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Downtown Harrisonburg

Harrisonburg is an incredibly diverse community, with the variety of a larger city and the charm of a small town. The natural beauty of the area combined with a focus on local businesses, food, and people create an environment that makes it easy to see what makes Harrisonburg such a great place to be.

(Related video: Harrisonburg named a Great American Main Street in 2014.)

A group of JMU alums meet up at Blue Nile Ethiopian Cuisine in downtown Harrisonburg.

The historic downtown district is one of the most popular parts of Harrisonburg and offers more than 25 restaurants, 45 shops, vibrant arts and entertainment, and a number of community events throughout the year. Locally-owned and operated restaurants feature a variety of ethnic cuisines, including traditional Americana, Asian Fusion, Caribbean, Cuban, Ethiopian, Indian, Mexican, and Venezuelan. Local shops provide the opportunity to browse for everything from boutique clothing and accessories, handmade jewelry, and international fair trade items, to antiques and vintage home goods, recreation equipment, records, and musical instruments. The Harrisonburg Farmers Market has received national recognition and the Friendly City Food Co-op provides workshops and a place to shop for local produce and groceries.

Shops and restaurants line Main Street in downtown Harrisonburg, 10 minutes from the JMU campus.

As the first Arts & Cultural District in Virginia, downtown Harrisonburg has an abundance of entertainment options, including monthly First Fridays Downtown art exhibits, an independent theater, concerts, trivia nights, poetry readings, DJ dance parties, open mic nights, public art, and film festivals. Events throughout the year focus on live music, local food, holiday celebrations, retail promotions, and outdoor recreation.

No matter what your interests are, there’s something for you in Harrisonburg. So what are you waiting for? It’s time to Do Downtown!

by Nicole Martorana ('07), promotions manager for Harrisonburg Downtown Renaissance