Day 1: Make your first stop at Back Home on the Farm, an ideal autumn attraction for kids and adults alike. Between the pumpkin patch, corn maze, farm animals, hayride, butterfly exhibit, greenhouses, and carousel, this family-owned farm has enough interactive activities to keep you busy for hours.
Make reservations for dinner at Local Chop & Grill House; you won’t regret it. Chef Ryan Zale’s menu is notorious for changing with the seasons, so you’ll be sure to get a taste of some of the best locally-sourced autumn produce in anything you order.
Cozy up at one of Harrisonburg's spacious hotels, conveniently located with easy access to I-81 and Route 33, and just minutes from many of your weekend activities.
Day 2: Rise early Saturday morning and head to the Harrisonburg Farmers Market at Turner Pavilion, where you’ll be surrounded with your pick of the fall crop. In addition to farm-fresh produce, cheeses, and meats, you can also pick up homemade jams and jellies, pies, sauces, breads, and more from the Valley’s best growers, artisans and producers.
Next, take the short drive over to the Edith J. Carrier Arboretum & Botanical Gardens. Find a comfortable spot to sit in the gardens and enjoy the enchanting 125 acres of colorful flora and fauna. Also, make sure to check the arboretum’s schedule, because you may be able to catch a workshop or artist display. Other great places to enjoy your picnic and a leisurely walk with a view of the beautiful autumn setting include Purcell Park or Hillandale Park.
Score a few tickets to see the James Madison University Dukes play at Bridgeforth Stadium (a favorite fall activity for the locals and diehard JMU fans), or to see a live performance at the Forbes Center for the Performing Arts.
Before you head to one of these events, grab dinner at Taste of Thai, where authentic Thai soup and spicy entrees will warm you up.
Day 3: Often called one of the best guided trips in the South, a mountain biking excursion with Shenandoah Mountain Touring is a must. The endless trails in and around Harrisonburg provide breathtaking views, allowing you to soak in the fall foliage. Call ahead to schedule your tour; there are several different types available depending on your experience level.
On your way out of town, make a stop at Showalter’s Orchard & Old Hill Cidery, where you can pick from over 20 varieties of apples to take home with you and grab a few other local gifts at the gift shop. While you’re there, sneak into the Old Hill Cider tasting room, where you can taste freshly pressed sweet & hard cider.
Last Updated: 11/24/2014 11:10 AM