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Takeover Tuesday – Where to Stay in Harrisonburg!

October 20, 2021 by Eleanor Weber

Welcome back to another Takeover Tuesday! If you missed last week’s blog, let me give you the low-down. Every Tuesday, #InternKate and I (#InternEleanor) will be exploring downtown Harrisonburg and uploading all our adventures for your enjoyment. Be sure to view our Instagram stories, and stay tuned through the blog, where Kate and I will upload content every week outlining all the delicious food, amazing shops, and unique places Harrisonburg has to offer, so you can plan YOUR next adventure downtown!

This week, Kate and I decided to highlight the amazing local hotels and inns of Harrisonburg! Be sure to continue reading so you can suggest a future visit for any friends and family you have coming to town, or even book your next “stay-cation” in one of these lovely places!

Hotel Madison

The Friendly City Inn

The Joshua Wilton House

Kate and I’s first stop  was Hotel Madison, where we got a personalized tour from Eddie Bumbaugh, former Executive Director of HDR! Hotel Madison (JMU) has been a concept since 2003, when Eddie was working at HDR. The vision and values came together with a public-private partnership between James Madison University and the city itself. The hotel is the perfect location between JMU and Downtown Harrisonburg, located at 710 South Main St.

“It was nice to be part of that team and the planning phase and develop enthusiasm for this project,” Eddie said.

Hotel Madison is a totally independent entity, and also the official hotel of JMU. The goal of the hotel was to elevate the status of downtown and the university, and the ways in which it was designed give weight to this. The design of the building is highly detailed, and every decoration, architectural style, and setup ties into the overall mission. For example, note the outside: the limestone on the lower part of the building was used to match the limestone on many JMU buildings, the middle part is a more modern-classic look to elevate the building, and the roof tiles are similar to the colors on many JMU roofs. The building, like the hotel itself, is part of a JMU and Harrisonburg collective, while also honing in on its independent status. 


Kate and I got to tour three different room styles, and take my word on it, each was absolutely stunning! The level of detail in the hotel is truly stunning. For the largest hotel in the region, Hotel Madison feels like a home away from home and is a perfect place for any traveler to stay.

Next, Kate and I hit up the Friendly City Inn, only a short drive away at 547 East Market St. This inn is the perfect bed and breakfast location. We received a tour from Becca Graham, who runs the inn alongside her husband, Joel. This Civil War-era home has ten rooms, each with their own bathrooms. Breakfast is homemade each morning by Becca herself. Kate and I snagged a cookie on the way out and they were amazing! Compliments to the chef!

The rooms were each so unique and there were stories behind each room. For example, if you’re a Civil War history buff looking for a place to stay, check out the Appomatox room, equipped with history of the house and the war! They truly have a room for everyone and this would be a perfect place for visiting family members to stay. If I had one more parent weekend left (sad senior alert!) I’d tell my parents to stay here in a heartbeat.

Last on our itinerary list was the Joshua Wilton House, a historic house popular for not only stays, but local events and as a great venue as well! Located at 412 South Main St., the house is only a short walk away from downtown, which gives guests the resources for a night out without being too close to the bustle. 

The house is well-known for its fine dining experience. Tom French, Executive Chef, studied culinary school in England and even cooked for the Queen and her guests! This Victorian-style home would be the perfect place to stay for an upscale experience while in the city. 


Make sure to keep up with #InternKate and #InternEleanor this semester for many more #TakeoverTuesdays! Turn on post notifications on our Instagram and subscribe to our newsletter for more fun! Until next Tuesday, this is #InternEleanor, signing off.