An Afternoon of the Arts: Harrisonburg, VA

The first Arts & Cultural District in Virginia, Harrisonburg is known for its distinctive art community. A 10-block walk down Harrisonburg?s historic Main Street passes through several museums, art galleries, public art structures, locally-owned shops, iconic architecture, and art-centered restaurants. For additional information or suggestions, contact Harrisonburg Tourism at 540-432-8935 or visit

Starting Point
From Milepost 0.0 (Waynesboro), take I-64W to Staunton, and pick up I-81N to Harrisonburg. Begin your adventure at the Hardesty-Higgins House Visitor Center, where you find area information, a gift shop, a museum documenting the history of Route 11, and a Civil War Orientation Center. 212 S. Main St. Hours: 9 a.m. ? 5 p.m daily.

Morning Activities
Kickstart your morning by soaking in the history and splendor of Harrisonburg?s Main Street. On Tuesdays and Saturdays, through the summer and fall, explore Harrisonburg Farmers Market - a bustling open-air market offering handmade goods, art, and farm-fresh produce in Turner Pavilion (228 S. Liberty St. Hours: 7 a.m. - 1 p.m., Tues. & Sat.). Continue your walk downtown by visiting some shops and galleries, including Oasis Fine Art & Craft, Larkin Arts, and the Darrin-McHone Gallery. Make sure to drop into Artisans Downtown Gallery & Gifts during your Main Street stroll. This space not only highlights the work of local artists, but also offers classes on various art techniques. (320 S. Main St. Hours: 11 a.m. ? 5 p.m., Tues.-Fri.; 9 a.m. ? 6 p.m., Sat. Call 540-432-2300 for class schedule)

Grab lunch at Clementine Caf?, where the walls are filled with dynamic, one-of-a-kind pieces of art. The caf? is also applauded for its mouth-watering menu inspired by local flavors and its inventive lineup of cocktails. $$. 153 S. Main St. 540-801-8881. Hours: 11 a.m. ? 10 p.m., Sun.-Wed.; 11 a.m. ? midnight, Thurs.-Sat.
Enjoy the international specialties, tapas and sushi at Beyond Restaurant & Lounge, where the atmosphere is as artistic and eclectic as its menu with dining on the lower level, loft, and outdoor deck. $$. 50 W. Water St., 540-432-0105. Hours: 11 a.m. ? 2:30 p.m. & 4:30 p.m. ? 10:30 p.m., Mon.-Thurs.; 11 a.m. ? 2:30 p.m. & 4:30 p.m. ? 11 p.m., Fri.; 4:30 p.m. ? 11 p.m., Sat.; 11 a.m. ? 3 p.m., Sunday.

Mid-Late Afternoon Activities
Visit the iconic Virginia Quilt Museum (301 S. Main St., 540-433-3818. Hours: 10 a.m. ? 4 p.m., Tues. ? Sat.), a regional gem featuring a permanent collection of nearly 300 quilts, a Civil War Gallery, antique room, and rotating exhibits. Walk behind the museum to the grassy lot beside Turner Pavilion (228 S. Liberty St.) to enjoy a great photo op with Harrisonburg?s LOVEworks public artwork. Each of the four ?LOVE? letters represents an important aspect of Harrisonburg?s community: diversity, agriculture, outdoor adventure/recreation, and the arts. If your visit to Harrisonburg extends through the evening, check show times for performances at Court Square Theater 41-F Court Square, and the Forbes Center 147 Warsaw Avenue. From musicians and concerts to comedians and plays, these performing art centers provide a bevy of entertainment to the city.

Note on symbols for dining: PRICE RANGE ($=$4-$8; $$=9-12; $$$=$13-15; $$$$=over $15)

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