Outdoor recreation never really stops in the Shenandoah Valley, but in January, most visitors are searching for the Great Indoors– and Harrisonburg is one destination where they will find plenty of excitement. Here’ a look at some of the city’s popular indoor pastimes.
Lift a Glass
Brenda Black, Harrisonburg’s Tourism and Visitor Services Manager, said, “It’s all about the beer here in the burg! We recently opened the Friendly Fermenter so that’s New News!!” Also new on the craft beer circuit is the Passport Program of the Shenandoah Beerwerks Trail.
On this trail, you can try some of the best craft beer in the country at 14 breweries–including five in Harrisonburg—Brothers Craft Brewing, Pale Fire Brewing Company, The Friendly Fermenter, Three Notch’d Brewing Company and Wolfe Street Brewing.
Commenting on the Passport Program, Susan Keeler of Pale Fire Brewing Company said, “The Beerwerks Trail Passport Program is a great way for locals and tourists to visualize how many breweries we have in such a small radius, and encourage those people to visit a few that may be outside their normal rotation. Harrisonburg is an obvious place to start since we have five breweries on the trail, all within a mile of each other, but you still have to leave town to get your sixth stamp. It’s encouraging to see how many people are already taking advantage of the program.”
To take part in the Passport Program, and win a t-shirt or other prize:
1. Visit any six of 14 breweries (Full list here.) Pick up your passport at any of the participating breweries or visitor’s centers in Harrisonburg, Staunton, Lexington and Rockbridge, or Rockfish Gap.
2. Stamp Your Beerwerks Trail Passport . Collect six stamps at any brewery on the Shenandoah Beerwerks Trail. Be the first to complete your passport and send it in to win cool stuff.
3. Get your T-shirt (or other prize). Mail your passport. Be sure to include your email, mailing address, and your shirt size! Must be 21 or older to participate. Only one t-shirt per person.
It’s not part of the Beerwerks Trail but don’t overlook the Capital Ale House in Downtown Harrisonburg. They offer more than 100 different kinds of beer, along with many Virginia wines and a diverse food menu.
If fine wines are more your thing, the Tasting Room at beautiful Crosskeys Vineyards is open from 11:00 to 5:00 daily.
Plan Your Escape
Something else that’s new in Harrisonburg is the experience of escaping from a locked room at the House of Cards. This is an adventure game in which players have to use elements of the room to solve a series of puzzles. The idea is to think your way out within 60 minutes. Note: The doors are not truly locked. It’s an innovative exercise idea for families, groups and corporate team building.
Looking for live music? Court Square Theater in Harrisonburg will present Ralph Stanley II and the Clinch Mountain Boys on January 8th. Early February performances include the David Wax Museum and the Country Gentlemen Tribute Band. Court Square features a full schedule of films as well as live concerts and plays.
Visit a Museum
Harrisonburg and the surrounding area are also home to unique stops like the Virginia Quilt Museum, featuring early and contemporary quilting works plus seminars and special events. The Heritage Museum (home to the Harrisonburg-Rockingham Historical Society) in Dayton is a rich resource of Valley folk art and cultural displays, as well as a compelling Civil War Gallery. (During winter, call ahead to check hours for both these museums.)
No matter what time of year, Harrisonburg has something to delight you—museums, galleries, a huge mix of restaurant options, performance art, shopping, and of course easy access to the Valley’s many outdoor recreation avenues. Harrisonburg also has a wide range of accommodations. Here are our suggestions for when you visit:
Where to Stay In and Around Harrisonburg:
Doubletree by Hilton-Harrisonburg
Hotel Madison and Shenandoah Valley Conference Center
The Village Inn
Country inn & Suites by Carlson-Harrisonburg
Hampton Inn Harrisonburg-University
By the Side of the Road Inn & Cottages
Clear Spring Homestead B&B
Stonewall Jackson Inn
Photo courtesy Capital Ale House