August News 2012

Valley beckons new students, faculty

What do you like to do? What would you like to learn to do? Exploring the Shenandoah Valley beyond campus reveals a broad choice of educational and recreational opportunities.

From music to hiking and biking to glimpses of history, the Harrisonburg and Rockingham County area has something to offer to most everyone for an interesting day or weekend adventure.

Downtown Harrisonburg, just a short walk from campus, is home to the Explore More Discovery Museum, Valley Turnpike Museum and the Harrisonburg Farmers Market. The Virginia Quilt Museum and Oasis Art Gallery offer exhibitions of beautiful works of art that bridge the interests of art and history.

Just a little further away, in the Town of Dayton, you can learn about life in the Shenandoah Valley at the Shenandoah Valley Heritage Center and Fort Harrison, the mid-1700s home of Daniel Harrison, brother of the founder of Harrisonburg, Thomas Harrison. The Dayton Farmers Market features local foods and many specialty shops to explore.

Outdoor activities are popular choices with several public parks offering walking trails, soccer fields and disc golf courses. Biking is increasingly popular throughout the community with bike lanes on many newer area roadways.

Several golf courses are nearby, including Heritage Oaks Golf Course, Lakeview Golf Club and Mountain Greens at Massanutten. Massanutten Resort also features an indoor water park for splashy fun.

East of Massanutten is the Town of Elkton, where the Welcome Center houses a display of photographs from the town's history as well as changing exhibitions of local interest. Further East is Shenandoah National Park and Skyline Drive, where opportunities for hiking, biking, camping and photographing nature abound.

The Harrisonburg-Rockingham area is home to a diverse population. In fact, the Harrisonburg City Public Schools system helps educate students who speak 47 different languages, while the county schools' students represent 25 different languages.

The community is home to not only JMU. Four other institutions of higher education – Eastern Mennonite University, Bridgewater College, Blue Ridge Community College and National College – contribute to the area's vitality and interest.

A few upcoming events might spark interest in learning more about the community you'll call home for the next four years.

Harrisonburg International Festival
Saturday, Sept. 29, all day in Hillandale Park, Harrisonburg

Dayton Autumn Celebration
Saturday, Oct. 6

Massanutten Fall Festival
Saturday, Oct. 13

Here are a few sites to start your exploration of the community.

Harrisonburg Downtown Renaissance

City of Harrisonburg

Student Greater Madison

Shenandoah Valley Travel Association

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 Aug. 22, 2012

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