James Madison Univers
The campus of James Madison University sits in Harrisonburg surrounded by farmland and the mountains that border the Shenandoah Valley. With a student body that hovers around 20,000 students, the university has a huge influence on Harrisonburg, bringing a youthful energy and an up-to-the minute ethos that has become a part of the town's identity. The campus is also home to the Edith J. Carrier Arboretum, where members of the public can do anything from take a stroll to throw a wedding. Highlights include the changing leaves in autumn, and an extensive herbarium of preserved plants to study, since this a university after all.
The climate in the Shenandoah Valley is ideal for growing wine grapes, and the culture in Harrisonburg is perfect for local spirits. Take some time out in the beautiful countryside to tour either the Bluestone Vineyard, the valley's newest vineyard known for breathtaking views, or the Crosskeys Vineyard that offers generous samples and organic selections. Wine not your speed? There is also the 3 Brothers brew pub on Main Street offering a full menu, as well as fresh brewed craft ales. Or try something fresh at the Old Hill Cidery, where hard apple cider is the specialty.