisp fall air and the majestic beauty of our iconic fall foliage with a 48-hour getaway in Harrisonburg,” said Brenda Black, Harrisonburg’s Tourism and Visitor Services Manager. “The city boasts a cool atmosphere infused with a serious passion for local food and libations, cutting-edge arts and culture, and the historic roots that anchor it to the legendary Shenandoah Valley landscape.”
Also commenting on Harrisonburg, Where to Retire Editor Annette Fuller said, “Set in the Shenandoah Valley, Harrisonburg is surrounded by two mountain ranges, enveloping the small town in radiant hues each fall. Plus, it’s a university town, thanks to James Madison University. One retiree told our writer, ‘You have events and things that keep you young’ ”
Here are a few events coming up soon that will help keep you young:
Oct. 5: Eva Weber, Madison Young — 7:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m., at Three Notch’d Valley Collab House, 241 E Market St. Eva Weber will be playing; Art show provided by Madison Young. Call 540-217-5939.
Oct 6: Oktoberest, 12:00 a.m. – 11:00 p.m. Brothers Craft Brewing, 800 N Main St. celebrates German brewing in their first annual Oktoberfest. Pouring traditional German styles, including their gold medal winning and Best in Show “Lil’ Hellion” and this year’s Fest Beer Märzen. Food, music and half liter steins for sale. Call 540-421-6599.
(Note: Brothers Craft Brewing and Three Notch’d Valley Collab House join several other breweries on the Shenandoah Beerwerks Trail.)
Oct. 13: Fall Festival, Massanutten Resort, 11:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. Live music, arts and crafts, beer and wine, kids games, chairlift rides and much more. Buy tickets here. Massanutten is also offering a special Fall Getaway Package. Details here.
Oct. 13: Arctoberfest, Harrisonburg’s Second Annual German Beer & Wine Festival 3:30 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. — A family friendly event taking place at the Turner Pavilion. Benefiting The Arc of Harrisonburg and Rockingham, the festival will host music, dancing, festival games, food trucks, vendors, and of course a German beer garden. Call 540-437-9214.
Oct. 20: The ultimate community pre-Halloween party. Lindsey Johnson of Harrisonburg Downtown Renaissance told us, “Harrisonburg’s pre-Halloween party blends aspects of Halloween and Dia de los Muertos in a big, community celebration. Activities kicks off with trick-or-treating at downtown businesses from 4-6 p.m., and culminates with a fun, all-ages party at the Turner Pavilion & Park. The festival features kid, dog, and adult costume contests; arts and crafts activities; a community ofrenda; food trucks; DJ dance party; light show; wacky shacks, goober blobs, and whisker biscuits.” Call 540-432-8922.
Oct. 20: 9:30 a.m. – Pink Out! The 16th Annual Race to Beat Breast Cancer 5K Run/Walk, Harrisonburg Parks and Recreation, 305 S. Dogwood Dr. All proceeds will stay local and benefit the RMH Foundation for Breast Care and Treatment at the Sentara RMH Medical Center. For additional information, call 540-433-2474.
Oct: 27 and 31: Haunted Harrisonburg Ghost Tours – a guided tour of local buildings with haunting histories. Call 540-315-4685.
Oct. 28: First Annual Spirit of the Valley Festival – This is a mini-Americana Roots Music Festival highlighting the rich history of the Shenandoah Valley through the music, food, beverages, crafts, agricultural tools, and activities that have made the Shenandoah Valley the agricultural heart of Virginia. Beneficiaries include The Heritage Museum, home of the Harrisonburg-Rockingham Historical Society and The Farm Museum in the Shenandoah Valley, created by J. L. Hopkins. Call 540-830-5400.
Nov. 2: Folksinger John McCutcheon, Court Square Theatre, 41 Court Square, 6:30 p.m. – 9:30 p.m. Ticket info here.
Lodging – Harrisonburg has a huge variety of lodging options. We suggest you consider:
By the Side of the Road Getaway Lodging
Comfort Inn Harrisonburg
Country Inn & Suites by Carlson
Double Tree by Hilton Harrisonburg
Hampton Inn Harrisonburg-University
Holiday Inn Express Harrisonburg
Hotel Madison and Shenandoah Valley Conference Center
The Village Inn